Reversing Type 2 Diabetes?

I have always had a problems when people suggested they have "REVERSED THEIR TYPE 2 DIABETES." I was at a conference were 2 people told me they reversed their diabetes through exercise and diet change. I took issue with this because yes, you maybe come symptom free but does that make you "cured" or/add "REVERSED TYPE 2 DIABETES"?

If there is no cure than how can we Reverse Type 2 Diabetes? This term allows for so many different meanings and variations of what it means to be "REVERSED".

I think this term encourages non diabetic people to think just loosing some weight and diet change will"CURE DIABETES." This will also perpetuate current stereotypes of diabetics.

People have even stated their doctor's suggest ways in "REVERSING THEIR DIABETES."

Now, am I wrong in thinking the term "REVERSING TYPE 2 DIABETES" is incorrect? Is there one standard definition to this term?

I totally agree with you about the term being incorrect. It’s also misleading. For type 2 diabetes, you can diet and exercise and bring down your blood sugars, but it doesn’t change the disease process, including the predisposition one has to it. These things don’t change damage already done to the pancreas. Many people with type 2 do eventually lose the ability to produce insulin and this results in their being insulin-dependent like a type 1.

I think the big problem with diabetes is that it has been a catch-all term and has been haphazardly divided into subgroups. In the case of type 2, it is often hastily attributed to “lifestyle,” without considering other factors.

I read Diabetes Rising recently, and was shocked to learn about one theory that considers type 1 and 2 the “same” disease but type 1 as the accelerated version. There is still so much we don’t know. As someone with type 1, I’ve always seen type 1 and 2 as VERY different diseases, but there is some evidence to suggest this may not be the case. Also, participating on this website has been very interesting, because there seem to be SO many people on here who do not fit neatly into either category.

Moss Dog, through gene research being done in Australia, it has been discovered that there is a genetic link between T1 and T2. They are also discovering that there are very many different kinds of diabetes, probably only slightly different, but maybe this does explain why we all react so differently to foods, insulin and tablets.

I too think the term ‘reversing’ leads one to think of a cure in the case of T2 diabetes, maybe the term ‘slow down progression’ should be substituted. Definitely I hope that by lowering my blood sugars will help, but there is a view that lowering them too much is unhelpful. There is so much unknown about diabetes that one hardly knows where to turn for the truth.

I see three problems with the term “reverse”. First it tricks the PWD into believing that they no longer have diabetes and could cause them to be careless. Second, it is another “blame the victim” problem to be portrayed in the media. Finally, it just provides a way for the health care providers to avoid accountability for their treatment.

Think it depends on many different things for 20+ years my mom lived as a type 2 diabetic, yet about 8 years ago she was told she was no longer type 2 or even diabetic for that matter, he levels where normal should could have all the sugar she liked and her body did as it should for any non-diabetic. All she ever did was treat herself by watching what she ate and by keeping active and getting her weight down.

Now, she is no longer considered to be a diabetic she gets her annual A1Cs dun my her GP just to stay on track and they are normal (its dun by her choice, her gp wouldn’t do it other wise as she see no reason to do so), mom tracks here and there just to see how she’s doing and her levels are always in the normal range. She recently had a GTT dun it came back “normal” no elevation, nothing she reacted like any non-diabetic should. Yet the same test 15 years ago spiked her levels.

I don’t know what is going on with her and her form of D but I wish it was the same form I’m living with - but its not I’m IR with the type 2 (which isn’t uncommon) and on increasing dosages of insulin to get my levels into range (last a1c was 8.2 up from 4 months before - thus another increase in insulin was ordered). It makes me think that there really is more to D then we currently really know (like there being several sub groups or something that are all classed as T2 even though they are maybe of a different genome type deal).

Which means to me there really is more then the “two” types out there science has just not caught up to the fact and that the current terms that are used out there just are blankets that cover to wide a category - thus I do believe that in some cases those with 2 can “reverse” it but only in a small number of cases and that most cases of it - well its not possible for various reasons.

Nyxks: How great for your mom. Does she still watch her diet or does she now eat lots of sugar and carbs? Joanne

If we can all agree that it is a very inaccurate term then why aren’t we trying to eradicate it? People get the term from books and other media outlets. If we were to raise enough stink about it the term would probably go away from embarrassing.

I am actually beginning to wonder about the whole process of classifying “diabetes” into types.

Within the bucket of “type 1” diabetes, you have the classic form of autoimmune diabetes, the 4 or 5 (?) forms of MODY (all due to specific genetic mutations), LADA, type 1B (idiopathic diabetes, which doesn’t have the presence of autoimmunity and can come and go), and people who develop “diabetes” as a result of an injury or illness that destroys the beta cells in the pancreas.

Within type 2s, you have all sorts of variation as well. Some people with “type 2” produce lots of insulin, some normal amounts, and some very little. Then you have the “skinny type 2s.”

What is beginning to bother me is that despite there being so much uncertainty with how to classify people with diabetes, insurance companies rely on these labels to determine whether or not to approve treatments, and even endos rely on these labels when determining treatment regimens. I’ve also read so many stories on here of people who are diagnosed as Type 2 simply by a doc looking at them and making a guess. Seriously?!?!

Personally, as much as I have always thought of there being a big, bright line between T1D and T2D, the more I read and talk to people, my thoughts on this are really beginning to change.

Not that the Expert Committee is correct/the last word, but MODY is not included in the definition of Type 1 diabetes. Classic form of autoimmune diabetes and LADA are all just autoimmune that can be readily identified via antibody testing (GAD, ICA, and/or IA-2). The vast majority of people with Type 1 diabetes have autoimmune diabetes and are antibody positive–idiopathic Type 1 is quite rare. IMO, there is a “bright line” betweeen autoimmune diabetes and insulin-resistant diabetes–different genetics, causes, treatments, and potential cures. And I agree with the OP, I just hate the term “reversing diabetes.”

I like the word tightly controlled or managed better. I am able to keep my bgl under 120 at all times and usually under 100 2 hours after meals; however, I still use Lantus and metformin and I seriously low carb (<30 gms a day); however, my diabetes isn’t reversed because of my good numbers, it means I am working damn hard at controlling them with the help of insulin and meds. If it were reversed I would be able to eat a high carb meal and the bgl would return to “normal” in 2 hours. Today I did an experiment and ate 45 carbs in one sitting and 2 hours after my bgl was 158. Definitely not reversed…LOL…

I believe the term reversing diabetes on type 2 may be not the best description.

To me , by surgery/lap band and extreme diet and carefull carb control of the dam grains, extra exercise

and medical help to shut down leaky liver (metformin); one can get body back to operating better by reducing the daily average glucose load. This means the body cells are not sitting topped off with glucose every day and the body decides to shutdown the insulin resistance and goes back to using its own insulin.

I have been thru this personnaly and ended up at point I was yanking off the 75/25 - 26 units once a day, starlix pills and actos.

Cured - no. One is simply running an old hunter gatherer gene set and optimized digestion system for garlic and onions, raw grain and scrawny game, nuts and berry’s. Keep operating here, eyes clean up, kidneys calm down and one starts to really lose weight.

Acerbating this is all the couch potatoe tools/games, home computers - PCs reducing the energy burn. Insulin resistance is the result of running daily average glucose level in blood above point which body can cope and results first in insulin resistance followed by diabetes - body damage from elevated glucose levels in blood all the time.

I only ever see two types of diabetics portrayed in the media.

One is the out-of-control, in denial diabetic who doesn’t take care of themselves and ends up with all the terrible complications.

The other is the diabetic who through bariatric surgery/radical weight loss/cutting out Starbucks frappucinos was able to ‘reverse’ their diabetes.

I personally know a few people that fit the first group. But I have never met anyone personally who fit the second group.

I really really hate this ‘reversing’ crap because it just gives the general public one more blunt instrument with which to bash diabetics. To point the finger at them and blame them and say, well if you would only lose lots of weight and cut out the frappucinos, you too would be able to reverse your condition.

My view is simpler. The cases of this problem have exploded and the response to provide better control is not working.

Dumping more insulin on a body that has excess body pancreatic insulin roaring around the blood system not controlling the glucose properly points out that the appraoches being used are not helping. the complaint about the press while indicating the frustration I have with it is not solving the problem.

Type 2 is a ujseless lable covering basically your glucose is out of control. Beyond that then what?

Many factors can cause that and the press treat it as a monolithic simple disease. Most blogs I see and articles start
talking about quote a cure for type 2 diabetes and usually revolve around add more insulin - a type 1 response.

So what’s causing the problem, large leaky liver, hormone mis communication, some othe medical complication, pancrease falling off a little; is it one or a multiprong combination of these factors - one and all including carb control and exercise.

Insulin is simply a gate enabler - it does not get rid of glucose. Only exercise, body processes , heating needs and fat storage can off load the glucose.

Why is surgery/lap band getting better results - answer that first.1.

My apologies for waking up the sleeping owls in the trees. I have had my “type 2” diabetes for over 30 years. Did I look after it properly and resolve the issues early. Nope too busy. Yes I got a BG meter early and tried to use. Numbers all over the map and Doctor at that time and me could make no sense. That aside, I did try to eat better , remove all the sweets, cakes, cookies etc; but as results prove in 2007 when I had stroke – not enough.
The last 4 years have seen the following:
Prior to Dec 2009, A1C was 13.3 and numbers all over map.
During 2009, found by walking 2 miles could force BG back to 100. If I did not walk, actos would bring down from 238 in am to 189.
I also took 26 units of 75/25 insulin once in am to help kill this large bump in am.
During 2009, found that in midnight hours BG would be 100 at midnight; at 1:00 am 110;
At 3:00 am was 150 and by 7:00 am was 238. This was every dam day.
For a year I walked 2 miles every day to boot out excess glucose and see insulin resistance disappear and insulin work properly after 1.5 miles walking and then it would fall to 100 with the extra insulin I put in.
Diet from Dec 2007 thru 2011 an on 1200 calories and careful carbs control on the super carbs.
Once, I found that timed metformin doses would stop dawn effect , spurious liver dumps, and excess liver leakage on steady basis with timed ingestions of 500 mg pills; my a1 c dropped to 6.9 on May 2010.
After liver crap stopped, 1200 calorie diet made a difference. My weight prior to metformin timed ingestion was 330 pounds. Today 260 and dropping. Without fixing liver BS diet was useless.
After 6 months on this mix of timed metformin ingestion, 1200 diet, Actos yanked out, 75/25 - 26 units stopped, starlix pills dropped after a rash of super lows on CGMS and handheld. My Doctor put me on Regular Humalog Lispro and 4 units at each major meal proving more than sufficient. ( I am on 15 units once a day of Lantus to make up what is suspected low basil insulin).
Using CGMS I can watch all this and find that after 30 years with numbers all over the map, my BG moves like slow waves on a placid lake and now predictable. My last A1c last month was 6.4 and average BG of 140 keeps gradually working down.

Oh yes, after all this crap, I found my pancreas still dumping in decent insulin meal bolus after eating. It was not worn out, nor shriveled up or died.

I am fed up with what the Diabetes Industry is doing today. Type 2’s are not getting the required training and help in this very serious nasty disease and current treatment is relying on too much Type 1 thinking.

In the end, this mess needed a medical condition rectified – liver leak and dumps that too many folks ignore and think a figment of your imagination; hearty exercise to help flush the glucose out on daily basis; carbs control of diet are a key issue – all must be worked – miss one and still a mess.

From a system perspective, any machine, process, biological process have a finite range they work properly over – exceed that on regular basis, machine wears out. Type 2 diabetes is a issue of trying to run body over wider range of glucose presence caused by enhanced grains and foods applied to an old gene hunter gatherer body and digestion system optimized years ago for very low grade fuel and further compromised by under exercise from couch potato games, computers, wide screen tv and riding cars all the time. The body response to that problem is to ramp up insulin resistance to block its own insulin from the body cells chronically overloaded with glucose. Back that average long term glucose source/point back to where body copes, it goes back to using its insulin.

One layman’s view.

Jims - what you’re describing would only work for a T2 whose body was still making a decent amount of insulin. I absolutely agree that working to increase insulin sensitivity and lower insulin resistance would be an effective strategy.

But it might not work so well for a T2 whose body was not making enough insulin, or not making any at all. In people whose bodies do not make insulin, exercise can actually raise blood sugars, sometimes quite dramatically. And in the absence of endogenous insulin, nothing’s going to bring that blood sugar down.

yes, stated excellentty and correct. At that point one is closer to type 1.

my problem was i never knew my pancreas was making insulin till much later.

i am suggesting but not stated that a hormone scan is needed to see extent of wreckage
and what assistance is really needed.

if insulin generation is low one needs bigger insulin boost. if liver and its buffering operations are working close to better-no need to chase that.

Summary statement is now:

analyze medical deficiencies - fix that.

improve exercise - equiv of 1 to 2 miles walking.

adjust carbs control to assist better control.

type 2 is NOT monolithic simple problem that adding cinamon will fix.

Thw current response is NOT stopping the 2x explosion of cases.

jim snell

I haven’t investigated this any further, but I read in one of my nursing textbooks that there are actually 10 different kinds of diabetes. It didn’t elaborate on all of them, just 1, 2, and gestational.

The test is available - it is called C-peptide testing and it measures how much insulin the body is making.

My thoughts on the matter:

Chris, while I always cheer on people who want to take control of their diabetes, I have to say that blog post is not very helpful. Because it doesn’t make clear the distinction between various stages of Type 2.

The strategy you propose is only helpful to a very early stage Type 2 who is still making meaningful amounts of insulin. That’s because it helps to improve their insulin sensitivity.

It’s not going to help a mid/late stage Type 2 who has lost the majority of their beta cells and no longer makes their own insulin. No diet, no exercise, nothing is going to kickstart dead beta cells back to life. And posts like that only discourage and demotivate Type 2s in this position because it makes them think that they have failed or they are not doing their best.