Weight loss is now considered a primary management goal for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in adults.
This is in accordance with a new joint consensus from both the European Association for the study of Diabetes and the more recently, the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Canada, our national diabetes organization has yet to make any consensus statement.
Why is weight loss so important in Type 2 Diabetes? It’s because it can lead to Type 2 Diabetes remission in some cases after achieving 10- 15% body weight loss. This amount of weight loss is now possible with some currently available Type 2 Diabetes medications such as Ozempic and certainly possible with future medications such as Tirzepatide (not available yet).
Rather than just treating Type 2 Diabetes with medications that focus on glucose control, we now can both control glucose and put type 2 diabetes into remission by achieving weight loss.
Only weight loss can achieve type 2 diabetes remission. It’s also why Bariatric Surgery is the only cure we have for Type 2 Diabetes. Weight loss acts to strengthen our pancreas cells so they can work better at releasing insulin. Therefore, using type 2 medications that promote weight loss is recommended.
This recommendation of course can come into conflict with insurance coverage (both public insurance and private insurance). The medications that support weight loss are obviously more costly and insurance companies are less likely to be willing to pay. When it comes to private insurance companies, there is some negotiating room. When it comes to our BC Pharmacare, this is where speaking to your elected MLA matters.