Can Losing Weight Reverse My Type 2 Diabetes?

Mar 05, 2024
Can Losing Weight Reverse My Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes doesn’t have a cure, but remission is possible. Losing weight is your first step toward your best possible diabetes outcome. Keep reading to learn more. 

Ask any doctor how to manage your Type 2 diabetes, and most will say weight loss as one of their first answers. 

If you’re overweight, managing your weight can go a long way in helping manage your diabetes. In some cases, diabetes remission is possible through healthy weight loss. 

Even if you don’t go into remission, weight loss can reduce your need for medications for managing Type 2 diabetes. Primary care physician Kelly DiStefano, MD, can support you with a goal-oriented diabetes management plan at Montclair Concierge Medicine in Verona, New Jersey. 

Understanding Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition associated with insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that transfers glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream into your cells, which use the sugar as energy. 

When your body resists insulin, glucose builds up in your bloodstream and damages your organs and tissues. This is the underlying cause of the many common complications of diabetes, including:

  • Neuropathy
  • Vision loss
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetic ulcers 

Type 2 diabetes is more common than Type 1 diabetes — an autoimmune disease that prevents your pancreas from producing insulin altogether. Type 1 can’t go into remission even with substantial weight loss. 

How weight loss can help

If you’re overweight, your body struggles to use insulin efficiently. Visceral fat around organs, especially your liver, prevents insulin from delivering glucose into your cells. 

By reducing your body fat, you help your body use insulin more efficiently. The insulin removes glucose from your bloodstream and empowers your cells to use the sugar as energy. 

You’ll have the best possible chances of achieving Type 2 diabetes remission if you focus on weight management after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Losing just 10-15% of your body weight within two years of your diagnosis is enough to achieve remission. While weight loss still benefits your health in later stages, you’re less likely to go into remission.

Where to start with weight loss

At Montclair Concierge Medicine, Dr. DiStefano supports your weight loss for diabetes management with an individualized medically supervised weight loss program. Weight loss services are included within your concierge membership, along with other primary care

Based on your personal needs, Dr. DiStefano recommends the following strategies for medical weight loss: 

Nutritional counseling and meal plans

Dr. DiStefano can help you follow and adapt to a diabetes-friendly diet full of the nutrients you need. Typical recommendations include lowering calories and eating plenty of whole grains, fruits, and veggies. 

Daily exercise

Exercising daily within your ability helps you burn more calories to reach your weight loss goals. Exercise makes your body more sensitive to insulin so you can process blood sugar more efficiently and avoid diabetes complications. Aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. 

Prescription medications

Prescription medications, like semaglutide, can help manage your diabetes and lose weight. Not everyone is a good candidate for semaglutide or comparable medications, but using them for Type 2 diabetes management or weight reduction can reduce cardiovascular health risks.

Can my diabetes come back if I regain the weight?

If you lose weight and go into remission from Type 2 diabetes, it’s important to keep the weight off by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, diabetes can return. Dr. DiStefano continues to monitor your blood glucose to check for signs of diabetes relapse. 

Maintaining a lower weight and staying in remission is challenging, but individualized weight management can help you maintain remission and balance your glucose levels long-term. 

If you’re ready to commit to healthy habits for weight management and diabetes control, call Montclair Concierge Medicine today.