Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

According to the CDC, over 37 million people in the United States have diabetes. 

About 90% to 95% of cases account for type 2 diabetes, which can lead to health consequences if unmanaged. 

We’re always told type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition, and when you develop this metabolic disorder, you can only manage it but cannot cure it. 

However, this is entirely untrue, and it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. Read on to learn more.

​​Can you reverse type 2 diabetes? 

Contrary to popular beliefs, you can reverse type 2 diabetes. Various studies and reviews of evidence on this subject confirm the reversibility of this common type of diabetes. 

These studies use different terms to evaluate this subject. These include reversal, remission, and cure. The term reversal means the disease has been completely cured, i.e., a person is reversed to their healthy, pre-diabetes state. Remission means the disease isn’t progressing but is stagnating as long as a person maintains specific conditions.

For example, a study from Diabetologia found that reducing dietary energy intake can reverse the abnormalities underlying diabetes. Dietary modifications normalized beta cell function and hepatic insulin sensitivity. 

You see, beta cells are cells in the pancreas that produce and release insulin to manage blood sugar levels. Carrying excess weight forces beta cells to work harder to produce enough insulin. Eventually, they become overworked and unable to function correctly. Reduced energy intake from this study supports weight loss and improves the functioning of these important cells. 

A review from the journal Nutrients confirmed that various strategies, including ​​low-calorie diets or carbohydrate restriction, could help reverse type 2 diabetes. Scientists also emphasized the importance of further research and new methods because society can no longer afford or tolerate the ever-increasing prevalence of this condition. 

Weight loss-induced reversal of type 2 diabetes was a subject of a review from Diabetic Medicine. The review found weight loss and its maintenance can provide long-term stability in the functioning of beta cells. Keeping these important cells in balance is crucial for the successful management of diabetes and its subsequent remission reversal when a proper strategy is employed. 

When it comes to remission, a study from the reputable journal The Lancet found that at 12 months, almost half of participants reached remission to a non-diabetic state. There was no need for them to take antidiabetic medications. 

For the purpose of this valuable study, the scientists included 30 persons aged 20 to 65 with type 2 diabetes diagnosis for at least six years. They were classified as overweight or obese. Subjects needed to lose weight to get into remission. Participants from the intervention group lost at least 15kg due to dietary modifications. 

The weight loss program was strict and included meal replacement, which can be tricky to execute, but it confirms that staying dedicated to dietary changes can help reverse diabetes. 

Weight loss works because it helps us lose fat and improve the function of the pancreas. The buildup of fat interferes with pancreatic function and causes an increase in blood glucose levels.

Researchers at the universities of Newcastle and Glasgow, who carried out the abovementioned study, explained their weight loss goals are achievable for most people.

Greater awareness and documentation of remission and reversal are necessary for improving health outcomes in patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 

Reversing diabetes has a lot of benefits that go beyond blood glucose management. Doing so decreases stigma, boosts confidence, and may even reduce insurance premiums.

Putting diabetes into remission, and even reversing it successfully, isn’t a mission impossible. However, it’s important to remember that you need to be persistent and stick to your lifestyle adjustments. Even a small improvement in reversing diabetes, on a national or global level, can still lead to a significant reduction in disease burden.

As long as a person maintains their weight in a healthy range and doesn’t regain it, their reversal is successful. It’s also helpful to mention reversal works for people with normal weight as well as overweight and obese individuals.

Despite an extensive body of evidence on this subject, we still need more studies to explain the underlying mechanisms. Further research needs to focus on what happens in the liver, pancreas, and other organs when reversing type 2 diabetes and once we achieve it. 

how to reverse type 2 diabetes

Why many doctors don’t tell you it’s reversible 

Since a growing body of evidence confirms that type 2 diabetes is, indeed, reversible, it’s impossible not to wonder why doctors refuse to tell us that. 

Many doctors constantly say diabetes is for life; you can’t get rid of it; you can only try to control it. What makes them say these things when studies show otherwise?

One reason that happens is due to the powerful pharmaceutical industry. The market for antidiabetic medications is valuable, and it’s constantly growing. 

For example, the antidiabetic market size in the United States was around $65.5 billion in 2019. The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.7% from 2020 to 2026. In 2026, the value of this market is estimated to reach $130 billion.

By repeating that type 2 diabetes isn’t reversible no matter what you do, some doctors play with our mental health. They want patients to be scared for their life and firmly believe nothing will help them get well. Nothing except the medications! 

This creates a vicious cycle where a patient attempts to find natural ways to get better only to be told it’s impossible. They continue taking medications out of fear they’re going to experience complications.

Not every doctor prioritizes the pharmaceutical industry over a patient’s wellbeing. However, many of them find it easier just to prescribe medications to their patients and “get it over with.” Of course, prescribing something isn’t a solution. 

Some doctors are quite old-fashioned. They are stuck with the ideas that were widely present a long time ago. In other words, they are reluctant to adapt to the new technology, studies, findings, and discoveries. Since they were taught that diabetes is irreversible, they refuse to admit the opposite can happen too. 

Additionally, some doctors don’t think patients can achieve reversal of diabetes. This is unfair, of course.

Everyone’s got potential to recover when they are motivated and have a strong support system or people that cheer them on. Strong willpower and a well-structured plan to modify your lifestyle can go a long way and lead to a successful reversal. 

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How to reverse type 2 diabetes

As seen above, most studies focused on the role of weight loss. The reason is simple; excess weight increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, making it more difficult to manage. At the same time, type 2 diabetes can further contribute to weight gain. That’s why weight loss is crucial. 

You’ll achieve the best results if you lose weight as quickly as possible after a diabetes diagnosis. But, it’s possible to reverse diabetes years after diagnosis too. It all depends on the effort you make and the lifestyle adjustments you employ.

If you are obese, some studies found successful remission and diabetes reversal occurred after losing 15kg. The exact amount of weight to drop may vary from one person to another, though. 

You may notice the Mediterranean diet or low-carb and low-calorie diets yield the best results. Low-calorie diets, i.e., low-carb eating patterns, can be quite restrictive. However, it could jumpstart your weight loss efforts. 

While proper diet is crucial for reversing type 2 diabetes, you shouldn’t underestimate the role of physical activity. Successful weight loss requires both diet and exercise. 

Regular exercise can speed up fat burning and enhance the effects of your eating regimen. Both cardio training and strength training can be helpful for this purpose.

In order to reverse type 2 diabetes, you also need to make other lifestyle adjustments. They include:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Stress management
  • Not eating at night
  • Quitting smoking
  • No alcohol or limiting alcohol intake

Our Best-Selling Book: How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Our best-selling book, How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes, combines scientific research and modern medicine with holistic healing. 

The book lays out an easy step-by-step method to lower your HBA1c levels, restore insulin health, and reverse type 2 diabetes, in less than 90 days without using drugs or side effects!

how to reverse type 2 diabetes

How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes contains complete diabetes diet and exercise plans. This, therefore, makes it the definitive guide to reversing type 2 diabetes and achieving type 2 diabetes remission.

Conclusion

Even though many doctors claim otherwise, type 2 diabetes is reversible. Numerous studies have confirmed that not only you can put diabetes in remission, but you can also reverse it. 

Weight loss is crucial here, which is why it’s necessary to avoid regaining the pounds you lost. Reversal of type 2 diabetes requires a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and stress management. 

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how to reverse type 2 diabetes

Find out about Our Best-Selling Book: How To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes.

Sources

  1. Lim EL, Hollingsworth KG, Aribisala BS, Chen MJ, Mathers JC, Taylor R. Reversal of type 2 diabetes: normalisation of beta cell function in association with decreased pancreas and liver triacylglycerol. Diabetologia. 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168743/
  2. Ang GY. Reversibility of diabetes mellitus: Narrative review of the evidence. World J Diabetes. 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6068740/
  3. Hallberg SJ, Gershuni VM, Hazbun TL, Athinarayanan SJ. Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: A Narrative Review of the Evidence. Nutrients. 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520897/
  4. Taylor R, Barnes AC. Can type 2 diabetes be reversed and how can this best be achieved? James Lind Alliance research priority number one. Diabet Med. 2019. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30378706/
  5. Lean ME, Leslie WS, Barnes AC, Brosnahan N, Thom G, McCombie L, Peters C, Zhyzhneuskaya S, Al-Mrabeh A, Hollingsworth KG, Rodrigues AM, Rehackova L, Adamson AJ, Sniehotta FF, Mathers JC, Ross HM, McIlvenna Y, Stefanetti R, Trenell M, Welsh P, Kean S, Ford I, McConnachie A, Sattar N, Taylor R. Primary care-led weight management for remission of type 2 diabetes (DiRECT): an open-label, cluster-randomised trial. Lancet. 2018. https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736%2817%2933102-1.pdf
  6. Does weight loss cure type 2 diabetes? (2017). https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/behind-the-headlines/diabetes-and-weight-loss
  7. Gallagher, James. ‘I beat type 2 diabetes with 200-calorie drinks’. 2017. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-42154666
  8. Lydall, Ross. Ultra low-calorie diet can ‘cure’ type-2 diabetes, landmark study reveals. 2017. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/ultra-lowcalorie-diet-can-cure-type2-diabetes-landmark-study-reveals-a3711246.html 
  9. A cure for diabetes: Crash diet can REVERSE Type 2 in three months… and Isobel and Tony are living proof that you CAN stop the killer disease. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5149557/Three-month-diet-reverse-Type-2-diabetes.html 
  10. Boseley, Sarah. Radical diet can reverse type 2 diabetes, new study shows. 2017.  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/05/radical-diet-can-reverse-type-2-diabetes-new-study-shows 
  11. McCombie L, Leslie W, Taylor R, Kennon B, Sattar N, Lean MEJ. Beating type 2 diabetes into remission. BMJ. 2017. https://www.bmj.com/content/358/bmj.j4030.full
  12. What happens when you reverse type 2 diabetes? 2015. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/in-depth/what-happens-when-you-reverse-type-2-diabetes-2/
  13. Roy Taylor; Type 2 Diabetes: Etiology and reversibility. Diabetes Care 1 April 2013; 36 (4): 1047–1055. https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/36/4/1047/37962/Type-2-DiabetesEtiology-and-reversibility
  14. Taylor R. Pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes: tracing the reverse route from cure to cause. Diabetologia. 2008. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18726585/
  15. Taylor R, Holman RR. Normal weight individuals who develop type 2 diabetes: the personal fat threshold. Clin Sci (Lond). 2015. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25515001/

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