Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

New Ways to Beat Diabetes

The latest treatments for fighting the devastating disease

En español | Over the past 30 years the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes has skyrocketed, from about 6 million in 1980 to almost 19 million today. As this problem spirals out of control, researchers are racing to find new treatments for this devastating disease.

Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter.

Dr. Oz

Dr. Mehmet Oz — Photo by Art Streiber

Recently, scientists at Newcastle University in England reported that a 600-calorie-a-day diet appeared to reverse type 2 diabetes in a small group of patients who had diabetes for less than four years. Seven patients out of 10 were still diabetes-free three months after they stopped the extreme eight-week diet, which consisted of meal-replacement drinks and three daily servings of non-starchy vegetables.

On the surgical front, a weight-loss surgery known as a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass has proven surprisingly effective at reversing type 2 diabetes: 80 percent of patients undergoing this surgery — which involves creating a pouch in the upper part of the stomach and attaching it farther down the small intestine — experience dramatic remission of their diabetes. These results are seen just days after surgery and before much weight loss occurs.

Such findings have led to a surge of research attempting to understand how gastric bypass affects the regulation of blood sugar. While it's unclear exactly how this works, most theories focus on the previously underappreciated role of the small intestine and stomach as endocrine, or hormone-releasing, organs. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in particular seems to alter specific hormones that help regulate the body's response to sugar.

Still, the last thing I would recommend is that people rely on extreme diets or radical stomach-rerouting surgeries to solve an often preventable problem. If your fasting blood glucose level is above 100, the time to act is now.

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a large multicenter research study, has shown that overweight people with pre-diabetes can reduce their risk for diabetes by 58 percent if they lose just 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. Most important is getting 150 minutes of physical exercise each week: Physical exertion helps muscle cells better use glucose and can lead to weight loss, which can help ward off diabetes.

You may also like: You can beat diabetes.

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a cardio-thoracic surgeon and host of The Dr. Oz Show.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said that “starchy vegetables" were part of the 600-calorie-a-day diet. It should have said "non-starchy vegetables."

related video

New high-tech testing methods make things easier for people with diabetes. This is part of a technology series from Inside E Street called "One More Thing."

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Health Blog

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives, nutrition and losing weight. Do