Is type 2 diabetes curable?
There is technically no "cure" for type 2 diabetes, but the condition can be reversed or in a state of remission with the right dietary and lifestyle changes.
Since many different factors can complicate type 2 diabetes, like pregnancy or co-existing medical conditions, it's important to address diabetes from a holistic perspective, including management strategies to reverse the condition and prevention techniques to keep type 2 diabetes from recurring.
Managing type 2 diabetes is the first step in reversing the condition. Management strategies may include a variety of different things:
1. Healthy eating: Diabetics benefit from a low-glycemic diet and carefully planned meals that include the right balance of macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat.
2. Exercising: Regular physical activity helps to lower blood sugar, boost immunity and improve overall health in diabetics.
3. Taking medication: Insulin therapy, metformin, or other types of diabetes drugs may be needed to manage the acute symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Once type 2 diabetes has been effectively managed and lifestyle changes have been implemented, blood sugar levels will indicate whether the disease has gone into remission. However, this doesn't mean you can't relapse and develop type 2 diabetes again.
Prevention strategies are necessary, including dietary adjustments, regular exercise, and periodic check-ups with your general physician or endocrinologist to ensure that your blood sugar level is in a consistently safe range and that your insulin sensitivity is not impaired.
According to a study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, intensive diet and lifestyle interventions can put type 2 diabetes into remission. Remission occurs when you meet criteria for pre-diabetes or non-diabetes levels of glucose in the blood.
The non-diabetic criteria is a fasting glucose level of less than 126 mg/dL and an HbA1c level of less than 6.5 percent, as well as discontinued use of any diabetes medication.
The fewer years you have diabetes, the more likely you are to achieve remission from the condition too.
Source: Mayo Clinic