A Unique Approach to Managing Diabetes
When looking at books or programs, it is easy to think that there is an answer for diabetes that works for everyone. However, we are all unique people who bring not just our lifestyle choices to the table, but also our genes. That is why any approach to a chronic condition like diabetes must take our unique genetic makeup into account. Here are just a few examples of how generic recommendations could have a negative impact:
- Tasting sweet: Some of us can negatively impact our blood sugar control by using the non-nutritive (i.e., zero calorie) sweeteners, both artificial like sucralose but also natural ones like xylitol and stevia. It is a complex neuro-hormonal response that happens when we taste something sweet.
- Low Glycemic: Carbohydrates are not created equal. There is a genetic difference in how we metabolize certain carbohydrates. Bread is an excellent example, it can be a higher glycemic load and create more inflammation than equal amounts of carbohydrates in other foods (like a banana). Alternatively, some of us have ‘Rice-abetes’ from shifting away from bread to gluten-free alternatives. Surprisingly, quinoa spikes many people’s blood sugar as well. Using a glucometer allows you to see what happens to your blood sugar when you eat certain foods. This can help you determine what foods actually impact your blood sugar.
- Physical Activity: Depending on our muscle fiber types, exercise can either help us a lot or not so much in reversing diabetes.
Fasting: This is often promoted but if your adrenals are stressed, fasting boosts glucose and inflammation through the actions of cortisol and glucagon, a hormone that tells the liver to produce glucose.
Diabetes can be prevented or even reversed, but it is important that a program is personalized around your lifestyle, hormones, and genetics.
Rebecca Hunton, M.D., practices Functional and Integrative Medicine at Radiantly Healthy MD, 150 5th Avenue, Suite C, Indialantic. For more information, call 321-254-6803 or visit RH-MD.com.