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Pearlyn Hong
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from Singapore asked a question

How to reverse or prevent diabetes?

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Endocrinology Health & Fitness
I suspect that I have diabetes. I would like to find out whether it is possible to reverse diabetes (if I do have it), or whether it is possible to prevent diabetes in the first place. Thank you!
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

Dear Pearlyn,

Diabetes mellitus is medical condition that causes blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise higher than normal in the body. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

In a normal individual, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin which allow the cells to take up and use glucose from the bloodstream.

When the pancreas makes less than normal amount of insulin, blood glucose level will increase more than normal.

When a person has type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. Being overweight increases insulin resistance in the body. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it will not be able to keep up and insulin production will drop, resulting in high blood glucose levels.

When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells, the cells may be starved for energy. Over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart. 

If you have symptoms such as:

  • increased thirst and frequent urination
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • blurred vision, or
  • slow-healing wounds

you should get a blood test done to check if you have diabetes. 

Prediabetes is the condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.

It can lead to type 2 diabetes if nothing is done. If you have prediabetes, adopting a healthier diet, having regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can reverse prediabetes as well as reduce the risk of you developing type 2 diabetes.

There is unfortunately no cure for type 2 diabetes at the moment. But individuals with type 2 diabetes can manage the condition by eating well, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and taking medications.

Some people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose with just healthy eating and exercising regularly alone. However, type 2 diabetes usually gets worse over time – even if medications are not needed at first, the affected person may need them later on.

Consult Doctor
0 174 views 0 Doctors agree 12 Nov 2018

Dear Pearlyn,

Great question and very pertinent given the current fight against diabetes.

While I won’t repeat Dr Abel’s advice, I would suggest EXERCISE and WEIGHT LOSS.  In patients with early type II diabetes, these have been found to help with control and progression of the diesease and in some cases it can lead to patients not needing medication.  Of course this needs to be combined with sensible eating and monitoring.

Perhaps seeing someone to help you with this would be good, particularly if you haven’t developed type II diabetes.

Hope this helps.

Bw

Dr Dinesh

Consult Doctor
0 67 views 0 Doctors agree 29 Nov 2018
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