Type 2 Diabetes Natural Treatment in Tri-Cities, TN
Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic condition characterized by elevated levels of glucose or blood sugar. Diabetes can occur when the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin or if the cells of the body become resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps get glucose into cells to be converted into energy; without insulin, too much glucose stays in the bloodstream. Over time, elevated glucose levels can lead to serious health complications and can affect organs such as the heart, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
An increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes can occur with age and in individuals that are obese, have a family history of diabetes, live a sedentary lifestyle, or consume a high amount sugars and refined carbohydrates.
Research indicates that by modifying an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, and by incorporating natural therapies, you can help to prevent, manage, and even reverse type 2 diabetes. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare practitioner in Tri-Cities who specializes in type 2 diabetes natural treatment, call (423) 301-6964 or contact Tri-Cities Functional Medicine online.
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
The major risk factor for type 2 diabetes is obesity. Historically, the onset of type 2 diabetes occurred after 40 years of age in overweight individuals. Today, the onset of the disease can begin in childhood due mainly to the growing obesity epidemic in all age groups in the U.S. Approximately 80-90% of individuals with type 2 diabetes are obese with a body mass index greater than 30.
Additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
- A family history of diabetes
- Increased waist-to-hip ratio
- Age (increased risk beginning at age 45)
- Race or ethnicity
- Impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance
- History of gestational diabetes
- Triglyceride levels higher than 250 mg/dL
- Elevated fasting insulin levels
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Consuming a diet high in sugars and refined carbohydrates
- Prediabetes (higher than normal blood sugar levels but not yet in a diabetic state)
Traditional Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
Traditional treatment options for type 2 diabetes include medications such as metformin and insulin to help lower blood sugar levels. While these medications can be helpful for individuals with severe hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), they do very little to address root cause issues, such as decreased insulin production in the pancreas, decreased insulin sensitivity, and the lifestyle and dietary imbalances that contribute to type 2 diabetes.
Natural Remedies for Diabetes Type 2
Alternative to traditional treatment, natural remedies for diabetes type 2 focus on addressing underlying factors which drive diabetes symptoms. Individuals that rely mainly on the medications to lower blood sugar levels often find that diabetes progresses over time and with age, whereas using complementary therapies early in the disease state can help halt the progression of this chronic health condition. These therapies include diet, physical activity, dietary supplements, and other critical changes to behaviors and lifestyle choices.
Type 2 Diabetes Diet
Consuming a proper diet and achieving an ideal body weight can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. The glycemic index of a food is a measurement that correlates to the spike in blood sugar following its ingestion. Research has indicated that eating foods with a high glycemic index may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, whereas consuming foods with a low glycemic index has the opposite effect. Some examples of foods that are high in glycemic index include instant rice, baked potatoes, corn flakes, and white bread. Instead, your diet should focus on:
- Consuming protein (such as chicken, yogurt, turkey, eggs, or fish) every 3-4 hours
- Consuming a diet high in fiber (25-50 grams/day); foods high in fiber include beans, whole grains, and vegetables
- Avoiding simple sugars, desserts, and refined carbohydrates
- Consuming omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts, flaxseeds, and cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
- Limiting intake of fruit to 1-2 servings per day
- Switching from refined grains to whole grains (whole wheat bread versus white bread; brown rice versus white rice)
- Avoiding sugary drinks, sodas, diet sodas, and juices
- Avoiding processed and fried foods
- Consuming frequent, smaller meals
Type 2 Diabetes Lifestyle Recommendations
While diet is the main factor to consider to reverse type 2 diabetes naturally, other lifestyle modifications can help to further reduce type 2 diabetes symptoms, including:
- Getting regular exercise, particularly cardiovascular exercise (at least 3-4 times per week)
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding alcoholic beverages
- Lowering stress levels
- Improving sleep habits
- Controlling coexisting health conditions and complications of diabetes
- Meeting with your healthcare practitioner routinely to monitor A1c levels and your overall cardiovascular health
- Seeking support from friends and family
Natural Supplements for Diabetes Type 2
Certain dietary supplements have been demonstrated in research studies to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. The following nutrients can be used alone, with dietary modifications, or in conjunction with medications for type 2 diabetes:
- Chromium: a mineral that has been found to potentiate the action of insulin
- Biotin: a vitamin that plays a role in the intracellular metabolism of glucose
- Alpha lipoid acid: a nutrient that has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity
- Vitamin E: a fat soluble vitamin that has been shown to reduce oxidative stress
- B complex vitamins: a group of different B vitamins that support glucose metabolism
- Cinnamon: increases glucose utilization
- Vitamin D: plays a role in insulin sensitivity
- Fish oil : omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can help to balance inflammation, lower triglycerides, and increase HDL (good cholesterol)
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common conditions diagnosed in the U.S. population; however, the condition is treatable and can even be reversed if diagnosed and treated early. Meet with a healthcare provider in Tri-Cities who specializes in natural ways to treat type 2 diabetes. Call (423) 301-6964 or contact Tri-Cities Functional Medicine online.
Tri-Cities Functional Medicine
Address404 S. Roan St.
Johnson City, TN 37601
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm