DIABETES & METABOLIC SYNDROME
Almost 1/4 of Americans either have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
HOW DO YOU GET TYPE 2 DIABETES?
The quick answer is, although genetics play a role, diabetes is a lifestyle disease.
Think of sugar as quick energy. It can get converted into the currency your body uses for energy very quickly. But the
flip side is, you can only have so much of it on hand — your blood can only accommodate a few tablespoons of sugar at a time. Your body needs to get rid of any excess quickly, before it causes vascular damage or hyperglycemic symptoms.
So when your body has to get rid of it, where does it go? Basically there are two compartments in your body: intracellular (inside the cells) and extracellular (outside the cells). The bloodstream is outside of the cells, so sugar has to get inside the cells in order to get out of the blood.
Cells are pretty guarded about what they let in and out, though. Very few things can “come in unannounced” – they have to have a friend vouch for them at the door. The friend that vouches for sugar is called insulin (produced in the pancreas). But cells can’t store sugar in its present form, so as soon as sugar comes into the cell, it gets converted from “quick” energy into “potential” energy — fat.
Problems come in when this cycle is repeated too often, too long: like a drug addict needing a bigger dose for the same high, your body will start to require more and more insulin to keep up with your sugar intake. Eventually, your pancreas can’t keep up with the demand. This leads to Insulin Resistance and Diabetes.
Medications for insulin resistance take one of two approaches: they either increase the sensitivity of the insulin receptors, so that they respond better to the insulin the body already produces, or they force the already tired pancreas to work harder and create more insulin, which accelerates the downward spiral. It’s like whipping a dead horse. Once the horse is soundly dead, insulin injections become necessary.
THE NATUROPATHIC APPROACH
Diet and lifestyle adjustments are absolutely essential to treating diabetes effectively.
Our clinic offers a four-week program called U-Lite that has been used for over 12 years to reduce risk factors and reverse pre-diabetes. The program teaches you how to eat (in terms of both what to eat and how much to eat of it), and enables me to easily pinpoint other factors that may contribute to your pre-diabetic state, including nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, and other chronic conditions. At the end of four weeks, you take the same questionnaire again and we develop a naturopathic action plan based on how far you’ve come and how far you have left to go.