What is remission?
You may already know a lot about type 2 diabetes – but did you know it can be put into remission or paused? There’s hope. Find out how this can happen.
Imagine at your next appointment your doctor or nurse says they’re stopping your diabetes medication, not increasing it again. It can happen – and does.
Although it’s not possible to cure your diabetes, thousands of people in the UK are becoming part of a quiet revolution and achieving remission from their type 2 diabetes.
What is remission of diabetes?
If you have type 2 diabetes, remission means you can bring your blood glucose back to healthy levels* without taking any diabetes medication. This can have a dramatic impact not just on your diabetes but on your wider health and wellbeing.
Losing weight can help get your diabetes into remission. You’ll need to lose about 8-12kg in order to have the best chance of achieving remission.
We strongly recommend that you speak to your health team before following any of these approaches, particularly if you are on insulin, sulphonylureas (such as gliclazide) or SGLT-2 medication (drug names ending in gliflozin), or have complications such as heart or kidney problems.
*Remission is when your HbA1c is less than 48mmol/mol on 2 occasions, at least 6 months apart when you are not taking any diabetes medicines.
The DiRECT study
The strongest scientific evidence on the impact of low calorie diets on diabetes remission comes from the groundbreaking DiRECT study, which was published in 2017. Nearly half the people who followed an 825 calories a day formula diet achieved remission, and over three quarters were successful in stopping their medication. What's amazing is that almost 9 out of 10 people who lost more than 15kg were in remission at one year.
Getting your body to work properly again
Many people with type 2 diabetes have increased weight around their stomach. This stops organs such as the pancreas and liver from working properly, which can lead to diabetes. Losing weight allows these organs to work more effectively again.
Significant weight loss removes harmful fat from the liver and pancreas which research suggests is linked to remission.
What is remission from type 2 diabetes?