What is Type 2 Diabetes remission?
It’s a common misconception that type 2 diabetes can be ‘reversed’. This is not the case though as the condition can return. However, type 2 diabetes can be put into remission and this can be obtained for some with a change in lifestyle habits, particularly a significant weight loss.
Remission is when your HbA1c level is in a non-diabetic range, without having to take any diabetic lowering medication for at least 3 months. Your HbA1c should be under 48mmols/l to classify as a normal, non-diabetic range.
Losing weight has been proven to help people individuals into remission. This helps to remove any fat built up in the liver and pancreas which means that the pancreatic beta cells start to produce insulin again and the liver can properly control blood glucose production.
Studies have shown a weight loss of around 15kg or a 5- 10% body weight loss can help put diabetes into remission. It is important you find the best way to suit you to lose this weight and be able to sustain the weight loss because, as mentioned, if you do not sustain the changes, then type 2 diabetes can return.
It is important to continue to receive regular reviews, even when you go into remission. This is to ensure that you can manage and further reduce the risks of complications and to help keep you on track.
If you would like support in going into remission, then MySugarWatch can help with this by helping you to monitor your blood glucose levels with our needle-free continuous glucose level monitor. As well as support from our diabetes specialist coaches.
Kelly J, Karlsen M and Steinke G (2020) ‘Type 2 Diabetes Remission and Lifestyle Medicine: A Position Statement From the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’, American Journal Lifestyle Medicine, 14(4) pp. 406-419.
Lean MEJ, Leslie WS, Barnes AC, Brosnahan N, Thom G, McCombe L, Peters C, Zhyzhneuskaya S, Al-Mrabeh A, Hollingsworth KG, Rodrigues Am, Rehackova L, Adamson AJ, Sniehotta FF, Mathers JC, Ross HM, McIlvenna Y, Welsh P, Kean S, Ford I, McConnachie A, Messow CM, Sattar N and Taylor R (2019) ‘Durability of a primary care-led weight management intervention for remission of type 2 diabetes: 2-year results of the DIRECT open-label, cluster-randomised trial’, The Lancet, 7(5), pp. 344-355).