While the most effective treatment for diabesity is bariatric surgery, undergoing such treatment is expensive and might result in surgical complications.
Roy says most people with diabesity require a comprehensive treatment strategy, which a team of health professionals should develop.
“A doctor is only one member of that team,” he says. “Other team members may include a dietitian, a diabetes educator, an exercise physiologist and a health psychologist. This team can develop a strategy that focuses on lifestyle modifications, such as a healthy diet and increased physical activity, medications and, if applicable, identification and treatment of any underlying anxiety or depression. Healthcare professionals should also spend time explaining to their patients about how this is a chronic disease, not a lifestyle problem.”
While diabesity has no cure, proper management of the disease can cause it to go into remission. Losing weight can also prevent or delay progression of type 2 diabetes by up to 60 per cent.
“If a person is overweight or obese, modifying their lifestyle is the best thing they can do to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” Roy says. “This means weight reduction through healthy diet and increased physical activity.”
To find out more from Dr Roy Rasalam, follow him on Twitter @RoyDiabetesDoc.