Is it possible for someone with diabetes to be cured?

Patient

Q: Is diabetes curable? I was wondering if someone has it, does it mean they have it for life?

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. It depends on the type of diabetes one has and for how well they treat themselves when diagnosed. For example, if a person is diagnosed with non-insulin dependent type 2 diabetes, and are prescribed diet and exercise to maintain healthy blood glucose levels, it is possible that one can overcome insulin insensitivity, and be technically cured from diabetes. If a person is diagnosed with insulin dependent type 1 diabetes, this means the pancreas no longer produces insulin due to autoimmune destruction of the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. This is commonly observed in children. Once the cells that produce insulin are destroyed, one will have to be treated with insulin for life, and hence be an insulin diabetic for life. There are treatments for type 1 diabetes that show some success in curing diabetes such as beta islet cell surgery, however it may not work for many people. The determination of whether one will have diabetes for life or not depends on the type of diabetes they were diagnosed with and more importantly how committed they are to following a healthy diet, and exercise plan for the prevention of diseases associated with diabetes.

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