Can Diabetes be Reversed?

October 28, 2020

Is a cure for diabetes possible? In the case of type 2 diabetes, doctors talk about the possibility of remission. Patients in remission have normal blood sugar levels without having to take any diabetes medications.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is defined as high blood sugar levels due to the body’s resistance to insulin. Insulin lowers blood sugar levels by helping blood sugar enter the body’s cells, where it is turned into energy. Because of reasons not fully understood, some patients develop insulin resistance: their pancreatic beta cells are still making insulin, but to no avail. Obesity or overweight, high waist size, poor diet, lack of physical activity, smoking, family history, and air pollution can all raise the risk of type 2 diabetes.

What Can I Do to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

Fortunately, there is much that patients can do either to lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, or even cure their diabetes. Body weight is a good place to start. While not a perfect marker, body mass index is used to assess weight. BMI=weight in kg/height in cm squared. Normal BMIs range from 18.5 to 24.9. Waist size should be under 35 inches for women and under 40 inches for men (that may not apply to very athletic individuals). A good diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, and herbs, and low in red and processed meats and processed foods; especially white flour and refined sugar. Research has shown that individuals eating diets higher in vegetable protein have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than individuals eating diets high in animal protein. Fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors provide a variety of phytochemicals, or plant chemicals, recommended by nutritionists.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, United States, recommends that adults perform 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week. This can be broken up into chunks of, say, 30 minutes at a time, 5 days a week, or 75 minutes 2 days a week. Aerobic physical activity is the kind that speeds up your heart and breathing. The CDC goes on to recommend muscle training, such as lifting weights, working out with giant rubber bands, or performing push-ups, twice a week.

Avoiding smoking and air pollution also lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, for reasons that will become clear with further research. 

Please note that the above–while helpful to anyone–can not help to cure type 1 diabetes.

Want to put your type 2 diabetes into remission? Our physicians can provide a plan for lifestyle changes to help you reach your goal. They can also prescribe you all your diabetes medications online.

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