It may be possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. However, the length of time to achieve this can vary. A person may be able to restore healthy blood sugar levels within a week, but remission can take months.

Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are too high. Typically, this occurs due to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas produces to help transfer glucose from the food a person eats into the cells for energy.

When a person has T2DM, the body often cannot use insulin effectively. This can result in a lack of glucose entering the cells and too much glucose remaining in the bloodstream. High blood sugar levels can lead to other health conditions, such as heart disease, gum disease, and nerve damage.

A person may be able to reverse T2DM using several methods, including a low calorie diet or bariatric weight loss surgery. Within time, a person may be able to achieve T2DM remission.

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Some health experts may not use the term “reversal” in reference to T2DM. This is because it may sound permanent. However, there is no guarantee that a person will not develop T2DM again. Instead, health professionals may refer to putting T2DM into “remission.”

A 2022 paper notes that reversal from T2DM can be defined as when blood sugar levels return to healthy levels. Remission from T2DM is when a person maintains regular blood sugar levels for at least 3 months without medication. The time it may take to reverse T2DM or enter remission may vary, depending on the methods a person uses.

Research from 2021 indicates that following a low calorie or very low calorie diet (VLCD) may help restore blood sugar levels to healthy target ranges very quickly, potentially within several days.

Similarly, a 2022 study indicates that an intermittent calorie-restricted diet can help those with T2DM achieve remission. The study notes that more than half the individuals experienced diabetes remission, discontinued diabetes medication, and maintained it for at least 1 year. However, it is important to note that this diet included prepared meal kits.

A 2019 study suggests that if a person follows a very low calorie diet of approximately 400 to 800 calories per day, T2DM reversal may be possible for approximately 79% of people within 8 to 12 weeks. A 2019 review suggests that if a person follows a low calorie diet of approximately 900 calories per day, the average time it would take to no longer require insulin medication is 6.5 days.

The same review suggests that bariatric weight loss surgery can effectively reverse T2DM in approximately 80% of people. Following surgery, a person may experience a reduction in blood sugar levels within hours or days. A 2017 study suggests that approximately 51% of people will still be in remission from T2DM 12 years after undergoing bariatric weight loss surgery.

However, it is worth noting that the duration to achieve healthy blood sugar levels and potentially enter T2DM remission will vary among individuals. It is also essential that a person manages their condition under the guidance of a healthcare professional and maintains healthful lifestyle changes to help keep blood sugar levels within target ranges.

Additionally, it is important to note that a VLCD may not be suitable for everyone. Often, a doctor may advise a VLCD for those with morbid obesity who are resistant to standard treatments and require medically justified weight loss. A person should only follow a VLCD under medical guidance, as it can have dangerous health complications.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), weight loss and calorie restriction may help a person achieve T2DM remission.

Some of the most effective ways to achieve T2DM remission can include:

  • undergoing bariatric weight loss surgery
  • following a low carbohydrate diet
  • following a VLCD
  • getting regular exercise
  • taking certain medications to increase insulin and reduce blood sugar levels

As well as following a low carb or low calorie dietary plan, the types of food a person consumes can also help achieve type 2 diabetes remission. For example, some evidence notes that following a plant-based eating pattern can help improve insulin sensitivity.

Diabetes is a condition that causes high blood sugar levels. This is often due to issues with insulin, a hormone that helps transfer glucose to the cells for energy.


Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the body mistakenly attacks healthy cells. When a person has T1DM, the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas, preventing it from making insulin. The lack of insulin prevents glucose from entering the cells, causing blood sugar levels to rise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), T1DM may be due be certain genes a person may inherit or environmental factors, such as a virus, that may trigger the condition.

A 2021 review notes that it is not currently possible to reverse T1DM or for a person to enter remission. However, research and clinical trials are ongoing. A person with T1DM cannot produce insulin and, therefore, needs insulin therapy every day.


T2DM is often due to insulin resistance. This is when the cells in the body do not respond as they should to insulin. At first, the body overcompensates by making more insulin to encourage the cells to respond. However, over time, the amount of insulin the body produces steadily reduces, which leads to a buildup of glucose in the blood.

A 2023 article suggests that approximately 90% of people with diabetes have T2DM. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a person is more likely to develop T2DM if they have overweight or obesity or are not physically active. Other causes of T2DM can include a family history of the condition or inheriting certain genes.

A 2022 review suggests that it may be possible for a person to maintain reversal from T2DM in the long term. However, this will depend on whether a person can be consistent with the methods they are using to help keep T2DM in remission.

A 2019 narrative review suggests a person cannot rule out the possibility of reoccurrence of T2DM. Therefore, there is currently no permanent cure for T2DM that experts recognize.

More research is necessary to determine whether T2DM will ever be fully reversible.

T2DM is a condition where the body cannot effectively use the hormone insulin. This results in a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream, causing high blood sugar levels. It may be possible for a person to reverse T2DM and enter remission using methods such as a low calorie diet or bariatric weight loss surgery.

The time it may take to reverse T2DM can vary depending on the method. Some people may be able to reverse T2DM as quickly as 1 week, but remission takes longer. A person needs to sustain healthy blood sugar levels without medication for at least 3 months before they are officially in remission from T2DM.