freedom from diabetes
Metabolic Health
Medically Reviewed iconMedically Reviewedcevron icon

How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

One of the most common types of diabetes is Type 2 Diabetes or T2D. It does not matter if you have just been diagnosed with it or have been living with it for a while, every day is a new journey with this disease. Every day you may find yourself hoping for ways and trying out new methods regarding how to reverse diabetes or get freedom from diabetes. You must read books, go online, look for YouTube videos, success stories, try out yoga, and many other things. The truth is that the symptoms and effects of T2D can go back quite a lot if you follow certain patterns and behaviors that are healthy and helpful.

If you have been newly diagnosed, you must take some time to understand what exactly diabetes is. It is much easier to be able to deal with and effectively manage the symptoms once you know what is causing it and the changes that your body is experiencing. Type 2 diabetes occurs in an individual when the body does not use insulin properly. When insulin is produced by the pancreas, due to some reason, either it isn’t sufficient or it is unable to bind with the carbs and glucose rendering it ineffective. 

Several causes lead to the onset of T2D – 

  1. Insulin resistance – The cells within the body do not respond well or interact normally with insulin
  2. The inability of the pancreas to produce insulin
  3. Sedentary lifestyle 
  4. A high weight and large body fat
  5. Unhealthy eating and sleeping habits
  6. Excessive stress and lack of proper coping mechanisms
  7. Genetic predisposition 

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects the way in which the body controls and uses sugar or glucose in the blood as a fuel. Since people with diabetes are unable to utilize insulin and absorb glucose in the blood, there is an excessive amount of blood sugar in circulation. In the long run, this can cause chronically high levels of blood sugar which is known as type 2 diabetes. 

Early Symptoms And Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes

When it comes to diabetes type 2, there are essentially two issues that are intertwined with one another. Either your pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, which is a hormone that regulates the passage of sugar into your cells or your cells are not responding well to insulin, which causes them to absorb less sugar and convert it into energy. Diabetes type 2 usually occurs with a gradual onset of signs and symptoms. It is very much possible that a person may have type 2 diabetes and be unaware initially, for several years. However, sooner or later certain symptoms start to show up and in cases where symptoms and indicators are present, they could include the following:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections

Read more about diabetes causes.

Can Diabetes Be Reversed?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that does not have a cure. It can be treated and managed and even put into remission but it is something that a person has to live with for their life. Most people want freedom from diabetes which is partially possible to achieve. You may be able to achieve and maintain normal blood sugar levels without the help of medication by making dietary adjustments and losing weight. This does not imply that you are entirely cured or have diabetes reversal. Even if you're in remission, which means you're not taking medication and your blood sugar levels are stable, there's still the possibility that symptoms can return. However, some people can go years without having any problems regulating their glucose or dealing with the health issues that come with diabetes so let’s explore the options that show how to reverse diabetes.

Diabetic patients often ponder on how to reverse type 2 diabetes? These symptoms are manageable if you begin this journey early, perhaps at the prediabetes stage. With proper diet and weight control, you will be able to see significant changes in the control of blood sugar and normal HbA1c levels. While you will still have to exercise control, insulin resistance will lessen and your body will be able to use some of the naturally produced insulin. Even if you have been diagnosed for a while, do not feel disheartened. You can learn to alleviate the symptoms and your sugar levels and be able to lead a healthy lifestyle. Read more about medications for diabetes.

Ways to reverse diabetes

Essentially, diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the health of the person as the sugar levels in the bloodstream rise significantly. Usually, when you eat something, the signals are sent to your pancreas to release insulin. 

If you are a diabetic, your body will lack the cells to make insulin entirely. If this is the case, you will be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. This type is primarily an autoimmune disease as the symptoms develop very quickly. Currently, there is no method regarding how to reverse diabetes of this type.

If you have T2D, your body may not be able to use the insulin well which results in high blood sugar levels. Usually, external medication or a low dose injection works well for T2D. It is primarily diagnosed in adults and the symptoms often build-up to lead to the onset.

 It is often preceded by prediabetes – this is a condition where the blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If you are looking for how to reverse diabetes permanently, starting at the prediabetes stage would be the ideal option as it is highly likely that you will be able to see lasting changes at this level. Read more to know about diet for diabetes.

There are a few methods that you can adopt into your routine and lifestyle to be able to see this change:

1. Switch to Low-Calorie Diet

The effects of sticking to a low-calorie diet among people diagnosed with diabetes are huge. You can try it out yourself: test your blood sugar levels before and after a low-calorie and a high-calorie meal. You will be able to see the difference right there. This works also when you are looking on how to reverse diabetes naturally. Restricting your meals to lower calories and carb counts will also result in a need for lesser insulin – following this diet plan has another major advantage – weight loss. You know the effects of lesser weight when it comes to a diabetic. Not only is the insulin absorbed properly but also the requirements are lesser. Normal blood sugar levels are maintained largely when you are on a low-calorie diet plan. 

Suggestions: Food categories that are low in sugar content like candies, cakes should be avoided. Next, maida, biscuits, starchy foods like potatoes and rice should be restricted from the diet plan. Also know about prediabetes diet.

2. Physical Activity & Exercise

The first suggestion that may pop up when you google ‘how to reverse diabetes’ would be exercise. It plays a wonderful and important role in reducing the overall sugar levels in the body as it helps to break down the glucose molecules that enter the bloodstream. Especially if combined with a proper and controlled diet, the effects and changes seen would be much faster and more drastic. If you want to be on the path of remission, couple these two methods and see how far you can go. Exercise leads to weight loss which is a highly important aspect of managing and/or reversing the symptoms of diabetes.

Suggestions: Exercise need not be hardcore since day 1. You can take it slow – start with a 20-minute brisk walk and move that up to more complex workouts like running, yoga, aerobics, etc. Exercise also plays a very important role in mental health as it releases endorphins (happy chemicals in the brain). Endorphins are responsible for us to feel good and happy.

3. Bariatric Surgery

This is the kind of surgery that would help you lose weight. The result would be that the digestive system will be altered along with your stomach – this will limit and restrict how much you will be able to eat. Many people consider this surgery as a plausible method regarding how to reverse type 2 diabetes while others find it risky. Researchers have been singing praises for the 75% success rate of this surgery as 3/4th of the people see a reversal in their symptoms

Suggestions: This surgery can be considered if you have a BMI of 35+ Additionally if you have just been recently diagnosed, consulting your endocrinologist before any such step would be potent.

3. Fasting

While fasting is a good option, it has certain limitations. As a diabetic, your fasting would have to be calculated since you might run the risk of hypoglycemic symptoms. However, it is a good way to know how to reverse diabetes naturally. Since fasting would eventually mean lower calories and carbs, it will lead to a reduction in weight. However, ensure that your meals have enough fiber and vitamins so that you do not lack energy. Also know about sugar free biscuits.

Suggestions: Any fasting plans or meal plans should be made by taking into account the insulin levels you take (on the pump, your basal settings will have to be reduced, and on the injection, you will have to check with your doctor to lower the long-lasting insulin dose)

Ways To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

So the question is, can diabetes be reversed? It would appear that losing weight is the key. Shedding extra kilos may not only help you manage your diabetes better, but it also has the potential to bring you to a stage where you don’t have to rely on medication only. This works even better if you've only had the disease for a few years and haven't required insulin treatment during that time. Cells in your body that normally assist in maintaining proper blood sugar management become dysfunctional when you have type 2 diabetes. Several studies suggest that people who lost weight had reduced significant amounts of fat in their liver and pancreas, and for some of them, this allowed the beta cells in their pancreas that release insulin and control blood sugar to start operating again. When caught in the early stages, these cells have a better chance of being saved. Weight Loss is a form of lifestyle change and this is the reason why several doctors insist on implementing these changes along with taking medication. 

So can you reverse type 2 diabetes? Not exactly, but there are ways which we can follow

  • Losing weight
  • Monitored diet
  • Regular exercise

By following the above ways your chances of managing the condition and getting into remission improve drastically. Also know how to reverse prediabetes.

How Can I Get Into Remission?

When your blood sugar levels (also known as blood glucose levels) are below the diabetic range, you are said to be in remission. In most cases, you will not need to take any diabetes medication while you are in remission from diabetes. When your HbA1c, which is a measurement of long-term blood glucose levels, stays below 48mmol/mol or 6.5% for at least six months, you are considered to be in remission from diabetes. Weight loss is one of the top reasons for people’s conditions getting into remission. Since extra fat has an effect on how the body manufactures and makes use of insulin, keeping your weight within a healthy range offers the best chance of entering remission from diabetes. A person who has a high body mass index (BMI) and loses 5% of their weight may show improvements in the following areas:

  • reductions in the amount of glucose in the blood
  • a lower risk of problems and a reduced requirement for drugs, if they are still being taken.

In order to manage diabetes, keep an eye on how high your blood sugar becomes and if your doctor advises you to lose weight, you can do so by following a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and, in some instances, using medication or insulin as advised.

Also read about are dates good for diabetes

Diets To Reverse Diabetes

Diet control for people with diabetes is crucial. So how to reverse type 2 diabetes by managing diet? Let’s find out. 

With a diet focused on diabetic conditions you can easily keep a healthy weight and keep yourself flexible and strong, control symptoms, and improve your general physical health to prevent complications that frequently accompany depression and anxiety. Your doctor might recommend a dietician to you or assist you in creating a balanced and healthy food plan. A diabetes-friendly diet consists of:

  • healthful fats, such as omega-3, which may have anti-inflammatory qualities and enough calories to attain or maintain a reasonable weight
  • a range of antioxidant-rich fresh or frozen fruits and veggies
  • whole grains for fiber
  • chicken, fish, low-fat dairy, soy, and beans which are great examples of lean proteins.

With the help of a doctor or nutritionist, you may develop a diet plan that includes the optimal amount of carbs for your lifestyle and level of activity. For the time being, developing a customized diabetes treatment plan is better than following a certain meal pattern. Diabetes is best managed by dietary changes and regular exercise. They can help with remission, slow the course of the disease, and avoid unexpected side effects. Also know about fasting blood glucose level.

Bottomline

Are you someone who is diagnosed with T1D or T2D? Do you know someone who is a diabetic? The answer to at least one of these questions would be ‘yes’. If you are looking for ways how to reverse diabetes or freedom from diabetes, there are several methods that you can adopt: Eating a low-calorie and low carb diet, losing weight via exercise and a proper meal plan, drinking a lot of water, fasting under the guidance of your dietician, bariatric surgery, etc could be options that you can consider. You understand the difficulty of the disease as you are living with it, reduce the effects of it by practicing these steps for a long and healthy life. Also know about normal sugar level.

FAQS

Can we get freedom from diabetes?

No, diabetes is a chronic condition which cannot completely be eradicated but can be put into remission and greatly controlled. Once that happens, one may not have to depend on medication on a daily basis.

Can exercise reverse diabetes?

No, diabetes cannot be reversed by exercise alone. Along with regularly working out, a person must take medication and follow a diabetes friendly diet in order to control or manage the condition. However, exercise helps greatly at managing blood sugar levels. 

Can diabetes be permanently reversed?

No, diabetes is a chronic condition which cannot be permanently reversed. However, by taking appropriate measures and taking proper medication, it can be put into remission. 

How long does it take to see remission?

When your HbA1c, which is a measurement of long-term blood glucose levels, stays below 48mmol/mol or 6.5% for at least six months, you are considered to be in remission from diabetes. Diabetes remission also depends on the stage at which action has been taken. 

How long will diabetes stay in remission?

Diabetes can remain in remission for a long time, upto 15-20 years. However, a person may have to depend on a combination of medication and lifestyle changes to keep the condition under control.

What percentage of type 2 diabetes is reversible?

According to studies, 40% of type 2 diabetes patients can reverse their condition with medication, lifestyle and dietary changes.

Can a diabetic go back to normal?

Yes, a person with diabetes can resume normal life once their condition is in remission. They can also function normally with the help of medication and several drastic lifestyle changes.

How much weight do you need to lose to reverse type 2 diabetes?

For a person to put their diabetes into remission, they must lose around 10-15 kgs of weight or 5% of their total body fat.

What foods can help to get rid of type 2 diabetes?

Foods that are rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants all help to manage type 2 diabetes. Additionally, berries, whole grains and healthy fats also help to get rid of type 2 diabetes.

Is fasting good for diabetes?

It is unclear whether fasting is good for diabetes or not. In some cases, fasting works well depending on the overall health of the person but it is best to consult a doctor and then fast. 

How can I reverse diabetes naturally?

Diabetes cannot be reversed but it can be managed and controlled naturally. By having a solid sleep schedule, eating healthy and working out regularly a person can put their diabetes into remission. Losing weight rapidly is one of the best ways to manage diabetes naturally. 

Can metformin reverse diabetes?

Yes, Metformin is a blood glucose-lowering medicine, which may help in reversing or controlling type 2 diabetes for a long period. Reducing the burden on insulin-producing beta cells is critical for correcting type 2 diabetes.

Can 6.5 A1C be reversed?

No, 6.5 A1C indicates diabetes and it is a chronic condition which cannot be reversed. But diabetes can be reversed when someone achieves an A1c below 6.5%.However, it can be put into remission with the help of medication and lifestyle changes.

Book a Free Session

References

  • https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/can-you-reverse-type-2-diabetes

Disclaimer

This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.