Diabetes UK responded to other research findings that were presented at this year’s European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting.
Research announced at the annual conference sparked discussions about the growing primary care needs of people with diabetes who have survived COVID-19, with suggestions that weight loss of 15% or more should become a central goal of the management of type 2 diabetes and a potential review of weight management and obesity prevention in people with type 1 diabetes.
Responding to the first point, Diabetes UK Policy Officer Nikki Joule said: ‘People with diabetes have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with a third of Covid-19 deaths in England occurring in people with diabetes. of diabetes during the first wave of the pandemic. .
“We know that people with diabetes are at increased risk of serious illness and death from the virus and that their diabetes care continues to be severely disrupted as we emerge from the pandemic. “
She added, “Routine appointments are essential for people to understand how their diabetes is managed, get the support they need to stay in shape, and reduce the risk of developing devastating complications.
“While we welcome the government’s recent commitment to invest more in preventing type 2 diabetes, there is an urgent need to close the gap in routine diabetes care and ensure that people with diabetes can access the support they need, including psychological support and diabetes education. “
Dr Lucy Chambers, Head of Research Communications at Diabetes UK, responded to the following two discussion points on obesity management and weight loss programs for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes .
Speaking of people with type 2, she said, “For people with type 2 diabetes and obesity, or who are overweight, losing even a small amount of weight can be life changing. It can help people better manage their blood sugar and blood pressure, and lower their risk of developing diabetes complications such as heart disease and vision loss, while improving their well-being. For some, losing 10-15% of their body weight can mean their type 2 diabetes goes into remission – so they no longer need to take medication to keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
“Diabetes UK’s landmark Counterpoint and DiRECT trials first showed that the function of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas can be restored through weight loss and is the key to improving health and putting type 2 on. in remission. The weight loss in these trials was achieved through a low-calorie weight loss program, and we know that other treatments, such as bariatric surgery, can also lead to type 2 remission. ”
She added, “Type 2 diabetes is serious and the management of the disease can often have both physical and emotional consequences. People need support to live well with the disease, and the government should continue to invest in weight management services, ensuring that everyone who could benefit can access this support. “
Responding to claims for a potential review of obesity prevention in people with type 1, she said, “Type 1 diabetes is a complex autoimmune disease treated with insulin therapy. While insulin does not directly cause weight gain, the daily challenge of accurately dosing insulin to match food intake and physical activity may mean that weight gain may result from treatment. insulin.
“This research highlights some of the important factors at play when it comes to weight management in people with type 1 diabetes, such as the fear of hypos that can sometimes cause people to consume more calories than they do. do not need it. “
She concluded: “The results also underscore the importance of education around healthy eating, accurate carbohydrate counting, and insulin dose adjustment. All people with type 1 diabetes should have access to support from healthcare professionals to help them manage their weight, where appropriate. “
Founded in 1965, EASD is a non-profit medical scientific association that aims to encourage and support research in the field of diabetes. Each year, the organization holds a meeting attended by over 15,000 delegates from over 130 countries.
This year’s meeting started on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 and will end today (Friday, October 1, 2021). Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, EASD 2021 has taken place virtually.