Diabetes Q & A
More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes — a serious medical condition in which your blood glucose levels remain elevated. If you’re one of the many men or women with Type 2 diabetes, Dr. Kalpana Patel, a leading environmental and integrative medicine specialist at the Environmental Health Center–Buffalo (EHC Buffalo), offers comprehensive treatments and therapies to help you manage symptoms. If you live in or around Buffalo, New York, call the office for a diabetes consultation or schedule an appointment online. Phone consultations are also available.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
With Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas makes little to no insulin. This type often has its onset early in life. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, usually develops as you get older, and being overweight is a contributing factor.
Insulin resistance are the inflammatory basis of diabetes and obesity. Normal amount of Insulin is necessary to process glucose to penetrate the cell membrane and enter the cell to provide energy. But when insulin receptor lose their sensitivity either because of mineral-hormone deficiency or toxins or estrogen mimics more insulin is required for glucose to enter the cell.Thus blood sugar control is achieved by higher levels of insulin. This is a prediabetic state where blood sugar is within normal limits but insulin levels are higher.One may start gaining weight and not able to lose weight with much effort, which was very effective before. If one fails to recognize prediabetic state and continues same eating habits and lifestyle one becomes diabetic. This is not due to deficiency of insulin but on the contrary they have very high levels of Insulin and high levels of blood glucose. When you have too much glucose (sugar) in your blood in the presence of enough or too much insulin, the condition is called Type 2 diabetes. High levels of insulin are very inflammatory molecules and cause damage in almost every vital system.
Symptoms of diabetes may include:
- Excess thirst and frequent urination
- Weight loss or weight gain and/or extreme hunger and excessive food intake
- Obesity-not responding to caloric control
- Frequent infections or sores that are slow to heal
- Frequently associated with hypertension
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention. The sooner you can treat the underlying causes, the better your chances of avoiding more serious health complications caused by chronic high blood sugar.
What are the risk factors for developing diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is more common in children, and although the cause is unknown, it may result from a hereditary predisposition, environmental exposures, and an autoimmune problem. Many of these patients are helped by nutritional and dietary interventions.
Heredity, inactivity, and obesity can all put you at a greater risk for developing prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. People of certain races are more at risk, too. Other risk factors for diabetes type 2 include:
- Increased age
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
A condition known as metabolic syndrome occurs when you have high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, abnormal triglyceride or cholesterol levels, and excess belly fat — all at the same time.
Dr. Patel takes a holistic approach to treating diabetes and metabolic syndrome and may first recommend that you make significant lifestyle changes. She has a special program to treat obesity in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian populations.
How is diabetes treated?
After a comprehensive evaluation, she orders glucose and insulin levels and other tests to determine the nature of your problems. Dr. Patel may recommend any of a number of treatments to reduce your symptoms and decrease inflammation in your body to make living with diabetes more manageable.
Dietary changes are a first-line treatment, including eliminating or greatly reducing your consumption of the following:
- Refined sugar and processed foods
- Genetically modified foods like corn, soy, and canola
- Hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats
Get rid of toxins from your body to reduce insulin receptor resistance.
Eat nutrient-rich, whole foods such as:
- High-fiber foods to help slow glucose absorption
- Foods high in chromium to help improve your body’s tolerance to glucose
- Healthy fats, like those found in coconut oil and avocados
- Clean proteins like wild-caught fish, organic chicken, organic eggs, and grass-fed beef
- Low-glycemic foods and non starchy vegetables
- Berries, nuts, and seeds
- Organic foods to avoid toxins
Learn more about treating diabetes naturally and holistically. Call the EHC Buffalo office or schedule a consultation using the online system.