Nutrition and Hydration Week Patient story: Achieving weight loss remission with diabetes
The Nutrition and Dietetics at CLCH are dedicated and passionate group, who are always striving to offer the best possible nutritional care for our patients. They provide specialist dietetic input in a number of areas to patients who have experienced difficulties with their weight, often for many years or due to a certain condition and illness.
Many believe that having type 2 diabetes makes weight loss more difficult, however losing weight with type 2 diabetes is no more difficult than losing weight without it.
This story follows the journey of a patient who was diagnosed with diabetes in March 2020. Rebecca*, 42, from Brent who works in a care home and has an underlying health condition of Type 2 diabetes, likely as a result of her weight. With regular assessments and interventions, Helen Davies, a Specialist Chronic Disease Dietitian in Brent (Outer North West division) provided professional therapy and support with the aim of assisting the patient with weight loss.
Rebecca was referred to Brent community nutrition and dietetics in October 2020, weighing 125kg with a BMI of 45.4 kg/m2. Consequently, she was triaged to the specialist weight management clinic which is for patients with a BMI >40. Despite being overweight throughout her life, Rebecca was determined and felt motivated to adapt her lifestyle when she discovered that she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
During the examination, Rebecca also presented with nutritional deficiencies such as B12 and Vitamin D. Helen Davies began working with her and set an overall dietetic aim to reduce her weight by 15kg, whilst ensuring that the quality of her diet did not get impacted. At first, Rebecca struggled to grasp what she could and could not eat during the sessions. Helen was able to use visual tools to make this easier; the weight loss plate model was one of these*.
Overall, the aim of the diet was a lower carbohydrate regimen in combination with physical activity.
While Rebecca found it challenging to encourage herself to exercise due to nature of her job, she frequently went for walks and combined this with her passion for photography.
To that end, Rebecca attained a total weight loss of 16kg (12%) in four months and is now at 109kg with a BMI of 39.5kg/m2. Today, Helen continues to inspire Rebecca to increase her physical activities in order to achieve a normal blood glucose level (below 42 mmol/mol) allowing her to discontinue diabetes medication such as Metformin.
Reacting to Rebecca’s accomplishment, Helen said,“It is normal to struggle with losing weight as there are many reasons why someone eats. Working with a dietitian can help you to look at, not only what you are eating but also why you are eating and observing these underlying eating behaviours can increase the chances of longer-term success."
*Image above is a visual representation of how a patient can portion out their meals.
*Name has been changed to maintain patient confidentiality.