Are you seeking a holistic management for your diabetes?
Are you sticking to your healthy diet and a regular exercise routine, but your lab work indicates your diabetes is still out of control?
Do you need to address your blood sugar disorder before it becomes full-blown diabetes?
If you’ve answered “yes!” to any of these questions, the Holistic Wellness Center of Charlotte’s diabetes experts can help you achieve optimal health. We focus on the holistic management of Type 1, Type 2, Type 1.5, and Type 3 diabetes incorporating functional medical techniques.
It is estimated that diabetes impacts over 25.8 million children and adults in the United States (approximately 8.3% of the population). Diabetes refers to a group of complicated disorders that impact how the body utilizes blood glucose. Sugar may have a bad reputation, but sugar is an important part of our core biological functions, including muscle, tissue, and brain function. But if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you have too much glucose – or sugar – in your blood.
The Four Types of Diabetes
Most people only know of two types of diabetes, but there are actually four, and the treatment of each type varies greatly.
- Type 1 diabetes: This version of diabetes can begin at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. Insulin is a hormone produced by cells in the pancreas called beta cells. In Type 1 diabetes, the beta cells produce little or no insulin, which results in a flood of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include being very thirsty, feeling hungry, feeling tired, having blurry eyesight, and losing weight without trying.
- Type 2 diabetes: Like Type 1, Type 2 diabetes is characterized by a high level of glucose in the blood stream. However, in Type 2 diabetes, the problem is that the body’;s fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond correctly to the insulin being produced by the pancreas. This is known as ‘;insulin resistance.’; When sugar cannot correctly enter the body’;s fat, liver, and muscle cells, sugar builds up in the blood (also known as hyperglycemia).
People are usually overweight when they are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, as body fat makes it more difficult for your body to utilize insulin in the correct way. Type 2 diabetes may be asymptomatic at first; early signs may include fatigue, hunger, thirst, and increased urination. Later symptoms of untreated Type 2 diabetes includes blurred vision, erectile dysfunction, and pain or numbness in the feet and hands.
While you may have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it is extremely important to rule out Type 1.5. That’s because the techniques used to treatment Type 2 will not work for 1.5, and you will eventually become reliant on insulin injections.
- Type 1.5 diabetes: Also known as Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults, Type 1.5 diabetes can be a combination of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. People with Type 1.5 diabetes will show the autoimmune destruction of the pancreas’; beta cells and may have insulin resistance similar to Type 2 diabetes.
People with Type 1.5 diabetes will likely require insulin injections within 5 – 10 years of their diagnosis.
- Type 3 diabetes: This type of diabetes relates to Alzheimer’;s diseases. Brown University Medical School researchers have identified a possible link after finding that insulin is produced by the brain as well as by the pancreas. People with Type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of Alzheimer’;s disease (as much as 50 – 60%).
A Natural, Holistic Approach
Diet and genetic factors are major players in diabetes. If you have been working on regulating your diabetes without success, it may be time to readdress these two factors with a more discerning eye.
When we work a member with diabetes, we first addresses their diet. It is extremely important to follow a protocol that aligns with the Glycemic Load, which is different from the more commonly known Glycemic Index. The GL is a more useful tool for regulating blood sugar because it evaluates how quickly food turns into glucose rather how much glucose is in the food. Some foods may be high in the glycemic index but lower in the glycemic load. This is because some foods will have more fiber, fat and proteins that negate sharp rises of blood glucose. Exercise is another important tool in the treatment of diabetes; aerobic and weight-bearing exercises impact insulin levels in the blood stream differently.
One aspect of treatment that is not usually addressed by most primary care physicians is food allergies. People suffering with Type 1 or Type 1.5 diabetes are often allergic or sensitive to gluten or dairy. One thing we see over and over again is patients who insist they are not sensitive to gluten or dairy – the allergy is asymptotic – but their test results reveal a different story. There is usually widespread, inflammation and allergic response markers in the patient’s lab work. The patient will ask us, “But how did I not know of this? How come no one tested for it?” The reality is that many practitioners minimize the impact of food allergies on diabetes to the determent of the patient.
At the Holistic Wellness Center, we evaluate the following types of laboratory tests for patients with diabetes:
- Salivary Adrenal Testing – High cortisol levels raise blood sugar, especially when the body is under physical or emotional stress.
- Cyrex Array 2 – This test assesses intestinal permeability, which can be a major player in autoimmune disorder-based diabetes.
- Cyrex Array 4 – This test rules out a variety of food sensitivities, which can cause stress on the body, triggering high cortisol levels. Or, in the case of gluten and diary, food sensitivities can trigger immune reactions to the pancreatic cells.
- Cyrex Array 6 – This test checks for antibodies associated with autoimmune related diabetes.
- GI Analysis – Stool analysis are helpful in ruling out infections or parasites that can raise blood sugar through a connection to cortisol levels. GI infections will also exacerbate autoimmune related diabetes.
Take Control of Your Diabetes!
We run regular talks to educate the public about our approach to diabetes. You can learn more about our upcoming talks by checking out our events on our Facebook page. You may also watch on online version of the talk – simply email our clinic director, Caitlin, at email@example.com with your request!