Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body uses glucose, a type of sugar that provides energy for your cells. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system destroys the cells that make insulin, a hormone that helps glucose enter your cells. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin or does not make enough of it.
Type 2 diabetes is more common and often linked to overweight and obesity, which can affect how your body produces and uses insulin. Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications if blood sugar is not under control. Therefore, it is important to manage your blood sugar levels and prevent these complications.
But can type 2 diabetes be reversed?
The answer is yes, under certain conditions and depending on your lifestyle. Reversing type 2 diabetes means that you can keep your blood sugar levels in a normal range without taking any medications for at least three months. This is also called remission.
However, remission does not mean that diabetes has gone away forever. You still have the risk of developing high blood sugar levels again if you do not maintain a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, you need to monitor your glucose levels regularly and follow up with your doctor to stay in remission.
How can you reverse type 2 diabetes?
There are several ways to reverse type 2 diabetes, but they all involve making some changes in your diet and physical activity. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Lose weight: Losing excess weight can help improve your insulin sensitivity and lower your blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that losing 5% of your body weight can lead to significant improvements in your diabetes control. You can lose weight by eating fewer calories than you burn and choosing foods that are low in fat, sugar, and refined carbohydrates.
Eat a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet can help you control your blood sugar levels and prevent spikes and crashes. A balanced diet should include plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and low-fat dairy products. You should also limit your intake of processed foods, fast foods, sweets, sodas, and alcohol.
Exercise regularly: Exercise can help lower your blood sugar levels by increasing your muscle mass and using up glucose for energy. It can also help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels, and reduce your stress. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing.
Quit smoking: Smoking can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and make it harder to control it. Smoking can damage your blood vessels, reduce your oxygen supply, increase your inflammation, and interfere with your insulin action. Quitting smoking can help improve your blood sugar levels and lower your risk of complications.
Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for your health and well-being. Lack of sleep can affect your hormones, appetite, metabolism, mood, and immune system. It can also increase your blood sugar levels and make you more resistant to insulin. Getting enough sleep can help regulate your glucose levels and improve your insulin sensitivity. Aim for at least seven hours of quality sleep per night.
By following these tips, you may be able to reverse type 2 diabetes or prevent it from developing if you have prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Prediabetes can also be reversed by making lifestyle changes.
Remember that reversing type 2 diabetes does not mean that you are cured of it. You still need to monitor your glucose levels regularly and follow up with your doctor to stay in remission. If you notice any signs or symptoms of high blood sugar levels again, such as increased thirst, hunger, urination, fatigue, blurred vision, or infections, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Reversing type 2 diabetes is possible with lifestyle changes. By losing weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and getting enough sleep, you may be able to keep your blood sugar levels in a normal range without taking any medications for at least three months. This can improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of complications. However, remission does not mean that diabetes has gone away forever. You still need to monitor your glucose levels regularly and follow up with your doctor to stay in remission. If you notice any signs or symptoms of high blood sugar levels again, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456