A New Approach To Treating Type II Diabetes

29 million people have type 2 diabetes in the United States. This accounts for 9.3% of the population according to the Centers for Disease Control. There appears to be reams of information on the disease, yet it is anticipated that by 2034 over 44 million Americans will be diagnosed as type 2 diabetics. (reference: American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Care;  Projecting the Future Diabetes Population Size and Related Costs for the U.S. Elbert S. Huang, MD, MPH, Anirban Basu, PHD, Michael O’Grady, PHD and James C. Capretta, MA)

Why is this just another disease we are failing to cure?

Understanding all the various factors contributing to the causes of type 2 diabetes is complicated.  I have listed four factors most commonly discussed. The first three factors deal with the individual; the fourth is classified an external factor more likely compounding the issue rather than being causal:

  • genetic
  • lifestyle
  • complication resulting from other health conditions
  • government and big agriculture relationship creating billions of dollars of revenue from processed and high sugar foods

Regardless of belief, the approach used to deal with this condition remains relatively unchanged.  The focus continues to be on blood sugar levels (measured by blood glucose and A1C levels.)  Medications are ultimately prescribed for most people. These prescriptions become lifelong treatments typically leading to other health complications and reduced quality of living.  Many will die early from the various complications of this disease. This bleak picture has become the accepted model as the best method to treat type 2 diabetes.

For those who decide to participate in their own health, research has become an important tool. Many have learned the physiology of this disease. They have learned about insulin resistance, metabolic syndromes, beta cells, glycemic index, glycemic load, insulin index, etc…   Focusing on the “science” they hoped to overcome the disease. Even with this laudable approach, many have succumbed to the disease anyway.

What are we missing with treating type 2 diabetes?

It is my opinion as a doctor that has seen my fair share of cases over a 20+ year career that we are attempting to treat a disease instead of

treating a person.

It is my opinion we need to refocus and return to the concept of health, not disease.  We need to understand the true needs of the body which includes various aspects including emotional, spiritual, physical and mental.  We need to treat a patient as a WHOLE BODY and not as a diseased part.  We need to provide our bodies with the various elements it needs to return it to a state of homeostasis (balance) for it to regain its vitality and capability for maximal function.  We need the patient to understand their power and their abilities to be healthy.

Once all of this is understood and followed, we then need to customize any additional needs the body may require including pharmaceutical. Our problem is we handle the person’s needs backwards.  We start with pharmaceutical agents and attempt to navigate the rest of the person’s well being around these agents to achieve “health.”  In general, even if you succeed with blood chemistry values (by using drug therapy intervention), has the person become “healthy?”

The beauty of this hypothesis is in its simplicity, yet, powerful outcome.  We no longer have to “technically” name diseases and find algorithms to “fix” them. Heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, etc…, all share the same etiology (cause). They stem from an imbalance and as these imbalances are corrected, the body returns itself to a state of optimal health. Each person, based on the integrity of their individual constitution, will be able to achieve a different maximal level. Once these levels are attained, additional nutraceutical, homeopathic, ayurvedic, herbal and pharmaceutical intervention can be applied if the level is sub par.

For those questioning this hypothesis, I challenge you to critically think and open your minds to a different paradigm of health. We all believe the body has a natural ability to heal itself. When we cut ourselves and bleed, we expect the body to create a clot, followed by a scab and ultimately form new skin to repair the region that was cut.  All this healing occurs without our cognitive efforts. It does this because of an innate ability to heal. One may ask, what about hemophilia?(a condition that results in clotting complications) People suffering this condition are unable to form clots to heal typically. This is a good example of a genetic disorder that would require medical intervention. I propose that we focus on the masses and not the minority exceptions to the rule. Remember, NOTHING will ever cure everything all the time.

Our bodies natural state of harmony seeks health, not disease. We are not sick 6 out of 7 days of the week even though we are exposed to bacteria and viruses 7 days a week. Do we get sick because we are not taking antibiotics frequently enough? Is it possible some of the examples below result in our developing illnesses?:

  • increased stress that elevates a hormone called cortisol that weakens immune function
  • sedentary lifestyles that prevent proper lymph flow “gunking” up our lymph system preventing us from clearing these toxins from our bodies
  • dehydration causing physical stress to our bodies and reduced organ function
  • sleep deprivation preventing the body from recharging as needed

Would it make sense to call each of the above contributing factors a different disease “Name” and treat it medically to resolve each component? This is TYPICALLY how we treat disease from the traditional medical model. Our doctors want to know what our symptoms are, and they provide (in many cases) medications in an attempt to resolve these symptoms. How often is this followed by adverse side effects requiring additional medication prescriptions to counteract the adverse reactions to the original medication?

Health is a very complicated topic. Challenging traditional protocols elicit strong emotions. I understand the anger and frustration on the part of the patient. However, following our current path in treating type 2 diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association is going to result in an increase of greater than 50 percent by 2034. Does our current approach really make sense if this is the likely outcome?

I believe we need to begin working with our doctors and addressing all the components previously discussed. As we begin living lifestyles that provide our bodies with the tools necessary for optimal health, combating  disease becomes a natural process the body has perfected. In cases where too much damage has been suffered by the body as a result of lifestyle or true genetic expression, it is possible that some combination of neutraceutical, homeopathic, ayurvedic, herbal and pharmaceutical intervention would be necessary. In most cases of type 2 diabetes, the focus on healthy living and reaching a healthy balance would likely result in a better outcome with a better quality of life.

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21 comments

  1. I love this post. I LIVED this post. I was told I was pre-diabetic and they handed me medicine… 10 years later and an escalating pharmacy of drugs — I finally decided I NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING. I agree, wholeheartedly with treating the PERSON. But the person has to accept responsibility, seek answers and do the WORK… And in the discussions I now have with T2’s who want to know how I reversed it… I start talking about the choices I had to make to reclaim my health; eating healthier and moving more and I can literally watch them shut down and stop listening. So while I applaud what you are promoting; how do we get individuals to accept that THEY have to play a role in their own care? I feel that’s what’s missing… I know that was the missing piece that I had to find before I was ready to do the work to take care of myself. I know I am not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a doctor I had to learn how to elicit a response from my patients to help motivate a new path for them. If I told them they needed to XYZ…, I got the same “shut down” response. When I posed questions and let the patients come up with the answers, it was easy to agree with “THEIR RESPONSES.” All I did was gently guide them into their answers so they believed it was their choice and decision. It was easier to get better compliance from a patient that “paved their own path” even though I dropped some breadcrumbs to make the path easier to find.

      People can be stubborn, but I love them anyway. You can only help someone that truly wants to be helped. Unfortunately, pain or pleasure seem to be the two factors that motivate change in behavior. The optimist wants to seek pleasure; the pessimist will need pain. I tell people that the end result (changed behavior) is the same, so why suffer pain when pleasure brings you to the same outcome?

      Congratulations on your awakening. I’m certain your quality of life has been dramatically affected.

      Stay healthy and happy and help as many people as you can. People (in many cases) will be able to relate better with someone that once stood in their place. It adds credibility and shows that change is possible.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Part of my problem is my GP and I get into a pissing match because he wants to tell me what to do and I do the “shutting down” and then the jokes. I was doing much better when I was seeing the nurse practitioner. She actually cared where my GP just says do this and this and do better. He doesn’t try to explain or get on my good side. He aggravates the hell out of me and I tend to do the opposite. Now this time despite his mood I have made the decision to do this for me, not him. I think it makes a difference.

        Like

        1. Sounds like you may need a new doctor. I like your attitude.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for this post. My husband and I are both pre-diabetic. I’m trying to educate myself on how to take better care of us both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you come across conflicting opinions and need a tie breaker, feel free to contact me. My experience has taught me that any change you implement must be a realistic change that you can do for the rest of your life. When people start to exercise, many begin 6-7 days a week. I have religiously exercised for the last 37 years and I don’t exercise with that frequency. Start with small changes you are comfortable making and SUCCEED with these changes. Nothing motivates more than achieving success. Then, slowly incorporate a different aspect related to (in the case) diabetes. Remember, it’s more than just diet and exercise. How are you addressing stress? What is your sleep like?, etc… Focus on the components of healthy living, and blood chemistry improves as a secondary benefit. Also remember to focus on health, not disease.
      Make the journey memorable and share your success with others. I look forward to hearing how the two of you are doing. Thank you for sharing with me.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. The rate of type two diabetes is expected to increase by more than 30 percent? That’s sad given that it’s treatable and preventable with diet , excercise and lifestyle correction The KEY is to Keep Educating Yourself!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you that most cases are preventable. It is difficult for people to change lifestyles until the current one causes enough pain and or physical maladies to elicit change out of desperation. It’s a shame that knowledge is not enough to alter behavior in most cases. Thank you for commenting on my post. Look forward to seeing you back.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for your post. I take every opportunity to educate myself about diabetes, and your post is very informative.

    I am a type 2, have a family history of diabetes that played a role in my developing it. You can’t beat genetics. I likely had a gestational diabetes in the 1980’s but wasn’t checked for it.

    I think that I’m having a prediabetes since my last A1C was 6.2. I am watching my diet, am trying not to indulge, exercise some and this way, my BG level is not bad. Fasting 105 as of this morning. Currently I am not on insulin nor on any diabetic meds. I am doing just fine without an alternative medicine. Would love to reverse it and say good bye to diabetes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. With a possibility of a genetic component to complicate this condition, it may require a greater degree of discipline to avoid shifting from pre-diabetic to diabetic as you age. As you have stated, your numbers are not bad and should not require pharmaceutical intervention as long as you continue to take the necessary steps you have begun. I’m proud of you for taking on this responsibility that so many pawn off on to their doctors. Patterns of behavior become important for a person at your current state (pre-diabetic). Balanced meals as well as meal times play a role. Exercise may also need to be ramped up some to address the condition. I am not sure what type of exercise you do and how often you do it? Sleep patterns are important as well. Stress affects many hormones as well that can influence overall function. By approaching this condition as a whole health solution rather than a specific disease problem, results are often improved. Don’t give up. It has been reversed in many, which means finding the right balance for you is the answer. Wishing you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What do you think about following a plant based diets ( vegetarian, vegan) in order to restore balance again in our body and reverse diabetes ?

    Like

    1. Every nutrition plan has their positives and minuses. A plant based diet requires a little more understanding of nutrition to safely integrate the combination of foods necessary to provide all essential nutrients. It also requires a little more discretionary spending for a food budget. If done properly, it adds tremendous value, however, must be recognized as only one component necessary for optimal health. If a person was willing to make a lifelong commitment to themselves, a plant based diet could be very beneficial in contributing to the restoration of a healthy blood chemistry profile.The difficulty is convincing diabetics that this nutrition plan is not a “punishment” for having this disease. Many have begun this strategy with good intention only to fall back to patterns of old behavior (usually resulting from stress).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I would never be able to go on a strictly vegetarian diet, stress or no stress. This is just me.

    Furthermore, I don’t believe that diabetes can be “reversed”. Even if one doesn’t need to take medications, this doesn’t mean that they are cured. It only means that they can manage their diabetes without meds. For example, I don’t take any diabetes meds but I still have it, JMHO

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    1. Thank you Anna for your feedback. First, the good news is that one does NOT have to be a vegetarian to address type 2 diabetes. If a vegetarian doesn’t balance their foods properly, they will increase their blood sugar levels. “Reversing” refers to the signs and symptoms of diabetes; similar to a person told their cancer is cured. Cancer cells continue to exist, but the health of the body is no longer compromised. I view it slightly differently than you. I view that we treat the body to maintain health or to restore health so that the healthy body can be maintained. I don’t believe in managing disease. Managing disease is a model to manage chronic ILL HEALTH. This is not just semantics. One situation attempts to take a disease or chronic condition and prevent it from worsening. My belief and experience seeks the components that are missing or in excess to REPAIR the imbalance to allow the body to function at its maximum capability. Both approaches require a life long commitment for best results. Sometimes medications are necessary, but many times they aren’t. My patients prefer to actively participate in their health outcomes by focusing on positive entities that improve their health. These include nutrition, exercise, hydration, stress reduction and sleep. Taking a drug is NEVER healthy, but in some cases necessary to prevent deterioration. The outcome may be positive, but the act of taking a drug is not. In general, people are healthier with healthier attitudes and self commitment.
      I look forward to continue to read about your success in achieving a better state of health.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Singh of the Mountains and commented:
    If you have been diagnosed with Type2 Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes then you would benefit a lot from this post. It is more than just diet and exercise.

    Like

  9. Yes, it is all about discovery of what it takes to become a healthy human being. The methods I currently use keep me at a 5.3 A1C and they are simple methods of diet, exercise, reduced stress, and proper rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are one of the most diligent people I’ve met through blogging. You set high expectations and recognize that achievement requires an ongoing commitment. Your honesty will help others relate to your journey. I wish you continuing success my friend.

      BTW- good luck with your plans in Florida. It sounds like you have detailed the financial part well. May the transition be just as smooth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, not only are my hopes to find a balanced approach to dealing with T2D, I also wish to inspire others. Thanks for reading my posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for posting this, very informative. There’s only one thing, you’re saying that cortisol hormone weakens immune function — I wonder how this works with the fact that T2D is an autoimmune disease.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Research is looking to determine whether type 2 diabetes should be classified as an autoimmune disease. Currently, type 1 is the only type officially classified as autoimmune. Type 2 has genetic components that potentially predispose some for developing the condition. It is my opinion that the microbiome in the intestines will be evaluated in the future to better understand the possible autoimmune relationship between the immune system and the possible damage to the beta cells of the pancreas resulting in type 2 diabetes.
    Stress hormones weaken immune function. This is the direct correlation between cortisol and immune function.

    I can tell you that I have personally worked with patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that have restructured their lifestyle and were successfully taken off all prescriptive medications for diabetes. If type 2 was definitively an autoimmune disease, this would not have been possible. It is possible that long term damage caused by type 2 diabetes could result in autoimmune complications.

    I hope this helps answer your comment.

    I have great respect for you, your research and your willingness to share your information with all of us. I look forward to reading more of your postings in the future. Thank you.

    Like

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