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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is diabetes (type 2) a lifelong condition?

    I was recently diagnosed with diabetes… with regular exercise and a controlled diet, will my condition go away or will I have diabetes forever?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Dung Pham


    Dung is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who currently works in Community Health and Private Practice as a HACC/CH dietitian and Health Coach. She has also … View Profile

    Unfortunaltely  diabetes is a life long condition. It is a progressive condition and therefore over time you will need the help of medications and or insulin.

    We now know that at the time of diagnosis 50-80% of your beta cell function has been lost. What this means is that your bodies ability to produce insulin ( the hormone responsible for taking up glucose from your blood) is greatly impaired by the time you are diagnosed. If you think of the pancreas as a machine over time with age and use it becomes weaker and weaker. At this stage in addition to regular exercise and diet you will need medical management.

    For some people who lose significant weight their bodies appear to no longer have diabetes. However this is considered more as a remission stage and symptoms and biological markers will return upon the increase in weight.

     There are many people who can control their diabetes and minimise the complications that comes with it

  • 1




    Eric Rosario

    Exercise Physiologist

    Master of Applied Science by Research into the Effects of Strength Training on Postmenopausal women. I have been involved in strength training for 67 years … View Profile

    As Dung Pham has said a significant loss of fat can give the appearance of curing Diabetes. However, like Alcoholism, if you revert to the original problem. Notice I have said “Significant loss of fat”not loss of weight. 
    As I have said in another post increased muscle mass has a twofold effect on diabetes; it increases insulin sensitivity and raises the Basal Metabolic Rate which in turn reduces fat. 
    It should be pointed out that, since muscle weighs more than fat, an increase in muscle mass can result in increased weight on the scales. 
    I am not sure whether Dung is talking about Type i or 2 diabetes. I have known Octogenarians who have combated Type 11 diabetes with lifestyle  and have not needed to resort to medication.

  • 1


    Natalie Wischer

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator

    I concur with the wise words of Eric. I have seen many people who have lost fat and worked on maintaining or building muscle mass who have come off insulin and other diabetes medication.

    However this is only possible for people with type 2 diabetes, not type 1. But also, as Eric points out, diabetes will always be sitting and waiting like a cancer, to come out of remission, if fat mass is increased and muscle mass lost. 

    The moral of the story is that any positive changes are made, they have to be maintained for the long term. This requires dedication and lifestyle habit changes and includes a team of supportive people around you. 

    Who is in your support team?

  • Eric Rosario

    Exercise Physiologist

    Master of Applied Science by Research into the Effects of Strength Training on Postmenopausal women. I have been involved in strength training for 67 years … View Profile

    Thanks for your kind words Natalie. Whether you resort to medication or lifestyle to reverse the problem it has to be maintained for the rest of your life. I notice I have said I had been exercising for 67 years. That must have been at least 3 yrs ago, I have now been training for 70 yrs and I am nearly 85 yrs old

  • Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been … View Profile

    You may find this lecture by Jason Fung of interest - he explains why diabtes doesn't need to be chronic and progressive...

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