In last month’s article we discussed diabesity, which currently affects 50% of Americans. Diabesity is a continuum of disease from insulin sensitivity to full-blown diabetes. While conventional medicine focuses on treating the symptoms of diabesity, the fact is that diabesity can actually be reversed by simply eliminating the things that are sending a person’s biology out of balance and including what’s needed to help the body rebalance itself. Here are my eight tips for reversing diabesity:
- Get the right tests. Most doctors focus on fasting blood sugar, which is actually a poor indicator of diabesity. A better test is a fasting insulin test. If the levels are too high this would suggest that blood sugar is not under control. Insulin levels tend to rise prior to fasting blood sugar levels. Demand this test from your doctor.
- Get smart about nutrition. Despite the media hype and the seeming confusion amongst doctors, the basics of nutrition are extremely simple. Eliminate sugar and processed carbohydrates, include whole foods like lean protein, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, and occasionally whole grains (be sure to listen to our Wellness 101 podcast Episode 107 regarding grain).
- Get the right supplements. Supplements are an essential part of treating diabesity. A good multivitamin, vitamin D, and fish oil are key. For many, special blood sugar balancing nutrients like alpha lipoic acid, chromium polynicotinate, cinnamon, and green tea catechins may also need to be included. Be sure to talk to your functional medicine doctor to know which ones are right for you.
- Get relaxed. Stress is a major unrecognized contributor to insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalance. Push your pause button every day with deep breathing, visualization, yoga, and other relaxation techniques.
- Get moving. Aside from changing your diet, exercise is probably the single best medication for diabesity. Everyone should try to walk at least 30 minutes per day, although for some, 30-60 minutes of more vigorous aerobic exercise 4-6 times per week may be necessary.
- Get clean and green. Environmental toxins also contribute to diabesity. Filter your water, look for green cleaning products, and avoid plastics when you can.
- Get personal. While the steps above will address 80% of the problems with diabesity, some may need to take additional steps to optimize key areas of their biology. Remember, the medicine of the future is personal medicine. Seek out your own biological imbalances and address them by working with a functional medicine doctor.
- Get connected. Research is beginning to show that we get better more effectively when we get together. Invite your friends, families, and neighbors to change their diets and lifestyle along with you. Together we can all take back our health!
If you would like more information regarding any of the treatments, therapies, or services offered at The Institute of Natural Health, please contact us at (314) 293-8123 or visit us at the theinstituteofnaturalhealth.com. Dr. TJ Williams is the Clinic Director for the Institute of Natural Health and the host of the radio program Wellness 101, which provides common-sense, science-based strategies for a healthy life. Wellness 101 airs Sundays at 2:00pm on FM NewsTalk 97.1.