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    Categories: Holistic Approach

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment: Conventional Versus Holistic

The treatment of type II diabetes requires a lifelong commitment to blood sugar monitoring, healthy eating, regular exercise and possibly medication.

Home blood sugar monitoring for established type II diabetics is a must. Depending on the level of present control, monitoring several times daily or weekly may be recommended. Your physician will monitor a hemoglobin A-1 C test as well as other studies to follow your progress. Pre-diabetics should, at the minimum of at least annual blood studies performed if not more frequently to make sure they are not progressing into full-blown diabetes.

Conventional healthy eating recommendations included diet centered on high-fiber low-fat foods which would include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fewer animal products and fewer refined carbohydrates and sweets are also recommended. Various holistic dietary recommendations abound. My strong recommendation is a Paleolithic approach which negates the use of grains and minimizes fruits significantly. It also allows a fair amount of animal meat products.

Physical activity is also a must. At least 30 minutes of light aerobic exercise is the general recommendation along with some degree of stretching and strengthening exercises. Most holistic practitioners would be in agreement with this, though the specifics of what types of exercises are the most efficient would be arguable.

Finally, when dietary and lifestyle modifications are simply not sufficient enough to maintain adequate blood sugar control, diabetes medications and insulin therapy may be prescribed. While most holistic practitioners would not completely vilify pharmaceutical medications, many would argue that not enough emphasis is placed upon effective dietary and lifestyle modifications. Likewise, since most conventionally trained physicians are not familiar or comfortable with utilizing more natural therapies this whole potential arena of treatment goes essentially ignored particularly for patients not under the care of a physician not open to holistic health options. Likewise, other areas of holistic health that impair blood sugar control such as stress, energy balance and toxicity; concepts foreign and unaccepted by the conventional school of thought are not even considered. Within the holistic framework, these very concept many times are as fundamental to treatment as dietary controls are.

Type II diabetes has become a very common chronic health conditions in this country. The consequences of poor treatment are well understood. Unfortunately, many patients continue to experience its complications despite treatment. It has been my experience that a more comprehensive and effective approach to type II diabetes incorporates many of the basic ideas espoused by the conventional medicine school thought integrated with the several other holistic concepts previously mentioned . . . and more.

Dr. Esquivel :