Can You Reverse Diabetes? – Information, Treatment, A Guide

Posted April 10, 2020 by Clint Kelly - See Editorial Guidelines

Many people that are suffering from diabetes have wondered if and how you can reverse diabetes. Though there is no current cure for diabetes, there is research that suggests that diabetes can be reversed.

To better understand this concept and find out how one can reverse their diabetes condition, this article will discuss steps you should take. Here’s a quick summary before getting into the details.

Can You Reverse Diabetes? Lifestyle factors most often cause type 2 diabetes. So, by changing your lifestyle for the better and maintaining a strict diet and exercising regularly, you can start the process of reversing diabetes. The quicker you can make adjustments to your lifestyle, the more likely you are to change your condition.

Before discussing if and how you can reverse diabetes, we need to have an understanding of what diabetes is.

Diabetes Overview

Can You Reverse Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when a person’s blood sugar or blood glucose level goes above a certain point. The human body turns carbohydrates into glucose and uses that glucose for energy. However, the body must have adequate insulin to utilize glucose for energy.

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. When the pancreas senses a rise in blood sugar, it will begin producing and releasing insulin. Insulin acts as the key that opens up the cells to take in the glucose. The cells will then have the energy to perform functions.

When a person has diabetes, their body is either not producing enough insulin or their cells are resistant to insulin. So, the body cannot utilize the glucose for energy, and the glucose remains in the blood. Thus, the result is high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

There are a few different types of diabetes that include type 1, type 1.5, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 and 1.5 (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) are autoimmune disorders, which means there is no prevention or cure for these. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes is the only type that is often caused by lifestyle factors.

Many individuals that have type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance. Most of the people with this condition are middle-aged to older adults. Obesity and lack of physical activity are common causes of insulin resistance.

Therefore, this article will have a focus on type 2 diabetes. The other forms of diabetes do not have cures and cannot be reversed that we know of currently.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance, also called glucose intolerance, is defined as the liver, fat, and muscle cells becoming unresponsive to insulin. Your body’s pancreas may try to produce more insulin as a response, but if it cannot keep up with the present resistance, your blood glucose levels will continue to rise.

Individuals that are higher at risk for insulin resistance are those that are overweight, have elevated blood pressure, and have high levels of triglyceride fats.

How Diabetes Progresses

A person that is at the very beginning stages of insulin resistance will have prediabetes. It is estimated that nearly one in three Americans has prediabetes, with the majority of those people unaware that they have it.

Since this is the case, it is unfortunate that just knowing is half the battle during this early stage of diabetes. The sooner you catch the uptick of your blood sugar levels, the better chance you have at reversing diabetes or prediabetes.

However, since many are unaware that they have prediabetes, their condition progresses, and it eventually becomes type 2 diabetes. The condition progresses as individuals struggle to make adjustments to their lifestyle.

So, for example, if someone with prediabetes is continually eating refined carbohydrates and isn’t making an effort to exercise, then their condition will progressively become worse. Blood sugar levels will continue to rise and medical intervention will be needed. This puts the individual at a risk for other health complications.

Tips for How to Reverse Diabetes

Lifestyle changes must occur if an individual has any chance of reversing diabetes. Here are some tips and steps to take that can help you with your condition.


A person’s diet and daily food consumption significantly impacts their health. That is why the saying, “You are what you eat,” exists. Not only can foods affect a person’s diabetes condition, but it can cause problems with your heart, cholesterol levels, and many other issues.

If you want to take care of your health, you should have a diet that is as natural as possible. This means limiting your intake of any processed foods, which can be difficult in today’s day in age.

Foods to eat to reverse diabetes:

Can You Reverse Diabetes

Foods that you should eat that can help reverse diabetes consist of high fiber carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, and high-quality proteins. Specific examples of these include:

  • Brown rice
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Vegetables (broccoli, carrots, leafy greens, etc.)
  • Avocado
  • Olive Oil
  • Flax Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Organic chicken or turkey
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Eggs

Foods to avoid:

Foods high in refined carbohydrates and added sugar can be detrimental to someone’s health in the long-term. Processed proteins and saturated fats can also be unhealthy. Specific examples of these include:

  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, etc.)
  • White rice
  • White bread
  • Sugary cereals
  • Regular pasta
  • Corn
  • High-fat dairy products (whole milk, butter, ice cream, etc.)
  • Processed meats (fast food meals)

Another diet that may prove to reverse diabetes is a very strict low-calorie diet. By consuming a low-calorie diet, you are potentially putting yourself at a calorie-deficit per day, which promotes weight loss. Working with a professional dietician may help you naturally bring your blood sugars back into the normal range.


Exercise is a crucial lifestyle change that should be implemented if a person is to reverse diabetes. Daily physical activity can increase insulin sensitivity.

Insulin sensitivity increases the cell’s responsiveness to insulin, allowing the body to use glucose for energy. This helps lower blood sugar levels.

If you are new to exercising, then simply starting with walking after meals will prove to be beneficial. This will improve postprandial blood glucose. However, higher intensity exercise will be needed to truly reverse diabetes. You may need to work up to high-intensity exercises gradually.

At least 60 minutes of aerobic, anaerobic, or weight training exercises should be performed about five times a week. Not only will these workouts help you get your blood sugar levels under control, but you will increase your metabolism and start to lose weight as you burn calories.

Can You Reverse Diabetes

Exercises that can start the process of reversing diabetes may include:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Jump rope
  • Boxing
  • Swimming
  • Lifting weights
  • Push-ups and sit-ups

Weight Loss

Extra fat can affect the production of insulin, as well as how the insulin is used. By losing weight, you can improve your insulin sensitivity, giving you a better chance of reversing diabetes.

Weight loss can be achieved through a healthy diet and regular exercise. You should set goals that will challenge you but are also achievable. Weight loss can also improve your overall health and well-being.


Fasting is a fairly new health fad that may prove to be very beneficial for many individuals and may even help reverse diabetes. Fasting, at its core, is going a certain amount of time without eating.

Very few studies have been done to prove the exact benefits of fasting. However, there is some evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting can help individuals lose weight and may even boost testosterone levels in males. When it comes to reversing diabetes, though, fasting can help patients get off their diabetes medications.

You should talk to your doctor about the best way you should fast to improve your condition.

Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery involves making surgical changes to your digestive system to help individuals lose weight. This surgery is typically performed on individuals that have tried diet and exercise to lose weight but haven’t had any success.

There are serious risks involved with having an invasive surgery such as this. However, researchers believe that up to 75% of patients see their diabetes reversed after bariatric surgery. It is believed that the surgery affects hormones that help control blood sugar levels.


Those that have type 2 diabetes may be able to reverse diabetes if they decide to make these lifestyle changes. As always, ask your doctor for medical advice specific to your condition.

If you are paying more than $50 a month for your medication, then contact Prescription Hope. We work with over 180 pharmaceutical companies to provide brand-name medications at a set, affordable cost. Enroll with us to find out if you are eligible to pay just $50 a month for each of your medications.

Can type 2 diabetes be reversed?

Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be treated without medication. This will depend on the severity of one's condition and their willingness to make lifestyle changes, incorporating a healthy diet and regular exercise.

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is defined as one's cells not responding properly to insulin, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels because glucose is unable to enter the cells.