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Managing Diabetes in Today’s World
It is alarming that 1 in 4 Americans have diabetes or are pre-diabetic. The good news, however, is that a lot can be done to turn around diabetes. Few diabetics know they have the capability to reverse this disease that is so impacted by lifestyle.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body’s own immune system begins to destroy cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin. Most are affected before age 20 although some people are affected later in life, often as a result of an infection. Traditional medicine does not offer a cure for this form of diabetes. However, if caught immediately, there are some holistic medicine therapies that can reverse the effects of Type I diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of diabetes mellitus, affecting around 90-95% of those with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is not only completely preventable, it is curable in the majority of cases when holistic medicine concepts are used early on in treatment. In Type 2 diabetes, the body produces small amounts of insulin but the cells are unable to use it properly, resulting in insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels.
Diabetes is not a disease of blood sugar, which is why the conventional approach to managing diabetes is not the most appropriate. Rather, it is an endocrine disorder in which hormones are not properly utilized or produced. Both types of diabetes are a direct result of leptin and insulin signal failures. Leptin is a protein produced by fat cells and is involved in regulating food intake and fat storage in the body. High leptin levels contributes directly to progressive weight gain, stubborn weight loss, and subsequent weight regain. Elevated insulin levels are related to many diseases including heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and obesity. Leptin is largely responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling and determines insulin resistance.
Merge Medical Center uses integrative and holistic medicine strategies to repair the signaling of insulin and leptin in treating diabetes. The following are used to restore Leptin (and also insulin) levels:
|Low Glycemic Index Diet||Proper Dietary Phytonutrients||Specific Exercise Training|
|Herbs||Estrogen Dominance Repair||Restore Anabolic Hormones|
|Nutraceutical Supplements||Restore Restful Sleep||Optimal Vitamin D3 Level|
When blood sugar levels get too high, insulin is released to direct where the excess sugar (energy) should go. A small amount is stored as a starch called glycogen and the rest is stored as fat- our bodies main source of energy. This shows that insulin’s main purpose is not to control or lower blood sugar levels but merely to control where the energy is stored.
Those who have diabetes are at risk for developing Diabetic Heart Disease that can lead to heart attacks. The higher a person’s blood sugar levels are, the higher the risk for developing DHD.
1. Exercise: It is one of the fastest and most important ways to get control of your insulin and leptin levels/resistance. Certain types of exercise work better than others. Personalized exercise regimes based on age, fitness level and test results allow individuals to realize more immediate and lasting improvements.
2. Eliminate Fructose, Grains and Sugars: One of the many reasons that conventional diabetes treatments have been flawed over the recent decades is the incorrect dietary recommendations. Your body’s insulin reactions are due primarily to fructose and grain intake. By eliminating all sugars and grains (including whole wheat, breads, pastas, cereals, rice, potatoes and corn), you have a better chance of being able to control your body’s insulin resistance.
3. Eat Right for Your Nutritional Type: It is vital to balance your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake. Most Americans are consuming high carb diets without healthy fat consumption. One must use nutrition to minimize blood sugar ‘ups and downs’ by consuming more foods that sustain blood sugar levels throughout the day.
4. Monitor Your Fasting Insulin Level: Monitoring your insulin levels is just as important as monitoring your fasting blood glucose levels. The higher the level, the worse the insulin sensitivity.
5. Optimize Your Vitamin D: Healthy Vitamin D levels have been shown to help prevent the development of type-2 diabetes.
6. Probiotics: The gut is full of good and bad bacteria to help your body maintain proper homeostasis. The more beneficial bacteria you have, the stronger your immune system and normal bodily functions will be. People who start to develop insulin resistance should have stool testing to analyze their bacterial balance.
First, natural hormones such as DHEA, testosterone, human growth hormone (HGH), cortisol, pregnenolone, leptin, and thyroid need to be at optimal and balanced levels to restore insulin sensitivity to its highest potential. Lastly, vascular inflammation must be controlled through testing several key markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and Tissue Necrosis Factor.
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