We don’t call it diabetes reversal, because this might sound like it's permanent, and there’s no guarantee that your diabetes has gone forever.
But yes, it may be possible to put your type 2 diabetes into remission. This is when your blood sugar levels are below the diabetes range and you don’t need to take diabetes medication anymore. This could be life-changing.
How do you reverse diabetes?
The strongest evidence we have at the moment suggests that type 2 diabetes is mainly put into remission by weight loss. Remission is more likely if you lose weight as soon as possible after your diabetes diagnosis. However, we do know of people who have put their diabetes into remission 25 years after diagnosis.
If you have obesity, your diabetes is more likely to go into remission if you lose a substantial amount of weight – 15kg (or 2 stone 5lbs) – as quickly and safely as possible following diagnosis.
It’s important to know that not everyone who loses this much weight will be able to put their diabetes into remission. But losing 15kg comes with a lot of health benefits, even if you don’t lead to remission. Research shows that getting support to lose just 5% of your body weight can have huge benefits for your health. Losing extra weight can lead to:
• fewer medications
• better blood sugar levels
• a lower risk of complications.
Here's how it all works.
Why is it about losing weight?
Well our scientists believe that storing too much fat in the liver and pancreas affects how type 2 diabetes develops and losing this fat can help put your diabetes into remission.
How can I lose weight?
Some people have lost a substantial amount of weight and put their diabetes into remission through lifestyle and diet changes or by having weight loss surgery (called bariatric surgery).
There is no such thing as a special diet for people with diabetes or those aiming or diabetes reversal. There are a lot of different ways to lose weight – but there’s no one-size-fits-all diet. We do know that some people have put their diabetes into remission by losing weight through following the Mediterranean diet or a low-carb diet. We’ve got lots of information, meal plans and recipes to help you find the best approach for you.
What's your story?
If you’re trying to lose extra weight, or aiming towards remission, we’d love to hear from you. Share your story.
Our research into diabetes remission
A study we’ve funded called DiRECT looked into the remission of type 2 diabetes by following a low-calorie diet weight management programme. Find out more about the study and keep up to date with our remission research.