Is Type 2 Diabetes Curable?

Monday, 4 March 2019

Type 2 diabetes is a potentially serious, lifelong condition that develops mostly in adults. However, it is becoming more common in children as obesity rates rise across all age groups in Australia. Of all the factors that can contribute to a person developing type 2 diabetes, being overweight is one of the strongest.

While there is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, it can be managed through lifestyle changes, medication and blood glucose monitoring. Being progressive, type 2 diabetes needs to be managed effectively to prevent complications.

When diabetes is well managed with lifestyle changes, blood glucose levels can appear normal – in the non-diabetic range. This does not mean that your diabetes has gone away, or your predisposition to it has changed, it simply means that your diabetes is being well controlled through those changes, especially if weight loss has occurred.

What does progressive mean?

For a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes to occur, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have to be working at half capacity. From then on, and depending on your lifestyle habits, as well as other factors including genetics, more of those cells can stop producing insulin. This explains the fact that one out of every two people with diabetes will need to start insulin within 10 years of being diagnosed, provided the diagnosis was made in a timely manner.

How is diabetes managed?

Key to managing diabetes are lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, exercise, adequate sleep, drinking plenty of water and relaxation. These can all be achieved with support from your diabetes healthcare team and using the Annual Cycle of Care as a guide.

The Annual Cycle of Care is designed to keep you well with diabetes, pick up any potential problems and address them before they become long-term complications.


The Annual Cycle of Care checklist consists of the following:

Check When Target
HbA1c At least every six to 12 months
Blood pressure At least every six months 130/80mmHg or less
Foot assessment Low risk feet: At least every year

High risk feet: At least every three to six months

Eye examination At least every two years Eye health maintained
Kidney health At least every year Microalbumin levels in target range

Kidney function test in target range

Blood fats At least every year Total cholesterol less than 4mmol/L

LDL less than 2mmol/L

HDL 1mmol/L or above

Triglycerides less than 2mmol/L

Weight At least every six months BMI 18.5-24.9kg/m²
Waist circumference At least every six months Less than 80cm (women)

Less than 94cm (men)

Healthy eating review At least every year Following a healthy eating plan
Physical activity review At least every year At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, five or more days a week and minimise time sitting
Medication review At least every year Safe use of medications
Smoking At least every year No smoking
Diabetes management At least every year Self-management of diabetes maintained
Emotional health As needed Emotional health and wellbeing maintained
Dental check Every six months Maintain dental health


Just as type 2 diabetes is preventable, so are its long-term complications. Therefore, keeping medical appointments and taking advantage of the programs and services provided by Diabetes NSW & ACT and the NDSS can help you live a long and healthy life with diabetes.

For information and support please call our Helpline, to speak with a Diabetes Educator, Dietitian and/or Exercise Physiologist on 1800 637 700.

Me is all about what you need to do for yourself, managing your diabetes and doing what you can.

Join our community of over 45,000 people living with diabetes