Content Map Terms

Type 2 Diabetes: Can You Cure It?

British Columbia Specific Information

​Diabetes is a condition where your body is not able to regulate levels of glucose (sugar) in your blood. This results in too much or too little sugar in your blood. There are 3 types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when your pancreas stops producing insulin. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to use an insulin injector to make sure your body gets enough insulin. For more information about type 1 diabetes, visit the Diabetes Canada Living with Type 1 Diabetes web page.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not respond properly to the insulin it produces. Treatment includes medication and lifestyle changes to your diet and exercise routine. To learn more about how healthy eating can help you manage your blood sugar, see our Healthy Eating Diabetes and Hypoglycemia web page. For more information about diabetes, visit the Diabetes Canada Living with Type 2 Diabetes web page.

Gestational diabetes may occur during pregnancy if your level of blood glucose becomes too high. This may cause problems for you and your baby. Controlling blood sugar levels with treatment and a healthy lifestyle will minimize the risks. For information about diabetic screening when pregnant, visit BC Women’s Hospital Diabetes and Pregnancy web page.

For further information on the prevention, management and diagnosis of diabetes, speak to your health care provider. You may also call 8-1-1 to speak to a registered dietitian, registered nurse or pharmacist. Our dietitians are available Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Our nurses are available anytime, every day of the year. Our pharmacists are available every night from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. You can also Email a HealthLinkBC Dietitian.


There is no known cure for type 2 diabetes. But it can be managed. And in some cases, it goes into remission. Avoid products that promise a cure for type 2 diabetes.

What is remission?

Remission means having an A1c of 6.5% or lower without using diabetes medicine for at least 3 months.footnote 1 Some people who don't need diabetes medicine go into remission with weight loss, diabetes-focused healthy eating, and exercise. Their bodies are still able to make and use insulin.

When diabetes is in remission, the risk that it could come back is higher than normal. You would still need to make the same healthy choices that you would for active diabetes.

Remission is most likely:

  • In the early stage of diabetes, before medicine is needed.
  • After a big weight loss.
  • After bariatric surgery for weight loss, which can trigger healthy changes in the body's insulin system.

Remission is less likely in the later stages of diabetes. This is because over time the body may slowly lose its ability to make insulin.

There's no way to know in advance if type 2 diabetes will go into remission. It happens for some people and not others, even if they have the same diet, exercise, weight loss, or weight-loss surgery. Experts don't fully understand why.

How can you care for yourself when you have type 2 diabetes?

  • Keep your blood sugar at a target level (which you set with your doctor).
    • Carbohydrate—the body's main source of fuel—affects blood sugar more than any other nutrient. Carbohydrate is in fruits, vegetables, milk, and yogurt. It also is in breads, cereals, vegetables such as potatoes and corn, and sugary foods such as candy and cakes. Follow your meal plan to know how much carbohydrate to eat at each meal and snack.
    • Aim for at least 2½ hours of moderate to vigorous exercise a week. Don't go more than 2 days without exercising. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports. Try to do muscle-strengthening exercises 2 times a week and aim for 3 times a week.
    • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
  • Check your blood sugar as often as your doctor recommends. It is important to keep track of any symptoms you have, such as low blood sugar, and any changes in your activities, diet, or insulin use.
  • Talk to your doctor before you start taking aspirin every day. Aspirin can help certain people lower their risk of a heart attack or stroke. But taking aspirin isn't right for everyone, because it can cause serious bleeding.
  • Do not smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
  • Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure at normal levels. You may need to take one or more medicines to reach your goals. Take them exactly as directed. Do not stop or change a medicine without talking to your doctor first.



  1. Riddle MC, et al. (2021). Consensus report: Definition and interpretation of remission in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, published online August 30, 2021: dci210034. DOI: 10.2337/dci21-0034. Accessed February 16, 2022


Current as of: March 1, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology