Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

What you need to know to reverse your type 2 diabetes.

If you, or someone you love, has been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, then you have come to the right place. This guide will provide you with answers and clarity to help naturally reverse type 2 diabetes!

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Once diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a person will always have type 2 diabetes. Almost 50% of the people living in the United States have either type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. If you have prediabetes, you have higher than normal blood sugar levels and will likely develop type 2 diabetes if you do not make lifestyle changes. By making lifestyle changes, you can avoid developing type 2 diabetes, a permanent disease.

Male patient sitting at table with doctor discussing diabetesFor many years, type 2 diabetes was thought to result from eating unhealthy foods and not exercising. While a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle can play a significant role in developing type 2 diabetes, these risk factors aren’t the primary cause. Research has shown a strong genetic component to type 2 diabetes. Sugar and highly processed simple carbohydrates also play a role. Other factors that elevate blood sugar levels are poor sleep and stress.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is the root cause of type 2 diabetes. Usually, people with type 2 diabetes make plenty of insulin; their bodies just cannot use insulin properly. Unless insulin resistance is addressed, type 2 diabetes will progress, and the disease and complications from the disease will worsen.

A person may be initially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but actually have what is known as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA or also sometimes called type 1.5 diabetes). If you have been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and are between the ages of 20-40, we recommend having your blood tested for pancreatic antibodies to help rule out LADA diabetes. LADA is a form of type 1 diabetes and can be fatal if not diagnosed properly, so it is worth having an extra blood draw to validate your diagnosis. Learn more about LADA diabetes.

Reversing vs. Managing Type 2 Diabetes

Some diabetes organizations use the terms reversing and managing interchangeably, but they are not the same when it comes to type 2 diabetes. So let’s look at the two different ideas and dive into what it takes to reverse type 2 diabetes naturally.

Managing Type 2 Diabetes

Managing type 2 diabetes means you are able to control your blood sugar levels using one or more diabetes medications, often including insulin. Your average blood sugar is usually in the diabetic range (above 126mg/dL). Because managing type 2 diabetes relies heavily on medication usage, there is a lot of money to be made by companies selling medications. Although this can be very lucrative for certain health professionals and businesses, you, as the patient, have nothing to gain and everything to lose with this approach. This approach can be costly financially and costly to your health.

Diabetes medications including pills, insulin and syringes

One problem with taking medications is that you aren’t treating the cause of type 2 diabetes but rather delaying and ensuring an undesired and preventable outcome. Medications do not address or remedy insulin resistance. By not addressing the root cause of diabetes (insulin resistance), you are simply putting a bandaid on the disease. A person with prediabetes taking medicine will most likely develop type 2 diabetes, which is entirely avoidable with some lifestyle changes.

If you have type 2 diabetes, some medicines can hinder you from making positive gains in bringing your blood sugar levels down.

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Reversing type 2 diabetes consists of making healthy natural lifestyle changes to get your blood sugar into a normal range. Reversing diabetes focuses on treating the root cause: insulin resistance. By improving your insulin sensitivity, your body can better use the insulin it creates, and your blood sugar levels will naturally lower. 

The end goal of reversing type 2 diabetes is that you aren’t taking any medications and can maintain a healthy blood sugar level. By reversing this disease, health complications will be significantly less likely to happen.  Once diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you will always have it as there is no cure.

Why Should You Want To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes can lead to tragic outcomes and complications. Some complications include blindness, kidney transplant, amputations, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, infections, severe skin conditions, erectile dysfunction, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Allowing your blood sugar to remain high for extended periods can lead to any of these complications. Therefore, it is critical you do everything you can to reverse type 2 diabetes.

Other benefits of reversing type 2 diabetes include eating a nutritious diet, having a more active lifestyle, developing better sleep, reducing stress, and becoming healthier overall.

How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes


Diet is the first area of change we recommend. Your diet has the most significant impact on your blood sugar and the progression of type 2 diabetes. Obese people are up to 80 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Total Diabetes Wellness recommends eating a low-carb, high-fat diet.

Flat lay of healthy low-carb, high-fat foodsHere are the reasons we recommend a low-carb, high-fat diet:

  • Backed by scientific research
  • Easy diet to maintain long term
  • Feel full and satiated after meals
  • Meals are flavorful
  • Family & kid-friendly
  • Less prep time for meals compared to other diets

Your first step is to change the way you look at food and change the food you eat. Once you implement a healthy diet, you will likely notice a significant improvement to your blood sugar levels within just a couple of weeks.

The average person consumes 200 to 300 grams of carbohydrates each day, sometimes much more. Although different low-carb diets recommend different amounts of carbohydrates, Total Diabetes Wellness defines low-carb as anything below 100 net grams of carbs per day. Net carbs are calculated by taking total carbs and subtracting grams of fiber.

Healthy fat is an essential part of a low-carb, high-fat diet. Fat keeps you full and also does not have a negative impact on your blood sugar. Protein generally has a mild to no effect on blood sugar. Browse through our recipes to find low-carb, diabetes friendly meals that are delicious and don’t taste like typical ‘diet food.’

Please read our diet guide if you want to learn more about diet and diabetes.


Sleep is the second area of change we recommend. Too much sleep or not enough sleep can increase your blood sugar. Sleep is an essential part of your body’s healing process. Lack of sleep causes your body to produce cortisol, which causes blood sugar levels to elevate. Elevated blood sugar leads to weight gain and makes your cells more resistant to insulin.

Many people with type 2 diabetes experience poor sleep and sometimes experience insomnia. Much of this is due to elevated blood sugar levels and can cause fatigue throughout the day. As one might imagine, it is very important to gain control of this cyclic problem before it spirals out of hand.

Close up of African American woman asleep on a bed with white linensSome suggestions to help get better sleep are:

  • Create a restful environment
  • Watch what you eat, drink, and do before bed
  • Find a comfortable sleeping position
  • Participate in daily physical activities
  • Reduce your stress
  • Limit daytime naps
  • Take supplements (if needed)
  • Recognize sleep disorders (see a doctor)

Please read our sleep guide if you want to learn more about sleep and diabetes.


Exercise is the third area of change we recommend. It is important to lower your blood sugar before exercising. Do not exercise if your blood sugar is below 90 or over 200. Blood sugar too high or too low can be very dangerous when exercising and should be avoided.

Exercise can focus on many different facets, such as flexibility, mobility, stability, core, strength, and movement. For people with diabetes, balance and flexibility are very important areas of concern. To get started, Total Diabetes Wellness recommends that you focus on movement. Tracking steps is a great beginning point for exercise. The end goal is walking 10,000 steps in your day.

View of man and woman walking on a trail from behind
Consider doing the following:

  • Use a pedometer or fitness watch to determine your current daily step count.
  • Work on getting to 5,000 steps as quickly as possible. However, if you are very obese, elderly, or have other health concerns, please take your time to get to the 5,000 goal. There are approximately 2,000 steps per mile for the average adult.
  • Work on increasing your spontaneous physical activity (SPA). SPA includes taking the stairs instead of the escalator, standing up and walking after sitting for 30 minutes, doing housework, gardening, and washing your car by hand. All of the little bits of extra movement throughout the day add up to a lot and will help you reach your step goal.
  • Gradually work on reaching 10,000 steps per day (approximately 5 miles).

Once a daily movement routine is established, flexibility, mobility, and stability become important focus areas. Flexibility helps create a greater range of motion and reduces injury. Mobility allows movement, especially joints. Joint pain is one of the leading causes that a person sees a physical therapist. Stability is perhaps the most important area of focus because people with diabetes can experience nerve damage and are, therefore, at a higher risk of falling. Strength is another area that can help improve your overall wellness.

Please read our exercise guide if you want to learn more about exercise and diabetes.


Stress is the fourth and final area of change we recommend. Stress not only affects the onset of diabetes but can worsen the disease. Long periods of stress cause your hormone levels to elevate. Elevated hormone levels compound the effects of increased blood sugar levels. Stress also impacts fat storage and fat cells, leading to weight gain.

Stress management concept and reversing diabetesBesides the direct effects stress can cause, there are many side effects stress causes. For example, a person can often develop unhealthy eating and snacking habits to help deal with stress. For some individuals, stress can lead to drinking and smoking. Poor sleep and lack of exercise are also side effects of stress for some people.

Although you can’t control what happens to you and around you, you do have the ability to control how you respond and deal with those stressors.

Please read our stress guide if you want to learn more about stress and diabetes.

Other Factors

Other factors can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. Although this is an area you can’t change, you should understand how certain events affect your body. Other factors include getting sick (i.e., the flu), menstruation, medications (i.e., illness-fighting medications, supplements, vitamins, etc.), injuries, and poor dental health. In addition, unhealthy gums can increase blood sugar and result in prolonged periods of high blood sugar levels.

Other Alternatives to Help Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Bariatric surgery is a surgical method that may help to reverse diabetes. As mentioned, obesity is the number one correlation between a person and diabetes. If a person is obese, bariatric surgery may be an option for them. Surgery is potentially an option for someone with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 35 or higher. It is important to note that all surgeries pose a risk.View of two doctors performing gastric bypass surgeryMany people with type 2 diabetes find fasting helps control their blood sugar. Although fasting has nothing to do with what you eat, it impacts blood sugar by determining when you eat. Assuming a healthy diet is in place, fasting is another step a person can take to help lower their blood sugar. However, do NOT start fasting without talking to your doctor, especially if you are taking medications.

However, do NOT start fasting without talking to your doctor first, especially if you are taking medications.

Please read our fasting guide if you want to learn more about fasting and diabetes.

Can You Reverse Other Types of Diabetes?

No. When it comes to reversing diabetes, there are three different categories of diabetes.

  1. Prediabetes – Not permanent and can be eliminated using the same process for reversing type 2 diabetes. The key here is to take immediate action to avoid prediabetes turning into type 2 diabetes which is permanent.
  2. Gestational Diabetes – Not permanent and typically goes away after the baby is born. It is important to note that a person who experiences gestational diabetes is at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in their life.
  3. Type 2 diabetes – Can be reversed but not cured. The consequences of not taking type 2 diabetes seriously can be fatal.
  4. All other diabetes (type 1 diabetes, latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), and other rare forms of diabetes) – Cannot be reversed or cured; these are autoimmune or genetic diseases. It is important to note that implementing the same strategies outlined for reversing type 2 diabetes can make your blood sugar more stable and decrease insulin needs for some people. For this reason, Total Diabetes Wellness recommends that people with type 1 diabetes or LADA implement a healthy diet while working on their sleep and stress. We also recommend working on creating an active lifestyle.

Common Mistakes

Doing nothing.

Take control of this situation, as you are the only person that can prevent the complications and severe outcomes of diabetes. Doing nothing will lead to grave and irreversible consequences.

Trying to do too much too fast.

There is a lot to learn and a lot to do. So pace yourself, and don’t expect a quick fix. For example, you didn’t gain 50 pounds in 2 weeks, so don’t expect to lose it in two weeks. The same is true for your blood sugar levels.

Having a focused vision.

Although diet is the main priority, it is equally important to realize that other problems such as sleep, stress, and lack of exercise can negatively impact your blood sugar levels. Be sure to work on all aspects of your life to reverse type 2 diabetes.

Being quick to use medications.

Medications can have long-lasting impacts and not necessarily positive impacts. If your doctor is trying to give you medications for type 2 diabetes, ask your doctor if they will provide you with 30 days to lower your blood sugar levels naturally without medications. After these 30 days, you and your doctor can evaluate your progress and determine the best course of action and treatment.

Trying to find 100% carb-free foods and recipes.

Don’t search for carb-free recipes. Even broccoli has carbohydrates. Not all carbohydrates are bad.

No backup plan.

It is important to have a backup plan when traveling, visiting people, or just day-to-day activities. Since not everything goes according to plan, having healthy options on hand is important to help ensure success.

Expecting change to be easy.

Expect bad days. This won’t be easy. Your body will struggle. Embrace the journey and know that each day doing your best is all that can be expected. Do as much as you can safely do and know that this will be good enough.

Treating yourself.

When celebrating your birthday or visiting family for the holidays, it is better to cook or bring a healthy dessert with you than to eat something processed and incredibly high in sugar and carbohydrates. Don’t overdo it. If you are going to eat something unhealthy, try to have a small serving size.

The Bottom Line

If recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, please know that you are not alone. It is critical that you embrace your life’s new direction and strive to educate yourself, and create new healthy habits. Remember, choosing not to do anything can lead to tragic outcomes requiring life-changing actions, such as blindness, kidney transplant, amputations, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, infections, severe skin conditions, erectile dysfunctions, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Middle age African American man walking in a park

Check out our free Diabetes Wellness Plan to start reversing your type 2 diabetes today!