Types-2 diabetes is a progressive condition of when the body cannot control blood sugar as well as it should. It can lead to chronic high blood sugar, which is starting point for the complications to occur. There are some treatment options to cope with. How about weight loss? Does it help make diabetes go away?
Type-2 diabetes, how common is it?
Diabetes has several types, and type-2 is the most common diabetes. It accounts about 70-90 percent of all cases of diabetes. The exact cause is not known, but it has some well-established risk factors.
It is hereditary and has strong genetic. Your risk is higher if you have a family history of the same condition. It is also likely to occur in older adults or the risk increases with age. These are unchangeable risk factors.
But this doesn’t mean that it is not preventable. There are plenty of modifiable risk factors to help prevent it such as with healthy-balanced diet, weight control, and exercise. So even though you have family risk factor for diabetes, there is still good chance to make it preventable!
Actually, type-2 diabetes is harmless as long as you can control it. But it can be dangerous when you lose control on it. More episodes of high blood sugar you experience, the greater chance for its complications to occur.
Therefore, the main goal of the treatment is to keep blood sugar as normal as possible. See also blood sugar level targets for diabetics in this table!
The complications of diabetes can be serious and life-threatening. These include: cardiovascular diseases (including heart attack), stroke, nerve damage, skin problems, kidney failure, dementia (like Alzheimer’s disease), and more.
There is also a condition called type-1 diabetes. It is categorized into autoimmune condition in which the body immune system mistakenly attacks the wrong target. In this case, without known reasons the immune system destroys healthy cells of pancreas that produce insulin.
Type 1 is more difficult to treat than type 2. It is also not preventable and has nothing to do with lifestyle factors. Pancreas of people with type 1 diabetes can be very poor in producing insulin or even it may not be able to make any insulin.
Is type 2 diabetes curable at early stage?
Pre-diabetes is a condition of when you have high blood sugar (higher than normal), but it is not high enough to be categorized into diabetes. Having it doesn’t mean you will definitely develop diabetes. But you’re at 10-20 times greater risk than people without pre-diabetes.
So pre-diabetes means you’re so close to type-2 diabetes, but the disease is still preventable. With some lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and eating well, type-2 diabetes can be prevented (even though you have pre-diabetes).
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, can it be cured? Early stage of type-2 diabetes may still be curable, too – though this chance is relatively smaller than pre-diabetes.
An interesting study in 2011, funded by Diabetes UK, showed that it might be still curable for patients with newly diagnosed type-2 diabetes! The study asked patients to follow 600 calorie a day diet for 2 months.
That study found:
- All participants successfully made the disease go away.
- Three months after finishing the diet, most of them (7 of 11 participants) were still diabetes-free. But there is no information whether the disease is really cured or just goes into remission.
The result is quite promising. But the study is a very small trial – more studies are required! Researchers suggest that it’s all about the energy balance in the body. Eating more than the body needs may play a key role in increasing the risk of type 2, especially for people who are more susceptible to the disease.
Will type 2 diabetes go away with weight loss?
The information about curing diabetes through lifestyle measures sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately, the answer of this issue still remains puzzling.
Although some studies suggest that type 2 may be able to be cured at its early stage, but currently it still has no cure. While some lifestyle measures are very important to manage diabetes, whether you really can cure it is a different matter.
Furthermore, many different factors can contribute to determine the outlook and prognosis of the disease! How severe it is, how long you have had it, and even your genes may have an effect. Each case is unique, and therefore it should be evaluated on individual basis.
How about weight loss? Weight loss does help control blood sugar in people with diabetes, especially those with overweight or obesity. But the answer of whether it can help cure the disease is not known. In fact again, currently there is no known cure for diabetes!
What experts know that type-2 can go into remission. When it’s in remission, the symptoms can go away, too.
Weight control or weight loss (if you’re obese) can help make diabetes go away (in remission). But it doesn’t work alone. Other appropriate lifestyle measures are required. These include:
- Healthy-balanced diet. It is not only important to keep your blood sugar under control, but also good for your weight control.
- Regular exercise, another key to keep your weight off.
Although type-2 diabetes is easier to treat than type-1 diabetes, but it is also a lifelong disease. Since there is still no known cure, diabetics need to take the medicines for long term. And even it may require more complex treatment as the disease progresses, especially if it has caused complications.
During remission, the blood sugar level backs to normal even though you have stopped using your diabetes medicines. In this period, a diabetic can have normal A1C level without medication.
But still, the risk of relapse is greater than normal and therefore you should stay on the same daily healthy choices to keep it off. So remission doesn’t mean that the disease is cured.
Based on how long it lasts, it can be categorized into the following scenarios:
- One-year remission (complete remission). As the name suggests, it is a condition of when diabetes is inactive for 1 year or more. But it’s still recommended to keep monitoring the disease with regularly checking blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, or kidney function (for more advice, ask your doctor)!
- 5-years prolonged remission, when the disease is inactive for more than 5 years. In this scenario, patient might take lab tests less often. But it’s still important to keep aware and monitor the disease – and practice the same daily healthy choices!
Can you make your diabetes go into remission? The answer is dependent on several factors. Even with the same strategies (such as with the same exercise, weight loss, or diet), the result can vary from patient to patient. But in general, your chance to make the disease inactive (in remission) is greater if you: