Can Beta Cells Be Healed?

Can Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes be not only reversed, but cured? Can beta cells start producing enough insulin? Can the liver store glucose better, and can body cells learn to handle glucose more efficiently?


We always hear that diabetes is incurable, and so far it has been. But people are trying. Diabetes affects so many organs; we’ll have to investigate them one at a time. This week we’ll look at beta cells in the pancreas.

If you have Type 1 or 2 diabetes or prediabetes, you have damaged beta cells. So you don’t have enough insulin, and what you have may not be released when it’s needed. If the cells were healed, diabetes would pretty much go away. But is this possible, and how could it be done?

In Type 1 diabetes, cells from the immune system attack and destroy beta cells. Type 1.5 diabetes or LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes of adults) probably involves a similar process.

So restoring beta cells in Type 1 or 1.5 will probably require changing the immune system. Reducing the need for insulin by eating a healthy diet helps, but I don’t know of any Type 1s or people with LADA who recovered normal beta cell function by diet alone.

Many are looking at surgically replacing beta cells. Hundreds of experimental “islet cell transplants” have been done. But the results aren’t great. This approach will only work if we could also “turn off” whatever process is killing beta cells in the first place. But there’s a lot of money in it, so I’m sure the research will continue.

Research is going on into drugs that might stop the immune system’s attack. A drug called teplizumab is being studied and shows promise. But as a person with an immune disease of my own, I’m pretty sure this progress will be slow. The immune system is not well understood yet.

Beta cells in Type 2
People with Type 2, however, recover beta cell function all the time. A study done in Seattle found that beta cells subjected to high glucose levels (about 288 mg/dl in a test tube) lost function rapidly. But when switched to a low-glucose environment (about 15 mg/dl), most of them recovered normal insulin production.

The longer the cells had stayed in the sugary solution, the longer it took them to recover. The researchers said that the damage might be irreversible after too much time in the glucose bath. They couldn’t say how long that time would be.

In 2011, a widely-reported British study found that beta cells recovered in a couple of weeks in most (not all) people eating 600 calories a day. Most of these people had been diagnosed with Type 2 fairly recently.

A study of African-Americans with extremely high glucose (559 mg/dl, on average) was done in Brooklyn and published in 2001. Eleven of 26 people recovered beta cell function, stopped their medicines, and had near-normal A1C results after a few months. The improvement lasted for the year and a half of follow up.

Subjects had been treated with insulin or a sulfonylurea drug, and coached on diet change. The drugs are not known to heal beta cells, so it must have been the normal blood glucose levels that did it. Their beta cells had been taken out of the glucose bath.

However, 15 of 26 people continued to require drugs. Researchers said there was “no significant difference in age, sex, plasma glucose at presentation…, body-mass index, magnitude of weight change or pharmacological agents used for treatment between the two groups.” So we don’t know why some healed and some didn’t. I’m guessing the non-responders had had undiagnosed Type 2 for a longer time.

In 2009, researchers in Pittsburgh led by Dr. Andrew Stewart found that, in humans, the proteins cdk-6 and cyclin D1 caused beta cells to regenerate after they had been destroyed by diabetes. Cdk-6 is not easily measurable in rodents (where most of the research is done), so it had not been previously studied.

Dr. Stewart’s team wrote that drugs based on these proteins might stimulate beta cells growth in humans, which could put diabetes into permanent remission.

The idea of “resting” beta cells is often discussed. An article in Diabetologia in 2008 said the simplest way to rest beta cells was by reducing demand for insulin. The authors suggested this could be done with metformin, glitazone drugs, or insulin. They report on a study that showed “bedtime administration of NPH insulin resulted in significant improvements in [insulin function] in response to glucose.” However, they go on to say that no studies have yet confirmed that any of these drugs actually cause beta cells to grow back.

Healing beta cells without drugs
Can improved diet, stress reduction, and/or exercise heal beta cells? If “resting” them is important, eating fewer carbohydrates should give them a chance to recover.

Another way to take pressure off beta cells is by lowering insulin resistance. According to Charles Burant, MD,

All you have to do is [increase] your insulin sensitivity just a small amount…and you can remarkably decrease the amount of insulin secretion that you need to maintain normal blood glucose levels. So what we need to do is get…[people’s] insulin sensitivity improved so that their beta cells don’t have to work so hard.

The herbal medicine site Green Med Info lists black cumin seeds, vitamin D, berberine, bitter melon, curcumin, chard extract, and more as helping beta cells grow and heal, although mostly in rodent studies.

To me, it seems keeping glucose down is the key to regenerating beta cells. But the longer they’ve been damaged, the longer they’ll take to come back. “Longer” could stretch into “never” in the worst cases.

But most people can do it eventually. The pancreas is only one organ involved in diabetes, though. Next week, we’ll look at the liver.

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  • jim snell

    Info, findings on Type 2 islet cells of pancreas recovering function when glucose stress removed is in fact incredible and show we need to do more revelent science work on type 2.

    For me, after seeing my own pancrease wake up and kick butt after removing the excess glucose stress ( after 26 years of a mess) was a shock to say the least. My sense was it took about 5 months after glucose stress removed, suddenly in a weeks time I got a rash of lows and ended up stripping out the starlix, 26 units of 75/25 insulin and also had to remove lantus as well.
    I ended up on low doses of standard humalog U-100 lispro.

    I realize this is not scientifically signifigant, but facts remain my pancreas is kicking butt whereas in past had stopped being usefull. This was watched on a cgms as well.

    I have also seen Italian studies and others all looking into the issue of the islet cells of type 2’s that seem to have been in some alternate state due to excess oxidation/glucose stress and when stress removed, islets show some recovery.

    Some of these studies were kicked off by the unexplicable results from bariatric surgery on type 2’s as well as extreme diets as well and quick recovery of pancreatic function well before any actual obvious fat loss.

    Thank you for providing this data and highlighting it.

  • calgarydiabetic

    Victoza seems to be able to grow beta cells however they may be abnormal which would be bad news.

  • Bill Giman

    Don’t be fooled by the medical concept that there are autoimmune diseases which supposedly make the body attack itself! By design, the body is not suicidal unless you are (consciously or unconsciously).
    Instead, the body is merely attacking toxins that have settled in the joints, blood vessels, lymph ducts, or cells. The resulting inflammation is merely a survival response and should not be mistaken for a disease, even if it involves pain, infection or proliferation of cancer cells. In reality, the immune system attempts to kill off some of the body’s own cells, especially those that have become toxic and are a risk to the survival of the body.

    For example, to understand cancer and to treat it successfully, we have to ask what’s its purpose in the body and why the immune system fails to stop it from spreading. It’s easy just to say that it’s an autoimmune disease that is out to kill the body. This notion of the body trying to commit suicide goes against the core principles of physical life. It makes more sense to acknowledge that cancer is nothing more then the body’s final attempt to live.

    Many patients and doctors assume that Diabetes (Types 1 & 2) manifests itself when the body somehow makes a mistake and thus fails to do its job properly. This idea is incorrect and defies logic and science, since there is a cause for every effect in this world. Not understanding why pancreatic cells stop producing insulin doesn’t imply that diabetes is an autoimmune disease. By developing diabetes, the body is neither doing something wrong nor is it out to kill itself. It certainly finds no pleasure in making you suffer and feel miserable.

    Just as there is a mechanism to become diabetic, there is also one to reverse it. To call it irreversible reflects a profound lack of understanding the true nature of the human body. Once the preconditions for restoring homeostasis have been met, the body will be able to use its full repair and healing abilities; just like it to does to heal broken bones, cuts and bruises.

    Healing the pancreas is not much different than healing a broken bone. Treating diabetes on the symptom level is difficult and actually prevents its cure. “Once a diabetic, always a diabetic” is a sad consequence of medical intervention.

    • Wayne Whitworth

      I respect your comment and was wondering when somebody would mention toxins. There is considerable evidence that heavy metals not only damage islet cells, but also block energy production within the mitochondria. Mercury for example substitutes magnesium in mitochondria when the body is unable obtain the needed magnesium.

  • joan

    I am a Type 1 for almost 56 years. I was a part of the Joslin Diabetes Clinic’s Type 1 Trials
    [2001 I think it was] to find out why some of us live so long with Type 1.

    It was found that most of us in this trial [50 to 67 years as a Type 1] stil made our own insulin; just not enough and the amount probably varied daily! Today, some doctors I have spoken with believe that all Type 1 patients have some beta cells working for them and again, just not enough!

    Knowing that I my system made some insulin helped me a great deal for better control! The continuous low blood glucose levels decreased a great deal; my energy returned.

    Also, using a pump I know how much insulin is on board and can adjust my sensitivity level and ratio to match my days’ activity.

    Whatever the cause for diabetes we can help ourselves more than we do with some time and effort to know what our system does with the food and activity we choose daily.

  • Peter Mead

    Bill Giman, that’s brilliant and totally in line with my sense of the logic involved. Can you elaborate on this in terms of therapy?

  • joan

    Bill – So sorry I did not see your question earlier. I am a busy lady and do not always check out the sites where I post. Keep in mind that I am not perfect and goof up like any of us do at times!

    There is no ONE answer that fits us all. Thus we can and should self educate to find what works for us as an individual.

    I have kept a Daily Log for many years. It helps my medical team also.

    With a pump, rather than with MDI, it is easier for me to have insulin delivery in a constant amount of insulin from the tiniest to a bit more to cover when my system needs a bit more help with insulin. A bit like our pancreas did before it “broke”.

    Also I learned that CHANGE is necessary for better control. Our system “talks” to us, if we listen through testing more frequently when test results say something is not quite right anymore. As we age our system is already ahead of us having to deal with diabetes. So, I adjust as needed. By this I mean after 3 days of some higher or lower test results it may be time for me to adjust my insulin delivery, exercise or carbs all three! At the same time I need to watch for outliers; an odd test result meaning way too high or low. Test again to make sure and if so; time to adjust.

    My therapist had me do some basal testing
    for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I could do each meal time test over a few days [not all one day] so I would not upset my system too much and of course, not be hungry.

    The idea we used is to test, send info to the pump, but take no bolus or food for two hours. Test again and then have some carbs. Of course if too high or low a test result, I need to treat my blood glucose level. If my tests are to high or low I forget the test for that meal; do it later. It tells if when my system is fussy and how to adjust the basal properly. There can be outliers so I must be careful not to adjust too much.

    As seen below I have several different amounts of of basal insulin 24/7. My bolus is based on carbs per meal of not more than 30 at any time.

    My days of activity are not always the same – thus I need less or more insulin or carb or exercise at different times of the day throughout a week, month etc. Then too with a pump I can suspend delivery for exercise or increase insulin for illnesses quite easily.

    Doing so I must remember that the metabolic system does not react instantly; it takes times to adjust – at least for me.

    Control is like handling a three horse team; Instead our our hands working the reins, we listen to our system, test and make adjustments. Yes, I have made a few goof-ups but as my endocrinologist told me years ago; take small adjustment steps and it is easier to correct them.

    My Basal insulin delivery today using a pump:
    0.300 @ 12:00 A.M.
    0.325 @ 4:00 A.M. to catch the Dawn Phenomenon
    0.325 @ 6:00 A.M.
    0.250 @ 9:00 A.M.
    0.325 @ 1:00 P.M.
    0.325 @ 3:00 P.M.
    0.325 @ 8:00 P.M.
    0.300 @ 11:00 P.M.

    I hope I answered your question.

  • joan

    I wish there was a way to correct a post before sending. Sorry for the typos.

  • Anne

    To Bill Gilman, brilliant post!

  • Shelby Holcomb

    I just want to thank you! Every time I have Googled a question about my 10 yr old daughters resent diagnoses of Type 1 I get your blogs! They have been so informative, and on target. You seem to give all sides, and views which is so rare. I have learned a great deal, and have found great comfort from the knowledge you have shared. Please keep writing 🙂

    Best Regards,


  • David Spero RN

    Hi Shelby

    I don’t know if your compliments were aimed at me or were for the whole Diabetes Self-Management team, but either way, thank you, and you’re welcome.

  • jim snell


    What incredible feedback and thoughts from the readers. There appears to be much hope and reason for changes in Diabetes thinking and seeing improvements in working this disease.

    Thank you!

  • Ken

    I am not a frank diabetic (yet, anyway), but discovered that I was pre-diabetic with isolated fasting hyperglycemia in 2010. Since then I have been working on regaining glycemic regulation, which I consider to be the equivalent of recovering lost beta-cell mass. I had already been on a ketogenic diet since beginning of 2010, and continue to be.
    I have been also taking berberine for less than a year now. There is one Chinese research group which claims a “beta-cell rest” effect of this herbal drug, effectively.
    In recent months my capillary blood glucose measurements seem to indicate a very significant reduction in fasting hyperglycemia — sometimes (even often) I am now pretty normal (in the 70s or 80s in mg/dL). This never occurred during earlier years, except as a brief transient response to heavy resistance training (and even then not at all consistently).
    My next HbA1c reading will be the confirmation I hope for. I have one baseline HbAlc reading from Feb. 2013 after having started the berberine (which did knock me down by several tenths of a percentage point, as expected).
    I have always figured that beta-cell mass is lost very slowly (over years and decades), presumably as an adaptation to chronic stressors at the cellular level. And so one should not expect the reverse process, if possible at all, to be much quicker.
    It will also be impossible to know, if I do confirm some success, what contribution the berberine might have made. Or even whether abnormal beta-cell regrowth, as has been observed by P. Butler’s group with DPP-4 and incretin mimetic drugs, could be occurring.
    Anyway, I will try to remember to report after getting the next HbA1c test results.

  • David Spero RN

    Thanks for sharing this news, Ken. I’ll have to look into berberine more. Please keep us posted.

  • jim snell

    The response by Ken about the Berberine is most curious.

    I ve used it to boot pests – giardia, bacteria out of my gut, It has always done that well. I am intrigued by the comments about its use in diabetes.

    Best wishes and special thanks for all the latest articles, treatment and comments.

  • Dr. Galina

    Thank you for a very inspiring article! It just proved that our efforts are not “crazy”! My husband was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Our recent visit to an endocrinologist was a very upsetting experience and should not happen to anyone. My husband has been following a very strict diet eating the foods that have low GI and GL levels and are quite healthy – beans, lentils, oats, fish, chia seeds, etc.. When we visited the endocrinologist we were told that “50% of his beta cells are gone” (and that is WITHOUT any blood test results with his home measured glucose levels ranging from 5 to 7) and that he needs to stay on drugs for the rest of his life to “slow down the process of beta cells ‘death'”. We also heard from this doctor that eventually all type 2 diabetes people end up on insulin… That was very disheartening to hear … So, I started doing further research. That is when we came across your blog. Thanks again!!!

    • Arshad Munir

      My wife peptide is 1.3 what u did to control ur husband sugar so se I can apply to my wife

  • tsitsi shoshore

    thank you for the article , its such an encouragement because i had heard about irreversible damage and that eventually one ends up on insulin. Today I have been encouraged and will put more effort in mantaining low blood glucose. once again thank you

  • Gary

    I’m pre-diabetic, mostly manifested by FGL around 110, and breakfast spikes around 45-60 minutes that have not exceeded 170, (depending on the carbs I ate), before falling back to around 120-130 at the 2 hour point. A1C around 5.8.

    Metformin (3×850) along with a low carb diet has me consistently FG below 100, and spikes rarely above 140, usually falling to around 100-110 at the 2 hour point. Last A1C was 5.4.

    I’ve been at this for about 3 months, now. I wa fortunate enough to have bought a home testing unit a couple of years ago that I never used, and then did a coupld of tests on a whim, and discovered pretty high numbers in the mornings. A cooperative MD, and Metformin, and a few lao-carb web-sites later, and I was on my way.

    To say I feel much better now would be a major understatement. I plan to keep up my current regimen for at least a year, and if I begin to see normal numbers all the time and no more spikes over 140, I will begin to believe that my beta cells have begun to heal. If not, I will look into the insulin idea.

    The biggest problem I had was to find a doctor who would prescribe Metformin for a non-diabetic. I am not looking forward to finding one who will let me have insulin.

    In any case, whatever your situation is, getting those numbers down can only do you good.

  • Monika Gallegos

    Yes, keeping to salads….fish….small portions…and no poor food nutritionally….is probably the most important thing we can do ourselves…It means discipline and lots of chopping greens and vegetable…It is worth it of course. Monika. thanks.

  • Aimee

    I really liked this article, I found it when researching berberine. I am a type 1 diabetic, who has been researching healing type 1 diabetes for many, many years. I was Diagnosed 42 years ago. I am on a very low carb ketogenic diet, which has helped me lower my insulin requirements dramatically.
    I began taking capsules of berberine several months ago. I added it to my supplement regimen. I slowly ran out of my other supplements, which were only marginally helpful. I wanted to see what Berberine would do by itself. I am currently taking 2 capsules before each meal and I’ve had significant results. My insulin requirements have drastically reduced where I am down to only 8 units a day and I am hoping it will go even lower.
    I might add, that is very important that you test your blood sugar often, when taking berberine and you always carry something with you to raise your blood sugar when you have a low.

  • James

    Glad I found this article. I have been on metformin, and have adopted what I call an “Under 500” diet. under 500 Cals and Carbs per day. Still doing 200’s in my blood sugars though I have been at 150 once. Dr wants me to take Glyburaide- which i have had before which dangerous results. Gotta keep fighting this. Bring on my diabetes was my own stupid fault of eating more than I burned off fat- creating 600’+ tryglicerides for who knows how long. (I won’t go into the 11 years of “Actos” which as wrecked my heart) I want my happy pancreas back!!!

  • Rajinder Nath

    To all Type 2 diabetic patients. Must try this. Brew 05 green leaves of Basil (tusli) in boiling water for 05 minutes and drink it hot. Do it twice daily. Check after 6 months, your beta cells growth and health will improve incredibly.

  • veeresham

    my C peptide level is 0.57ng/ml(normal range 0.81-3.85ng/ml) according to chemiluminescence method of immunoassay, can you suggest to improve my beta cell activation?

  • John

    It was really interesting to learn about beta cell

  • Betty

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for your blog. It makes a lot of sense in view of what is happening with my husband.

    My husband (Type 2) was on a TDD of approx. 140 units of insulin per day.

    After reducing his carbs to a maximum of 12 carbs per meal, he’s lost weight and had to reduce his insulin because his numbers were going low. After reducing his insulin, he lost more weight and as a result had to again decrease his insulin.

    This scenario has repeated itself several times and now he’s lost over 30 pounds and is down to taking approx. 34 Units of insulin per day instead of 140.

    When he first started taking insulin, he would eat whatever he wanted and then take the insulin to cover his carbs and then gain more weight. As a result, he’d be more hungry, eat more carbs, consequently increasing his insulin and gaining even more weight, etc. spiraling upward in a vicious cycle.

    After the weight gain he had a triple bypass and then later had a heart attack ending up with a stent and a combination defibrillator/pacemaker implant. Then in February he went blind in one eye.

    By this time we were desperate to try anything that would help him so I quit my job in order to stay home and care for him.

    Once we decided to limit the carbs per meal to no more than 12, the cycle started to reverse itself with low carbs, then weight loss, and then a decrease in insulin and then more weight loss, etc. until he’s where he’s at now and still improving in both weight and insulin reduction.

    Question 1: In view of what’s happened and what is continuing to happen, would you say that his beta cells are being regenerated?

    Question 2: Since he’s had diabetes for so long (diagnosed in 1998) what are his chances of being able to get off of insulin completely?

    Thank you in advance for your reply . . . 🙂

    • Deesse

      Hello, I came across your interesting post. I am also type two diabetic, and a couple of months ago I read the wonderful book of Dr. Richard Bernstein, The complete guide to achieve normal blood sugar. I am experiencing a diminution as well of my need of insulin. Your husband has been quiet extraordinary to follow his low carb diet and reduce his need so much. He can have his own production of insulin checked with a C peptide test. This is wonderful if he feels better after all his struggles. For me the goal is to have a blood sugar in a normal range, with few up and down in order to keep my body out of future problems. If it takes insulin to make it, it ok. Diabetes is challenging but with the example of your husband, there are possibilities for a good self-management path. Thank for your input. Danielle

  • Arshad Munir

    I am Arshad from India.
    My wife is have type 2 for 6 years and she is 50 now
    She test the sugar fasting level every day which is about 150 mg/dl and she also restricts her diet
    but does not exercise.
    Her H1c is 7.1 and weight is normal with tummy fat slightly
    Guts how can i get her sugar down to normal.
    She is on 850 Glycepage afternno and dinner pre session
    pl advice dear all
    warm regards

    • David Spero RN

      Hi Arshad, If your wife is not able to exercise, I would suggest bitter melon for her — either in a tea, a capsule, or eating it. Cinnamon would probably help too. We have written about both of them on this site and they are available in India. Vinegar is another thought. And try to get her moving some kind of way.

      • Arshad Munir

        thanks David for advice
        which we shall surely follow and get back with the results

        • Arshad Munir

          Dear David
          I have always tested with fasting of 104 and A1C of 6.3
          Do you suggest medicines and I go to doctor or use herbal remedy with exercise
          Pl advise
          Arshad Munir

          • Arshad, if your A1C is 6.3 with a fasting of 104, you are probably spiking fairly high numbers after meals. You could try eating less carbohydrate, exercising (walking) right after meals, taking a spoonful of vinegar before eating, or asking your doctor about medicines to lower postmeal sugar levels. But an A1C of 6.3 is not all that high. Don’t get too stressed about it.

          • Dianna Inkster

            Go to a doctor. That a1c is very high.

  • Amit

    Hello I’m Amit from India I’m suffering from diabeties from last 8 years my fasting glucose level ranges from 240-280 I’m not on insulin rather I take medicine istamet pls suggest what treatment should be taken so that in short it can be cured as doctors told me that I’m a patient of chronic pancreatitis any treatment availble in world that I can take as stem cell or any other.

    • Amit, that fasting level is too high. I don’t know what you eat or how much movement you get, but it sounds like you could use more medication until you get this under control. I would also definitely consider bitter melon and vinegar as other solutions you could try. It also sounds like you could benefit from eating less starch and sugar, but you need to talk to a doctor or other advisor about your overall care.

    • Dianna Inkster

      You may need to take insulin as well. I’d see a doctor (an endocrinologist). If you are not making insulin, then, you might be a candidate for an islet cell transplant, but those are experimental and you have to go on extremely expensive anti-rejection drugs afterwards. Learn how to manage your blood glucose. That’s the only treatment at the moment. Are there diabetes educators in India. Maybe, your endocrinologist can refer you to one so you what to eat and when and what medications you need to take.

  • Arshad Munir

    David Thanks for advise
    Vinegar any particular such as sugarcane or any will do
    pl advice

  • jayant Tupere

    I am jayant from India iam 42 years old.
    iam diabetes since last 2 months onley.
    my blood sugar levels is 130 and185 iwant to cure diabetes.
    Please give me valuable guide line.

    • MARIA


  • Kimberly Lawson

    I am trying to find something that I could give my 3 year old the help with beta cell regeneration. I will give some info on him we was told that he has type1 diabetes on June 11 2015 then on July 8 we went in for an appointment an all his antibodies were negative so they said he may have type 1b or he may have moby an let me say they took him off his long lasting on June 30 an when we was at his appointment on the 8 they took him off all shots he has had a rough 3 years already he also epileptic

  • Peggy Holloway

    A ketogenic diet is a much better choice. Vegan diets are much to high in carbohydrate (sugar) for any type of diabetic. No he won’t gain beta cell function on a vegan diet and his Diabetes will become even harder to manage.

  • Girl with hope

    Hi David, I always read your articles , you give me a lot of hope in healing my diabetes.I am 29 with diabetes(they are not sure if I am 1.5 or 2 because I have GAD antibodies) for 14 years! My A1c has been 6.0-6.8,but now I came down to 6.2 and still on no medications or insulin. I tested negative/low for insulin or beta cell antibodies and there is presence of insulin in my blood. I have never been so strict with diet, but I exercise most of the times(light walk).I have upper normal thyroid, which was out of whack before.I drink a lot of black tea with milk. Do you think my diabetes is reversible if I go on low glycemic index diet and exercise regularly and add yoga ? I could add some herbal home remedies too. I have anxiety and can’t sleep at nights for years, could you give me some advice/suggestions? Thank you so much &Take care. 🙂

    • Hi Girl with Hope, 6.2 is not bad; you are doing some things right. I definitely think you can get better with exercise, low carb, possibly metformin, vinegar, or bitter melon. It sounds like you need to relax more, too. Maybe try relaxation or meditation music.

  • Girl with hope

    What about almond milk?

  • ..:)

    I found this article interesting i am 39 years old and have had type 1.5 since the age of 16years, pcos as well as weight issues at my biggest i was 145-155kg, i had a child in 2010 which i was insullin dependant but managed a hba1c of 6.3 the whole pregnancy and had reduced my weight to 130kg , lost 16kg while pregnant but went back to 125kg i was a vegan or vegitarian for a total of 11years which did nothing for my gluscose at all.

    Aftery pregnancy my hba1c was 5.8 and continued for 2years untill i had stress and acute renal failure develop after having my kidneys recover 4 years later no diabeties at all no meds and i eat what i want when i want.i am still losing weight and with no effort no diets no gyms.

    So the theroy of beta cell regeneration is not just a theroy as it seems to have happened to me and doctors are baffled.
    Dont give up hope all it can be done .

    • Nirmala

      Can you please explain a bit more? Is it through diet?

  • Abhijit Chakraborty

    It’s nice going. I am Abhijit from Kolkata India. I am generally Diabetic from last 4 years, but took it casually. I found to be sleepy lazy, gaining weight, stressed. A normally sick in tendency. Week ago on the insistence of my wife I went on Blood Sugar test. The report came on Fasting 280 mg/dl and on Post parandial 547mg/dl. It gave me a kick. I started studying various notes on Diabetes Management, I found few, and compiled.
    Week after without taking and medicine my blood sugar is Fasting 159 mg/dl. PP 185 mg/dl. though i could not manage the plan completely, i opted, due to my profession.
    Now how?
    I went thru only vegan lightly cooked or uncooked items.
    Routine i followed
    Half an hour jogging/walking combined with some stretch exercises.
    Breakfast – Citric fruits like , Lime, Apple, papaya, guava combined with sprouts.
    Tea; only black tea, no sugar no milk.
    Lunch: bolied vegetables except carrot potato.
    snacks: boiled yellow pea with fresh lemon juice and raw onion green chillies and little salt.
    Dinner: combination of bolied vegetables with fresh cashew or almond milk
    now i am noticing, I have lost weight, shape of my belly is almost flat instead of that earlier ugly pot belly, my slightly double chin have came down to almost normal and jaw lines are visible now giving me a pleasant feelings. the only problem i am facing is that my wardrobe is now full of oversized dresses. Otherwise I can say I am healthy now, more active in body and mind.
    Just sharing this, if it can help anyone on this earth.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Abhijit. You are making great progress — glad you are feeling better and your numbers are coming down. Please try to get them down farther. A fasting of 159 is still way too high. The vegan diet might do it for you, or you might want to add bitter melon or ask a doctor about a medicine such as metformin.

    • Tonyruthie

      Hi Abhijit Chakraborty….congratulations. I read somewhere about how to find one’s authentic weight but I’ve found waist measurement charts that are specified for small medium and large boned individuals and height of course are what is best for me. There is a direct correlation between every inch in diameter of my waist and fasting blood sugars. Every inch loss produces about 10 points loss in blood sugar reading. I think that for me the most important thing for me to do since I was extremely thin but not malnourished teenager and early adult is to consider that as my “authentic weight” and more importantly, the small waist size that went with it. By the way…. great you’re doing the after dinner walk. I heard it reduces blood sugar about the rate of 1 point per minute. Take care

  • ar T2

    Does eating low carb and high fat created insulin resistance ? I was diagnosed last year in December with a1c 11.2 which I brought down to 5.9 in 3 months thru diet and exercise and lost 20 pounds. In June 2016 my a1c was 5.5 , the fasting is between 90 to 103 and postpardinal is between 99 to 143 range. I want to know with diet and exercise what is changing in me is my insulin resistance getting better at hepatic and muscular level or I am again producing the required insulin . Is there a way to know it is problem with pancrease or liver or overall cellular IR. I am 40 and 117lbs now was 140lbs when diagnosed. Plz suggest how to find the root cause , docs are no good they are interested in prescribing medicine only based on reports. I do not take any medicine.

    • I don’t think you can be sure without tests. If your insulin level is high, you probably are still insulin resistant. There are fancier tests that can tell you more, but why bother? What you are doing now seems to be working. Keep it up, and congratulations!

  • Those numbers are considered normal, so your insulin production is keeping up with your needs. Probably both your IR and your insulin response have improved. Good, now you can focus on other things.

    • Mango Man

      Hi David,

      I guess this question need to be addressed,

      Does eating low carb and high fat created insulin resistance ?

  • Priyanshi Shah

    Hello i am priyanshi shah from Ahmedabad i am 20 years old n i am patient of daibetes type 2 my sugar levels stay in controll bt can my beta cells be recovered n if yes than i would like to know how it can happen

    • subhendu sahoo

      I’m type 1 diabetic and I’m 22yrs old from kolkata and much helpless about my issues and my sugar levels are highly fluctuating from high to low

  • Camilo

    Hi ar T2. Congrats on your results. I was really looking deep into T2D and a recent study from Dr. Roy Taylor (Newcastle University) showed that beta cells can be restored. It is all about reducing the pancreas and liver fats. Doing this, you can reverse your T2D and you can get rid of it as long as you keep your weight steady. Almost all participants eat now 2/3 of what they used to but it is always better to avoid a lot of candies and carbos. Hopefully this clarifies your doubts.

  • Anupam Tyagi

    hi David , i was diagnosed as sugar person hb1ac with 11 in april 16 bought it down to 5.8 in sept 16 , during my first test after taking medication , regular 1 hour walk daily, my medication has also come down to half a tablet of metafomin twice daily only , my query after going thru your blogs is what else should i do to regenerate my beta cells , i have lost some 15 kgs of weight following a mostly veg diet , want to go back to a normal schedule . Regards Anupam

    • Good work, Anupam, on taking care of yourself so well. You say you want to go back to a “normal schedule,” but don’t say what that was for you. I believe that if you can keep your A1C below 6, your beta cells are likely to recover, but it might be a long process, and I doubt it will ever be wise for you to start eating a lot of sugar.

    • Beauty

      Noni juice will help regenerate the pancreatic beta cells in order to produce enough insulin to normalise ur blood sugar level

  • Hi Sam, sorry I didn’t see this until now. It’s awesome that you can manage Type 1 without insulin, if you do have Type 1. If you can work with a doctor on rejuvenating beta cells, you might start with an insulin level and a c-peptide test to find out how much insulin your body is producing now. Various nutrients have been suggested to improve beta cell function, at least in rodents. You can see about six of them at this website.



  • Hi Dilip, I apologize for not seeing this sooner. If your A1C is 11, you should definitely be on medicines, and you are right to be worried. You need to cut way down on starches and sugars, and move your body more. There are plant medicines like bitter melon and others you can try , but medication can also help.

  • disqus_qFU21EFi2I

    Hi, I’m a bit confused about my prediabetes/Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. I have had some high fasting glucose results of 142 and 131 then 110 and 129 with blood taken at a clinic which resulted in the Type 2 diagnosis. However my HbA1c results have consistently come back with 6.0-6.1 which puts me in the prediabetes bracket. I have my own glucose monitor which I have checked for accuracy and I have never been above 128 for fasting glucose according to this. I wonder if the stress of being at the clinic is making a difference. ?
    I have also had insulin tests done and these came back as 3 (on a scale of 2.6-24.9 uU/ml = normal) for fasting insulin count and 43 (on a scale of >10 = normal) for insulin resistance ratio.
    I am confused because I don’t seem to have insulin resistance and yet I have problems with glucose control.
    Could this be the beginnings of Type 1 or do you think I have had Type 2 for so long that my pancreas is beginning to give up producing insulin? I don’t know what to think and all my doctor wants to do is put me on Metformin which helps with insulin resistance ..?

    • Disqus, it sounds like you are not producing enough insulin. Can you ask to be tested for Type 1 or LADA, which is kind of a slow-moving Type 1? If you don’t want to start insulin, you could look into bitter melon or one of the other plant medicines mentioned here:

      • disqus_qFU21EFi2I

        Thank you for your reply. Yes I will ask about Type 1 testing although with my history of taking corticosteroids and Tamoxifen for cancer my doctor is convinced this is Type 2. In the meantime I will check out the plant medicines that you suggest. I would much rather find a natural remedy and use diet and exercise for as long as I can.

        • AudioSK

          @disqus_qFU21EFi2I, That’s interesting that you have been taking corticosteroids and Tamoxifen. One of the downsides to corticosteriods is that it can raise blood sugars *substantially*. Can you get off this drug? It’s probably one of the biggest issues for blood sugar. Second, Tamoxifen may have lowered your estradiol to the extent that you have lost insulin sensitivity. Once again, if you get off these drugs, you may see your blood sugars come back to normal. Lastly, if you are taking a statin drug for cholesterol…that’s another one that can directly raise your blood sugar.

  • Arun Jain

    Hi David, I was diagnosed with Type 2 about 7 years ago. Had to start on insulin about 4 years back and thru years of neglect and laziness last year inspite of incredibly high doses of Insulin (45 unit of lantus and 120+ units of Novarapid per day) my sugar levels were above 200+ all the time. HBA1C was 9.0. Weight increased from 90 to 105 Kgs over time.

    I started regular exercise (1 hr walk daily + stretching exercises) and low carb diet about a 3 months back and I am already seeing a dramatic improvement in my insulin sensitivity. I am now down to about 24 units of novarapid and 20 units of Lantus daily with sugar staying between 100-150 range at almost all times. Weight down to 98 kgs.

    I have two questions-

    1. I had HBA1C test on 5 Jan 17 – 9.0; then after keeping my sugar under control (i thought!!!) – HBA1C now came as 9.2. While I understand that HBA1C is a 3 month test bus atleast 1 month of good control should have shown some improvement. Your comment on the same are welcome.

    2. More importantly i am now down to 4-6 units of Novarapid per meal (from 20+) and wondering if I can ever hope get off insulin completely especially given my years of neglect.


    • Hi Arun, If your sugars are coming down, your A1C will come down too. Keep up the physical activity; don’t eat sugars or much starch. Next reading should be better. And yes, it is totally possible to get off insulin, at least the rapid-acting kind. Keep working at it.

    • huitrecouture

      Your spikes are throwing off the math for the A1C. A1c is a lie since it is an average of HIGH HIGH spikes, and potentially hypos. You need to eat to your meter even if it means you ONLY eat raw dark greens and vegetables and two cups of beans per day. And one ounce of nuts. Fuhrman Eat to Live.

  • Laura Oyler

    I have been newly diagnosed with prediabetes. My Hba1c is 5.8. My fasting glucose is anywhere from 100 -130. I have been watching my weight and have lost the suggested 7% body weight by reducing carbs and walking (although somewhat erratically) I now weigh about 157. For the most part, I see my glucose levels range from 115 – 150, higher sometimes, but I think I haven’t waited the full 2 hours before testing again. My husband thinks I am holding on too tight and thinking that my post-meal numbers are too high. My Dr has given me no information as to what I should/shouldn’t be doing. My biggest complaint is foot neuropathy, which I just get a shrug from all Dr’s I’ve been to (internist, chiro, neuro, podiatrist, etc.) I take neurotin when I can’t stand it any longer, but it makes me loopy. Is there something I should be asking for a far as tests for insulin resistance, etc. My Dr just asked me “well, I can put you on metformin if you want” (not happy with that response) from what I have read, I’m not that bad off yet, but I’ve heard awful stories air it’s effects on organs. My next step?

    • Debbie Campbell Gonzalez

      Listening to your doctor is the best thing for you . Insulin resistance is what I have Homa – I R my pancreas is making insulin but my cells are resistance to it. Without the Metforman are Fersiga . You will definitely become a diabetic. Your pancreas makes insulin and turns it into energy. But Insulin resistance it turns into sugar. Try the Metforman are Victrosa it’s not insulin but it’s a pin it’s injections you just got to get your cells to acept the insulin. I’m talking Metforman 500 2 X a day and fersiga 10 mg 1 X a day . And Cytomel 2 in the morning and 1 around 2:00 . I’m tired in the afternoon so I’ll take a nap .Do something before I ts to late don’t just see your regular doctor see and Endacanology Doctor they will suprise you how much better they are. Good luck. Hope I can reverse mine heal my cells before it’s to late

  • Preston Jong

    I lowered my fasting glucose levels in the 140 to 160 mg/dl range to now 97 in 8 weeks. I did this by eating less than 1500 cal in a single vegan meal that I eat between 9 and 10 pm. I consume no calories of any kind for 23 hours. Not only does this give beta cells a resting time but I increased insulin sensitivity. Today even after eating this high carb cooked vegan meal my glucose levels don’t go over 108 mg/dl at any point after the meal.

    • Shai

      How much weight have you lost?

  • I was diagnosed with diabetes. My doctor put me on insulin instantly for a month and my blood sugar levels came back to normal.Then he gave me medicines and put me on regular diet. I have never seen it go above the prescribed limit. My fasting comes 70-100 and pp- 100-130.

  • Daria Carlevaro-Baeza

    Hello Sam! Was wondering how your journey with diabetes is going. I was recently diagnosed with type 1.5 (LADA) Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in adults and was told will need to take insulin. I’m getting a second opinion from a integrative doctor near me after finding a doctor who believes it can be reversed. His name is Dr. Mark Hyman – not sure if you’ve heard of him. Pasta was what caught my eye. I too have loved all things pasta but I fear those days are over if I was to live. Anyway just hoping you found your answers and would love to hear where you are at with the disease?