Type 2 diabetes 'cured by pancreas fat loss'
Losing just one gram of fat from the pancreas could help cure people of Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.
When the body is suffering from the disease either its cells don't react to insulin, or it doesn't produce enough of the hormone to function properly. This means glucose isn't used as fuel to energise, and instead remains in the blood stream causing unstable sugar levels which can lead to things like extreme tiredness, thirst and, in the most severe cases, organ damage.
The problem is caused by fat building up in the pancreas, and doctors at Newcastle University have noted that when the fat disappears, the condition does too. The pancreas sits behind the stomach and its job is to get the insulin flowing through the body to keep sugar levels stable. If it doesn't work properly, people need injections or tablets.
The health of 27 obese men and women who were set to have weight loss surgery was tracked, with all coming in at around 252/266lbs and two-thirds suffering from diabetes. Following the operation each patient shed over 28lbs, with an average of one gram lost from the pancreas.
Magnificently, about eight weeks after the surgery the patients' insulin levels had become normal and their diabetes disappeared.
During the World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver on Tuesday (01Dec15), study author Professor Roy Taylor said: "For people with Type 2 diabetes, losing weight allows them to drain excess fat out of the pancreas and allows function to return to normal.
"So, if you ask how much weight you need to lose to make your diabetes go away, the answer is one gram. But that gram needs to be fat from the pancreas."
Diabetics are more prone to health problems such as blindness, kidney disease and heart disease.