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Is There a Diabetes Cure?

By Katharine Swan
Updated: Feb 23, 2024

Because there are two very different types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, there cannot be said that there is a universal diabetes cure. Type 2 diabetes can be cured or at least dramatically improved with significant lifestyle changes, but currently there is no cure for type 1 diabetes that is available to the public.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when a person's body becomes resistant to the insulin it produces. Although these people typically have more insulin in their bodies than would normally be needed, their bodies cannot use it efficiently in order to process sugars as energy. This condition is typically treated with drugs to resensitize the body to its own insulin.

However, because insulin resistance is often related to lifestyle factors such as obesity, poor diet, and lack of exercise, type 2 diabetes can be controlled or even completely reversed if the diabetic is willing to change their lifestyle. Losing weight, adhering to a more healthful diet, and exercising regularly act as an important potential diabetes cure for type 2 diabetes if the changes are followed conscientiously.

Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is a condition where the person's insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, or islet cells, have been destroyed, making it impossible for the diabetic to make their own insulin. The body's own immune system destroys these cells, in what is known as an autoimmune response. The trigger for this autoimmune response is not known, but the predisposition to having it happen is genetic — in other words, for a person who has the genetic predisposition, it is a question of when, and not if, they will become diabetic.

Because of this autoimmune response, a pancreas transplant is not a permanent diabetes cure. Currently, researchers are studying methods of transplanting islet cells into diabetics via the bloodstream, but these studies show that eventually the transplanted islet cells are destroyed and the person becomes insulin-dependent again. Although medications can suppress the immune system and prevent this from happening, islet cell transplants do not really constitute a diabetes cure by themselves. In studies that have been done on islet cell transplants, even with medication less than a quarter of transplants lasted for more than three years.

Before a complete and permanent type 1 diabetes cure can be realized, doctors will need to be able to stop the autoimmune response. Researchers are currently working on vaccines to stop the autoimmune response, but so far nothing has been made available to the public.

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Discussion Comments
By amypollick — On Sep 27, 2012

@anon293680: Changing your lifestyle is *everything.* And yes, if you get to it now, you can certainly reduce, if not reverse the symptoms you're experiencing.

I suggest you attend a diabetes education/lifestyle class so you can get a good foundation on how to live with this condition. You can live with it and you can have a great life. Good luck!

By anon293680 — On Sep 27, 2012

I have newly discovered that my glucose level is at 213mg/dl. and was told that it is above normal ranges. Can lifestyle changes help me reverse the condition? Recently I have dropped 10 kg and the excessive urination has reduced, although the polydipsia is going slowly.

By anon272411 — On Jun 01, 2012

when will the permanent cure will come for diabetes

By siva99 — On Jun 01, 2012

Scientists have been doing research on this for a long time, but there is no result. Insulin was introduced in 1922, but after that, there has no significant progress in diabetes research. God save people.

By turquoise — On Jan 18, 2012

@alisha-- I have heard about many different diabetes natural cures. Okra, maca and ginseng are said to be very beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar for example.

People say that taking ginseng and maca supplements helps them control their blood sugar better and that it prevents sudden rises and falls.

The same is said for okra. I remember a blogger who claimed to reverse her diabetes by using okra. Apparently she would cut fresh okra and leave it in a glass of water overnight and drink it first thing in the morning. She did this every day for six months and it cured her diabetes.

I don't know if there is any truth to these claims. I'm sure it's not good enough to replace insulin or diabetes medication altogether. But who knows? Maybe it's an important step in the right direction.

Has anyone used any herbal remedies and could say that it is curing their diabetes?

By SteamLouis — On Jan 18, 2012

@alisha-- I think that there is a cure, we just haven't found it yet.

For several years now, I've been hearing from doctors online and on TV that type 1 diabetes is triggered by viruses. Doctors have been studying children who have died from type 1 diabetes and have found viruses in their pancreas.

I think studies are continuing on this but if this is true, we might be able to make vaccinations or antiviral drugs to fight these viruses which could potentially cure type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, in my opinion, is caused by obesity. And I do have a friend who became diabetic for a short period of time due to obesity and who was able to reverse it by losing weight. Everyone knows that weight increases insulin tolerance. So the cure for type 2 diabetes is probably being at a healthy weight.

By discographer — On Jan 17, 2012

I don't think that there is a type 1 or type 2 diabetes cure. My mom has type 2 diabetes and since her diagnosis, she has done everything possible to try to reverse it to no avail. Type 2 diabetes is also genetic like type 1 diabetes, so how could one be cured and not the other?

The only cure might be preventing it in the first place. If someone who is genetically inclined to type 2 diabetes follows a diabetic diet and lifestyle their whole life, they could prevent or at least delay diabetes for a long time.

I could be wrong but I think that if diabetes has already developed, it's not possible to get rid of it. What do you think?

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