Reversing Diabetic Complications

There does appear to be some hope with the reversal of diabetic complications
There does appear to be some hope with the reversal of diabetic complications

There is evidence to suggest that diabetes complications can be reversed if strong diabetes control and a healthy lifestyle are followed.

Usually when diabetic complications is mentioned it’s almost always said that the development of diabetic complications can be slowed rather than reversed.

However, in theory the body can do some healing of the damage from complications as long as the right conditions are met.

Can diabetes be reversed?

Whilst little medical literature mentions reversal of diabetic complications, there does appear to be some hope.

The human body is known to be able to heal itself in a number of ways from healing damaged skin even to repairing internal organs to some degree.

It therefore reasonable to consider there is potential for the body to heal itself of diabetic complications if diabetes can itself be sufficiently well controlled.

Reversal of diabetic complications

In 1983, a study was published showing that when a damaged kidney from someone with diabetes is transplanted into a subject without diabetes, the kidney showed signs of healing. [178]

A study in 2015 by researchers in Kyoto, Japan showed a similar effect. Kidney biopsies taken a year after transplantation, from someone with diabetes into someone without the condition, showed evidence of healing.[179]

In 2011, researchers showed that someone with diabetes showed evidence of kidney healing after receiving a pancreas transplant.

The results showed that whilst evidence of healing was not significantly apparent at 5 years, at 10 years the kidneys were 'markedly improved'. [180]

Reversal of diabetic complications with ketogenic diet

Researchers have found that diabetic complications can be reversed in mice studies, by dietary methods alone.

In the study, mice that had diabetes and had developed diabetic kidney disease (nephropathy) were put onto a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet which allowed the mice to regain kidney function.

Further research will be needed however to show evidence that complications can be reversed in humans.

Has anyone with diabetes successfully reversed complications?

To date, reversal of complications in people with diabetes, outside of pancreas or islet cell transplantation, has only been recognised on an anecdotal basis.

A number of members of the Diabetes.co.uk Forum have noted reduced symptoms of neuropathy and improved kidney function since achieving better control of blood glucose levels.