What do you think of when you hear the words “Type 2 Diabetes”?
Do you ever wonder about your chances of living to a ripe old age or even reaching your 90s or 100s? Do you ever think about how you are going to look and feel if you do?! Do you ever think about how healthy you will actually be in your later years?
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), talking to your doctor about diabetes can help you live a longer life.
Now, if talking to a regular doctor can help you live a longer life and they only treat the symptoms of diabetes, think of how much more a functional medicine doctor can help you by treating the underlying causes and helping you reverse the diabetes!
Medicine can only treat symptoms. That’s all they were ever designed to do. That’s all they can do.
Pick the diabetic medication- from Metformin to insulin and everything in between- they are all designed strictly for symptom relief…period. Take Metformin, for example. Here is a direct quote from Healthline.com: “Metformin doesn’t treat the underlying cause of diabetes. It treats the symptoms of diabetes by lowering blood sugar…” That is what all diabetic drugs do.
Diabetic drugs are all aimed at lowering blood sugars one way or the other, which is fine, but please understand, high blood sugars are not diabetes, nor are they the real problem. Blood sugars are a symptom of diabetes…a result of diabetes. The causes of diabetes are a completely different subject. We are talking about two separate issues here.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with diabetes, chances are you’ve spent hours trying to figure out how to “manage” it…how to “control” it. Of course, there are many ways to lower your blood sugar levels- but the one way that has helped countless people is to find a functional medicine doctor who specializes in reversing diabetes and ask us about the best treatment options for you, specifically. There are several reasons why and we’ll go through each of those reasons in a second.
How to Talk to a Functional Medicine Doctor About Your Diabetes Health Plan
If you are reading this, you probably have diabetes, or, you know someone who does. The American Diabetes Association recommends that you get screened for diabetes at least twice during your lifetime. Since Diabetes is now the 3rd leading cause of death and it’s such a cheap and easy test to get, I would argue that you should probably check more frequent than that.
So, here are five ways talking to a functional medicine doctor, like me, about your diabetes that can help you live not only longer, but better and healthier.
Speaking With a Functional Medicine Doctor
- Talk to the Functional Medicine doctor about your health history.
As I’ve explained in other diabetic articles, once you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, if you are like the overwhelming majority of other Type 2s, your diabetes is likely to just get worse, regardless of what medications you take or how often you take them.
That being the case, we, as functional medicine doctors, like to look at where you came from to determine where you are headed and how fast you are going there. So, we take a thorough health history, look over previous labs, analyze your medications, and, if necessary, order more extensive labs to determine the proper path for you to take in order to best help you reverse your condition.
But the first thing that we do is take a thorough look at your health history. What have you done for your diabetes? Have you made any changes in your life? How long have you had diabetes? What does your current treatment consist of. What is your current A1C? How much and how fast has that A1C changed in the last few years? What doctors have you seen? What did they do for you? What medications are you on for your diabetes and other conditions and what do we need to do to help you get off of them?
- Talk to the Functional Medicine Doctor about your Medications and How they are Affecting your Diabetes as well as your Overall Health.
Functional medicine doctors, like me, are there to treat you when you’re sick, but we can also serve as your diabetic coach and guide you through the many pitfalls of care and help you avoid severe consequences along the way. We will be able to tell you what side effects the diabetes medications are causing, such as weight gain or fatigue, and show you how and why just controlling your blood sugar is not the answer and may even be hurting you and making your diabetes worse in the long run.
It’s important to understand that “the relationship between medication and the body is complex.” says Michael S. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and director of the Diabetes Center at the University of Washington, “Drugs don’t always work as we expect. Instead, they interact with other drugs and foods, causing a cascade of responses that sometimes cause side effects that have nothing to do with the drug’s intended effect.” Some medications, like cholesterol drugs, can even contribute to the diabetes and make it worse.
In addition, diabetic and other medications can affect your mood, energy, brain function, and sleep. So, we will need to discuss the effect of the medications on your overall health as well. This will give me insight as to whether you are experiencing any side effects related to your drugs vs. the natural symptoms that typically accompany diabetes and whether a change in your medication may be necessary even before we start treatment.
- Talk to the Functional Medicine Doctor about any Labs that you have had and Discuss Whether it will be Necessary to Order Other Labs.
If you really want to find out why you have diabetes, but your friends and family don’t (or even if they do), labs are the key. Labs are like the cheat sheet to a test in that they contain answers to many, many questions that can be answered no other way.
Labs are imperative- not only to find the underlying causes, but to aide in determining a specific treatment plan designed for your unique underlying problems that are either causing or contributing to your diabetic condition. Labs will also be used to guide us through care and serve as an informant, constantly updating us on your progress. Essentially, we can use those labs to prove that what we are doing is working! You can then take those labs to your regular doctor so that he/she can see when it is time to lower or stop specific medications.
- Talk to the Functional Medicine Doctor about Working Up a Treatment Plan to Reverse Your Diabetes
Diabetes affects a lot people, and it can be severe and extremely dangerous as it advances. But very few people, including most doctors, understand how to actually reverse diabetes. Most are trained only to treat the diabetes, and almost all of that treatment centers around drugs.
Functional medicine doctors have no interest in treating, controlling, or managing diabetes. We have only one goal in mind- that is to reverse the diabetes.
To do that, we will need to find out what is wrong, what steps you need to take to help you reverse your diabetes, what foods are right and wrong for you specifically, and determine what roles your current doctor will play and when it is time for him/her to get involved.
- Talk to the Functional Medicine Doctor about your daily Glucometer Readings.
As you go through care, it is vital to have a good glucometer to keep track of your daily blood sugars. It is essential to be responsible when it comes to monitoring your condition. You cannot change what you don’t know, and your health can suffer severely for it.
Many of my patients have told me before they start care that they stopped taking their blood sugar readings. When I ask them why, the number one answer I get is that they don’t understand why they need to do it in the first place, it hurts to prick their finger, and it doesn’t help anyway, since their diabetes consistently just keeps getting worse.
I can certainly understand that logic, especially if all you are doing is taking more and more drugs and you are still just getting worse, but that is not the case when patients start care here at our clinic. Once we begin treatments, blood sugars can start dropping very quickly and we need to keep track. We use these numbers to help determine when it is time for your doctor to lower or eliminate a medication.
Some of our patients have improved so fast that their blood sugars go lower faster than expected. When that happens, it will be necessary to lower the medications as soon as possible to avoid going too low and creating a different set of problems. Having a good glucometer will help us determine not only when to lower the medications, but how to lower them much as well.
So, those are the 5 reasons why you should seek out a functional medicine doctor to discuss your diabetes. You certainly have nothing to lose and a lot to gain, so, the sooner…the better.
Some Common Questions About Type 2 Diabetes
Can Type 2 Diabetes be Cured?
Can Type 2 Diabetes be cured? I get this question a lot. In the world of medicine, the word “cured” typically refers to a condition that has been eliminated with the use of a drug. We don’t use drugs. In fact, we do everything that we can to help the patient get off drugs. So, I am not sure that “cure” would be the proper medical term, which is why we the term “reverse” diabetes.
The reason why I say “reverse” diabetes is because that is a more accurate description of what we help patients do.
So, let me explain how this works: As the body of a Type 2 Diabetic starts to malfunction, the cells in the body start to become insulin resistant, meaning their cells start to “resist” insulin or to not use the insulin properly or effectively. Insulin is necessary to get sugars inside our cells so that the sugars can be broken down and used for energy. As the cells become more and more insulin resistant, the sugars, which would normally be carried into the cell where we need it, start to accumulate in the blood instead, where they are not supposed to be, at least, not in high amounts. This high amount of sugar in the blood starts to wreak havoc on the body and causes the organs to malfunction and, eventually, break down.
Because high blood sugars cause much of the damage, diabetic medications tend to focus on lowering blood sugars. However, if we can correct the underlying causes of Type 2 Diabetes, the body will start to heal and become less resistant over time and allow the sugars to re-enter the cells where the sugars are needed. The more the body heals, the less the body resists insulin, the less medication is required.
If you take the proper steps to get the body healthy, you can reverse your diabetes, which will dramatically increase your chances of living a longer happier, healthier life. We’ve had patients that have reversed their diabetes and been able to get off their diabetic drugs even with an A1C as high as over 16, which is unheard of in the medical world.
What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease or other condition in which the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the body does not use insulin properly or efficiently.
What are the side effects associated with Type 2 Diabetes?
Some of the more common symptoms associated with Type 2 Diabetes are: thirst, frequent urination, slow healing sores, frequent infection, yeast infections, vision problems, fatigue, weight gain or difficulty losing weight, organ dysfunction- especially kidney, liver, and adrenal glands, vascular and nerve damage, and memory loss
What are some of the long-term complications related to Type 2 Diabetes?
Blindness, skin conditions, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, foot ulcers, amputations, erectile dysfunction, stroke, and dementia
One last thought:
You have three routes that you can take with your Type 2 Diabetes:
- You can do nothing, but your health will likely decline very quickly.
- You can treat it with drugs, but this does nothing for the underlying causes of the disease and will allow the disease to progressively get worse. You cannot reverse diabetes with drugs. It is not possible.
- You can reverse your diabetes. We believe that this is the best option, by far, and has the best chance of restoring your body to health and getting it to function the way that it used to function before you were diabetic.
Now, let me be clear, there is no magic bullet for Type 2 Diabetes. Reversing diabetes takes time and work, but the payoff can be phenomenal! Our clinic has reversed diabetes for hundreds of patients, and we see lives change every day. We would love to see you do the same!
What to do next:
If you or someone you care about has Type 2 Diabetes, it is essential to know that there is hope. So, call today for an appointment. Your consultation is FREE! 402-816-2738
When you come to our office, in order to make the best of your FREE consultation, I would highly recommend that you bring any labs that you have had within the last year, a complete list of medications that you are currently taking, and a strong desire to get healthy!
That last part may sound silly to some of you reading this, but not everybody has a strong desire to get healthy. Diabetes can be very discouraging. Some of you reading this may have already given up. I get it- especially after years of disappointment.
DON’T GIVE UP!
We can help! Take our hand and let us guide you through this mess and watch as we help you change your life!
Don’t just stand by and allow this disease to take everything from you and watch as it destroys your body.
Come visit and let us help you. I can’t wait to meet you! 402-816-2738