Kolkata: On World Diabetes Day, city-based doctors suggested Wednesday that Type 2 Diabetes patients can have a remission up to one year if they follow medical nutrition therapy.

Remission is a medical term to describe abatement or disappearance of the signs and symptoms of a disease, used in terms of chronic diseases.

Approximately 50% of patients with Type 2 diabetes had remission for one year after being on intensive insulin therapy for four weeks, diabetologist Dr Kovil said.

Besides, eating a low-calorie diet for at least four months followed by a stepped-up introduction of other meals over the next two or three months and maintaining a weight loss of at least 10-15% might help in the remission, he said.

However, there are chances of relapse if one does not follow healthy lifestyle practices, Kovil stated.

“This is not reversal or cure of diabetes. This is remission, coming down to a standard level where you are without drugs for diabetes and even signs and symptoms of diabetes. It is possible with a structured programme for at least 6-8 months,” he said.

But complete remission of Type 2 Diabetes is possible with bariatric surgery – procedures performed on people who have obesity, Dr Kovil said.

A recent consensus statement was issued last month by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) on Management of Hyperglycemia.

According to the consensus, there should be an additional focus on lifestyle management and diabetes self management education and support.

Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period.

There are three main types of diabetes mellitus – Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus results from the pancreas’ failure to produce enough insulin due to loss of beta cells, Type 2 begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly.

Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnant women, without a previous history of diabetes, develop high blood sugar levels.

When asked whether permanent cure is absolutely impossible for Type 1 Diabetes, paediatric endocrinologist, Dr Subrata Dey, said, “At this point, permanent cure of Type 1 Diabetes is not possible but a lot of work and research are going on for artificial pancreas, stem cell transplantation and monoclonal medication to restore beta cell functions.”

The only treatment for Type 1 Diabetes is insulin administration with wellness diet comprising measured intake of carbohydrate and restricted sugar and physical activities, he said.

If pancreatic transplants could be a solution for diabetes, Dr Dey said, “It cannot be but beta cell transplants, after harvesting from cadavers, have been tried in the past in Western countries.

According to a WHO 2015 data, India had 69.2 million people living with diabetes (8.7%). Of them, it remained undiagnosed in more than 36 million people.

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is observed by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization on 14 November, in response to the growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.