Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is a chronic disease that results from too much sugar (glucose) in the blood. The body absorbs glucose from the foods you eat to use as energy or to store as fat. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps distribute glucose to the cells throughout the body so that it can be absorbed and used.
When diabetes occurs, insulin production is inadequate or dysfunctional. As a result, glucose levels flourish. Over time, sustained high blood glucose levels can lead to serious concerns, including eye, nerve, and kidney damage or heart disease.
The Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine specializes in diabetes treatment in Houston, TX. Our diabetes specialists can help develop a personalized plan which targets the underlying causes of diabetes and aims to reverse the condition rather than treat its symptoms.
There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes, also referred to as autoimmune or juvenile diabetes, is a form of diabetes in which the pancreas fails to produce insulin. It most often occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Although the onset of type 1 diabetes is often in adolescence, the condition can develop in adulthood too.
While many people are genetically predisposed to type 1 diabetes, new research indicates there is an association between the development of antibodies toward certain foods, such as the A1 beta-casein milk protein found in dairy products, and the disease’s development. This is especially true for babies who have early exposure to cow’s milk or formula rather than breast milk.
Gut bacteria also play a pivotal role in the development of autoimmune diabetes. Multiple studies confirm children with juvenile diabetes have significantly fewer gut bacteria than other children.
Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the disease and occurs when the body’s cells are unable to respond to and use insulin—a state commonly referred to as insulin resistance. This forces your pancreas to increase its insulin output; with time, the increased insulin production can damage cells in your pancreas and the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin at all.
A combination of factors can play a role in type 2 diabetes development; people who acquire the disease are typically obese, insulin resistant, and experience chronic inflammation; inflammation can develop from the consumption of inflammatory foods such as sugar, sugar substitutes, processed food and grains, and high temperature cooked proteins.
The symptoms of diabetes depend on the elevation of your blood sugar levels. While symptoms of type 1 diabetes tend to appear quickly and be more severe, patients with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes may not initially experience symptoms.
Common diabetes symptoms can include:
At the Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine, a personalized approach towards diabetes treatment is paramount. We understand that two people can arrive at a diabetes diagnosis in different ways. They may be from different cultures, eating different foods, exposed to different environmental factors, and experience different stressors. These two will have different genes.
Our team will take into account numerous factors, including:
After acquiring and analyzing this data, the Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine team will formulate an individualized treatment plan which focuses on reversing diabetes. Our recommendations may include participation in our Type 2 Diabetes Boot Camp or our Diabetes Group Therapy that utilizes the Layers of Living Success.
If you or a loved one believe you may have diabetes; early intervention is critical. Dr. Ruan and his team are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Their unique approach to diabetes treatment can help you return to optimal functioning by emphasizing food as medicine and by making necessary lifestyle changes.