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Hollie’s journey to type 2 diabetes remission

Hollie from Aberdeenshire shares what it was like being diagnosed as an under 40-year-old and how making changes to her diet and increasing her physical activity has helped her put her diabetes into remission.   

Hollie Beattie

July 2023

Thanks to making changes to my diet and being more active, I've lost quite a bit of weight. I feel so much healthier, both physically and mentally.



My diagnosis came about by chance. I hadn’t been experiencing any of the typical signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes. I went to the GP with a chest complaint, the GP ran some blood tests one of which was my long-term blood sugar level called HbA1c and I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I was shocked and felt numb.  

There is no history of diabetes in my family, and up to that point I thought type 2 diabetes was a condition only older people develop - I am only 29. I then felt absolutely devastated because the GP went on to talk to me about serious complications associated with diabetes and diabetes medications. I burst into tears. 

My GP recommended I started taking diabetes medication and said that a diabetes nurse would contact me within a number of weeks to carry out the checks it is important to have when you have diabetes, like checking my blood pressure, weight and feet.  

I felt really strongly about not immediately going on medication and I asked if I could hold off on starting tablets and try managing my blood sugar levels by making changes to my diet and introducing exercise into my life. My GP said yes as long as I agreed to closely monitor my blood sugars levels using a blood glucose monitor that the practice gave me and let them know if they remained high or I was worried. 

Journey with diabetes

The journey to remission

To help me eat well and work towards a healthy weight, I started reading up on what makes up a healthy, balanced diet, and building my understanding of what, and how much, you consume can make a difference to your blood glucose levels and diabetes management. 

I also started looking at labels on pre-packed foods and drinks I was eating and drinking to get a better idea of what’s in certain products as the basis for cutting down on my sugar intake and making some swaps.  

What’s more, I started going on regular walks and joined a weight management programme. 

The diet plan I started through the programme has helped me with new eating habits and I’ve enjoyed the sense of community I get from talking to other people in the group that’s part of the programme. The team running the programme also encouraged me to keep in contact with my diabetes nurse, which I did. 

When I did get to meet my diabetes nurse, she measured my HbA1c, and started the checks my GP advised me about. My nurse was very encouraging and supportive, not just about diet, but emotionally as well which is important because the impact of being told you have types 2 diabetes is a big thing. 



Understanding that you can put your diabetes into remission gave me hope and a target to work towards. I do have days where I maybe don't eat quite as well, but you know, I think life's about balance. Looking forwards and not backwards has kept me motivated and knowing I’m doing it for the good of my health has also kept me on track.   

In December 2023, my diabetes nurse contacted me to say that my type 2 diabetes was in remission, remission is when your HbA1c remains below the diabetes range for 3 months or more without diabetes medication. It was a very nice phone call to get. I had a few tears in my eyes. 

Thanks to making changes to my diet and being more active, I've lost quite a bit of weight. I feel so much healthier, both physically and mentally. It’s has given me renewed sense of life and I am motivated to keep up my new approach to diet and exercise. 

Our website has lots of information on the remission hub including what remission is, how people can try going into it, and what support is available from health services across the UK, and us here at Diabetes UK. 

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