My Glucose is in Range. Am I Cured?
“I have checked my blood glucose several times in the last few weeks. The results have been close to 4.4 mmol/L80 mg/dL. I think I am cured! Maybe I can stop taking my medications.”
Surely, if you are a member of the diabetes online community, you have read this type of post more than once. It is true, we all want a cure, and more interestingly, we want it now. But is that possible? Let’s talk about it.
Some people with type 2 diabetes are diagnosed when they have already lived with this life condition for many years. Today it is known that type 2 diabetes is multifactorial, this means that it appears due to different causes “or factors” and it is known that many times, genetics and race, which are also factors that cannot be prevented or modified, play a very important role for it to appear.
After diagnosis, different tests will be carried out, some to check on the status of the body’s general health and others to see how much and how effective the insulin that is being produced is (if it is still being produced).
In some cases, insulin is being produced and the treatment may consist of a nutrition plan to promote weight loss (if there is a need to lose weight) and exercise, in other cases, oral medications will be prescribed and, in others, insulin may be prescribed too.
Regardless of the type of treatment you get, you have at least one common goal: to regulate or manage blood glucose levels. This means keeping your blood glucose (or sugar) concentration within the ranges that have been defined with your health professionals as health goals.
Done, I followed my treatment, and my blood glucose is already in range. Am I Cured?
Well, it is not as simple as giving a yes or no answer. So far, it is known that there is no cure for any type of diabetes. However, remission from type 2 diabetes does happen. This is a very controversial topic.
As you surely read in the article we published about this topic, there are two types of remission:
- Partial: when A1c levels are reduced to less than 6.5 percent and fasting blood glucose is between 5.5 mmol/L100 mg/dL and 6.9 mmol/L125 mg/dL without medication.
- Total: with an A1c lower than 5.7 percent without medication and fasting blood glucose lower than 5.5 mmol/L100 mg/dL.
But is it the same as being cured?
No, remission almost always occurs in the early stages of type 2 diabetes and is almost always accompanied by weight loss either through an eating plan or bariatric surgery.
But I have noticed that since taking my medications and following my diet I no longer have those elevations, I think I can stop taking it.
Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes healthy eating, exercise and medications. The type of diet and exercise will depend on many things, but it will also depend on you and your tastes and preferences.
Following a healthy eating plan will lead to weight loss if you need to lose some and you will feel better. The same will happen with exercise.
If your blood glucose levels are in a healthy range with exercise, a balanced diet and the medications you take now, it means that the treatment is appropriate! If what you are doing is working, keep doing it.
Do not despair, many times you have to make many adjustments and even change medications before finding what is ideal for you .
The good news is that although this life condition does not have a cure yet, you can put it on pause and have a much better quality of life; and having treatment, although it is certainly not a cure, can help you live very well and achieve your dreams and plans without diabetes being an impediment.
Some final advice
Eat the way your body needs you to eat. The word diet often makes you think of boring foods. However, there are ways to follow eating plans that will have less impact on your blood glucose levels and obviously there is a way to make these dishes something delicious that you can afford.
The DiRECT study from the University of Newcastle, for example, showed that low carbohydrate eating plans can be very beneficial for the management of type 2 diabetes. Even though it is known that not all diet plans are for everyone, this is an option that you may want to discuss with your team of health professionals.
Nourish yourself not only with what is on your plate. Nutrition goes beyond what is on your plate. Nourishing your body means more than watching what you eat, it also means taking care of your relationship with your surroundings, taking care of your emotional health, your career, your physical activity and of course your spirituality.
Let’s not forget that taking care of a life condition like type 2 diabetes will also require to take care of ourselves in other ways.
Take care of yourself
Celebrate your achievements. So, if you have been waking up for a long time with your blood glucose in an adequate range, approach your team of healthcare professionals to make adjustments little by little. Celebrate the fact that you are managing your living condition well and if your blood glucose is still not in an adequate range, also celebrate the opportunities that are presented to you to try again.