Can I “Get Rid” of Type 2 Diabetes?
Have you been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes? I am sure that one of your top questions is “Can I reverse this?” It is possible to go into remission! Here, I hope to help define what “remission” from type 2 diabetes means and address any misconceptions.
First, why do we use the term “remission” instead of “cure”? The reason for that is we are not completely getting rid of the condition of diabetes. Your blood glucose (or “sugars”) level will return to normal, as defined by an A1C less than 6% 1. This number reflects that your blood sugar values have been in recommended range for the last 3 months. Even if you go into remission, you will still be more likely to develop diabetes again than someone who has not had it in the past.
The easiest way to go into remission is to consult with a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist to begin diabetes self-care. Registered Dietitians are a great resource to help with eating healthy! When we become conscious of our eating habits and other positive lifestyle change, we can manage diabetes better and begin our journey towards remission.
Too much carbs!
A Dietitian will help you to make healthier food choices that are beneficial for the management of your diabetes. You will learn how to manage your portions, monitor your carbohydrate (a.k.a carbs) intake, and check your blood sugar levels. One of the causes of obesity (and consequently, type 2 diabetes) is a diet that is excessive in carbohydrates. Extra carbs in the body are treated like sugar and stored as fat cells when the body has no use for the extra energy they provide 2. This is especially true if you do not move around a lot in addition to eating those excess carbs! That is why when we aim to lose fat, we want to exercise more and control carb intake.
It is also important to understand what we are putting into our bodies. This is why we should eliminate over-processed foods and aim for wholesome foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. In a study performed at the National Institute of Health Clinical Center, it was discovered that participants eating processed versions of foods consumed up to 500 extra calories a day without even realizing it! 3
Overall, a healthy eating pattern containing complex carbohydrate intake, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, staying physically active at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week, and avoiding over-processed foods will contribute to a healthier lifestyle- putting you in remission from type 2 diabetes for the rest of your life!