Can You Reverse Or “Cure” Type 2 Diabetes?
After receiving a diagnosis of diabetes, most people are left with tons of questions. One of the most common is, Can I reverse diabetes? The key to answering this question begins with understanding type 2 diabetes.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by elevated blood glucose—also called blood sugar, levels due to problems in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. Insulin is the hormone that helps move glucose into your cells to be used as energy.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance. When you have insulin resistance, your body may be making plenty of insulin, but the insulin is unable to do its job properly. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells. Overtime, as insulin resistance progresses insulin production gradually decreases, eventually reaching a level of deficiency. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to prediabetes and diabetes.
Can You Turn Back the Hands of Time?
Whether or not you can reverse or cure type 2 diabetes depends on how long you’ve had diabetes, how severe it is and your genetic predisposition. Many experts believe because diabetes is a chronic disease it may be more accurate to use the term remission rather than cure, particularly when considering the cause of type 2 diabetes and the fact that relapse is always possible.
In a consensus statement issued by the ADA, remission is defined based on the following: