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Journal of Integrative Medicine

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Remission of type 2 diabetes depends on prompt comprehensive lifestyle changes upon diagnosis: How can this “Road to Damascus” experience be supported?

Theocharis Koufakisa, Kalliopi Kotsaa, Nikolaos Papanasb   

  1. a. Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Diabetes Centre, First Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, AHEPA University Hospital, 54636, Thessaloniki, Greece
    b. Diabetes Centre, Second Department of Internal Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, 68100, Alexandroupolis, Greece

  • Received:2021-12-03 Accepted:2022-03-01 Online:2022-04-12 Published:2022-04-12
  • Contact: Nikolaos Papanas E-mail:papanasnikos@yahoo.gr

Theoretically, a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) requires a dramatic change in an individual’s way of life. Weight loss and physical activity can lead to remission of diabetes, which has been associated with a lower risk of developing complications. Today, the importance of a healthy lifestyle is further highlighted by data showing that obesity and diabetes increase the risk of severe complications from coronavirus disease 2019. However, remission rarely occurs in reality, probably due to the inability of people with T2DM to adhere to the intensive lifestyle interventions that are necessary. The complexity of contributing factors may explain why making these changes is so challenging and underscore the fact that there is no magical solution for T2DM. Instead, hard work from both patients and health care providers is needed for the conversion to be achieved. This article calls for more research on the underlying reasons why adhering to a healthy way of life is so difficult for people with diabetes and obesity. Clearly defining these barriers would facilitate the planning of effective policies to promote the adoption of appropriate lifestyle changes early in the course of the disease.

Key words: Type 2 diabetes, Remission, Exercise, Diet, Lifestyle change

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