Can can type 2 diabetes be reversed? Is it possible to ignore it and just press on with no lifestyle changes?
Many people with diabetes probably hold onto some form of this dream or fantasy in the beginning. You may be sitting at the kitchen table trying to process the pile of materials in front of you and the 50 definitions and food exchange recommendations that you’ve recently been taught… feeling overwhelmed and HOPING the phone rings with a message that there was a mistake at the doctor’s office and one of their OTHER patients actually has diabetes. “Please let it be a mistake,” you think.
It wasn’t a mistake, but you’re actually fine. You’re going to be fine, even if it doesn’t feel like it now. That fantasy probably will not come true—your diagnosis is your diagnosis. Unlike a case of bronchitis, your diabetes will never totally go away. Your diabetes will be with you for a long time, but you can keep it under control. That’s the good thing: you don’t have to let it take over your life.
You can take control.
A good thing? What in the heck does THAT mean?
Well, if the diagnosis you received from your doctor (along with your choice to take ownership of your disease management… and support from this program & community) results in you feeling better and more energetic next year than last year, and if it prompts you to renew some relationships and prevent diabetes complications like kidney dialysis and vision problems, then that is a good thing. Actually, that is a GREAT thing! Nobody wants terrible complications and hospital visits. Let’s keep you out of that uncomfortable white gown they force you to wear!
This is not a punishment but an opportunity. You have a few goals, you have a team ready to work alongside you, and you will have a “you-friendly” plan to help you reach your goals. We are catering your plan so that it fits you, unlike those factory-created, plastic-tasting frozen diet meals.
Can type 2 diabetes be reversed?
Of course you want it all to go away right now. That is normal and healthy thinking. You need to take time to mourn and be angry. Punch a pillow. Shout it from the rooftops. Drink soothing tea, take a bubble bath. Do whatever you need to do to release the tension you must be feeling. Take the time that YOU need to feel the way you feel. But, in the meantime, your diagnosis and your support team will remain in place, waiting for you. When you’re ready to take one simple step forward, your care team will be there to take that step with you.
We will keep it simple. One small goal for the next 3 hours. Hit that small simple target. Celebrate. Don’t worry about the next target or the next day. They will come in time. One small step at a time is how you will win, how you’ll change your life. Many people feel perfectly healthy once they’ve gotten their blood glucose levels under control! Just like new. You will become an expert, and the climb from novice to expert won’t be as steep or difficult as you may think.
As difficult as it can be to accept a diagnosis of a chronic disease, you will be able to control it by completing one small task in the next few hours. There’s just no need to worry about next Tuesday’s tasks yet. Adopt that mindset as soon as possible: be here now.
People with diabetes will tell you, “I went through phases of being unable to imagine giving up my favorite foods, or feeling cheated that certain foods would be taken from me, or that I had a right to these foods and it was unfair for this disease to treat me this way, and sometimes I would feel a little like — ‘I’m strong… these high BG levels won’t hurt me…’”
But it is acceptance, not denial and recklessness, that leads to control. It is the first step toward feeling better, living with higher energy every afternoon and evening, and dramatically reducing the chance of nasty complications down the road. Acceptance EMPOWERS you. It allows you to dump all the unnecessary baggage… of pretending and blaming and resenting and wasting energy looking for miracle cures.
You know that diabetes is not your fault. It’s simply a bad break. You have what it takes to handle this and other obstacles.
You have a purpose and you may some day say,
“Yeah… I have type 2 diabetes. So what? — Don’t you understand that I have a lot of other important things that consume my attention? I do a few things to control my diabetes, and I move on. So what? — I know a friend who has another type of chronic disease. He does what he needs to do and he moves on. He has kids, and customers, and other important areas of his life that he is focused on. — His disease management steps do not define him. His daily menu does not define him. His relationships and his contributions define him.”
You will be able to tell your own story of adjustment and a new normal, as soon as you begin to accept where you are and what you need to do. Accepting that you have diabetes is the first step toward controlling it.
*** Thanks to Gretchen Becker, a very talented author and thriving person with type 2 diabetes who wrote the book, The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide… I pulled some inspiration from her book as I wrote this post.
Please consider buying her book on Amazon at: