There are an estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes each year. The number of adults and children living with diabetes is rising at an alarming rate, but you aren’t powerless, and diabetes isn’t an inevitable consequence of modern life.
Internal medicine physician Samuel I. Fink wants patients to feel empowered to take control of their health and make beneficial changes that improve their overall health and well-being. With some consistency and the right changes, complete or partial remission of Type 2 diabetes is possible.
Understanding remission in Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes was once thought to be irreversible, with a primary treatment goal of controlling blood sugar levels as much as possible. The prevailing belief was that diabetes was progressive and would worsen over the long-term.
However, clinical data has demonstrated that it’s possible to restore the mechanisms that cause Type 2 diabetes to normal. This means that as long as you’re consistent with making key changes, you can achieve complete or partial remission.
You’re considered to have achieved remission when you reach normal or near normal hemoglobin A1C levels, which is a measure of your average blood glucose over the previous 90 days. In this post, we summarize a new understanding of how to achieve and maintain remission of Type 2 diabetes.
Key factors in achieving Type 2 diabetes remission
Type 2 diabetes and obesity are so closely linked that the connection spawned the term “diabesity.” Substantial weight loss is a key factor in returning insulin regulation and blood sugar regulation to normal. Consistently controlling dietary carbohydrates plays an important role in losing excess weight and restoring your body’s ability to control glucose.
Clinical data suggests that the buildup of fat in the liver that occurs when you carry too much body fat triggers a vicious cycle of insulin resistance and excess insulin production. Over time, this cycle drives inflammation and damages the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas.
Adopting healthy habits that contribute to substantial weight loss is shown to stop the cycle, lower liver fat, and restore normal insulin secretion. You’re more likely to achieve remission if you implement healthy changes within the first 10 years of a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Consistency is key
It’s important to know that once you’re diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, your susceptibility to the condition remains even after you achieve normal insulin secretion. This means that if you gain a significant amount of weight or go back to eating a lot of junk food, high glucose is likely to return.
To remain in remission, you must maintain a healthy weight and continue making lifestyle choices that promote healthy blood sugar levels. Adopting eating and exercise habits that you can stick to are key to long-term remission.
Sometimes you need medication
Some patients need the help of medication to return blood sugar levels to a normal range. This isn’t an indication that you have failed.
In some cases, extensive damage to the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas prevents complete remission. This is more likely to be the case if you’ve had diabetes for 10 years or longer. However, even with the help of medication, it’s still crucial to do everything possible to adopt a healthy lifestyle and lose excess weight.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, or if you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels, you can rely on Dr. Fink’s expertise to get you on the path to better health. For the best internal medicine care in Tarzana, California, give our team a call or request an appointment online at your convenience.