Whether you are 'at risk' for developing type II diabetes, are 'pre-diabetic' or just have high blood sugar - you can take steps today to make your sugar regulation more stable.
Helping your body to maintain normal blood sugar levels throughout the day will improve your sleep, your mood, help you lose weight, and increase your energy - as well as lowering your overall risk of disease.
Blood sugar dysregulation is one of the most common causes of anxiety and depression and significantly increases risk of heart disease.
What Is Insulin?
Your blood sugar is regulated by the hormone insulin which is made in your pancreas. Your pancreas sits below the sternum and a little to your left.
Every time you eat food, your pancreas will secrete insulin to enable your cells to accept and use the fuel from the food.
Without insulin your cells cannot use the food that you eat. If you didn’t have insulin, you would essentially starve.
Think of insulin as the 'key’ to unlock the cell to accept the fuel from your food.
How Insulin Resistance Causes High Blood Sugar
In most cases, insulin resistance is the primary cause of high blood sugar.
Here is an example of what happens when someone becomes insulin resistant. They may eat too much sugar OR too many carbs and fat at the same time, the high amount of sugar causes a huge release of insulin (keys) into the blood.
Your cells get 'used to' having lots of insulin around and gets desensitized to it. Where it previously took one 'key' to unlock the fuel, it now takes many 'keys' to have the same effect.
Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance
weight gain around the middle and hips, obesity
extreme difficulty losing weight
fatigue after meals
high blood pressure
excessive hunger or thirst
never feeling full
tingling hands and feet
Functional Medicine Treatment
Fortunately, a functional medicine approach is uniquely suited to tackle this problem.
Using targeted testing, dietary changes, and high grade supplements, I am often able to help patients achieve normal blood sugar levels, even if they are well on their way to type II diabetes.
This approach also greatly helps those who already have type II diabetes.
Type II diabetes can be reversible. Conventional treatment often tells patients that once you have type II diabetes you will have the disease for the rest of your life - this is completely false.
This is only true if treatment is solely aimed at 'controlling' blood sugar levels.
If the root causes of high blood sugar are investigated and treated then reversal is possible and improvement is likely.
There are many ways we can naturally get the body to use insulin better.
The first is to confirm what is driving your chronic high blood sugar.
It could be insulin resistance, but there could also be pesticide toxicity , high stress, a liver not working at full capacity, adrenal fatigue or exhaustion, systemic inflammation or imbalanced gut bacteria contributing to the elevated sugar levels.
Instead of checking a single marker, I run panels that will accurately assess how your body is functioning as a whole, rather than to just test one thing and risking the loss of the big picture.
If you have chronic high blood sugar or insulin resistance, it is very likely that you have many other symptoms (and possibly other conditions) that will dramatically improve after appropriate treatment.
The tests below are a starting point for assessing insulin resistance, we may run more depending on your needs and health goals.
Often - they are cheaper, yet more extensive than testing you would receive at your local hospital.
Blood Tests Used For Assessing Insulin Resistance
Diet And Lifestyle Changes
Two crucial ways we can get your body to use insulin better is by utilizing diet and lifestyle changes that have been proven to reduce insulin resistance and lower overall blood sugar.
These changes will be highly dependent on your current health status and on any other conditions you may have.
I use a lower-carbohydrate, modified mediterranean diet often as it is easy to implement and deeply healing to the body on many levels (it lowers inflammation, improves digestion and frequently causes weight loss).
Many practitioners recommend the ketogenic diet to everyone but in a majority of cases I do not - a ketogenic diet can improve insulin sensitivity in some, but your liver will take on significant strain and in the long term, it can actually be detrimental to blood sugar stability.
Intermittent fasting is another great tool to manage insulin resistance.
Intermittent fasting is where you eat within a certain window of time every day, usually the daily fast is between 12 and 16 hours. Again, this should be tailored to your individual needs.
Both keto and intermittent fasting will be recommended only after adrenal fatigue is ruled out as both keto and intermittent fasting can further weaken your adrenal gland function and worsen your symptoms.
Cutting out refined sugar will be a mainstay for most dietary prescriptions.
The rush of huge amounts of sugar into your bloodstream is what contributed to your insulin resistance in the first place.
I can work with you on gradually reducing or modifying your sugar intake and utilizing replacements like honey and maple syrup.
Supplements can also be added on a case-by-case basis to help your body regain normal sugar regulation, some of these are listed below.
Nutrients To Improve Insulin Sensitivity
chlorophyll to support pancreatic function
and various herbal medicines to improve the function insulin as well as heal the pancreas and liver
Food quality matters, eat organic whenever possible. Pesticide exposure has been linked to the development of diabetes .
The more energy your body spends on filtering out toxic compounds from your body, the more burden there is on your liver.
Making Blood Sugar Regulation A Priority
High blood sugar symptoms like tingling extremities or occasional dizziness are not just inconveniences, they are a sign that your body is struggling with a key process required to keep you healthy.
If left unchecked, high blood sugar can lead to serious and life-threatening situations.
Long Term Effects Of Insulin Resistance
polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
cardiovascular disease - heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure
estrogen dominance - painful periods, irregular cycles
fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Many patients think that because diabetes 'runs in their family' that there is nothing they can do to slow or prevent this disease.
Fortunately, we have more tools every day to better help you regain your health and prevent disease.
Most of these are as simple as diet changes, correcting nutritional imbalances and starting with a daily walk every day.
Don't Know Where To Begin?
Managing your own health can be exhausting and confusing with the amount of information available.
This is why I offer Telehealth services including a functional medicine consultation.
I can personalize treatment and even work with your primary care physician or order testing if you are out of state or outside of the country.
If you would like to speak with me directly you can schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation here or call my office directly at 913-728-5291.
Read more about Online Consultations
If you think that you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information. Nor should you ever delay seeking medical advice or treatment due to the information contained on this Website.