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Diabetes (Insulin Resistance)

Contrary to popular belief, and more unfortunately, also contrary to beliefs of many health care professionals, diabetes is not a “chronic, progressive and irreversible disease”. In many cases it can actually be reversed.

However, most people, including health care professionals, don’t know, or health care professionals have forgotten, that diabetes is just an advanced form of insulin resistance. In diabetes, the pancreas is no longer able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance, hence diabetes develops.

In the initial stages of insulin resistance lasting for many years, the blood sugar levels remain within normal ranges. (By the way, normal ranges are far too wide looking at the available medical science.)

Anyhow, the reason the sugar levels are within normal limits, is simply because the pancreas is producing more and more insulin which is sufficient to overcome the decreased response of the cells to insulin (=insulin resistance). However, at some stage, the pancreas will reach its maximum capacity for insulin production. With further deterioration of your insulin resistance, your blood sugar levels will rise. Simply because the pancreas can no longer match your need for insulin to keep the blood sugar levels in check.

Type 2 diabetes is simply insulin resistance that is not compensated by increased insulin production by the pancreas.

All the causes and symptoms of insulin resistance will thus also apply for diabetes. Hence, we’ll refer to diabetes as insulin resistance/diabetes.

At DMH Functional Medicine, we are committed to understanding the root causes of insulin resistance/diabetes and providing personalized, effective solutions for optimal blood sugar control and overall health. In many cases we are able to reverse diabetes or bring diabetes into remission.

Read on to learn more about insulin resistance/diabetes and how we can help you. This section will primarily focus on Type 2 Diabetes.

Causes of Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance/diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors:

No need to despair: Most of these factors are in our control and most can be controlled by relatively small changes in our lifestyle and diet.

Let’s look at some of these factors:

  • Genes: Certain genes are associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. A family history of diabetes can also raise an individual’s risk. However, epigenetics, how you treat your body, play a much bigger role than genes.
  • Sugar and refined carbohydrates spike blood sugar levels triggering higher insulin demand and insulin resistance.
  • Deficiency in important micronutrients such as Vitamin A, B, C, D and E, iron, selenium, boron, magnesium, zinc and deficiency in other micronutrients can cause insulin resistance
  • Unhealthy fats/processed vegetable oils cause inflammation which can trigger further insulin resistance.
  • Excess body fat, particularly around the abdomen, can lead to increased inflammation and the release of hormones and cytokines that impair insulin signaling.
  • A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to weight gain, inflammation, and reduced insulin sensitivity. Regular physical activity can help improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.
  • Chronic stress increases cortisol, which triggers higher blood sugar levels.
  • Poor sleep quality or insufficient sleep can disrupt hormonal balance and impair glucose metabolism.
  • Gut microbiome changes can contribute to systemic inflammation and insulin resistance.
  • Increased intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”) allows harmful substances to enter the bloodstream triggering inflammation.
  • Chronic inflammation can disrupt insulin signaling and contribute to insulin resistance. Addressing underlying sources of inflammation, such as infections, food sensitivities, or autoimmune conditions, can help improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Estrogen dominance (imbalance between estrogen and progesterone), low testosterone, hypothyroidism and other hormonal changes can cause insulin resistance.
  • Environmental toxins, such as endocrine disruptors, heavy metals, and persistent organic pollutants, can negatively impact insulin sensitivity and contribute to insulin resistance.

It goes without saying, that treating these causing of insulin resistance/diabetes would make great sense. Somehow, conventional medicine is opting to treat the symptoms and complications of insulin resistance/diabetes. More on this later. Let’s look at the symptoms.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels due to the body’s inability to produce or effectively use insulin. Symptoms can come from the high blood sugar levels, high insulin levels and be secondary symptoms reflecting the damage done to organs and tissues from prolonged high blood sugar levels and high insulin.

As diabetes is just an advanced stage of insulin resistance, you can see signs and symptoms of insulin resistance many years ahead of developing diabetes:

However, more specific symptoms seen in advanced insulin resistance/diabetes can be the following:

  • Increased and frequent urination: The body tries to eliminate excess sugar through the kidneys, which will pull the water along leading to frequent.
  • Excessive thirst: Increased urination can lead to dehydration, causing increased thirst.
  • Increased hunger and cravings: people with diabetes may often experience constant hunger.
  • Fatigue: tiredness and lack of energy are common symptoms of diabetes, as the body struggles to convert glucose into energy.
  • Blurred vision: High blood sugar levels can cause fluid to accumulate in the eye, leading to blurred vision.
  • Slow healing of cuts and wounds: High blood sugar levels can impair blood circulation and the body’s ability to heal.

Tingling or numbness in hands or feet: Diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage caused by prolonged high blood sugar levels, can result in tingling or numbness in the extremities. However, deficiency in B1, thiamine, B5, B9, B12 and iron can also cause neuropathy. These deficiencies are more common than we tend to believe. These deficiencies are commonly seen in diabetes and can also be caused by medicines commonly used to treat diabetic patients.

  • Infections: Diabetic patients often have an impaired immune system causing an increased risk of infections.
  • Weight loss: Unintended weight loss due to the body breaking down muscle and fat for energy.
  • Acanthosis nigricans: Darkened patches of skin, can appear in individuals with type 2 diabetes, particularly in skin folds and creases.

The earlier the diagnosis and appropriate treatment the less risk of complication.

Complications to insulin resistance/diabetes

Too many to mention. Let’s just look at this.

However, this is just scratching the surface. Some of these consequences of insulin resistance/diabetes, enters a vicious cycle. Sleep disorders can cause insulin resistance and insulin resistance can cause sleep disorders. Same goes for hormone imbalances, pains and aches, overweight, inflammation etc etc.

Diagnosis of Insulin Resistance/Diabetes at DMH Functional Medicine

Waiting for a disaster to happen really makes no sense. In conventional medicine we may monitor blood sugar levels for people having one or more risk factors: being overweight/obese, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of diabetes, fatty liver etc.

However, that is really waiting for the disaster to happen. Why not check for insulin resistance that may show up 5-10-15 years ahead of the diagnosis of Insulin resistance/diabetes? That would be like a financial advisor to wait for a business to show losses before taking corrective measure. While not acting when profits go from 5 million usd, to 5 million, to 20,000 usd because the business is still making profits (is within normal range and not into the diseased range). Really, really poor advice!

We recommend monitoring Homo-IR (along with other parametres) for patients at risk. Homa-IR are calculated as:

HOMA-IR: Fasting insulin (iu) x fasting glucose (ml/dl) / 405


HOMA-IR: Fasting insulin (iu) x fasting glucose (mmol/L) / 22.5

If HOMA-IR is above 1.25 you’ve stepped on to the insulin resistance ladder. The sooner you take corrective measure, the easier it is to control.

However, let’s look at the what the conventional medicine approach is to the diagnosis of advanced insulin resistance/diabetes.

Conventional Diagnosis of Insulin resistance/diabetes

Symptoms and medical history can point towards insulin resistance. Keep in mind, that diabetes is just a stage where your insulin resistance can no longer be overcome by the pancreas. Once the pancreas is not able to compensate for the increasing insulin resistance, the blood sugar levels will rise. However, to diagnose diabetes according to conventional medicine, we need certain criteria to be fulfilled:

  • Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG): FBG above 100 mg/dl or 5.5 mmol/L is defined as prediabetes. FBG above 126 mg/dl or 7 mmol/L is classified as diabetes. If two readings cross this threshold, then diabetes can be diagnosed.
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher two hours after a glucose-rich drink is diagnostic of diabetes.
  • Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) Test: Measure your average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months. Two readings of HbA1c > 6.5% or higher is required for the diagnosis. Above 5.7% is considered prediabetes.
  • Random Plasma Glucose (RBG): RBG of 200 mg/dL is required for the diagnosis. Above 140 mg/dl is the criteria for prediabetes.

Insulin resistance/diabetes remission or reversal

Contrary to popular belief, diabetes is not a “chronic, progressive and irreversible” disease. Unfortunately, even many health care professionals keep presenting this dogma to their patients. However, conventional medicine has been treating Insulin resistance/diabetes the wrong way for many years. And the pharmaceutical industry is laughing all the way to the bank.

Let’s look at the conventional treatment first and then dig into the scientific way of treatment diabetes.

Conventional treatment of insulin resistance/diabetes

It’s true, that it’s a “chronic, progressive and irreversible” disease if you treat Insulin resistance/diabetes the conventional way. That is because the root causes are not being addressed.

Imagine some throws a stone and breaks the window glass in your house: It might get too cold, it may get too noisy, rainwater on the floor and dust everywhere. All these symptoms of a broken window, is managed by conventional medicine, but nobody is ever going to look for the broken window. So, now you’ve another heater, you dust more frequently, turn on the volume on and clean the floor constantly. This approach is certainly going to make the condition chronic and progressive and make it irreversible. Because it’s treated the wrong way.

As the wooden floor gets more “serious complications”, you may need to polish to extend its life or maybe you’ll need to replace it. The same with “complications” in terms of your carpet getting damages. Repair or replace. That’s conventional medicine in a nutshell: Manage the symptoms of a broken window.

So, for all the symptoms or complications of a broken window (insulin resistance/diabetes), conventional medicine has a pill:

Medicines for hypertension, headaches, high blood sugar levels, depression, dementia, sleep disorders, infertility, erectile dysfunction, cholesterol lowering medicine, migraines, kidney failure, cancer, pains and aches and the list goes on.

No wonder the pharmaceutical industry is willing to spend billions on “educating” health care professionals on how to use their products to manage symptoms and complications of the broken window. Sponsored trips to desirable destinations sponsored by people that are making good money from “educating” health care professionals on how to use their products.

DMH Functional Medicine approach to insulin resistance/diabetes

Why not fix the window? We wouldn’t need all the specialists to fix the symptoms and complications of the broken windows. Doesn’t sound very innovative, does it? Sounds pretty insane to look for the root cause, but there you go – Functional Medicine doing what it does best: Looking for the root cause!

Quite basic, right? But what about all the medicines we are using to control all the symptoms and complications of insulin resistance/diabetes? Who are going to buy those?

This brings us back to the causes of insulin resistance/diabetes:

We actually have tools to find the broken window. Unless you’ve reached a very advanced stage of insulin resistance/diabetes, where your pancreas has had irreversible damage, you can actually bring insulin resistance/diabetes into remission.

But you got to look for the window: Are you deficient in vit D, magnesium, B vitamins, or iron? Is your body inflamed? Are you stressed all the time? Poor sleep? Relationship issues? No physical activity? Fastmfood? Inflammatory vegetable seed oils? A sweet tooth? Lack of variety in your vegetarian food choices? Lack of protein?

Or a little of it all? Well, let’s look for your broken window(s).

At DMH Functional Medicine, we’ll guide you on how to find your broken windows. In the short term we may have to resort to control your immediate symptoms, but the focus is on identifying the root cause of your insulin resistance/diabetes.

Once the diagnostic work has been done, we can then help you change your lifestyle and diet, so that the causes of your condition are removed or their effects are minimized.

For motivated patients, this is often very successful and they are usually amazed on how fast they can see their condition improving.

Ongoing Adjustment During Recovery

This is far more important than most patients or doctors appreciate. Addressing the root cause of insulin resistance/diabetes is often very effective. This means your blood sugar levels will usually come down within few days or maybe 1-2 weeks depending on how much and how soon you implement the relevant lifestyle and diet changes.

You may even risk too low blood sugar levels, hypoglycemia, especially, if you are using conventional prescription medicines and/or insulin. Hypoglycemia can be very dangerous and must be avoided! Therefore, it’s essential that you are being monitored. This will ensure that we reduce your diabetes medicines as your body starts to recover. Ongoing monitoring and medical supervision are extremely important.

While it’s fully possible to do our Diabetes Remission or Reversal Program (DRRP) while you stay at home, we do recommend our Health Recovery Stay in Islamabad (HRS).

This will give you an unparalleled service and take the stress out of all the practicalities of arranging your diabetes recovery. It’ll also give you proof of concept as you experience how diabetes can be reversed, spiking your motivation to stay on track when you are back.

Contact us now to learn more about DRRP and HRS and to schedule your consultation.