How Do You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

Reviewed on 4/15/2021

A metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn't make enough insulin and blood sugar (glucose) levels rise (hyperglycemia). Type 2 diabetes can be reversed by changing your diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting exercise, and making healthier lifestyle choices.
A metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t make enough insulin and blood sugar (glucose) levels rise (hyperglycemia). Type 2 diabetes can be reversed by changing your diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting exercise, and making healthier lifestyle choices.

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the body doesn’t make enough insulin causing blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise (hyperglycemia). Glucose is the body’s main source of energy, and the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin that helps convert glucose from the food you eat into energy your body uses. 

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it differs from type 1 diabetes (formerly called juvenile diabetes), a condition in which little to no insulin is produced by the pancreas. 

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed in some cases with diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and lifestyle changes; however, people need to continue to monitor their blood sugar and maintain healthy eating habits or type 2 diabetes can recur. 

Lifestyle changes to manage and reverse type 2 diabetes, when possible, include:

  • Manage A1C (average blood glucose level over the past 3 months)
  • Check blood glucose levels daily
  • Keep blood pressure in check
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Don’t smoke
  • Follow a diabetes meal plan as recommended by your doctor or nutritionist
    • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean poultry and fish, and low-fat dairy
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Chose foods that are low-calorie, low-fat, low-sugar, and low-salt
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Manage stress/practice relaxation techniques 
  • Take prescribed diabetes medications 

Medications used to treat diabetes include: 

  • Insulin 
  • Meglitinides 
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors)
  • Thiazolidinediones 
  • DPP- 4 Inhibitors 
  • Sulfonylureas 
  • Biguanides 
  • Dopamine receptor agonists 
  • Bile acid sequestrants 
  • SGLT2 inhibitors 
  • GLP-1 receptor agonists 
  • Amylin analog 
  • Combination medicines, which may be made up of more than one medication in the above classes

What Are Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst 
  • Increased hunger, even though people are eating
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Sores/cuts/bruises that do not heal
  • Frequent infections
  • Darkened skin, often in the armpits and neck
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in the feet or hands 

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is caused by several factors, including: 

  • Genetics
    • Family history
    • Tends to occur more in certain ethnic groups: African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
  • Lifestyle factors 

Factors that can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes include:

How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed with the following tests: 

  • Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test 
  • A1C test 
  • Glucose challenge test
  • Random plasma glucose (RPG) test 
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)

SLIDESHOW

Type 2 Diabetes: Signs, Symptoms, Treatments See Slideshow

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Reviewed on 4/15/2021
References
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes

https://www.fda.gov/media/119148/download

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type1.html

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/gestational-diabetes-beyond-the-basics?search=Gestational%20Diabetes%5C&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=2