Endocrinology-Diabetes Questions Diabetes Type 2

Can type 2 diabetes ever be reversed?

My husband has been diabetic for the last 3 years. He is currently on medication. He has also made lifestyle modifications. Can type 2 diabetes ever be reversed with lifestyle modifications?

7 Answers

Unfortunately not, however, it can be controlled very well. The day that he was diagnosed he had lost 66% of his insulin making capability. With a very compliant diet and medications the deterioration of the islet cells of the pancreas can be halted or at least slowed down dramatically. I have had patients see the light and control their diabetes for decades and have a better life than before diabetes. The party is over, unfortunately.
Absolutely yes. Especially if he happens to be overweight and lived a sedentary life, and had poor eating habits. It will not happen over night and if he is mindful, and understands the disease he should be able to be off most medications in about a year or so. Some of us recommend that he remains on a small dose of Metformin for a long time as it prevents the re-occurrence of the disease and has many other benefits.
Type 2 diabetes can go in remission if a proper lifestyle modification is followed early on in the progression of the disease.
Your husband should follow all recommendations by his doctor. He can improve his health by exercising and eating well. The right medications can help him along his journey to good health.

He cannot change his genes. Whether he normalizes his blood sugars or not, he will still be diabetic.
Yes lifestyle modification can improve control but what really makes a difference is sustained weight loss and healthy eating habits.
This is a good question. You will come in contact with many people who will say "Well, I did this and cured my diabetes." Be careful. Diabetes is an inherited disease and we can't present change our genes (that may be coming soon, but not now). Therefore, diabetes cannot now be cured. The genes are always there. Lifestyle modifications however can change the manifestations of diabetes. Diabetes is a genetic disease that manifests itself through environmental factors. We can't change the genetics, but we can change the lifestyle and thus modify the manifestations of the disease and its damaging effects. The lifestyle change (Wt. loss, exercise, etc.) will lower the elevated blood sugar & thus prevent the complications (blindness, kidney failure, probably heart disease & stroke, amputations, etc.) but will not cure the diabetes. A relapse of lifestyle change (gaining too much wt., lack of exercise, etc.) will result in a re-manifestation of the genetic disease since it's there in the background forever.
Yes it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes by lifestyle changes especially if the reason is weight gain and no family history. Even with family history it’s still possible and definitely can prevent any further progression of disease.