Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Cured or Reversed?

Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Cured or Reversed?

Written by Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES ,FADCES 

There is no known cure for type 2 diabetes, which means that no current treatment plan can completely eliminate the condition with permanent certainty. However, in many instances, you may be able to manage your diabetes to the point of remission.1 In remission, you would have no signs or symptoms related to type 2 diabetes and as a result may not need any medications.1  

The Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), showed that significant weight loss (>30 pounds) may help some people achieve long term remission.2 Bariatric surgery has been shown to assist with weight and blood glucose management and subsequently, long term remission.3 Remission from type 2 diabetes is most common either in the early stages of diabetes or after significant weight loss. It is less common if you have lived with the disease for many years, as the body loses its ability to produce insulin over time.1,2  

Lifestyle changes that may help you to better manage your blood glucose levels include a healthy diet, weight management, increased physical activity, adequate sleep and stress management.4 It’s important to remember that even with lifestyle modifications, many people living with type 2 diabetes may require oral or injectable medication such as insulin.5 

References
1: Riddle MC, Cefalu WT, Evans PH, et al. Consensus report: Definition and interpretation of remission in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2021/08/17/dci21-0034. Published August 17, 2021. Accessed November 5, 2021.

2: Durability of a primary care-led weight-management intervention for remission of type 2 diabetes: 2-year results of the DiRECT open-label, cluster-randomised trial Lean, Michael E J et al. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Volume 7, Issue 5, 344 – 355

3: Park JY. Prediction of type 2 diabetes remission after bariatric or metabolic surgery. Journal of obesity & metabolic syndrome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513303/. Published December 2018. Accessed November 5, 2021.

4: Steps to manage your diabetes for life. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes/4-steps. Accessed November 5, 2021.

5: Insulin, medicines, & other diabetes treatments. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/insulin-medicines-treatments. Accessed November 5, 2021.

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