Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which the levels of sugar, called glucose, in your blood become elevated. It used to be called adult onset diabetes, because the majority of people who develop this condition are over the age of 45. However, anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, including children.
Glucose is your body’s main source of energy. The food you eat is converted into sugar to fuel all of your body’s systems and activities. A hormone called insulin, which is made by your pancreas helps guide the glucose into your cells for use. However, in type 2 diabetes, your body is either not producing enough insulin, or your cells have become resistant to the insulin you are producing and glucose is not being blocked by your cells. When that happens, the glucose remains in your blood, causing elevated blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to a number of health problems, some of them serious, if it’s not managed properly. It can lead to neuropathy (nerve damage), kidney disease, heart disease, risk of stroke, vision and eye problems, numbness and fatty liver disease. Unfortunately, because the symptoms of diabetes may be subtle or develop over a long period of time, many people don’t find out they have the disease until damage is done and they’re diagnosed with some other condition unknowingly caused by their diabetes.
Some of the risk factors for type II diabetes can be controlled by diet and lifestyle factors, but some are not. You’re at an elevated risk for type 2 diabetes if:
- You are older than 45
- Other members in your family have diabetes
- You have prediabetes—elevated blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be called diabetes
- You’ve had gestational diabetes during a pregnancy
- You are overweight or obese
- You are physically inactive
- You have high blood pressure
- You have Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes include feeling thirsty, increased urination, fatigue, blurry vision, numb or tingling feet/hands, sores that take a long time to heal, infertility, weight gain or unaccounted for weight loss. These symptoms may be mild, develop slowly, and may take several years to notice or be diagnosed.
While there’s currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, there is good news in that some people are able to bring their blood sugar levels into the normal range without the use of medication, through diet, exercise, and weight loss. Some people with this disease have been able to avoid taking medication, normalize their blood sugar, and remain in remission for years, or indefinitely, by losing extra weight and through nutritional changes.
Treating Type II Diabetes at BodaHealth
While a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes may feel like a life sentence of health problems, there are actually a number of treatments and lifestyle modifications that can help get your blood sugar levels under control and in some cases, reverse the course of the disease.
One of the most studied complementary treatments for type II diabetes is acupuncture. Diabetes is a condition of your endocrine system, which is your body’s intricate network of glands and hormonal interactions. Studies have documented that acupuncture treatments can regulate hormone function through the HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal) in your brain. In addition, a great deal of research has shown that acupuncture relieves stress by increasing the circulation of a feel-good neurotransmitter, called endorphins. When you’re under a lot of stress, the balance of cortisol, adrenaline, and insulin is upset. By regulating your body’s stress response, you’re also helping to regulate insulin levels. In addition, while more research is needed, animal studies have found that electro acupuncture treatments were able to lower blood glucose, increase insulin, and promote better glucose tolerance. Acupuncture may also be used for neuropathy (nerve pain) caused by diabetes.
When making lifestyle changes as a way to manage your type 2 diabetes, both acupuncture and Chinese medicine have a lot to offer. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Chinese food therapy can help with weight loss by decreasing food cravings, promoting better digestion, and by regulating your metabolism.
Naturopathic medicine is also valuable in treating type 2 diabetes. At BodaHealth, our naturopathic physicians perform detailed assessments of your diet, nutritional status, and hormone function. They are also able to perform bloodwork and lab tests when needed. Based on their evaluations, they will then formulate a treatment plan that may include dietary guidelines, herbal or nutritional supplements, and lifestyle modifications to help you control your blood glucose levels and symptoms.
Needless to say, what you eat plays an important role in managing your type 2 diabetes. Our holistic nutritionists, acupuncturists and naturopaths are well-trained and experienced in providing a nutritional plan to help control your blood sugar, decrease inflammation, control your symptoms, and maximize your energy.
Physical activity is an additional component that makes a huge difference in the progression of type 2 diabetes. Our practitioners can guide you in developing an exercise strategy. We have an exercise physiologist, clinical exercise practitioner, kinesiologist, and a clinical Pilates specialists on staff who can help you with specific issues or needs.
In most cases, there are many factors that contributed to the development of your type 2 diabetes. Similarly, treating it most effectively will also require solutions from a number of directions. At BodaHealth, we are able to provide you with those solutions through our skilled providers and wide array of treatment options. Contact us today to find out how we can best help you.