Functional Medicine Addresses Blood Sugar Dysfunction and Its Effects
Do you have a blood sugar problem?
Once I knew what kind of symptoms to pay attention to, I was shocked at how many of my patients have blood sugar problems to one degree or another. Most commonly I will see anything from low blood sugar aka hypoglycemia, to insulin resistance aka pre-diabetes all the way to diabetes. Surprisingly a lot of my patients aren’t aware that they even have a blood sugar issue until I start asking them questions. Some of the questions I ask are whether they get tired after meals, or get tired in the afternoon, or do they have cravings? Before I can finish some of these questions I can already see a concerned look in their eyes. That look suggests they didn’t know they have a problem but are becoming aware of the fact that they do.
Abnormal glucose causes damage
Most of my patients have no clue the degree to which blood sugar problems are contributing to their demise. The tentacles of abnormal glucose are far reaching. In fact, nearly every system in the body within time will succumb to the effects of abnormal glucose regulation. This makes sense as all cells in the body are dependent on glucose for energy. When we no longer manage glucose efficiently, the body begins to deteriorate. However, this is not the message commonly conveyed until the latter stages of abnormal glucose.
The first problem is the way in which blood sugar problems are addressed. This is clearly seen by the continued rise in the number of diagnosed diabetics in spite of supposed advancements in treatment. We have been misinformed to think that unless your fasting glucose reaches the magic number of 126, then you remain in a safe zone. I’d like to ask you a question, can you tell me what is different about dysfunction in your body when you glucose levels are at 120 and when they are at 126? There isn’t one. No difference, and if you think waiting until it’s 126 to do something about about it is ok think again, it’s only making the damage worse. Also, you aren’t paying any attention to the to the effects of secondary damage that the abnormal glucose is causing which can make the problem worse.
In contrast to standard approaches, functional medicine offers a comprehensive approach that not only looks at the causes of abnormal glucose, but also the implications upon other tissues. Classic considerations to managing glucose have been diet and exercise. However, even in concepts as fundamental as these, the wrong message is being stated to those that need help. The incorrect, but well entrenched RDA food guide pyramid continues to be pushed in mainstream circles over the well proven and highly effective Paleo Diet. If the “authorities” associated with traditional approaches have been so mistaken in their method, maybe it is time for the introduction of functional medicine on a wider scale.
When you come in to my office and through a series of simple question that I ask you, you find out you have a glucose problem, then you have been let down because of the simple fact that no one has taken the time to explain to you what may be wrong, what it can do to you and how to fix it. When you have abnormal glucose levels, you really need to look to functional medicine so that someone can tie all of the physiology together. Restoring your glucose levels back to normal is more complicated than just exercise and/or diet. What it really requires is someone looking at how all of your other systems are working to determine if they are functioning properly and getting the support they need. Just to give you an example, if someone is not sleeping well, and they are stressed out, then how can we manage their glucose levels? If there is dysfunction in one system it could be caused by the dysfunction of another system or could be the cause for dysfunction in other systems. it. This is the reason that it is ideal to be under the care and principles of functional medicine.