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Type 1.5 Diabetes and Functional Medicine

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The field of functional medicine utilizes a holistic approach to treatment. It takes into account both genetic and environmental factors to address the cause of long-term conditions such as diabetes. Holistic medicine can benefit people with all forms of diabetes by considering more than merely the oral medicines and insulin, and by manipulating diet. Additional benefits for people with type 2 diabetes are seen from exercise. Exercise has also been helpful to those with certain cases of type 1.5 diabetes, also known as latent onset of diabetes in adults, or LADA. LADA is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the beta cells of the pancreas which leads to insulin issues. Here we take a look at the positive influence functional medicine can have on blood glucose control in people with LADA.

Although insulin resistance is not always seen in type 1.5 diabetes, it is still present in some individuals with the diagnosis. Under these conditions not only does the body produce less insulin, but that which is produced cannot work as effectively to remove excess glucose from the blood. Individuals with LADA who are overweight, are more likely to be insulin resistant. They would benefit from dietary changes and an exercise regime to aid weight loss, which increases insulin sensitivity. However, simply cutting back on calories is not enough to do the trick. Choosing foods with a lower glycemic load, while limiting foods high in saturated and trans fats can additionally aid blood sugar control. Receiving personalized advice from a knowledgable practitioner, one of the principles of holistic medicine, can support such lifestyle changes.

Even when the only issue in latent onset of diabetes in adults is the autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic beta cells, considering alternative dietary factors can help to prevent further damage to the insulin secreting cells. Many times, a gluten or dairy allergy may accompany this type of diabetes. This type of allergy or sensitivity is not always easily discerned, because patients may not notice any symptoms that they relate directly to consuming these foods.   However, the systemic inflammation that these allergens trigger, can contribute to the decline in the number of cells that produce insulin. Receiving a blood test through the Holistic Wellness Center of Charlotte or any other holistic treatment center to check for the presence of such an allergy will highlight whether a dietary restriction may be necessary. Removing staple foods like bread and cheese from the diet may seem daunting, but under the guidance and support of a qualified health practitioner, finding balance in healthy lifestyle is achievable.

Meet the Author

Dr. Matz DC

Dr. Boyle D.A.C.M., LAc., DiplOM. is the founder of the Holistic Wellness Center of the Carolinas where he is the Director of Functional Medicine. He holds a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine and is acupuncture physician and primary care physician in the state of Florida. His post-graduate focus has been in the fields of functional neurology, functional immunology, and functional endocrinology.

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