Diabetes truly is a national health epidemic with 27 million people currently diagnosed, and another 86 million people estimated to be pre-diabetic. Just as troubling, many of these people are unaware that they are pre-diabetic and they cannot take action now to prevent the onset of diabetes.
Generally, there is a misconception that diabetes is a blood sugar problem. But actually, diabetes is a cellular problem where our cells are unable to receive the glucose (sugar) that is being delivered through the blood stream.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas, and insulin acts as the "key" to the glucose receptors in cells throughout your body. When produced at sufficient levels, insulin "unlocks" the cell which allows glucose to be delivered into the cell. However, if these receptors remain locked, then glucose builds up in the blood stream which causes nerve and blood vessel damage.
Over a long period of time, these elevated levels of glucose will lead to serious complications which may include heart attacks, kidney disease, blindness, and amputations.
The Traditional Medicine Approach
If you are diabetic, then you are likely on diabetic medications or you monitor your blood sugar and receive insulin either through a needle or an insulin pump. These methods of diabetes management are effective, but it takes a toll on your body as you are in a constant state of balancing glucose levels.
How Functional Medicine Is Different
The doctors at the Institute of Functional Health are particularly proud of their record of success when it comes to treating diabetic patients. Diabetes is more prevalent today than at any point in human history, and this is not because humans are evolving genetically to develop diabetes.
But rather, diabetes is the by-product of lifestyle choices. And not because people are consciously choosing to make bad choices. The real problem is that every person's body reacts differently to the food and nutrients that go in it. You are guided down the path of following the masses, and taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
At the Institute for Functional Health, our intensive lab work will identify the bio-markers that predispose you to diabetes, and set out the gameplan that fixes the underlying cause. We are not going to prescribe you insulin to mask the symptom. We are going to identify the root cause and help your body to restore itself. Our patient success stories speak for themselves . . . and we want to feature you next!
Types of Diabetes
The two primary types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is genetic and appears rather suddenly usually before the age of 2.
Type 2 diabetes is the disease that gets the most attention because it develops over time and is often the result of a lifetime of lifestyle choices. There are many factors, including dietary choices and lack of physical activity that can be the culprit.
Pre-diabetes is a physical state where glucose levels are higher than normal, but they are not yet to the point to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes. With better lifestyle choices, many people can delay or completely prevent ever reaching the stage of Type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and resolves itself after the delivery of the baby. After developing gestational diabetes, women have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future, so becoming educated and making healthy lifestyle choices is especially important.
Can diabetes be prevented?
We can not change our race, ethnicity or family history, but research has clearly shown that making positive lifestyle choices including eating a healthy diet, getting daily physical activity, weight and stress management and not smoking can help delay or prevent diabetes for those at risk. For those who have diabetes, regular medical care and diabetes self-management education is essential to prevent complications.