Is type 2 diabetes curable? 4 March 2019 Type 2 diabetes is a potentially serious, lifelong condition that develops mostly in adults. However, it is becoming more common in children as obesity rates rise across all age groups in Australia. Of all the factors that can contribute to a person developing type 2 diabetes, being overweight is one of the strongest. While there is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, it can be managed through lifestyle changes, medication and blood glucose monitoring. Being progressive, type 2 diabetes needs to be managed effectively to prevent complications. When diabetes is well managed with lifestyle changes, blood glucose levels can appear normal – in the non-diabetic range. This does not mean that your diabetes has gone away, or your predisposition to it has changed, it simply means that your diabetes is being well controlled through those changes, especially if weight loss has occurred. What does progressive mean? For a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes to occur, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have to be working at half capacity. From then on, and depending on your lifestyle habits, as well as other factors including genetics, more of those cells can stop producing insulin. This explains the fact that one out of every two people with diabetes will need to start insulin within 10 years of being diagnosed, provided the diagnosis was made in a timely manner. How is diabetes managed? Key to managing diabetes are lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, exercise, adequate sleep, drinking plenty of water and relaxation. These can all be achieved with support from your diabetes healthcare team and using the Annual Cycle of Care as a guide. The Annual Cycle of Care is designed to keep you well with diabetes, pick up any potential problems and address them before they become long-term complications. The Annual Cycle of Care checklist consists of the following: CheckWhenTargetHbA1cAt least every six to 12 months Blood pressureAt least every six months130/80mmHg or lessFoot assessmentLow risk feet: At least every yearHigh risk feet: At least every three to six months Eye examinationAt least every two yearsEye health maintainedKidney healthAt least every yearMicroalbumin levels in target rangeKidney function test in target rangeBlood fatsAt least every yearTotal cholesterol less than 4mmol/LLDL less than 2mmol/LHDL 1mmol/L or aboveTriglycerides less than 2mmol/LWeightAt least every six monthsBMI 18.5-24.9kg/m²Waist circumferenceAt least every six monthsLess than 80cm (women)Less than 94cm (men)Healthy eating reviewAt least every yearFollowing a healthy eating planPhysical activity reviewAt least every yearAt least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, five or more days a week and minimise time sittingMedication reviewAt least every yearSafe use of medicationsSmokingAt least every yearNo smokingDiabetes managementAt least every yearSelf-management of diabetes maintainedEmotional healthAs neededEmotional health and wellbeing maintainedDental checkEvery six monthsMaintain dental health Just as type 2 diabetes is preventable, so are its long-term complications. Therefore, keeping medical appointments and taking advantage of the programs and services provided by Diabetes NSW & ACT and the NDSS can help you live a long and healthy life with diabetes. For information and support please call our Helpline, to speak with a Diabetes Educator, Dietitian and/or Exercise Physiologist on 1800 637 700.