If you have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may feel (or even may have been told) that your best hope is to “manage” your condition over time, slow its progression, and delay diabetic complications. But what if it were possible to reverse your diagnosis and reclaim your health? With a functional medicine approach, it may be possible after all.
This is because our understanding of insulin resistance is changing; we used to think that once insulin receptors were damaged by chronically high blood sugars, there was no restoring them to proper function. We thought patients would always be dependent on oral diabetic medications or insulin to stabilize blood sugars, but it turns out, that’s not the case. Insulin receptors can be resensitized, and type 2 diabetics can restore their health and reduce or eliminate their dependence on prescription drugs.
Unfortunately, conventional medicine has not fully embraced the key lifestyle changes that need to be addressed to confront the root cause of insulin resistance. Despite extraordinary research demonstrating the ability for lifestyle modification to completely reverse the course of this degenerative illness, conventional medicine — and the public at large — continue to look to the next great “miracle drug” to manage symptoms. Why? Because lifestyle change sounds a lot harder than popping a pill.
Although lifestyle change may be challenging, it is achievable, and the results are way more impressive than any diabetic medication on the market. In fact, some studies show that a dramatic diet change — a plant-based, low glycemic load diet — can reverse diabetes in as little as 8 weeks. It may sound too good to be true, but functional medicine doctors experience those results in their practices every day, thanks almost exclusively to scientifically-based nutritional intervention for their patients.
If you want to start reversing the course of your diabetes, start by eating a low glycemic load. This means eating lots of vegetables in a wide variety of colors, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds, and lean animal proteins. This should make up the bulk of your diet, with some extra wiggle room for whole grains (think quinoa, not “whole grain” sliced bread) and healthy fats. Start incorporating 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercises, like walking, running, biking, or swimming every day, and be sure to include a quality Omega 3 fish oil supplement, vitamin D, and a multivitamin into your daily routine.
If you’re ready to make both immediate and lasting change to your health, know that you do have the power to start making healthier choices and reversing the course of your illness. A functional medicine approach could be the answer you’ve been looking for in managing your diabetes all along.