Diabetes is one of the most common diseases that affects a sizable portion of the American population. Given this, one question that now lingers in our mind: Is diabetes curable? A 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report based on health data gathered from 2012 reports that 29 million or roughly around 9.3% of the population in the United States that has diabetes. 1.7 million of these people aged 20 and above are newly diagnosed with diabetes when the data was gathered in 2012.
Meanwhile, 208,000 individuals, younger than 20 years of age have been diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A big portion of the population, 86 million, who are aged 20 and above have prediabetes, which means that they may develop the disease if they don’t take steps to prevent it. Do we think that diabetes can be reversed? Hmm. That is the question that we want to answer on this page.
Is Diabetes Curable?
Unfortunately, no. As much as we wish it were possible, diabetes is not a reversible disease. You cannot cure diabetes since it is already there. Juvenile diabetes, which starts when a child is at a young age, is not curable. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are also far from being cured, they can only be controlled.
Is Diabetes Curable: Type 1
When a person has type 1 diabetes, some patients will have a honeymoon period after the diagnosis of the disease. In this honeymoon period, the disease may appear to have gone away for a period that may last from a couple of months to a year. The insulin needs of the patient are at the lowest point; some patients will even realize that they are able to maintain normal or close to normal blood glucose levels without taking insulin shots. However, it is a very wrong notion to think that diabetes has gone for good.
Type 1 diabetes is the situation when almost 90% of the cells which produce insulin are destroyed. When the disease is diagnosed, most patients still have the ability to produce insulin. When symptoms of type 1 diabetes surface due to some illness, the insulin needs of the body may decrease. The number of cells that produced insulin may be enough for now to meet the needs of the patient but it will not last very long.
The process which destroyed the 90% of the cells will also kill the remaining cells and when this destruction continues, the need for insulin shots will increase to help compensate for the loss. In the long run, the patient will become dependent on insulin injections for good.
Currently, scientists and experts strongly recommend the continued use of insulin injections even through the honeymoon phase because there are studies that prove insulin injections can preserve the remaining insulin-producing cells a little longer.
Is Diabetes Reversible: Type 2
Now, let us talk about type 2 diabetes. Is diabetes reversible if it is type 2? Again, unfortunately, no. Unlike type 1 diabetes that is due to the destruction of insulin-producing cells, the progression of type 2 diabetes is gradual.
The body can’t deliver enough insulin to cater to its needs. At first, the patient will be diagnosed as having an impaired glucose tolerance, a condition where there is a decreased ability to convert food to energy but it can still support the body’s needs. In the long run, however, it will certainly progress to diabetes.
The decreased production of insulin or increased insulin resistance may intensify especially during periods of stress.
Though most patients often realize that lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and eating the right kinds of foods will help control normal glucose levels, they will soon learn to their dismay that they will need to add oral diabetes medications or insulin shots just to ensure they are keeping their blood sugar levels under control.
Can Natural Means Cure Diabetes?
There are natural ways to help treat diabetes such as progressive muscle relaxation and deep abdominal breathing. However, they do not cure the disease itself. These natural means are only helpful to help relieve stress which significantly affects your blood sugar levels. Natural supplements will not help cure diabetes. It is not advisable for you to take natural supplements and herbs without asking your doctor first as these may cause dangerous drug interactions with your prescribed diabetes medication.