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Achieving Freedom from Diabetes: Steps to Reverse the Condition

07 Jun 2024

For years, research has said that diabetes cannot be cured. This has led diabetes patients to believe that they have to always live like of their condition. Luckily, there’s a way you can reverse your diabetes and achieve freedom from diabetes. Yes, it’s possible. 

How does Diabetes Reversal happen?

When you take the appropriate steps to bring your glucose levels down to a non-diabetic range without the use of diabetic medications, diabetes reversal happens. Remember though, that diabetes can only be reversed and not cured because this solution is not permanent. management is required to maintain the blood sugar levels and prevent complications.

Let’s talk about the steps that can help you achieve freedom from diabetes:

Step 1: Lose weight

Maintaining your weight is one of the best ways to get into remission because depending on your excess fat, your body may produce or use insulin accordingly. Weight loss can show significant improvements in your blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and overall health. Shedding some extra weight can potentially also eliminate the need for diabetes medications. It can also help you steer away from diabetes complications like heart disease and stroke, and improve cardiovascular health.

All you need is a combination of a healthy diet, exercise, some behavioural changes, and a little medical supervision. That’s it, you will already be paving the way for better diabetes management and improved quality of life toachieve freedom from diabetes.

Step 2: Keep exercising

Moving does the real work, sitting does not. The more you move, the more you improve. Exercising during diabetes not only helps reduce weight but works wonders when coupled with a healthy food or diet plan. If you have an unhealthy diet, it may increase your sugar levels and negate the effort you put into exercising. 

Try forming an exercise routine for yourself by taking the help of your healthcare provider. 

  • Go on daily walks, try brisk walking
  • Exercise at least once every 48 hours and keep track of your progress
  • Keep a snack handy in case your sugar level drops
  • Try aiming for at least 150 minutes of exercise every week

Step 3: Closely watch your diet

Plan how and what food you consume every day. It may sound like a daunting task, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. Ask your nutritionist. 

A good diet will do these things for you:

  • Boost your physical and mental health
  • Manage your symptoms
  • Maintain your weight
  • Save you from diabetes complications
  • Keep you active and flexible

Although your doctor can better help you develop a personalised diet plan or refer you to a dietitian for the same, here are the things you must keep in your mind and diet:

  • Consume enough calories
  • Consume fresh fruits and veggies for antioxidants
  • Add whole grains and lean proteins to your diet
  • Limit added sugars, fats and salt 
  • Lower or eliminate alcohol consumption

Your diet must also include the right amount and the right kind of carbs, they play a great role in managing diabetes.

Step 4: Improve your sleep quality

We all love sleeping but due to our conditions, we end up struggling to get proper sleep. That affects our health a lot. Lack of sleep can disrupt your hormone levels and result in insulin resistance as well as high blood sugar levels.

The aim should be to at least have 7-9 hours of sleep every night, even . If you have trouble falling asleep, develop a bedtime routine. A bedtime routine tells your body that it is time to sleep. You can include things like reading, taking a bath or meditation in your bedtime routine.

Not to forget a very important point – limit screen exposure at least an hour before bedtime as it can interfere with the quality of your sleep. Follow these steps rigorously and you will not only see a change in your sleep quality but will also be a step closer to achieving freedom from diabetes.

Step 5: Quit smoking

Seeking freedom from diabetes comes at a cost, like giving up the things you don’t want to give up, such as smoking. Smoking is very risky for type 2 diabetes. It can potentially make your complications severe. When you stop smoking, your insulin sensitivity improves and your risk of developing cardiovascular complications minimises.

  • Identify the triggers that make you want to smoke and try coping with them through strategies
  • Seek doctor support or join smoking cessation programs to quit
  • Nicotine replacement therapy can also help

Be easy on yourself though. It’s not a matter a few days to quit a habit like smoking. Know that you will get there gradually. It might probably take a few attempts but you’re closer to the goal each time!

Step 6: Consider proper medication

Consider medication as an important component of your diabetes reversal plan, alongside lifestyle changes like weight loss, exercise, and dietary adjustments. While lifestyle modifications are foundational, medications prescribed by your healthcare provider may be necessary to help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

Working closely with your healthcare provider, exploring medication options and monitoring progress can complement your efforts towards achieving freedom from diabetes and maintaining long-term health.

Step 7: Be patient with yourself

The diabetes reversal process is fruitful but you need to be patient with yourself. It takes time, effort and dedication. Challenges may come, setbacks may occur but rather than being discouraged, stand tall and pat yourself on how far you’ve come. 

Don’t go all in and burden yourself. Make the changes gradually, and take baby steps so you can sustain yourself in the long term. Treat yourself with kindness, positive change and celebrate your well-being. One day, freedom from diabetes will seem closer than you think.

 

All this while, keep a note that remission does not mean that diabetes has gone away. You will have to continue to manage your glucose levels with lifestyle measures to stay in remission.

About the Author

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Devina Aswal
MBBS, DDM, FCR, CIC

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