Is it Possible to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally?

Alireza Zarrabi, M.D.

Type 2 diabetes is a significant problem. Over 37 million people live with diabetes in the US, and over 90% of them have type 2 diabetes. A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can be scary or overwhelming, but there is hope. Whether you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes (by measuring hemoglobin A1c level) or have been told you are at risk for developing diabetes, it is entirely possible to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes.

What is Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by chronically elevated blood sugar (or glucose) levels. When a person eats food that contains sugar, the body’s pancreas secretes a hormone that allows the cells in the body to use the sugar for energy. With type 2 diabetes, these cells do not properly respond to insulin – a condition called insulin resistance. The pancreas generates more insulin to try to get the cells to respond. Eventually, the pancreas cannot keep up, causing blood sugar levels to rise. When this cycle occurs repeatedly over time, the stage is set for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Eating too many refined carbohydrates can cause this cycle to repeat too much. When a person consumes too many refined carbs, insulin levels can be elevated for long periods of time, causing the cells to become resistant to insulin. One way to think of this is comparable to when a person repeatedly consumes alcohol over a long period of time. When the body becomes accustomed to drinking, more alcohol is needed to achieve the same effect that a single glass of wine once made you feel. This is how diabetes works. Your body needs more insulin to do the same thing. The problem lies in the fact that too much insulin damages the body.

The Damaging Effects of Raised Insulin Levels

When insulin levels are raised too much and too often, it can lead to raised blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, increased cholesterol, the growth of certain cancer cells, problematic changes in hormones and a significant increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The only way to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes or prediabetes is to address insulin resistance, which is the underlying cause. Addressing blood sugar levels without addressing insulin levels alone is essentially bandaging the problem without treating the root cause. The best way to do this is to stop eating foods that increase insulin production in addition to making lifestyle changes so your body can become sensitive to insulin again.

Tips for Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin levels in the blood are raised by carbohydrates. One macronutrient that can keep your insulin levels and blood sugar level stable is fat. To lower insulin levels, the amount of certain carbohydrates consumed needs to be reduced, such as refined carbohydrates like white pasta, bread, and rice. Many fruits are packed with carbohydrates too, so try to keep your intake to low-carb fruits such as berries (which help regulate blood sugar), rhubarb, peaches, watermelon, and blackberries.

Those bad carbs need to be replaced with natural, healthy fats, such as those found in:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds, such as almonds and flaxseed
  • Cold water fish, such as wild salmon, tuna, herring, and mackerel
  • Whole eggs
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Tips for Reversing the Effects of Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance

To get started back on the right track with blood sugar levels, here are some ways to start reversing (or preventing) the effects of type 2 diabetes as soon as possible:

  • Avoid refined carbohydrates. Limit whole-grain carbohydrates or avoid them altogether until you can speak with your doctor or nutritionist to better understand how much is safe for you.
  • Avoid ALL added sugar. When your body is already in a taxed state, struggling to process carbohydrates and sugar, it is imperative that you eliminate all sugars from your diet – at least for now.
  • Eat lots of healthy, natural fats. Don’t be afraid of them (they can actually help with weight loss!)
  • Avoid all sweet drinks – even juices. Enjoy water, tea, and coffee instead.
  • Include high-quality protein and fat with every meal to keep your blood sugars stable and promote satiety/fullness. This can help to eliminate the temptation to reach for something sweet after a meal.

Although diabetes is thought of as a chronic condition, it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes naturally. Reversing diabetes may not be possible for everybody. Even if it is possible for you, diabetes reversal treatment should be done under medical supervision. With the right treatment and support, it can even be done naturally without medication or surgery.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes and want to get on the right track to better health, reach out to Bay Medical and Wellness Center today to make an appointment with Dr. Zarrabi in order to get started on the path to better overall wellness.


This article was written by Ms. Courtney Cosby and edited by Dr. Alireza Zarrabi