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Is there a cure for diabetes?

Despite advances in medical research and treatments, there is still no known cure for type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Even though there's no diabetes cure, diabetes can be treated and controlled with medicines and lifestyle changes.

Can weight loss surgery cure diabetes?

After weight loss surgery, many people with type 2 diabetes see their blood sugars return to near normal. It's not unusual for weight loss surgery patients to no longer need diabetes medicines once they lose their unhealthy weight.

But the people whose diabetes goes into remission are the ones who lose the most weight. The more weight a person loses after surgery, the greater improvement in blood glucose control. But, if and when a person regains the weight - and many do - diabetes returns. With it comes the need for constant blood glucose testing, medications and adherence to a stricter diet, exercise regimen and lifestyle changes.

Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight are very important for self- managing diabetes. Although a diabetes cure would be wonderful, for now it's important to stick with your regular blood glucose testing and daily diabetes medications. 

It's also important that you follow your recommended diabetes diet, exercise regularly, manage your stress, and see your doctor regularly for necessary check-ups.

With type 1 diabetes, weight loss surgery doesn’t cause any remission in symptoms, but improved glucose control may be possible.

Can stem cells cure diabetes?

Some research suggests that in people with recently diagnosed type 1 diabetes can benefit from stem cell transplants to help 'reset' their immune systems from attacking the pancreas and affecting glucose control.

Bigger and well controlled trials will be needed to confirm whether this technique lives up to the promise of being a possible long-term cure for diabetes.

Can islet cell transplantation cure diabetes?

Islet cell transplantation involves transferring insulin-producing beta cells from a donor's pancreas into the person with diabetes. Once transplanted, the donor cells begin to make and release insulin, actively regulating the level of glucose in the blood.

A successful islet cell transplant can significantly improve the quality of life for a person with diabetes. But researchers do not call islet cell transplantation a real diabetes cure.

Islet transplants in the UK have been shown to reduce a person's risk of severe hypos from 23 a year to fewer than one.

Is there a natural therapy that can cure diabetes?

Natural therapies such as deep abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and biofeedback can help relieve stress. And emotional stress affects your blood glucose levels. So learning to relax is important in managing your diabetes.

However, there is no natural therapy known to cure diabetes.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on March 31, 2014

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