Reversing Diabetes Naturally with Functional Medicine
Type 2 diabetes is also no longer limited to middle-aged and older adults; children and young people are increasingly being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, significantly increasing their risks of many other chronic diseases throughout their lifespans.
The conventional medicine approach for treating type 2 diabetes, long centered around a “wait and see” mentality and drug therapy.
But as long as the body is compensating via overload the lab numbers will be normal.
Instead of waiting for the numbers to become treatable ,we need to tackle each riskfactor or the aggravators .
HOW DOES DIABETES OCCUR ?
It’s now clear that type 2 diabetes can occur even in the absence of obesity.
Today, we now understand that we cannot blame diabetes on any single factor.
Rather, the disease process is driven by a complex network of diet and lifestyle factors, oxidative stress, and genetics.
Diet is not the only contributing factor—a sedentary lifestyle, inadequate sleep, chronic stress, gut dysfunction, and environmental toxins also play significant roles.
They cause oxidative stress, damage pancreatic beta cells (responsible for making insulin), and induce cellular insulin resistance, setting the stage for serious metabolic dysfunction.
WHY A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH IS REQUIRED ?
A person may be severely insulin resistant and still present with normal blood sugars.
Nothing can fix your body better than it can fix itself.
Your lifestyle and nutrient status profoundly impact insulin and consequently lead to diabetes.
Manage the deficiencies, aggravators and the body fixes its own blood sugar imbalance. The functional medicine approach looks for the root cause of your disease, rather than simply treating the symptoms. To do this we need to identify the underlying factors that are driving the insulin resistance which is at the root of your diabetes.
We need to take a look at your inflammation, vitamin deficiencies, sex hormones, stress hormones, thyroid hormones, gastrointestinal health, and liver health. Any and all of these can dramatically affect insulin resistance and diabetes progression. Investigating a blood sugar imbalance involves a close-up-and-personal look at multiple elments involoved in the maintainance of blood sugar and insulin.
The variables include your brain, thyroid, adrenal glands, liver, pancreas, gut, and cell membranes, all working synergistically to regulate blood sugar and insulin. Functional medicine seeks to address these diabetes aggravators, so your body is better able to process insulin and use it better.
INSULIN RESISTANCE : THE LEADING CULPRIT
Before a person becomes a diabetic, they go through a stage called insulin resistance.
This means that their cells require more insulin than usual to force that sugar into the cells.
This problem is promoted by lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity, overeating, high sugar and high starch snacks and meals, and a lack of fiber.
People in the insulin resistance stage usually complain of getting tired after meals, cravings for sweets, and trouble losing weight.
When the insulin receptor becomes over-saturated (due to inflammation or insulin resistance) sugar cannot get into the cells.
This excess sugar is converted into circulating fats called triglycerides. This process demands a lot of energy, resulting in fatigue after a meal.
High triglycerides on a blood test are one of the first signs of insulin resistance and seen before diabetes is full blown.
Insulin resistance ALWAYS comes before diabetes is officially diagnosed.
Through a functional medicine approach you can manage your insulin resistance and optimise your pancreas function and signalling.
Presence or absence of a food group doesn’t reduce diabetes.it infacts exacerbates it.
the PFC Method, which ensures you have protein, fat, and fiber-rich carbohydrates with each meal and snack optimises your body’s nutrient absorption.
By adjusting Your Carb Quantity and Quality you can see significant improvements in HbA1c, triglycerides, and cholesterol, while also lowering your diabetes medication requirements.
Low carb diets with resistant starches are better choice as these don’t cause sudden spikes in blood sugars.
Low glycemic index foods decrese insulin overdrive thereby reducing your progression.
[The glycemic index is a scale that measures the insulin response your body will have after eating a certain food. The higher the number, the more insulin your pancreas will secrete.]
Modifying our body’s response to the sugar spikes is the mainstay.
A ketogenic diet has been found to improve HbA1c, promote weight loss, reverse kidney damage, and improve blood lipids and cardiovascular health in type 2 diabetics.
Increasing protein intake improves blood sugar control and satiety (the feeling of fullness) and preserves lean body mass in diabetics.
How does gluten contribute to diabetes?
Gluten increases intestinal permeability, causing leaky gut and systemic inflammation; these two factors precede type 2 diabetes.gluten-free diet increases the functional capacity of beta cells, the pancreatic cells responsible for making insulin, and improves glucose tolerance.
Fix your leaky gut with gut healing supplements like glutamine ,zinc and a LOW FODMAP DIET.
Correction of nutrient deficiencies optimises insulin function and halts the progress.
Diabetics cycle nutrients faster than a non diabetics.this lands them in a nutrient deficit state .
The essential ones are vitamin d , magnesium ,chromium ,folate,alphalipoic acid etc
chromium helps with in the human body and that is to make insulin receptor sites more sensitive to insulin. This is critical for a person with diabetes because it helps to lower blood sugar levels safely.
Excess inflammation causes a person to use more zinc than they normally would.Since diabetes is a disease rooted in inflammation, a lot of diabetics are also low in zinc. Zinc is also an important nutrient to the pancreas and required for normal function.
Metformin [the drug prescribed to improve insulin sensitivity ]increases levels of Akkermansia muciniphila, a commensal gut bacterium associated with reduced inflammation and improved metabolic health.
It also has a risk of colon cancer in the long run.
Supplementation with Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria improves biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in type 2 diabetics and lowers fasting blood sugar by promoting an anti-inflammatory gut microbiota.
Studies have shown that probiotics can cause a significant increase in insulin sensitivity, better fasting glucose and insulin levels, and increased glucose uptake from the bloodstream into the body.
Probiotic supplementation may even benefit inflammation and fat storage in the liver, both of which correlate with insulin resistance.
SUPPORT YOUR ADRENALS
The best herbs to treat adrenal fatigue are ashwagandha,rhodiola ,holy basil .licorice root.
Flood your adrenalls with B vitamins, vitamin C which optimises its function and prevents overload and inflammation .
Research indicates that walking for just 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by approximately 50 percent.
Exercise increases insulin receptor site sensitivity – When you use your muscles, they need more energy to fire, so the insulin receptor sites on muscle tissue become more receptive to insulin. This is why even a short walk can lower your blood sugars and insulin demands dramatically.
By increasing exercise levels, we can help decrease those cravings and the constant need to eat. A lot of people with insulin resistance are thought to be leptin resistant as well.[ leptin signals your brain that you are full and to stop eating. When you have leptin resistance, not only do you feel hungry all the time, but you crave the wrong foods]
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) also appears beneficial—it reduces fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, and cardiovascular complications in type 2 diabetes and is more effective than continuous aerobic activity (such as jogging) for improving blood sugar control.
sleep loss may promote type 2 diabetes by interfering with energy metabolism and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Obstructive sleep apnoes ,a common cause of sleep loss, promotes type 2 diabetes by inducing hypoxia (when the body doesn’t get enough oxygen), which in turn impairs insulin production by pancreatic beta cells.
substantially elevated risk of type 2 diabetes observed in night shift workers suggests that circadian disruption also promotes diabetes in humans.
Chronic HPA axis activation causes beta cell dysfunction, inhibiting the effects of insulin and inducing insulin resistance.
Stress decreases insulin receptor sensitivity – Your body has to make more insulin to have the same response on blood sugar when the receptors are not working properly.
Stress causes your liver to raise your blood sugar – This is your body’s way of increasing energy to handle a stressful situation
BPA exposure contributes to diabetes by causing stress in pancreatic beta cells, impairing insulin secretion.
It also decreases the levels of adiponectin, a protein hormone that regulates glucose levels, reducing insulin sensitivity in fat cells, skeletal muscle, and the liver. Importantly, BPS, a chemical alternative to BPA commonly used in “BPA-free” products, may not be any safer for the body.
Phthalates exacerbate type 2 diabetes by disrupting the PI3K/AKT pathway, reducing the number of glucose receptors in the pancreas and inducing insulin resistance.
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), a category of environmental toxins that include organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and fluorinated compounds, reduce insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells, causing hyperglycemia.
OVERALL FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE AIMS TO IDENTIFY THE TRIGGERS AND CORRECT THE VARIOUS FACTORS THAT DRIVE INSULIN RESISTANCE AND BLOOD SUGAR IMBALANCE ONE BY ONE TO STOP THE PROGRESSION OF DISEASES AND DESTRUCTION OF PANCREAS .