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Diabetes remission for healthcare professionals

Use these resources and tools to improve your understanding of diabetes remission and how to support your patients. 

Remission of Type 2 diabetes means maintaining blood glucose levels below the diabetes range without needing glucose lowering medications. This currently means keeping your HbA1c below 48mmol/mol. Studies have shown it is possible to put type 2 diabetes into remission by losing 15kg (2.5 stone) of weight quickly within 3-5 months.

What is diabetes remission?


Remission can be life changing. A person in remission can stop taking diabetes medications and be free of diabetes symptoms and the need to manage diabetes. It can also reduce their risk of diabetes complications.

However, remission is not a cure or quick fix for type 2 diabetes. It requires commitment, with long-term lifestyle changes to keep the weight off. It is also essential for people with diabetes to continue to receive diabetes review appointments to check their diabetes is still in remission and they are free of complications. 

Furthermore, not everyone who loses weight will be able to put their diabetes into remission and researchers are still working to find out why. Even if diabetes does not go into remission, there are still huge benefits for your patients with diabetes losing weight if they are overweight. Some benefits include taking fewer medications, improved mobility and having more energy and better sleep.

Remission services

NHS England’s Low-Calorie Diet Programme officially launched on 1 September across 10 areas in England. The pilot is based on the ground-breaking results from the DiRECT trial, funded by Diabetes UK, which showed that nearly half of the people with type 2 diabetes who completed the DiRECT low-calorie, diet-based, weight management programme were able to go into remission at 12 months, with over a third remaining in remission after two years.

The pilot will be available for 5,000 people with type 2 diabetes across the following areas:

  • South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw
  • Humber Coast and Vale
  • Greater Manchester
  • Frimley 
  • Gloucestershire
  • Derbyshire
  • Birmingham and Solihull
  • Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes
  • North East London
  • North Central London

If your patients would like to know more about remission, we have a range of information available, from an overview of what remission is, to more information on low calorie diets, to tips and tools for people looking to make changes to their diet. We have also developed an Information Prescription to help you have a quality discussion about remission during your appointments.

Research on remission 

Information Prescription for type 2 diabetes remission

Different methods for remission

DiRECT Principles

The DiRECT Principles set out the core elements of a health intervention that should be adopted in order to have the best chance of achieving the outcomes from Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial. 

"I’ve come full circle from feeling unsure about DiRECT, to an absolute advocate. With the DiRECT results being released, there’s increased demand and interest in remission. People are talking about it far more. I would absolutely support somebody if that’s what they wanted to do."

Lesley Slaughter, Community Dietitian in Stirling, and one of the healthcare professionals involved in DiRECT

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