Helping Canadians safely pursue diabetes remission
Updated: Jan 18
Of the estimated 11 million Canadians with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, how many know they may be able to put their condition into remission by changing how they eat?
“Unfortunately, many people don’t yet know that type 2 diabetes remission is possible,” says Sean McKelvey, the CEO and founder of the Institute for Personalized Therapeutic Nutrition (IPTN). “That’s why it’s so important that we spread the word about how to do it safely and effectively, in collaboration with your health care provider.”
To that end, the IPTN has teamed up with BC’s Institute for Health System Transformation & Sustainability (IHSTS) to co-sponsor and create the new interactive website, diabetesremission.ca.
The website provides links to evidence-based information about diabetes remission as well as a readiness checklist and a supportive letter to share with health providers. It also offers a 24-page downloadable ebooklet, “Remission Possible,” which provides clear, simple, and practical information about how to put diabetes into remission through dietary changes.
“Most importantly, the booklet and site stress the importance of working with your health provider, especially if you take any medications for diabetes. The blood sugar improvements can happen so rapidly that medications must be adjusted or discontinued or blood sugar may go too low,” notes McKelvey.
Three proven ways to achieve remission
Type 2 diabetes remission is defined as three months of blood glucose readings below the diabetes range without any use of any diabetes medications. Research studies have shown three ways patients may be able to achieve remission:
a very low calorie diet;
a low carbohydrate or very low carb (ketogenic diet);
or bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery is a major procedure, typically reserved for patients with a great deal of weight to lose. However, both very low calorie diets and low carb diets are very accessible and can be done at home. The website and ebooklet give examples of what to eat, shopping lists, and other practical tips.
As noted, all three methods can rapidly reduce high blood sugar. It is very important that if patients are taking any diabetes drugs that lower blood sugar they work with their family doctor, community pharmacist, or other care providers to reduce, adjust, or discontinue diabetes medications.
If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about how to put type 2 diabetes into drug-free remission, check out diabetesremission.ca and download the eblooklet.