Optimistic Information Regarding Type 2 Diabetes Remission

November 10,2022 |
Group of women hiking together.

For years, it’s been thought that once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, the only thing to do is live a healthy lifestyle and manage the condition. However, ongoing research (and several case studies) have recently indicated that type 2 diabetes remission is possible. Often referred to as “reversal” or even “cure,” remission is the most accurate way to describe this as it doesn’t guarantee that type 2 diabetes won’t return. For those living with this chronic condition, hearing this development can bring forth a lot of hope. For a better understanding, consider the following optimistic information regarding type 2 diabetes remission. 


What to Know About Type 2 Diabetes Remission

Over the past few years, there has been extensive research performed on type 2 diabetes and how individuals can boost their longevity. By following certain diabetes management plans, individuals have been able to significantly lower their blood glucose levels, lose excess weight, and reduce their reliance on diabetes medications. In some instances, it appears that type 2 diabetes is gone altogether, or in “remission.” Although this is not an easy task, it does provide a degree of optimism to individuals currently living with diabetes.

Diabetes remission, therefore, refers to situations where your blood sugar levels remain at a healthy level without the need of any additional diabetes medications. This means your body can successfully process sugar and store it in the same way as an individual who has never had diabetes. Unfortunately, individuals living with type 1 diabetes cannot (currently) reach remission. Although more research is being done regarding future possibilities, type 1 diabetes still requires ongoing care.


Most Effective Tools for Treating Type 2 Diabetes

In order to work towards remission, it’s important to do everything you can to live a healthy, diabetes-friendly lifestyle. This is one of the best ways to help you achieve remission and get back to pre-diabetes glucose levels. The most effective tools to supplement a healthy lifestyle include lifestyle interventions, medications, and even bariatric surgery.

Lifestyle Interventions

One effective tool for helping individuals with type 2 diabetes enter remission is the use of strategic lifestyle interventions. This includes more face-to-face diabetes care with physicians and specialists to help individuals better understand how to manage a healthy lifestyle. Whether this be through the use of virtual platforms or programs, the availability of ongoing care through online platforms has the potential to exponentially increase support systems.

Since diabetes is a chronic disease, spending only an hour a year with a doctor is not beneficial. A lot can happen in a year and waiting too long to make changes could lead to the increased prevalence of complications. With remote lifestyle intervention tools that offer a continuous care model, people with type 2 diabetes would have more resources to successfully better their health. This, in turn, could result in more cases of remission around the country.


Another option is to utilize specific medications that can help lower blood glucose levels. The current ones under revision are called GLP-1 receptor agonists. These medications help support weight loss in individuals living with type 2 diabetes, while also providing a degree of protection against cardiovascular complications.

GLP-1 is a hormone produced within the small intestine that stimulates insulin secretion while simultaneously restricting glucagon secretion. This helps lower blood sugar levels during the natural process of digestion and can make an individual feel fuller after a meal. Both of these components can help people living with type 2 diabetes lose weight, which is one of the best ways to achieve remission. These medications should not be used by individuals with type 1 diabetes, as they don’t provide the same effects.

Another option for medication is a GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist, also known as a dual agonist. This helps activate GIP in addition to GLP-1, which also has positive impacts on weight loss and ongoing diabetes management. Talk to your doctor for more information regarding either of these medications as they may not be ideal for everyone.

Bariatric Surgery

Finally, bariatric surgery can help individuals lose a significant amount of weight and increase the chances of type 2 diabetes remission. During this surgery, the anatomy of the stomach and small intestine are altered in a way to either limit how much you can consume (gastric bypass surgery) or reduce your body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients. Some bariatric surgeries can do both.

This is a good option for individuals who have been trying to lose weight to no avail. However, it’s important to go over all of the risks and potential complications with your doctor, as bariatric surgery is considered a major procedure. This should be a last-case scenario if other efforts prove to be ineffective. Bariatric surgeries can increase the chances of someone living with type 2 diabetes to achieve remission.

Other Ways to Work Towards Type 2 Diabetes Remission

Some individuals with type 2 diabetes can also see tremendous results from simply modifying their diet, losing weight, and living a more active lifestyle. Usually, the biggest problem regarding remission from this approach is sustainability and durability. If you aren’t happy with the diet, long-term structure is likely going to deviate. You also need to adhere to your healthy eating plan for long periods of time, which many people struggle with. That’s why forming healthy habits is so important. Since results from lifestyle modifications take longer to appear, people get discouraged and stop the program. The more benefits you see, the more likely you are to stick with it.

Making Healthy Habits

While dieting and exercise are still absolutely essential components to diabetes management, it’s important to give yourself time to find something that you actually enjoy. Don’t try to see results from fad diets, stop doing workouts that you hate, and try to approach things from a different angle. Working with a dietician or your primary care doctor to better understand how your body responds to certain foods can help you create a plan that’s tailored to your needs.

Living an Active Lifestyle

Physical exercise has the potential to help treat type 2 diabetes and can increase your chances of remission. The primary goal is to improve blood glucose levels, lose weight, and create a more optimized insulin sensitivity. Regular exercise has been shown to help with this.

Sustainable Weight Loss

Overall, it seems as if type 2 diabetes is primarily put into remission through weight loss. This should be done in a safe, controlled method that puts you in a position for long-term sustainability. Before beginning any weight loss journey, always consult with your doctor. Although losing weight can help you achieve type 2 diabetes remission, it still needs to be approached in a healthy manner.


Long-Term Type 2 Diabetes Remission

Remission is not considered a “cure.” It’s still a new development, but individuals with type 2 diabetes who go into remission shouldn’t see this as a permanent change. You will still need to take a proactive approach to living a healthy lifestyle if you want to continue living in remission. Type 2 diabetes can return, and those who have already had it may be at a higher risk for future development.

Living in remission means that you no longer have to manage your type 2 diabetes using medication. It also means that you’re not likely to face all of the various complications that are associated with long-term diabetes. However, remission is still something being explored, so researchers are hesitant to say that it eliminates the risk of complications. To continue living a healthy life, it’s important to see your doctor regularly and undergo screenings accordingly.

Annual health checks should include A1c testing, retinal screening, and blood tests to make sure that you continue living in remission. If there are any changes to your health, your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of action for treatment. It is possible to revert back into an active type 2 diabetes diagnosis, but achieving remission again is not unheard of.

This research is an ongoing development in diabetes management, but so far, the studies are promising. By focusing on your health, losing weight, and some effective tools, you may be able to live in remission from your type 2 diabetes. During this process, always continue to follow your diabetes management plan and maintain a consistent schedule with your doctor. To help you manage your diabetes effectively while living a healthy lifestyle, Byram Healthcare has a range of continuous blood glucose monitors. We also offer diabetes support and educational materials to give you everything you need for comprehensive care.