The short answer is "yes."
A recent study presented at HEROForum18 by Dr. Jonathan Little, Associate Professor, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia showed significant success in achieving partial and, at times, a complete remission of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D).
The very intriguing part of this study to us was the opportunity for employers to play an important role in lowering their risks of this all-too-common, and very debilitating disease. Diabetes can result in severe, long-term complications such as stroke, heart attack, as well as damage to the eye, kidney, and nerves. As a result, the cost of caring for people with diabetes now accounts for roughly one out of every 3 dollars spent in healthcare.
The key to the success of Dr. Little's program was a Low Carbohydrate, High Fat (LCHF) diet. The high fat component raised a few eyebrows, but in concert with the low carb diet, type 2 Diabetes and pre-Diabetes patients showed no signs of insulin resistance or clogged arteries.
In fact, if Type 2 Diabetes is in remission, almost all cardiovascular disease risk factors improve. And not surprisingly, when a 15 minute post-meal walk is made a part of the regimen, blood vessel function is improved significantly.
Type 2 Diabetes can be seen simply as "carbohydrate intolerance." When you remove the carbohydrates, you eliminate high blood sugar levels. If that doesn't sound appetizing, consider that breakfast could be eggs and an avocado. Lunch? A salad with nuts, beef and olive oil dressing and dinner could include cheese, chicken, vegetables and olive oil in a tasty tossed salad.
Dr. Little is working with community pharmacists as partners in an ongoing clinical trial. Pharmacists, who are well-positioned in the community and well-trained in medication management, represent an innovative solution for delivering safe, low-carbohydrate therapeutic nutrition.
Using such an approach, employees on glucose-lowering diabetes medications would be counseled on gradually adjusting, and ultimately eliminating their insulin and diabetes medication doses. A wellness software platform could allow employees to track results and then provide specific diet instructions on a weekly basis to improve employee self-management, buy-in and ultimate success of the program.
The long-term benefits are hard to ignore. Controlled studies have shown that after one year on a Low Carbohydrate, High Fat diet, 60% of patients reversed their Type 2 Diabetes. 94% reduced or eliminated insulin. Additionally, the average blood glucose improvement fell below the diabetic threshold and the average weight loss at one year was 30 lbs. These facts alone prompted CoreHealth to get the word out by sponsoring Dr. Little to speak at the most recent HERO Forum held in Florida in October 2018.
In my opinion, a "T2D" workplace program in partnership with a community pharmacist and a wellness software platform to manage the program in real-time would show significant improvements in Type 2 Diabetes and pre-diabetes patients in a relatively short period of time, and demonstrate a sincere corporate commitment to wellness in the workplace.
About the Author
Anne Marie Kirby is the CEO of CoreHealth Technologies, a leading corporate wellness program, trusted by wellness providers for +2 million employees worldwide.