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New Research Finds Diabetes Can Be Reversed

New Research Finds Diabetes Can Be Reversed

I have recently spent more time in drugs stores than I would like helping my sister on her journey through (and hopefully to the other side of) cancer. Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens all had large diabetes sections offering support for a “diabetes lifestyle”—glucose monitors, lancets, blood pressure cuffs, medications, supplements and pharmacy magazines heavily supported by pharmaceutical advertising. Patients are encouraged to get their eye check ups, monitor their blood pressure, track their blood sugars, have foot exams and see their doctor’s regularly for better management of their blood sugars—all apparently sensible advice for diabetics.

But what if type 2 diabetes could be completely reversed? What if it wasn’t, as we believe, an inexorable, progressive disease that has to be better “managed” by our health care system with better drugs, surgery and coordination of care? What if intensive lifestyle and dietary changes could completely reverse diabetes?

A ground breaking new study in Diabetologia proved that, indeed, type 2 diabetes can be reversed through diet changes, and, the study showed, this can happen quickly: in 1 to 8 weeks. That turns our perspective on diabetes upside down. Diabetes is not a one-way street.

If we have a known cure, a proven way to reverse this disease, shouldn’t we be focused on implementing programs to scale this cure?

We used to believe that once cells in your pancreas that make insulin (beta cells) poop out there was no reviving them and your only hope was more medication or insulin. We now know that is not so.

Continuing misconceptions about what causes diabetes and our unwillingness to embrace methods know to reverse it have lead to a catastrophic increase in the illness. Today one in four Americans over 60 years old has type 2 diabetes. By 2020, one in two Americans will have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Tragically, physicians will miss the diagnosis for ninety percent with pre-diabetes or diabetes. (Below I tell you exactly what tests to ask your doctor to perform and how to interpret them).

From 1983 to 2008, world-wide diabetes incidence has increased 7 fold from 35 to 240 million. Remarkably, in just the last 3 years from 2008 to 2011, we have added another 110 million to the diabetes roll call. And increasingly small children as young as eight are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (formerly called adult onset diabetes). They are having strokes at 15 years old and needing cardiac bypasses at 25 year old. The economic burden of caring for these people with pre-diabetes and diabetes will be $3.5 trillion over 10 years.

If we have a known cure, a proven way to reverse this disease, shouldn’t we be focused on implementing programs to scale this cure? Unfortunately despite this extraordinary new research, the findings will likely be pushed aside in favor of the latest greatest pill or surgical technique because behavior and lifestyle change is “hard.” In fact, with the right conditions and support, lifestyle diet and lifestyle change is very achievable.

What did research show?

Reversing Diabetes: Can it Be Done in a Week?

The study, entitled Reversal of type 2 diabetes: normalization of beta cell function in association with decrease pancreas and liver triglycerides, was exquisitely done. The bottom line: A dramatic diet change (protein shake, low glycemic load, plant-based low-calorie diet but no exercise) in diabetics reversed most features of diabetes within one week and all features by eight weeks. That’s right, diabetes was reversed in one week. That’s more powerful than any drug known to modern science.

We know from gastric bypass patients that with rapid changes in diet right after surgery, within just a few days, without significant weight loss, diabetes goes away—fatty livers heal, cholesterol levels plummet. Some theorized it was because of changes in the stomach hormones related to the gastric surgery. Others, including the researchers of this new study surmised that maybe it was just the drastic change in diet. So they went about studying just the diet change without surgery.

They studied 11 people with diabetes and compared them to a control group. Through very sophisticated techniques including MRI imaging, they measured their blood sugar and insulin responses, cholesterol levels and fat in the pancreas and liver (some of the hallmarks of diabetes) before and after diet changes at 1, 4 and 8 weeks.

What they found was revolutionary. The beta cells—the pancreas’ insulin producing cells—woke up, and the fat deposits in the pancreas and liver went away. Blood sugars normalized in just one week, triglycerides dropped in half in one week and reduced 10-fold in eight weeks. The body’s cells became more insulin sensitive and essentially, in just 8 weeks, all evidence of diabetes was gone and the diabetic patients looked just like the normal controls on all the testing.

While this may be surprising to most, it is something I see regularly in my medical practice. With focused, strategic, scientifically based nutritional intervention, combined with exercise, stress management and sugar and insulin balancing nutritional supplements, many of my patients completely reverse their diabetes. And the side effects—more energy, better sleep, improved sexual function and weight loss—are all good.

What most don’t realize is that pre-diabetes and diabetes exist on a continuum and both dramatically increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke, cancer, infertility, sexual dysfunction, depression and dementia. You don’t have to get diabetes to be at risk for all those problems. That is why it is so important to get your doctor to diagnose pre-diabetes early and implement an intensive lifestyle program to help you reserve it.

You may be at risk if you have extra belly fat, have a family history of diabetes, gestational diabetes, are in at risk ethnic group (Asian, Hispanic, African American, Native American, Middle Eastern), have high triglycerides (> 150 mg/dl) or a low HDL (< 50 mg/dl) or have high blood pressure.

If any of these apply to you or you have other cause for concern, here is what to do.

How to Reverse Your Diabetes

First, get your doctor to test the following:

  1. A 75-gram glucose tolerance test measuring BOTH glucose and insulin fasting and 1 and 2 hours later. Your fasting blood sugar should be less than 100 mg/dl and your 1 and 2 hour sugar levels should be less than 130 mg/dl. Your fasting insulin should be less than 10, and your 1 and 2 hour levels should be less than 35.
  2. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl and HDL (good cholesterol) should be over 50 mg/dl, and the triglyceride to HDL ratio should be less than 4. These ranges are meaningful only if you are on no medication.
  3. Newer cholesterol tests measure the size of your cholesterol particles and is very effective in diagnosing problems with pre-diabetes early. In fact, this is the only cholesterol test we should be performing.

And here’s the program I use for my patients to reverse diabetes:

  1. Eat a low glycemic load, high fiber, plant-based diet of vegetables, beans, nuts, limited whole grains, fruit and lean animal protein
  2. Vigorous exercise (fast walking, running, biking, etc.) 30 minutes 4-5 times a week and strength training 20 minutes 3 times a week
  3. Take a good multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D and blood sugar and insulin balancing nutrients (including chromium and alpha lipoic acid)

Remember, pre-diabetes and diabetes is not a one way street and the solution is not at the bottom of a pill bottle or the end of an insulin syringe, it is at the end of your fork and in the shoes on your feet!

Now I’d like to hear from you …

Do you think diabetes can be reversed? If so, how?

What methods have you tried to gain control of your diabetes or weight gain? How have those methods worked for you?

Why do you think accessible, scalable, lifestyle solutions like these that actually reverse chronic illness are not more frequently prescribed in conventional doctor’s offices? How can we change this?

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (63)

  • Thank you for sharing the information on naturally reversing diabetes. I’ve been looking for alternative methods for my father who is 85 years old and diabetic.

    Would you have any suggestions on beverages that do not have artificial sweeteners for diabetics? My father only likes to have sweetened beverages and drinks the diet products which contain the artificial sweeteners.

    • Hi There,

      If you go to you can see a lot of food and beverage resources Dr Hyman suggests that are free of “junky” sweeteners. However as far as beverages are concerned, it is best to get back to basics and drink water. The body doesnt need anything but water so in times of healing and repair, we want to provide only the essentials. Dr Hyman would encourage your father to go cold-turkey on all the sugar. Here is some more info for you (and dad):

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

    • I am a 2 month new Vegan trying to get rid of this blasted disease. My numbers are good but not off the meds nor loosing enough weight after 2 months. What to do? My protein comes from beans, legumes, almond milk. My typical day. I slice Ezekiel toast with nut butter, 1 shake (spinach, nopale, aloe vera juice, tart cranberry juice 1 oz, water) snack raw carrots 2 large ones, lunch vegetarian stew or soup of some sort, dinner, baked sweet potato topped with mixed veggies, salad, dessert 1 baked apple with a tsp of nut butter and cinnamon. No caffein, swim 4 days per week 30-45 minutes. I was walking 2.5 miles to work each way but my knee is bone on bone. Help!

  • About 5 months ago my A1C was 6.9 and I was eating whatever I wanted and my total cholesterol was 270; triglycerides 285 HDL 67 and LDL 144; CHOL/HDLC ratio: 4.0 Non-HDL CHOLESTEROL 203. Then I went on a diet – lost 10 pounds (now I am less than 105 lbs) –took another blood test –and my A1C went up to 7.3 !!! My total cholesterol was 218; HDL 57; Triglocerides: 133; LDL CHOL – 134; now my chol/HDLC ratio is 3.8 Non HDL Cholestrol 161. there was 3 months inbetween tests. I am now checking my blood sugar a few times a day and finally it is under 125 every day in the morning – average 108 but it has been under 100 – as low as 88. I think I was not eating enough and my blood sugar was spiking at night and my blood sugar fasting was averaging 130-140. Since I started having supper my morning blood sugar fasting is lower. I am on Toprol 5 mg 1 x a day. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. I am not on medication for my blood sugar yet, but the doctor is pushing me to get on meds especially since my A1C went from 6.9 to 7.3 in about 3 1/2 months. Thank you, Julie

  • I had a fasting blood sugar of 123, was morbidly obese and tired of it. I heard about south beach which is basically eating good carbs and weeding out all the sugar and refined carbs, and tried it for 4 weeks, went back to the dr and my fasting blood sugar was 99, so it can be done. I think people who had prediabetes once are more likely to get it again than people who never had it though. I can still get over 100 if I have too many carbs the night before but I have been on average in the low 90s for over a year.

  • As i have been diagnosed with pre diabetes about 3 months back and i am really glad to read that diabetes is reversable but I have a family history of diabetes I am trying my level best to cut down on carbs and also doing brisk walking every day for half an hour . Dr Mark I would be very greatful if u would advise me what more to do

    thanking you in anticipation


    • Hi JC,

      Dr Hyman supports the use of high quality, purified fish oil. For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • One of the reasons that diabetes rates are “skyrocketing” is in 1997, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the federal government lowered the per se standard for diagnosing diabetes from a fasting blood glucose level of 140 mg/dL to 126 mg/dL.7

    There is absolutely no proof that changing the diagnostic criteria has improved the health of the American public.

  • Dear Dr. Hyman, I went to my Doc for a penis fungus infection and they found that my BG was 285 4 weeks ago. I came to learn that they did not inform me that my last physical (sept 2012) my BG ws 170, I am 46 and was 275 lbs back then, at the Doc’s visit I was 265, my BP was 140/82, she branded me type 2 and prescribed a BP pill and Glucose lowering pill. I decided to follow a Diet pretty similar to what you recommend and started going to the gym for an hour every morning and a MTB ride most evenings.

    it took me 5 days to be below 120, and 6 more to go below 100, I been seating there for the last 10 days, between 84 and 98. I gave blood and my hemoglobin was 17.5, my total cholesterol was 193 and my BP was 115/74. I have lost 18 lbs since my Doc’s visit. I feel that the 285 BG was caused because I had binged on sweets the previous day and was not on an empty stomach.

    Can you recommend a doctor that focuses on nutrition/exercise in the south San Diego area? I greatly appreciate it.

  • Hey Doc

    I am 29 years old . I was diagnosed with diabetes a month ago and was devastated by the news. I am on metformin now. I would really like to reverse this condition and lead a normal life. I am ready to go to any extend to reverse this. I asked my nurse whether I would be able to discontinue the medicine in the future if I lead a healthy lifestyle , she said NO. This article has made me think it is possible. Please help me out. Thank you

    • Juliya,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hey

    Was that an automated message? I did not understand you. I have not mentioned any symptoms. I live in london and there is no other way than the internet that we could communicate.
    I checked my BG before going to bed at night it was 5.9 and then in the morning when i checked it was 6.2. It did not make any sense to me. I didn’t even drink water before I checked.Would you be able to tell me y the fluctuation .Thank you

    • if your body senses being low on sugar at night the liver will release a hormone which will increase sugar count — sounds like you are just learning (like me) — eat some protein with a little fruit before going to bed – then you hopefully wont get the spikes

  • I have a question. First let me say, I am working with a dr on this issue so am not looking for specific medial advise. I just want ask if you have come across similar circumstances where it appears that stress alone am be the cause of a potential pre-diabetic diagnosis.

    I am a certified personal trainer and groupmx instructor. I have long bee following an extremely healthy lifestyle including working out (weights and cardio) 7 days a week 1-2 hours a day in addition to healthy eating habits: lean protein, vegetables, nuts, fruits, extremely limited dairy and wheat and processed foods. Stress has been extremely high along with a type a personality. Over the past six years I have experienced numerous life experiences that are stressful (like over 10 major events).

    I can’t eat any healthier or exercise any more than I am…it is just hard for me to believe that stress could be the sole culprit!!?? Any thoughts

  • Greetings! I’ve been following your internet site for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Texas! Just needed to mention keep up the fantastic work!

  • What is Dr. Hyman’s opinion of the Paleo diet/lifestyle? I have used this method in treating my diabetics and have had amazing results in all parameters of the disease.

    • Dear Steven,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. While he does not endorse any particular diet, there are some some similarities between the paleo-style of eating and his dietary guidelines in his book, The Blood Sugar Solution. For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s virtual nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.
      In Good Health,
      The Nutrition Team

  • I had been wanting to know if you ever considered adjusting the page layout of your website? Its very well written; I really like what you have got to say. But maybe you can create a a bit more in the way of written content so people can connect with it better. Youve got a great deal of wording for only having one or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Dear Jorge,

      Thank you for your feedback. We will pass it along to the team!

      In good health,
      The Nutrition Team


  • At 64 yrs I completely reversed my Diabetes Type 2 by:

    1 Stop eating foods with “Trans Fats”.
    2 Eat a fistful of Walnuts per day.
    This replaces the accumulated buildup of man made trans fats in your cell fat membranes and restores them to normal so that your insulin can work as intended. Walnuts are a very good source of essential natural fats.
    3 Do for 7 months … my Diabetes Type 2 completely reversed.
    Wrote a short eBooklet (10 pages) free on Kindle Prime called

    “The Walnut Cure for Diabetes Type2”

    Hope it helps someone.

  • Dear Dr. Hyman,

    I just wanted to share my experience as a diabetic on a similar diet with you and your readers. My journey as a diabetic has been atypical, so I will give you some back story. I have a strong family history of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in my family. My mother and her 2 sisters were diagnosed in young adulthood with type 2 diabetes (all were under 120 lbs.) Both of my mothers brothers were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 4 and 6 respectively. I have many cousins that do not have the disease at all, but I was diagnosed at age 17. At first it was believed that I was a late onset type 1 diabetic. My weight at the time was 130 lbs. I was carrying a little extra weight but not much. I did have numerous tests at the time of diagnosis and they did show that I was still producing insulin, but because I didn’t “fit the mold” of a type 2 diabetic because of my age and normal weight. My endocrinologist believed that my pancreas was failing and would not produce insulin much longer. I was treated with insulin injections and had fairly good control for 2 years (A1C under 8) After 2 years of injections I inquired about the insulin pump. My physician did some testing at that time and it was found that I was still producing my own insulin. He admitted that I had been misdiagnosed and was immediately switched to oral medications. At the time Metformin and sometimes others joined the mix. From age 19-34 I was treated that way with good control (A1C under 7).

    That brings me to March 2013 when I was speaking with my brother-in-law, who is an Internist. He had put many of his Type 2 diabetic patients on a similar diet called Ideal Protein. He was able to get many off of meds all together and all of them were able to reduce meds significantly. The diet is very low carb, but also low fat. Basically while in Phase 1 of diet you only eat lean meat and certain vegetables. As I understand it, the theory of the physicians that developed this diet is that the pancreas can actually be “reprogrammed or “repaired” by following the diet. You are able to eventually reintroduce fruits and some complex carbs but initially you stay in ketosis. I decided to give it a try. I stopped all meds the day I started the diet and monitored my blood sugars multiple times a day. They were immediately under control (but of course they would be because I was eating very little carbs- under 20g a day). I did lose some weight too which was a great side effect. Down 15lbs, so now I am at 115lbs. I have followed this diet since for 9 months. I have had A1C checked 2x in this time. 5.1 and 5.3 were my numbers. I have had tighter control off of meds than I ever did with. I do now eat some fruit and I eat my carbs at only one meal a day.

    The holidays were a bit more challenging. I did have the sweet stuff quite a few times and I always checked my glucose levels 1.5 hours later. Guess what, each time they were under 100! So I realize this isn’t a formal study or anything but I am a believer of this theory of reversal of the disease. Maybe you can really “heal” your pancreas. My endocrinologist is scratching his head. How can a Type 2 diabetic who has had the disease for nearly 20 years and who seems to have a very strong genetic component be able to turn things around. He believes that I am only controlling my diabetes with diet restrictions, and maybe he is right. I don’t plan on testing it out too much. My plan is to stay on a very low carb diet but I will be always looking for continued research on this theory. It seems like there are plenty physicians who are true believers even though the research is lacking.

    Thank you for your work in this arena. We need more formal research studies done!

    R. Fisher

    • Thank you for the amazing story R. It sounds like you have come a long way. Keep up the amazing work.

  • Dr. Hyman, why lean meat? Wouldn’t the presence of fats/oils in the stomach during a meal moderate the absorption of glucose? Personally, I don’t go in for butter or beef, but I do slather my food with a lot of olive oil.

    One other question on another subject: I read the statistics near the beginning of your post just as I was looking at a supermarket flyer, and I said to myself, This flyer explains those statistics — cakes, white breads, biscuits, garbage breakfast cereals, soda, sweetened “savory” foods, white pasta, and on and on. Pretty scary, not just from a health point of view, but from an economic one: The U.S. simply cannot afford to have so many diabetics and pre-diabetics in its health system(s). Anyway, what’s the source of those statistics? Thank you.

  • Hello there !!!. I walk 7 km everyday, I eat healthly. I reduced my weight in 12 kilos. I need reduce another 10 kilos to get a BMI ok.
    My glucose levels are in 94 *FPG* . I was diagnostic diabetic II witn one test of 220


    If i reach my whealtly weight and stay there . Can i reverse Diabetes II ?. What happens if I get fat again ?

  • Hi readers,

    Diabetics is reverseable.

    Yes i bleiieve this,

    I have done, I was fond of rich glucose food. i like too much meat ,

    I was wounder i was just 65 kg height 5 feet 7 inches.i never bought a car, i always walk much.

    i got suddenly M.i ( heart attack in 2010).

    Doctors advised me to have by cardiac bypass. I ignored. i continued control diet. i was working hard. normal sugar i used , normal diet.

    This year i bought labtop. I was working nearly 8 hours .My home near to work place,
    i came back evening and nearly 6 hours using labtop. I began full fat diet, much glucose & less sleeping just four hours sleeping.


    i realized all that was du to very bad life style.

    My diabetic level random went to 215.
    I stoped using sugar. I began to use vegetables . Sleeping 9 hours. Diet controlled.

    I controlled diabetic and in these days the below mentioned sugar level.

    Fsting is always between 100 to 115

    Random is 130 to 170

    Still need much more effort to controll.(I never used diabetic medicines)

    Hope i will control more than this and will prove that diabetics can be reversed and will be no heart attack(M.I)

    I am licesed Assistant Pharmacist, Homoeopathic Doctor.

    But is my personal decession to cotinue as Allopathic Assistant Pharmacist.

  • Dr. Hyman,

    Find your info very helpful. As I do not participate in social networking or Google online chat, please provide an online / email fashion for me to follow your work on a regular basis. I appreciate how important this is and really would like to be kept in the loop of your teachings.

    My sincere thanks for your help and assistance.

    Best regards,

    Michael Kiralla

  • Diabetes can absolutely be reversed. I was diagnosed in February 2013.
    I went to a party and had 3 slices of pizza and an Italian pastry. I started getting sick around 45 minutes later. I was dizzy and felt as if I was going to crash. I went home and figured I’d just sleep off whatever I had going on. I felt the same the next morning. I went to the doctor, my sugar was checked and it was 279 fasting for 15 hours. My A1c was 10. I was immediately put on medication. I took medformin for a week and decided that taking pills was the easy way out. I decided I was going to take control of my life and do this without medication. I went to a nutrishionist. I was put on a dietary program. I am a terribly picky eater. Fish and some of the things required was not an option. We worked around it. Without even looking at sugar, I was told to have no more than 45g of carbs with break, lunch and dinner. NOTE…..the 45g of carbs was for each mail. I had 2 snacks a day with no more than 15g of carbs with each snack. I started doing very mild excercise. I did some cardio at the gym and mild weight lifting. My current fasting glucose falls between the 72 and 102 range. My A1c has ranged between 5.2 and 5.6.
    I have been horrible with the excercise for the last 6 months. I eat ANYTHING I want and stick within those guidelines. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Easter, I’m not quite as stringent. I eat what I want for the holiday. NOTE…..I said for the holiday. It’s a one day thing. I’m 24 lbs. lighter and it was almost effortless taking the weight off. It just melted off me. It’s really not difficult counting carbs. After a while it’s something you won’t even think about. I check my sugar daily. I check it fasting and non-fasting. I’ve learned what my trigger foods are and try to minimize them. Can diabetes be reversed without medication. ABSOLUTELY. I controlled my diabetes, took charge of my life. I’ve never felt or looked better and turned something bad into something good. If you go back to your old ways, it will return. It’s 14 months and it’s been the best 14 months I’ve had. Take control of your life and don’t let diabetes control you.

  • I did it ! ! ! so far no meds & my diet is working while losing 10 plus lbs, i have a long way to go im sure but i will stay the course!!

  • Hi…Wondering what is a safe amount of chromium to take for blood sugar control. My hubby is Type 11, but is controlling it by low carb/high fat diet. His M.D. stopped his Metformin August 2013. Thank you!

  • I am type 2 diabetic at age 74. I take 10mg twice/day and 5/100 once per day. My A1A is 7.0 However my fasting number this morning was 165. Your suggestion?

    • Hi Thomas,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • You mentioned the results of a study of 11 people and all reversed their diabetes diagnosis within a week and a change of diet. Eleven people is a very small sample to make such claims. Why hasn’t this study been repeated and used a larger sample?


  • I was looking for some spice to reverse diabetes, I have read a lot about it lately because I know diabetes is completely reversible, as a pre diabetic health insurance costs is one of the primary reasons I want to reverse my condition, thanks for this great post it also helped a lot in this journey,
    I stumbled upon a video on dailymotion that speaks of this spice, and I followed the program that they mentioned and I can already see a reduction in my insulin need. Here’s the video if anyone’s interested Thanks Dr Hyman you’re the best.

  • I didn’t change my diet nor did I exercise at all. I was first put on Met for min and it didn’t help at all so the dose was increased to no avail. Just so you know, dieting was too difficult since I consider myself to be a binge eater and I have very little discipline or will power. Exercise was, to me, impossible, because I suffer from anhedonia and lack any motivation. Ok anyway excuses aside, I eventually was put on Byetta and after 3 months I decided to test my blood glucose after an overnight fast of about 12 hrs. My blood glucose was 94. Mind you it had never been below 199 so I had gave up testing. Well, just the other day my A1c was checked and it was just 5.9! Since I never exercised or dieted I can only assume Byetta did it! I’m no longer on any meds for diabetes.

  • I am 66 years old, male and retired. I have just been diagnosed with diabetes 2 and have started a total diet change and will be taking more exercise! A lifetime of sugar and a fondness for chocolate (fudge cake!) has led to this stage in my life. I was searching the Internet trying to learn as much as I can with regard to diabetes and came across your website. From feeling a little depressed I now feel far more positive and committed to the changes I need to make. Thank you!!

  • Age 57. Family predisposition to Diabetes. Maternal grandfather a lifelong diabetic and my mu late onset. I am 5’1″ tall and weigh 56=57kg. Very athletic build. Judoka for 40 years and cycle to work at a fair pace for 80mins total/day. Usually high intensity interval training at lunch time also. I eat healthily with good carbs… almost no wheat breads, spelt and ancient grain breads, sweet potatoes, rice etc… but only in very modest quantities. Plenty fruit/veg but I do like steaks (with fat I’m afraid). Just got back from the GP … I did a glucose challenge test: 6.3 after 12 hour fast. then 1 hour after the glucose drink: 8.7… then 2 hours after 9.1, I think the units here in Australia are different from in the usa… but I am sure you can work out the values. They took blood samples but I asked the nurse to give me quick results using the (not so accurate) electronic measuring device. I will get the formal results in 2-3 days from the path lab via my gp. I have a feeling this will put me in the pre-diab category… and I am worried now.

  • Hello Dr.

    I follow blood sugar /paleo lifestyle.

    I’m curious as to why my morning sugar is high. My fasting insulin is down from 28 to 10. I’m waking up with BG anywhere between 110-125 lately.

    I manage to keep my sugar levels <120 pp, occasionally <140 pp (if i give in to traditional Indian vegetarian meal of Dahl, yogurt, vegetables, & half tortilla)

    A1C went up from 5.6 to 6.1.

    How many hrs is considered fasting? How can I get my fasting to lower. Thanks!

    • Hi Sonia,
      There are many factors that affect blood glucose – foods, sleep, exercise, stress – and any of these may be a factor in your morning numbers. We recommend that you consider following Dr. Hyman’s 10-Day Detox or Blood Sugar Solution programs to improve your blood glucose numbers.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hello Dr Hyman,

    I am a Type 2 Diabetic, diagnosed about 17 years ago. I went through all the usual oral meds and was pretty much eating whatever I wanted…not following doctors orders about carbs…guess you could say I was in denial. When the oral meds no longer worked…about 10 years ago I was put on Insulin 60 units in the morning and 40 units in the evening. It was then I wised up…started taking my diabetes seriously and started low carbing and exercising in the pool. I am now 50 pounds lighter and my A1C went down from 8 to 5.4 as well as all my other important numbers. It has taken me years… but as of this month..I am completely off my morning dose of insulin! I still find it necessary to do my evening dose…which seems strange…but hopefully one day soon I will be able to be completely off insulin…something I tried over the years…but my body just wasn’t ready …but for me… I do know that low carbing is the best way of eating for me…eating meats, veggies and good fats……is healing my diabetes. So for all the others out there wondering….your diabetes can get better…I am living proof:)

    • Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration!
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Your statement is partially correct, where you wrote: “We know from gastric bypass patients that with rapid changes in diet right after surgery, within just a few days, without significant weight loss, diabetes goes away—fatty livers heal, cholesterol levels plummet.”

    It is true that gastric bypass does, within hours of surgery — and prior to any changes in diet — usually produce staggering improvements in metabolic syndrome and diabetes (blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides all normalize within hours). This fact has been validated by multiple scientific studies and has revolutionized the way medical researchers have viewed the “diabesity” condition.

    But it has nothing to do with diet changes, as these improvements after gastric bypass occur immediately after surgery and prior to ANY weight loss or dietetic changes.

    The latest research suggests that normalization of serum bile acids as a result of the surgery is responsible for most of these dramatic effects. As shown in a landmark 2009 Harvard study, dramatic weight loss can these ensue after the surgery because the metabolism is enormously amped up after every single meal, in addition to restoring a baseline healthy metabolism.

    But sadly none of these changes can be accomplish by diet or any known medication, and the research is quite clear on this. And I should know as I had the surgery and lost 200 lbs. Within hours of surgery, before I had lost a single pound or eaten, my cholesterol dropped 200 pounts, and my triglycerides fell 500 points, without any medication.

    Everybody suffering from the disease of diabesity should explore gastric bypass surgery (or in the most severe cases of diabetes, the “duodenal switch” surgery), as these are currently the only known curative options. I’ve done a ton of research into this area, and I encourage others with my condition to begin the learning process. Unfortunately, most surgeons who perform these operation will tell you they work via “malabsorption” and “restriction”, when in reality neither is correct. The surgeries work because they give you back a healthy, normal metabolism and metabolic response to food!

  • I blood pressure event that put me in the hospital in June. I was over 300lbs, my AC test was 8, BP was skyrocketing. Turned out I had a leaking arotic valve and my BP and Weight had given me a little Congestive failure. In 3 days in the hospital they wrung 25lbs of fluid out of me. When I came home, I started eating more veggies, controlling portions and I only drink LaCroix water or black tea. I lost an additional 20lbs in two months and now have lost sixty pounds. I do take a number of meds. But I figure if I lose another 30-35lbs, I could probably get off the metformin. I am no vegan or even a strict vegitarian. But what I committed to, to the best of my ability was to take processed food out of my life. I started reading labels and preparing fresh food that I had to cut, chop and cook myself. I bought a high end blender and I make a big smoothie each week with baby Kale, Spinach and Swiss Chard, all organic. I add berries and a banana, maybe a scoop of organic peanut butter, some ground flax. But I have one of those every morning. I often supplement that with a one-egg, mushroom omelett. Then I take my lunch, a serving of white chicken chili or homemade minestrone type soup. About two months ago I discovered whole, sprouted breads, so I have toast some mornings with black tea. I have used nothing but grass fed butter from Ireland, chock full of Omega 3, I have even found grass fed milk, from a small batch producer in Iowa, non homogonized. If I eat meat it is either organic chicken or bison with a good source history. I’m looking forward to my next Dr. appointment to see how my numbers change. I did not have any coronary blockage issue, my poor heart was just overwhelmed with everything else. I snack, if I’m hungry on nuts and really, good dark chocolate, 80% Cacao or higher. I will say I think I can feel the difference giving my body nutrition it can use. And sizing my meals correctly, I can say I am in touch with actual hunger for the first time in a long time. When it’s time to eat, it’s time to eat.

    • Hi Mike,
      Thank you for sharing your inspiring story about using food as medicine. We’re so glad to hear that you are well on your way to reaching your health goals.
      Wishing you the best of health!
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Thank you for this information! I am wondering if type 1.5 diabetes is reversible? I have a very interesting medical history – most recently being diagnosed with type 1.5 due to elevated GAD65. Any news appreciated.

  • I had a fasting blood sugar level of 180. I was tired all the time. I smoked and was 50 plus pounds overweight. Type 2 runs in my family. I did not want to start the cycle yet. I figure I will have diabetes at some point in my life, but the longer I can put it off the better.I cut out all processed sugars, quit smoking, joined a gym and got a personal trainer. He is not a nutritionist, but he helped me change my diet. I worked out 5 to 6 days a week. Lost weight, got very healthy. My blood sugars are still over 100 (105-112) but my cholesterol is well within a healthy’s been 5 years and now at the age of 56 I do 5K runs, 1/2 marathons and triathlons. I have more energy now then I did when I was 30. I’m sure I could still improve, but I think it would require professional help with my diet. I totally beleive that diet and weight management are keys to succesful management of health. As I stated, I’m 56 and I am not on any medications and only take dietary supplements. I’m lovin’ life.

  • HI im 50 been diagnosed about 15 yrs now. And completely losing every battle. My a1c is now 13.7 chol 567 trig 1900, have high blood pressure. Basically anything there is to have i have or am getting soon. Already hosp for DKA and dont even remember it, and i spent 4 days there. I was at diabetic coma stage dr told my daughter within hours. A week later was hosp for a spot on my lung, pneumonia, and a pulmanary embolism. Was hosp for 1 week, drs have still yet to have figured out what it is…anything is. I was at 232 lbs, im down to 167 im 5’8. Exercise is basically out, cuz im exhausted and just want to sleep, thats how i lost that weight . Ive read alot of things you write, and i hope you can help. Im always sick and everything gets blamed on my type 2 diabetes. I have crappy ins and drs to match.

    • Hi Cathy,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • My grandpa suffers from diabetes since 7 years and his sugar level ranges from 160-300 time to time.
    He uses insulin injection when it goes up, but haven’t found a proper way to completely get rid of it.
    I have tried many methods to cure diabetes by eating proper food and stuff, ultimately to land up with no results.
    I am going to try your method of reversal and hopeful things are worked out okay!

    Thank you Dr for your help 🙂

  • Hi, I just had a question about a1c test. Mine is always quite different first was 6.2. Two months later after a low carb diet it was 4.8 (fasting was 92). Since then my fasting has been tested twice at 78 both times and my a1c one year later is now saying 5.8. I have tested my post blood sugars during this period and it is rarely over 114 with an occasional 130-145 (maybe once a week at most. Very random though) and is usually under 100. I did test eating a cup or so of rice one time and it shot up over 200. I usually test 1 1/2 to 2 hours later. I also do interval training for 20 min 4-5days a week, 20 minutes resistance training 3 days and 30 min straight cardio 3 days. I guess my first question is why would an a1c read so much higher than my ppbg and fasting suggest and does eating a bowl of rice and getting such a high number suggest diabetes even though I am doing everything else right? Note-my cholesterol numbers are 123 ldl, 76 hdl, 63 triglycerides.

  • Hi Dr .Hyman

    My recent A1C level is around 6.2 and l am taking metforminx500mg 2 per day. I usually go to bed with o low blood sugar around 85-90md/dl around 10:00PM and my fasting sugar as I check every morning around 7:30AM when I wake up is always < 110mg/dl but half hour later 8:00am. It jumps up to 125mg/dl and 140mg/dl around 9:00am, and force me to take breakast and it went back to normal < 100mg/dl after light breakfast with oatmeal and avocado.

    I eat small snack before 10:00PM and go to bed and wake up and check my fasting blood sugar around 7:30am until I eat breakfast. The highest number is 140mg/dl around 9:00am which is 11 hrs of fasting.

    I am not sure how to fix this fasting blood sugar problem. This sounds like "dawn phenom ", but in my case it happens after 10 hrs of fasting and then blood sugar starts rising untill i eat breakfast.

    I also excercise twice perday for 45min at least a long with weight lifting. Can you give me an advice?


  • As part of a workup I had hgbA1c done. It was 5.8. I am a 54 yr old F 5’3, 110 pounds, I exercise 4x week doing weight training and HIIT type workouts.I eat an organic Paleo diet with occasional grass feed yogurt. I found out that I have sleep apnea and stilll my HgbA1c is still 5.8 2months after being treated for that. My fasting blood sugar runs in the high 90’s. Occasionally I have seen it in the 80’s. After a36 hr water fast it was 80. My 2hrpp is always well below 130. I an not under any undue stress, but am doing deep breathing exercises anyway.Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I did listen to the Diabetes Summit

  • Hi Dr.Hyman,

    Diabetes- from what i understand is a metabolic disease in which the body is incapable in producing any or enough insulin that causes elevated levels of glucose in ones blood. If one has this disease in their family history but keeps a healthy lifestyle and exercises regularly, one still has that slight percentage to still genetically inherit this disease later on in their life cycle. My question is why? Yes, one might likely get away from type 1 after their juvenile years, which is great, if you’re lucky! But, why is it, that type 2 can still linger in ones future? (to carry on the family inheritable disease to your off springs) Can we even break this cycle? will the healthy lifestyle be enough to break it, decrease the chances and maybe make it vanish for the next generation?

  • Hello. About 2 weeks ago, I got a call from the nurse stating I have early stages of type 2 diabetes, 6.7. This is very upseting to me as lost 35 lbs last week, am 142 lbs (5’6′), workout and have for years – 4-5 days a week. My cholesterol blood test came back 80 LDL, HDL – 61, and trigs 54. I have been on NIacin for years, but it was the over the counter. I started going to my cardiologist for the cholesterol control and they put me on Niaspan 2,000 mg. Within 3 months, my blood sugar climbed from 98 to 112. And now it is diabetic. 🙁 I started feeling sick in the morning, vomiting, blurred vision, lethargic (not exercising as much), and had no appetite for half of a the day. This hasn’t been every day, vomitting but has been on and off since November. I thought it was sinus (as I did have minor sinus surgery. I contacted my cardio doc after my last blood test and told them I need to go off of NIaspan. They told me to get off of it and they’ll review what I can do later. I have had problems with all statins in the past. My Liver enzymes are elevated. I am pretty upset. I don’t have diabetes in my family and now this. I can do the low carb diet, but see the doc next weds and know she is going to want to put me on a blood sugar pill. I just want to know I can reverse this blood sugar thing and be normal again. Pretty upset about all of this… cholesterol drugs – poison. Now I have heart disease and diabetes!!!