Ask Diabetes Health

Experts at Chellaram Diabetes Clinic, Pune answer your queries on Diabetes. Send your questions to

I'm a 25 year old woman with Type 2 diabetes. I have heard that very low calorie diet will help me manage my Diabetes and may even reverse it. Please advise if this is safe?

Very low calorie diet (VLCD's) is a special diet that provides up to 600-800 calories per day. VLCD replaces all meals with prepared formulas, often in the form of liquid shakes. This type of diet creates a negative energy balance and promotes quick weight loss. This kind of diet needs expertise and medical supervision!

Considering weight gain and obesity are risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes, a 2011 Diabetes UK research trial at Newcastle University tested a very low-calorie diet in 11 diabetic subjects with the hypothesis that acute negative energy balance alone reverses Type 2 Diabetes by normalising both beta cell function and insulin sensitivity. After eight weeks diet intervention, subjects had put their Diabetes into remission with decreased amount of fat in the liver and pancreas and restored insulin production. As part of study findings, three months later, some subjects had gained weight, but most still had normal blood glucose control.

Though the results were quite promising, however more long term studies with larger group of people and longer follow up period is required to recommend VLCD's as an effective option to reverse Diabetes.

Tushima Mashelkar

Consultant Nutritionist

I'm a 69 year old man with Type 2 Diabetes and have severe osteoarthritis in both legs. Please suggest what exercises I can do.

You physiotherapist will design an exercise program for you depending on your weight, neuropathy (the extent of nerve damage in your feet), pain intensity etc. But apart from this, general guidelines for severe osteoarthritis would be physical training exercises for legs in sitting, lying down and if doing it in standing position, then to exercise intermittently with breaks in between. Also, your physiotherapist may recommend isometric exercise (strength training) for your legs. In addition, walking on an even surface, leg raise, side leg raises, ankle toe movements may also be added to your fitness regime. It is best advised that you consult a physiotherapist before embarking on any fitness regime.

Gouri Choundikar

Consultant Physiotherapist

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