Can you reverse Type 2 diabetes?

While we prefer not to use the term “diabetes reversal” because that might make you think it’s a permanent solution, it is possible to achieve remission of Type 2 diabetes.

Putting your diabetes into remission means that, although you have a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, your blood glucose levels have for the moment returned to a healthy level without needing to take any diabetes medications. For many this is life changing and can have huge health benefits.

How do you reverse diabetes?

Research shows that weight loss is the most effective way to achieve remission from diabetes. Remission from Type 2 diabetes is defined as 2 HbA1c readings (the blood test that looks at your long term diabetes control) below the diagnosis level for diabetes (with a 6 month interval in between) without blood glucose lowering (diabetes) medications.

Some people call this ‘reversing’ Type 2 diabetes, however at Oviva we prefer to use the term remission, because your blood glucose levels could rise again.

If you’re currently overweight or living with obesity, losing a significant amount of weight, around 15kg, is likely to have a positive impact on your diabetes and increase your chances of achieving diabetes remission.

It’s worth noting that not everyone living with Type 2 diabetes can manage to achieve remission. Research suggests that the best time to work towards remission is as soon after diagnosis as possible. Starting early can give you a better chance of successfully achieving remission, however even if you don’t manage to reach a healthy blood glucose range, there are many benefits to losing weight if you have Type 2 diabetes.

Many participants on our Oviva Diabetes Remission services report that the programme has led them to be on less medication, weigh less and have better control over their Type 2 diabetes.

I have started to recognise my achievements and have realised how well I have done. I feel so much happier and healthier!”

Sharon, Wolverhampton

What are the benefits of diabetes remission?

There are so many reasons to work towards achieving Type 2 diabetes remission. Making the healthy lifestyle changes needed to reach remission, like losing weight, can have a big impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Reduced need for medication
  • Lower risk of heart disease and other diabetes-related complications
  • Improved mental wellbeing
  • Better sleep and an overall feeling of health
  • Reduced risk of arthritis, especially in your knees, hips, and back.

The structure, support and learning aspects of the programme are amazing. I have even achieved diabetes remission. This really has changed my life!”

Jeremy, London

Find out more about Oviva’s Diabetes Remission programme

How can I lose weight?

There are many ways to lose weight, and it’s important to remember that there’s no single diet to guarantee Type 2 diabetes remission.

At Oviva, we base our programmes following strong published research. Based on this evidence, we believe that a low calorie diet (LCD) for 12 weeks of around 800 calories a day is the most effective way to achieve significant weight loss and potentially put your diabetes into remission.

We use a Total Diet Replacement (TDR) approach, which involves replacing all regular meals and snacks with specially designed soups, shakes, and bars that provide all the essential nutrients your body needs.

With the support of a coach, this approach can be easier to follow than traditional calorie counting and strict portion control, and also provides complete nutrition for your overall health.

It’s important to find a weight loss strategy that is safe and works for you, and you should speak to your GP or diabetes team before making any changes to your diet.

I can now play with my grandchildren without worrying if I will get up off the floor. This experience has been life changing.”

Mike, East Yorkshire

How can I get started?

Contact your GP practice to see what services are available in your area, or find out more by visiting the NHS website.