There is a question that is cropping up a lot lately, which is “does anyone know how to reverse type 2 diabetes?”
And there are a number of people that will argue the case and say it’s not possible.
Trying to justify their decisions with, how can you turn back the clock as though you never had it, or reversing type 2 diabetes sounds too good to be true.
But really guys, are they proper arguments to say that it can’t be done?
I have a different opinion about how to get rid of diabetes (type 2 that is), and that is down to a lot of the research that has been and is still being done.
There may not be an actual cure for type 2 diabetes, but studies have shown that it is possible for some people to reverse it.
This is a bit more solid than some of the random opinions of people who say it is not possible, maybe because they like to hear the sound of their own voice.
I am not saying type 2 diabetes can be reversed in all cases, because there are major factors to be taken into consideration, some of which are, how long the person has had the condition, how severe it has got to, or if it’s in the persons genes.
Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally?
Well to start with you have to understand what you are aiming to do.
If you are already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, this will mean your goal is to create a significant long term improvement in your insulin sensitivity.
To do this you are going to have to reduce your HbA1c to an acceptable level of below 42 mmol/mol (6%), and that is without taking diabetes medication.
Unlike with home testing kits where you can check your blood sugar levels, getting your HbAc1 results should come from your doctor who will arrange this through taking blood samples.
With time and a bit of dedication type 2 diabetes can be naturally reversed, resolved or put into remission as it is also termed, and I will cover some of the methods used in this article.
How Long Does it Take to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?
This is really a question that is dependent on a number of factors, like how long you have had it, how serious your condition is or how overweight you are.
Losing excess body weight can have a dramatic effect on helping reversing type 2 diabetes, but without knowing what weight you are and what your ideal healthy weight should be, it will be hard to assess how long it would take.
This is something you are going to have to discuss with your doctor.
11 Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes
It’s not fully understood yet why some people can end up getting type 2 diabetes and others get away with it altogether.
There are certain common factors that can up the chances of someone developing the disease, and these include:
Your Blood Pressure: If you haven’t done so already it is a good idea to have your blood pressure checked.
Having high blood pressure is a key risk in developing diabetes complications, not to mention heart disease and stroke as well.
If You are Overweight or Obese: If you have lots of fatty tissue, it is possible that your cells may become resistant to insulin.
But you don’t have to be just overweight to develop diabetes. Skinny people can get it too.
Not Being Physically Active: Being a couch potato, sitting at a desk all day or constantly behind the wheel of a vehicle, is going to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Getting up and about especially doing something like walking, cycling, swimming or resistance training etc, can not only use up your blood sugar stores for energy.
But help make your cells more sensitive to insulin and aid in controlling your weight as well.
It’s In the Family: The risk of getting type 2 diabetes can go up if one of your parents or a sibling has it.
But it is not all doom and gloom, even if you have inherited the diabetic gene from your family, by adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can still delay or even prevent developing it.
Your Age: As you get older your chances of developing type 2 diabetes goes up, although there is no set age for getting it, because it is gradually increasing in younger people now.
But some doctors and associations recommend you get regular screening from about the age of 45.
Race: Some populations are especially vulnerable to diabetes and its complications.
Studies carried out on ethnic groups around the world have shown that certain races such as Black and Asian people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white people.
If You Have Prediabetes: If your blood sugar level is above the normal range but not enough to be classified as diabetes, this is known as pre-diabetes.
If it is left untreated, this condition will most likely develop into type 2 diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes: This is a form of diabetes that affects pregnant women.
If you develop gestational diabetes it’s essential that you get your blood sugar levels tested regularly, as you have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
It usually goes away after the baby is born but there is a further risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on in your life.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome can have an increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is linked with insulin resistance and so there can be higher levels of insulin circulating in the blood.
A Disrupted Sleep: Most of us know how important it is to get a proper amount of sleep each night.
But having a disturbed sleeping pattern or not getting enough sleep has been associated with an increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
If you a have bad sleeping habit this can be associated with an increased the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
It has also been suggested that getting too much sleep can have a similar effect.
Overdoing the Drinking: The odd couple of glasses of wine or beer shouldn’t do us that much harm.
But having too much alcohol is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Drinking heavily can reduce the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which can develop into type 2 diabetes.
Also, let’s not forget that alcohol contains loads of empty calories, so having too much can help pile on the pounds, which is the opposite of what we want to achieve.
You can’t do anything to alter the risk factors concerning how old you are, what your ethnicity might be or what your family history is.
But you can make a difference by altering your lifestyle around your eating habits, how much you move about and how much you weigh.
And these changes can make a difference as to whether you develop, control or get rid of type 2 diabetes.
7 Ways How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
When looking for ways to reverse type 2 diabetes, I am here to tell you that there is no magic pill that you can take, which is going to get rid of it for you.
“If you come across an ad for a pill or product that is offering claims to cure diabetes, look the other way.
They don’t exist.”
In many cases it has taken a good period of poor lifestyle choices to end up with this disease, and to be perfectly honest with you, it is going to take time to reverse or get rid of it.
It won’t or rather can’t be done overnight, but if you are determined you want to reverse it, well then it is doable.
Exercise or Movement Helps
Being physically active is a great way to help in combatting type 2 diabetes, this doesn’t mean you have to go and sign yourself up for a lengthy gym membership.
There are many other ways to get your workout, without having to spend all your hard earned wages just to slog it out for hours on a treadmill.
The basic goal is twofold here, and that’s to burn off that excess sugar and lose some weight.
You don’t want to go hell for leather to start and cause yourself any injuries either, so ideally you should start off slowly and build yourself up.
Begin with some walking, such as to the shops, to work, up and down stairs or round the local park.
Then you can progress to other forms of exercise, there are many to choose from, so pick what suits your lifestyle.
Here are some more examples to help get you started:
Gardening or lawn mowing
Housework – Vacuuming
Cycling – In or Outdoor
Jogging – Outdoor or indoors on the spot
Football – Kick around with the kids
Weightlifting – Small weights or heavy household items
Resistance bands workout
Apart from aiding in lowering your blood sugar levels and shifting a bit of weight, there will be other benefits you will get from increasing your activity, which can help with your goal in reversing type 2 diabetes.
These can include:
Helping to lower blood pressure
Help the body use insulin better
Help to improve cholesterol
Help to keep the weight off
Help with joints and flexibility
Help to sleep better
Give you more energy to carry on exercising.
Follow a Low Calorie Diet
In a small study that was carried out by researchers from the University of Glasgow and Newcastle University.
It was found that subjects with type 2 diabetes on an eight week low calorie diet of around 600 to 700 calories a day, followed by a less extreme diet for the next 6 months, led to a significant improvement in their blood glucose levels for nearly half the group.
Bariatric or metabolic surgery is a weight loss surgery that is sometimes performed and used as a treatment for people that are diagnosed as very obese.
It is normally given as an option only when the patients BMI is 40 or more, but can get it done at 35 to 40 if experiencing obesity-related health conditions.
This procedure involves a major operation so in most cases it should only be taken into consideration when trying to lose weight through eating a healthy diet and exercising has failed.
Having the operation can result in obtaining a significant weight loss, which can in turn help to improve a lot of obesity related conditions, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Levels
Checking your blood sugar levels regularly, also known as self-testing, is an important part of managing your diabetes.
The results you get, lets you see what impact the measures you are taking has on your goals in reversing the problem, and in turn gives you a better idea of what to concentrate more on for better results.
Using Medication or Insulin
Although in a lot of cases it is possible for people with type 2 diabetes to get to their target blood sugar levels by controlling what they eat, along with some additional exercise.
There are others that this might not be enough for, so will need to take some diabetes medication or insulin therapy, or both.
There are various factors to be considered before taking this course, such as what your blood sugar levels are doing and do you have any other health complications.
But a consultation with your doctor will decide on that route for you.
Cut Out the Refined Carbs
These are the bad boys that are generally referred to as simple carbs, processed carbs or in essence just empty calories.
The reason they are known as empty calories, is because they have been stripped of virtually all of their goodness, such as the vitamins, minerals and most of the fibre.
Examples of some refined foods include:
Refined breakfast cereals
Packet convenience meals
The list does get bigger, but I hope that gives you an indication of the types of foods that are damaging our health, which should be avoided.
Give the Sugary Drinks a Miss
Back in the day the papers were telling us to cut back on the sugary drinks because it was rotting the kids teeth.
Now years later that is still an issue, but after many reports and studies, the problem with sugary drinks has become a bit more serious.
As with refined carbs, sugary drinks give us no nutritious value to speak of.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health
"The average can of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories, almost all of them from added sugar. If you were to drink just one of these sugary drinks every day, and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain up to 5 pounds in a year. Beyond weight gain, routinely drinking these sugar-loaded beverages can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases."
I can picture some of you non tea total readers smiling and saying, “we don’t drink sugary soda, maybe he is letting us off”.
No I am not!
Alcohol may not contain as much sugar as its softer drink counterparts, but it is just as bad when it comes to raising our sugar levels.
Plus I gave it a mention earlier in the risk factors (nip back and check it out again if you forgot, or missed it).