Type 2 remission ‘empowers’ people

Type 2 diabetes remission

A “transformative new understanding” of type 2 diabetes will be discussed at this year’s Diabetes Professional Care Conference (DPC2019) in October.

A remission session, presented by Alison Barnes who worked closely with Professor Roy Taylor on the DiRECT trial, will be held on Wednesday 30 October, in a bid to “inform and empower” healthcare professionals to discuss and support remission in their everyday practice.

The Senior Research Associate at Newcastle University and Specialist Diabetes Dietitian said: “My session will provide a comprehensive, but succinct, overview of this transformative new understanding of type 2 diabetes, which previously had always been thought of as a chronic, progressive condition with no turning back.”

Alison plans to summarise the findings of remission research studies using low calorie diets including DiRECT, which have demonstrated that achieving sustained non-surgical remission of type 2 diabetes is possible, and will also explain the physiology of remission and outline recent guideline changes and work on defining remission criteria.

She said: “I think it’s important we discuss remission and consider how we do that effectively with patients in clinic. The concept of remission challenges some long-held beliefs, but we must all provide evidence-based care, and the first step to doing that is to understand the evidence.

“Guidelines only provide a few lines of information, a very brief summary. There’s a wealth of information behind those few lines, and I’d encourage anyone who sees people with type 2 diabetes in their practice to come along and find out more.”

“Conversations about type 2 remission have completely transformed my practice. My clinic has felt like a much more positive place ever since I started having these discussions. Talking about remission transforms people’s view of this serious condition they have been diagnosed with, and so many become engaged and motivated to make a change when they hadn’t before. It offers hope – of recovering health, of reducing reliance on medications. These are very powerful motivators. Sometimes the conversation itself is enough for people to go and lose the weight themselves. But for most, having the right kind of support from their healthcare team makes a big difference.”

Despite the exciting research findings, Alison said it is important to exercise a “note of caution” and manage expectations, because remission can depend on how long a person has had type 2 diabetes for example, and it will not be possible for everyone. Knowing how to manage that possibility is also really important.

She added: “The earlier in someone’s type 2 diabetes journey we start having remission conversations, the greater the chance of achieving it. The weight loss and associated metabolic improvements can make an immediate difference to people’s quality of life, and also has huge implications for population health outcomes and healthcare costs in the future. The more we educate and empower people with diabetes and healthcare professionals, we might start seeing more and more people putting their type 2 diabetes into remission. I’d say that’s a pretty positive thing.”

Visitors will also get a chance to ask Alison questions after the session.

Alison Barnes will be speaking in the DPC Nutrition & Lifestyle Clinic on Wednesday 30th October, 12:40 – 13:20.


DPC2019 is the UK’s largest free-to-attend, CPD-accredited conference.

The two-day event gives healthcare professionals the chance to share good practice and innovation with a specific focus this year on multi-disciplinary working.

DPC2019 will take place at Olympia London on October 29 and 30 and delegates are invited to attend presentations and workshops on a variety of topics, such as the childhood obesity strategy, type 2 diabetes reversal and diabetes burnouts.

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