RSS Functional medicine for type-2 diabetes

Posted on Sun, 10 Jan 16

 Functional medicine for type-2 diabetes

Type-2 diabetes is one of the most burdensome health problems in society today and remains poorly managed. Individualized nutritional therapy and lifestyle changes using the functional medicine model may represent the future of diabetes care, as highlighted in a recently published case study.

In the UK there are 3.2 million people with type 2 diabetes, many of which are undiagnosed, and those who are receiving treatment are frequently on multiple drug therapies with questionable benefits.

Like many chronic diet and lifestyle related illnesses, addressing the cause of the disease using the functional medicine model would offer better hope of reversing the illness and improving long term health and survival than managing symptoms with medication. 

And in a case report and discussion published in the Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Research a team of functional medicine practitioners demonstrate the power of a functional medicine–based management program in a patient with type-2 diabetes poorly controlled with multiple medications.

“After nine months of therapy, laboratory data continued to reflect improvement, including a 30-pound weight loss, improvement in blood pressure and fasting blood sugar A1C normalized as well as liver enzymes, lipids, Vitamins D and B, and mitochondrial markers” reported Kara Fitzgerald ND, Mark Hyman MD, Kathie Swift RD. “The patient's sleep apnea resolved, and she was able to reduce her metformin and eliminate the glyburide and metoprolol.” 

“As in the case of [the patient], patient education, inspiration, and self-awareness are essential factors needed to alter the diabetic epidemic,” they commented. “Laboratory assessment of disease risk and nutrient status guided the development of safe interventions that involved individualized diet, nutrient, and lifestyle changes."

"Individualized therapies, education, and empowerment may be the key inspirational tools required to turn around the epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Innovations in group treatment and sustainable behavior change are critical to help stem the rising tide of cost and suffering attributable to type 2 diabetes.” 


Fitzgerald KN, Hyman M, Swift KM. 56-year-old female with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Obes Metab Res 2015;2:167-76.

Wilson V. Reversing type 2 diabetes with lifestyle change. Nurs Times. 2015 Mar 18-24;111(12):17-9.

Tags: Functional Medicine, Type 2 Diabetes, Lifestyle Medicine

Related Articles

« Back to Latest Blog Entries