Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed?

7 min read
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Jan 22, 2024
Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed?
Studies indicate that some people can overcome type 2 diabetes, despite the fact that there is no known cure for the condition. You might be able to achieve and maintain normal blood sugar levels without medicine by making dietary adjustments and losing weight.
This does not imply that you have fully recovered. Type 2 diabetes is a continuous disease. You never know when symptoms will return, even if you're in remission—a state in which you're not taking medicine and your blood sugar levels remain within a normal range.
However, some people may manage their glucose levels and the associated health risks for years without experiencing any problems.
Thus, how may diabetes be cured? Losing weight seemed to be the key. Not only may decreasing weight help you manage your diabetes, but it can also help you live a diabetes-free life—particularly if you've only had the condition for a short while and haven't required insulin.

Little Actions to Control Your Blood Sugar

Monitoring your blood sugar is crucial, and there are a few easy steps you can take to keep it under control.

Low-Calorie Diet

A extremely low-calorie diet's impact on overweight individuals with diabetes has been the subject of several research conducted in England. For two to five months, two groups of patients followed a largely liquid diet consisting of 625–850 calories per day.
After that, they switched to a less restrictive diet that helped them maintain their weight loss. In all studies, participants' blood glucose levels were maintained within normal range for a minimum of six months to a year, and approximately half of them corrected their diabetes.
This is an extreme kind of diet. It entails working with a specialist and exercising extreme self-control over your caloric intake. However, the possibility that treatment could put you into remission could motivate you to go through.
Thirty pounds or more were dropped by the majority of those who corrected their type 2 diabetes. They had also avoided diabetes for a longer period of time than those with less success.
Thus, it's critical to begin a weight-loss program as soon as you receive your diagnosis.

What Happens

When you have type 2 diabetes, cells that assist your body balance your blood sugar stop performing appropriately. Although research indicates that some cells may reappear, doctors once believed they had been permanently shut down.
Less fat was present in the pancreas and liver of those who dropped weight, and for some of them, this improved the function of the pancreatic beta cells, which release insulin and regulate blood sugar.
Early on is when there's the most chance of saving those cells. That means that rather than recommending minor lifestyle adjustments and prescribing medicine to treat symptoms, doctors could be better off helping patients shed a significant amount of weight following a diagnosis.

Exercise

Increasing physical activity can help diabetes, but exercise alone might not be enough to help you lose enough weight to enter remission.
Exercise does, however, aid when paired with dietary adjustments. A modest reduction in calories and a significant increase in caloric expenditure may put you on the road to remission.
More than half of the participants in a research who were instructed to strive for 10,000 steps per day and at least 2.5 hours of moderate activity per week, together with a daily calorie restriction of 500–750 and adherence to a prescribed insulin and medicine regimen, achieved near-normal blood sugar levels without the need for medication. Moreover, some were able to maintain those levels over time.
In the end, the most important thing is the weight loss. You can get there with exercise, but you should also prepare to make dietary changes.

Bariatric Surgery

This kind of surgery works to reduce weight by altering the size of your stomach and digestive tract, hence limiting your food intake. It may aid in diabetes reversal in ways other than weight loss, however experts are yet unsure of the precise mechanism.
According to one idea, it influences the hormones in your stomach, which aids in blood glucose regulation.
According to research, after bariatric surgery, up to 75% of patients see a reversal of their diabetes. Long-term outcomes from gastric banding are inferior to those from gastric bypass and gastric sleeve (also known as sleeve gastrectomy) surgery.
If you have a weight-related health condition, such as diabetes, and your BMI is at least 35, you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery. It functions best in patients who have not used insulin and have had the illness for five years or less.
Discuss this with your physician if you were just diagnosed with obesity. As surgery is involved, there are significant hazards. However, the majority of patients get diabetes reversal after having it done.

Fasting

Fasting is not a common treatment for type 2 diabetes, but it can be a useful approach to lose weight because it's quite simple.
A small study discovered that therapeutic fasting, which involves depriving oneself of calories-rich food and liquids for a predetermined period of time, can help treat type 2 diabetes.
For several months, three diabetics adhered to a diet plan that involved three 24-hour fasts every week. When they fasted, they would only eat dinner; when they didn't fast, they would have lunch and dinner, with an emphasis on low-carbohydrate foods.
Three of the study participants stopped taking three of their four diabetes medications, and two were able to stop taking all of their medications. All three of them could cease taking insulin in one to three weeks. They lost 20–23 pounds, or 10%–18% of their body weight.
According to a another study, consuming 500–600 calories two days a week and sticking to a regular diet on the other days helped persons with type 2 diabetes reduce their blood sugar levels and lose weight in the same way as restricting their daily calorie intake to 1,200–1,500.
While research is ongoing, a number of studies indicate that intermittent fasting may have various positive health effects. Human studies on intermittent fasting have improved the way chronic illness is managed in these patients.
These trials, however, are only conducted over a few months. If the diet is followed throughout life, it's uncertain if the benefits will last for years.
See your doctor if you'd like to give fasting a try so you can obtain the support and information you need to accomplish it safely.

Is There a Diabetes Cure?

Is it possible to treat diabetes naturally?

Nope. Stress relief techniques including progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, guided imagery, and deep belly breathing are examples of natural remedies.
Furthermore, emotional stress has an impact on blood sugar levels. Therefore, controlling your diabetes requires learning to unwind.
Moreover, supplements do not treat diabetes. Certain herbal supplements have the potential to negatively interact with your diabetes medication. Some supplements have been demonstrated to assist manage diabetes, but consult your physician before using any new ones.
Be wary of promises to cure diabetes. A true cure will have undergone numerous successful clinical trial tests.

Could stem cells be used to treat diabetes?

Although they show promise, stem cell transplants are not yet used to treat diabetes.
Transforming into different types of cells is the ability of stem cells. Researchers using stem cells to treat type 1 diabetes have had some results.
Is islet cell transplantation a cure for diabetes?
The quality of life for a diabetes can be enhanced with a successful islet cell transplant. The development of the technology is still in its early phases.
Insulin is produced by islet cells, which detect blood sugar levels. An individual provides the cells.
When the donor cells are successfully transplanted, they start producing and releasing insulin in response to blood glucose. This process can help prevent major long-term diabetes problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and damage to the nerves and eyes, as well as give you more flexibility when it comes to meal planning.
In order to keep their body from rejecting the donor cells, the transplant recipient needs to take medication for the remainder of their lives.

Is pancreas transplantation a cure for diabetes?

A pancreas transplant may be an option for certain individuals with type 1 diabetes. It is typically performed on patients with end-stage renal disease.
Restoring blood sugar regulation would be aided with a pancreas transplant. The patient would require lifelong medication, much like any other recipient of a transplant, in order to aid the body's acceptance of the new pancreas.

What Doesn't Work

There is no miracle medication that can reverse diabetes. Be wary of products that promise to cure diabetes or take the place of your doctor-prescribed diabetes medication.
The FDA issues a warning that a number of items that are sold illegally are questionable and potentially harmful, including:
  • Dietary supplements
  • Over-the-counter drugs
  • Alternative medicines
  • Homeopathic products
  • Prescription drugs
They discovered that some purportedly "all natural" items had prescription medications that weren't disclosed as ingredients. These may alter the way other drugs you are taking function or lead to unintentional drug overdose.