Many people who are overweight also struggle with gaining control over diabetes. Working with your family doctor to develop an actionable plan can often help you reverse diabetes.

1. Make Consistent Dietary Changes

One of the major influences in obesity-related diabetes is lifestyle choices. Making consistent changes in your diet can help, independent of weight loss. Typically, people who have diabetes are encouraged to follow a low-carbohydrate diet, or at least be more mindful of the carbohydrates they eat. Ultimately, the best choice is what works for your situation and what you can stick to indefinitely.

Opting for a low-carbohydrate lifestyle, which focuses more on eating non-starchy vegetables, protein, and moderate to high fat might help. If you and your doctor would rather you avoid high levels of protein and/or fat, choose carbohydrate sources that are filling, but have less of an impact on your blood glucose, such as sweet potatoes and brown rice.

2. Strive For Weight Loss

Simply finding activities you enjoy can put you on the path to be less sedentary. For some people, they need to lose a significant amount of weight just to be more active. In this case, you may want to discuss bariatric surgery options with your family doctor. They can offer you a referral to a surgeon who can help you decide if this is the right approach for your health.

Although weight loss surgery is not for everyone, especially those who are unwilling to dedicate the rest of their life to making significant changes, surgery has been instrumental in helping people reverse diabetes. It is not uncommon for someone who has bariatric surgery to leave the hospital no longer needing any diabetes medication.

3. Don't Rely Unnecessarily On Medication

Medications, such as metformin and insulin, are critical for keeping blood glucose at safe levels. Unfortunately, some people with diabetes choose to rely exclusively on their medications without making any changes to their lifestyle. This creates a vicious cycle where you eventually need higher doses of your medication and additional medications to control your blood glucose.

There are also side effects to some medications, such as insulin, that can make losing weight harder or cause weight gain, thereby increasing the cycle of harder diabetes control and more weight gain. Generally, metformin is prescribed when people are first diagnosed with diabetes. Your goal should be to use this medication in combination with lifestyle changes so that you can eventually stop medication altogether.

Obesity-related diabetes is a common problem that can often be reversed with significant lifestyle changes. Working closely with your family medicine clinic can help you find a way to avoid diabetes-related complications.