Diabetes…is it a diagnosis for life?
Diabetes…is it a diagnosis for life?
Most patients are overwhelmed and scared by a diagnosis of diabetes. Many times they are handed a pill to bring their blood sugar levels down without understanding why their blood sugar is high to begin with. At Heal n Cure, our approach to treating type 2 diabetes or prediabetes is to identify the root cause of why your blood glucose is elevated. As you address the root cause, the symptom of elevated glucose goes away rather than staying low because of a medication.
I don’t have diabetes yet…
Insulin resistance, abnormal fasting glucose levels, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes are all on the spectrum of the same problem. The underlying pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes is the same. Both are characterized by abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure, and triglycerides. The sugar spectrum disorders are now considered a major health hazard and have even been called a “global pandemic.” Researchers suggest that an increase in high-calorie, low-fiber fast food, an increase in sedentary lifestyles, and a decrease in physical activity contribute to the rising incidence.
But I’m not fat…
The root cause of most sugar spectrum disorders is visceral adipose tissue or VAT or Belly Fat. And yes, you may look skinny and still have elevated levels of VAT hiding in your organs making their function suboptimal. There are many kinds of extreme diet and exercise programs which are helpful in addressing visceral adiposity. They can be applied cautiously and with medical supervision as they are difficult to sustain.
What can I do now?
Ketogenic diet is one of these extreme programs. The biochemical rationale for ketogenic diets is that very low carbohydrate intake results in low levels of blood glucose leading the body to release less insulin and, instead use fatty acids and their metabolites, known as ketone bodies. Ketones make a great primary source of energy as they are able to cross the blood brain barrier. During ketogenesis, not only are insulin and glucose levels reduced, but other hormonal changes may occur that can have positive impacts on physiology. As long as the body is deprived of carbohydrates, it remains in a state of nutritional ketosis, in which small amounts of keto acids are effectively buffered in the blood. This is perceived as “keto flu” during the early days of the diet, in which patients may feel fatigued, feel weak, or experience GI disturbances. This is in contrast to the changes in blood pH that occur with ketoacidosis, a condition in which large amounts of acid cause life-threatening alterations in blood chemistry. Ketones can also decrease free radical damage and enhance antioxidant capacity. While a Ketogenic diet may allow patients to lower their use of diabetes medications or even functionally reverse their diabetes diagnosis, it is very difficult to sustain long term and in some cases shown to be strenuous for heart, liver and kidney. Not eating fruits, legumes, and high-fiber whole grains may be eliminating sources of many beneficial nutrients. Two recent meta-analyses found that low carbohydrate diets were associated with a small increase in all-cause mortality. Therefore, this approach should be practiced cautiously and with physician supervision.
Another great strategy to treat sugar spectrum disorders is Intermittent fasting, in which a patient will fast for one or more days a week (or every day by prolonging the overnight fast), with the rest of the diet consisting of ad libitum eating. The idea here is that the body will enter ketosis temporarily, perhaps conferring some of the same benefits as prolonged ketosis. Intermittent fasting has been shown to lead to a reduction in body fat mass and improvement in metabolic parameters among patients with obesity and sugar spectrum disorders.
Participation in regular physical activity, both aerobic and resistance training, improves blood glucose control and can prevent or delay sugar spectrum disorders along with positively affecting lipids, blood pressure, cardiovascular events, mortality, and quality of life. Structured interventions combining physical activity and modest weight loss have been shown to lower type 2 diabetes risk by up to 58% in high-risk populations.
I’ve changed my diet and started to exercise, but…
Many of you have realized that even when you try to eat right and exercise, it seems that your body is fighting against you and you don’t feel better. The most common underlying cause is sub-optimal flow of energy. You may not be absorbing the nutrients well or your body might be overwhelmed with toxins (Diabetogen). At the cellular/mitochondrial level you may not be able to convert the food into energy or your hormones might be out of whack. With any of these scenarios, you may feel you have hit a wall.
To summarize there is not a golden pill for sugar spectrum disorders. What works and is sustainable is a structured methodical approach to reset your physiology at the cellular level so that’s who you become, free of sugar spectrum disorders
Reversal IS an option!
Many of our patients are surprised to learn that it is completely possible to reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. This is shocking to people because they are often told by their health care provider that this is a chronic condition that will need to be managed daily for the rest of a person’s life. Since the patient trusts their doctor to give them accurate advice, they often don’t question this fact and accept their diabetes will be with them forever. In actuality, many of our patients are absolutely able to reverse their diabetes entirely, allowing them to live free of the constant worry and stress.
We focus on finding the root cause of the problem and providing our patients with natural and holistic solutions. We don’t simply write you a prescription to minimize your symptoms and hope to mitigate complications, but will present you with solutions that heal your body so that those symptoms naturally dissipate or completely resolve.
Our customized 4 prong approach to treat type 2 diabetes is comprehensive and integrated. It focuses on restoring the gut health, detoxifying your body of diabetogenic chemicals, optimizing your hormones, and resetting your physiology at the cellular level.
At Heal n Cure, we evaluate the body as an entire operating system rather than focusing on isolated symptoms. By looking at the complete picture, we can pinpoint where the problem is and create customized care plans for you based on your individual needs rather than a standard protocol for care that may not be effective for everyone.