There are not many chronic diseases that are as preventable and as reversible as diabetes, but the rates continue to climb. Why is this? Perhaps it is the combination of a high reliance on medications and inadequate diet solutions. Both the prevention and the cure for diabetes are on the end of your fork, but the standard dietary management of diabetes leaves much to be desired. At its core, Type 2 Diabetes is an inflammatory disease. It causes inflammation and it is caused by inflammation, so low inflammatory foods and supplements are the cornerstone to reversing diabetes.

Most people with a new diagnosis of diabetes have been living with high blood sugars for years. They are then started on medications and sent to a dietitian or a diabetes class. It is here they learn carbohydrate counting for a carbohydrate controlled diet and are told to move more. Even though the carbohydrate controlled diet is a step in the right direction, the amount of carbohydrates prescribed for each meal and snack are often far too high. Additionally, most people are not taught the difference in how the body utilizes different types of carbohydrate leaving them continuing to eat highly inflammatory foods with their carbohydrate allotment. While drastically slashing carbohydrates is not needed, to promote nutrient density and low inflammation, carbohydrate sources need to come primarily from fruits and vegetables.

Since Diabetes is an inflammatory disease, other food sources causing inflammation such as dairy and gluten should be strongly considered. It is not uncommon to see a reduction in Hemaglobin A1C levels when gluten is eliminated from the diet, even when no weight loss is seen and caloric levels remain the same. This is due to the inflammatory nature of American grown Dwarf wheat. There is even a link to wheat and the development of Type 1 Diabetes, an autoimmune disease where the beta cells of the pancreas do not produce insulin, therefore cannot move glucose from the blood to the cells where it needs to be.

Diabetes management needs to be done in a functional medicine setting in order to fully address the root cause of inflammation. In this setting, it is possible to avoid using or increasing insulin (in Type 2) and get the dietary support and direction needed to reverse the disease. A functional medicine approach to diabetes also includes vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements specific to your needs based on comprehensive laboratory data. This whole person approach goes above and beyond the conventional approach of managing diabetes and aims to eliminate your diabetes.

If exercising with type 2 diabetes, is highly recommended to do it safely and work with professional exercise facilities that can monitor your workouts in accordance with your health. Consult with an experienced professional such as the Shawnee Functional Medicine Chiropractor that locals turn to.

 

Thanks to authors at Life Works Integrative Health for their insight into Functional Medicine and Diabetes.