Forth Valley diabetes trial hailed a success

A pioneering diabetes trial in Forth Valley has been highlighted a success by Diabetes UK.

The DiRECT study – a trial funded by Diabetes UK and led by experts at Glasgow and Newcastle Universities, sees local dietitians help people with the condition lose weight, initially through an 800 calorie diet, and provide ongoing support to help maintain their weight loss.

The latest findings from DiRECT reveal weight loss can put Type 2 diabetes into remission; two thirds of those who lost 10 kilos or more are in remission two years later. The programme, which is delivered through GP practices in primary care, has also been found to result in a better quality of life and reduce the need for diabetes medications compared with standard care.

NHS Forth Valley Community Dietitian, Lesley Slaughter, one of the local healthcare professionals involved in the DiRECT trial, was featured in a recent Diabetes UK magazine.

Lesley admits she approached DiRECT with the same apprehension and caution as any other dietitian would. She explained: “This is something, which in the past, I would never have recommended to my patients, never mind deliver it. But part of what I really enjoy about dietetics is that our practice is constantly changing as new research is published. So to be involved in a piece of research like this was exciting.

“Anyone who receives remission after years of taking prescribed medications is amazing. In my experience the participants most successful at staying in remission are those who are monitoring. So weighing themselves frequently, continuing to monitor their dietary intake using a diary or an app. The learning for me has been absolutely huge and I feel fortunate to have had the research team on hand.”