Can diabetes go away? My doctor told me that I no longer have diabetes after losing a ton of weight but I still have high blood sugar. I'm so confused.

Patty Bonsignore


Diabetes in general does not go away, but it can go into what some physician’s call “remission.” The term “remission” is most often used in relation to patients with type 2 diabetes who have lost a lot of weight following bariatric surgery. Following bariatric surgery, some people lose so much weight that they can be taken off all of their diabetes medications and still have normal blood glucose and A1C levels. However, even in this state of “well controlled” diabetes, their pancreas still produces less insulin than people with no history of diabetes. Remission of the diabetes after either lap band procedures or more extensive surgical procedures is not necessarily permanent. One study from the New England Journal of Medicine in 2004, reported a 72 % remission rate, but after 10 years about half of these people had recurrence of their diabetes. Another study from 2010 found that 43% of people who had initial remission, had a recurrence of their diabetes between 5 to 16 years after their surgery. Losing a lot of weight will not get rid of the diabetes completely, but it will help your body control the blood glucose levels often times without the need for diabetes medications or insulin injections. The fact that your blood glucose levels are still high indicates to me that your diabetes is not in “remission,” but still needs active interventions to control your blood glucose levels, including following a meal plan, physical activity and possibly diabetes medication. In any of these situations it’s best to talk to your doctor about your concerns.

March 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm

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