Ask Dr. Nandi: Can you reverse type 2 diabetes?

Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 18:02:00-04

The idea of reversing Type 2 Diabetes is very controversial. Is it possible? Yes. But don’t do a happy dance yet.  

Reversing diabetes doesn’t mean you get to return to your previous lifestyle. It takes work and dedication. It’s dependent on factors like how many years you’ve had diabetes, the degree of severity and your genes. You’ll likely need to lose weight, work out regularly and eat nutritiously. These lifestyle changes need to be permanent, a total commitment to living healthy all the time.

One study reported 10 percent of it’s participants within one year could either stop taking their diabetes medication, or, their blood sugar levels improved to the point where they were no longer in the diabetic range.  

They ate between 1200 and 1800 calories a day, exercised 175 minutes every week, and were provided counseling and lifestyle education.

You’ll have a higher chance of success if you’re diagnosed early or have prediabetes. A government study looking at 3,000 overweight Americans with prediabetes found those who lost just 5 to 7 percent of body weight had a 58 percent reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. How amazing is that!

You can’t go wrong with making healthy lifestyle changes. Here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX:

  1. Find out your blood sugar numbers so you know your baseline.  Then with the help of your doctor, set realistic goals to get those numbers into a healthy range.
  2. Don’t try to lose weight with fad diets.  They don’t last long-term and may not provide all the nutrients you need.
  3. Meet with a registered dietitian who can help you make the right food choices without depriving yourself.
  4. Aim to exercise 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. And set realistic goals regarding weight loss by aiming for a half-pound to a pound a week.

Making the right lifestyle choices could reverse your diabetes or prevent prediabetes from progressing further.  But there is no guarantee. 

Even if it doesn’t work for you, losing weight could mean fewer medications, along with more energy and a healthier body.  Bottom line: it’s important that you try to achieve your best health possible.