The moment you get diagnosed with diabetes you think: “How did this happen?” Followed by: “Can it be fixed?”
Traditional medicine only attempts to answer the second question. Traditional doctors use a “one-size-fits-all” method in which you are doing the same thing that other diabetic patients are doing; taking metformin or injecting insulin is their answer. It’s a fairly ineffective and generalized treatment for all diabetics regardless of how the person got there. Each person is different and lives a different life, so why wouldn’t your healing treatment be unique to you?
Which goes back to the first question diabetics ask: How did I get here? That is the question that Functional Medicine looks at. In doing so, Functional Medicine Doctors come up with the answers that not only help get rid of diabetes but uniquely empowers the person to take personal responsibility in fixing the problem.
How does Functional Medicine do this? First, let’s briefly talk about how someone develops type II diabetes.
“How Does Diabetes Happen?”
Every time you eat, your food is broken down into glucose (sugar) for energy. Your body needs a way to transport that glucose to your cells. Your body releases insulin from your pancreas to help push the sugar into your bloodstream from the food you just ate, into your cells so you can use it for energy. Insulin keeps sugar levels within a reasonable range in the blood and balances the amounts of sugar in the liver too. If your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or if you are eating way too much glucose that your body becomes insulin resistant, your blood sugar level gets too high for the body to function correctly.
That is type II diabetes. And yes it is a condition that people do unto themselves. Which is why the first question diabetics ask – “How did I get here?” – is such an important question. Functional medicine is looking at your condition beneath the surface, getting at “the root cause,” to figure out how why you can’t naturally produce a healthy response to insulin, instead of treating symptoms one by one.
This method of medicine gives more attention to your diet and lifestyle, providing a unique health plan – something that you’d not encounter with your traditional physician – to reduce type II diabetes and even reverse it.
How does Functional Medicine do this? Analyzing a person’s dietary choices as well as food sensitivities/allergies, blood-specific nutritional deficits, physical activity choices and hormone levels all play a critical and comprehensive role in helping someone who has developed diabetes. Consuming a proper diet is very important because how you eat has the most significant effect on your insulin and blood sugar levels. Are you eating enough? Do you eat foods high in carbohydrates? Are you carrying excess weight? These questions are critical in helping a Functional Medicine Doctor create an individualized plan to lead you to a healthier life.
Being active is important because you have to be sure you are doing activities that have the best advantage for your body to operate at its highest potential. When working with your provider to build your functional medicine treatment plan, consider workouts and activities that focus on burning calories and fat. The less body fat you have, the less insulin you will require. Something as simple as 30-minute walks could reduce your need for insulin substantially.
Another thing to consider when building your functional medicine plan is the types of nutrients and supplements you consume on a daily basis. Diabetics are often deficient in things such as Zinc and Chromium, seen on bloodwork. Adding these along with Alpha Lipoic Acid are essentials to add to your list of daily intake. Not only are they easy to get access to but they aren’t man-made chemicals….they are all- natural.
These are just a few of the parameters that Functional Medicine look at to help diabetics get well. Functional medicine is becoming the new alternative way to analyzing diabetes and empowering patients to reverse this problem.
Dr. Hilary Rutledge is a Functional Medicine Doctor located in Wilmington, North Carolina. She has helped many frustrated patients over the years who came to her with diabetes and blood sugar handling problems. In every case, she starts with asking what is the cause of this person’s diabetes. She then works tirelessly to come up with the answers and finally creates a game plan that is designed to empower the person to get better by fixing the cause of the problem. Dr. Rutledge offers a free 15-minute consultation with her either over the phone or in person, to answer any of your questions. Click here to schedule your free consultation.