Blood Sugar Balance Using Functional Medicine
Can diabetes or pre-diabetes be reversed?
Only a decade or two ago the mainstream answer was always a resounding no. But now they have caved on this position. I’ve seen many cases of diabetes and prediabetes significantly improved and reversed and science has backed this up. But it’s important to realize that there are many types of diabetes and varying degees.
What is diabetes?
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune condition when the immune system attacks and destroys the pancreas. This diminishes the ability to make insulin. Without insulin sugar stays in the blood (high blood sugar) and cannot get into the body‘s cells for energy. This causes fatigue, hunger and excessive thirst (the body trying to dilute the sugar). In order to improve blood sugar balance with type one diabetes it requires a functional medicine approach that addresses the underlying immune problem. It is important to resolve the immune problem before it completely destroys the insulin producing pancreatic cells.
Type 2 is referred to as insulin resistance. That’s when the cells of the body cannot take in as much sugar causing the blood sugar to rise. Studies have shown that it is possible to reverse this process and many have succeeded when addressing targeted needs. The functional focus with type 2 diabetes is to restore normal cell ability to enable utilization of sugar again. This is different than type 1. Instead of addressing the immune system it’s important to address the cells. Specifically the cell membranes where the insulin receptors sit. When the cell membranes become insulin resistant it keeps the insulin from bringing sugar into the cell and causes high blood sugar and sugar storage into fat. The result is low energy, weight gain, risk for heart attack or stroke, future of dementia, loss of vision and kidney problems. Solving the insulin resistance problem is the key to better health for a diabetic.
What is pre-diabetes and how does holistic care help?
Prediabetes is essentially type two diabetes but to a lesser degree. Think of it as on your way to diabetes. It is also insulin resistance so it still has all the health risks of diabetes.
What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia is a condition of low blood sugar. It can also be a steppingstone to diabetes even though it seems to be the opposite. Chronic hypoglycemia is telling us that the body cannot regulate its blood sugar. The approach for hypoglycemia is to detect and correct the cause of the blood sugar dysfunction.
Functional medicine and Diabetes
In every case whether it’s type one diabetes, type two diabetes, pre-diabetes or hypoglycemia it all comes down to blood sugar dysregulation. To resolve these conditions they all require finding out what is truly causing the dysregulation. That cause can be very different for each individual. For many people it’s not just simply a matter of eating too much sugar. Think of the person sitting across the dinner table from you. If they are eating the same amount of dessert on a regular basis why are they not diabetic? There is an underlying problem that is driving the condition. Whether its a combination of factors like digestive problems, HORMONE IMBALANCE, IMMUNE PROBLEMS or WEIGHT CHALLENGES. That’s what FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE seeks to find and fix.