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Can you reverse type 2 diabetes?
Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes:
monitoring your blood sugar levels
using medications or insulin when needed
Doctors also recommend losing weight through diet and exercise. Some diabetes medications have weight loss as a side effect, which can also help to treat or manage diabetes.
To help manage your diabetes try:
eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
losing excess weight
Weight loss is the primary factor in those who have experienced a reversal of type 2 diabetes, as excess fat in the body affects the production of insulin and how it’s used.
In a small 2011 study, 11 people with type 2 diabetes drastically reduced their caloric intake for 8 weeks, reversing the course of their condition. Researchers noted that this is a small sample, and the participants had lived with the condition for only a few years.
Other researchTrusted Source has shown that bariatric surgery can reverse type 2 diabetes. It’s one of the few ways to reverse diabetes for an extended period of time.
However, there are less drastic ways that you can lose weight and reduce your symptoms. Exercise and dietary changes may be all you need.
Starting an exercise routine is important for your overall health, but it’ll also help you lose weight and start to reverse your symptoms. Talk to your doctor before making a plan and keep the following in mind:
Start slowly. If you aren’t used to exercising, start small with a short walk. Gradually increase the duration and intensity.
Walk quickly. Fast walking is a great way to get exercise. A brisk walk is easy to do and requires no equipment.
Check your blood sugar before, during, and after your workout.
Keep a snack on hand in case your blood sugar drops while you’re exercising.
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Change your diet
Eating nutrient-dense diet is another important way to help you:
manage your symptoms
reverse the course of your diabetes
Your doctor can help you plan a healthful and balanced diet, or they can refer you to a dietitian.
A diet that helps you manage or reverse your condition should include:
reduced calories, especially those from carbohydrates
a variety of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
lean proteins, such as poultry, fish, low-fat dairy, soy, and beans
The American Diabetes Association recommends a low-carbohydrate eating pattern but doesn’t recommend a standard for grams at this time.
However, a low-carbohydrate diet would suggest that you eat the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal — around 45–60 grams — for a total of about 200 grams per day. Aim to eat fewer, which is better.
Some doctors and scientists support a ketogenic diet as a way to lose weight and stabilize blood sugar levels. This diet markedly restricts carbohydrates, usually to less than 50 grams per day.
Without carbohydrates, the body is forced to break down fat for fuel. This results in rapid weight loss and positive benefits on both triglycerides and blood glucose control.
However, there are some negative effects of this diet including:
changes in bowel habits
a loss of energy
rise in cholesterol level
In addition, recent studies suggest that ketogenic diets increase hepatic insulin resistance and may cause a deficiency in some needed micronutrients. More research is needed on the safety and effectiveness of long-term use of this diet.
Reversing type 2 diabetes is possible, but it requires meal planning, healthy eating, and regular exercise. If you can do these things and lose weight, you may be able to free yourself from diabetes and its complications.