Categories: Diabetes

Diabetes: is it for life or is it reversible?

Diabetes is a chronic disease. When the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces or when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, the condition is called diabetes. There are three types of diabetes. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Type 1 Diabetes

Also called insulin-dependent diabetes, type 1 diabetes often begins in childhood. The key characteristic of type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. It’s caused by antibodies attacking the pancreas. As a result, the damaged pancreas doesn’t make insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes

The most common form of diabetes, type 2 diabetes is so prevalent that 95% of diabetic patients belong to this category. Though it’s commonly found in adults, with the increase of obesity and excess weight in children, more teenagers are getting type 2 diabetes these days.

Gestational Diabetes

This type of diabetes is triggered by pregnancy as pregnancy leads to insulin resistance. Gestational diabetes is temporary. But if not taken care of properly, it can result in complications. Studies suggest that 2% to 10% of pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes.

Having seen the three types of diabetes that exist, now let’s examine whether diabetes is reversible.

Studies suggest that type 2 diabetes is reversible in some people. It’s widely acknowledged that there’s no cure for type 2 diabetes. However, by implementing dietary changes and exercising regularly, one has the chance to reach and sustain normal blood sugar levels without medication.

However, it doesn’t mean that one is cured of type 2 diabetes. Remember, type 2 diabetes is an ongoing disease. Even if you think that you’re on top of diabetes, the symptoms can always come back. But the silver lining is that for some people, it’s possible to go on for years without trouble keeping their blood glucose levels under control and without diabetes-related complications.

How To Reverse Diabetes?

Weight loss is the most important step towards reversing diabetes. Losing weight not only helps in managing diabetes but also lives diabetes-free. This is especially true for people who have had diabetes just for a few years and who never used insulin.

Low-calorie Diet   

Studies conducted in different parts of the world over the years clearly indicate a connection between a low-calorie diet and the reversal of diabetes. Most people who opted for a low-calorie diet managed to keep their blood sugar level well in control for a period ranging from six months to one year.

Remember, if you can significantly reduce your weight and stick to a low-calorie diet, your chances of reversing type 2 diabetes are higher. Eat healthily, exercise regularly and have an iron will to reverse diabetes. You can make it, you definitely can!

Dr. Anirudh J Shetty, Consultant – Diabetology, Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, HSR Layout, Bangalore

Narayana Health

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