Patient’s Dilemma Part V
“What are possible outcomes of the standard-drug therapy model VS a comprehensive plan?”
As we discussed before, unfortunately, the traditionally-trained doctor who utilizes the standard drug-therapy model of care may not really understand the best way to help diabetic patients. In many cases, it’s highly likely they are well meaning, and feel ill-equipped. Many traditional health care providers feel handcuffed by the drug-therapy model as they experience the obstacles it creates for optimal patient outcomes. They are commonly not well versed in emerging research, new clinical applications, dietary approaches, etc. Again, it is not that they are ill-intentioned; it’s just that most often they are not adequately trained to deal with many of the chronic and degenerative diseases afflicting today’s patient population.
Even if you’ve been referred to and consulted by a registered dietitian who provides you with a dietary plan, you most likely have been given a generic one-size-fits-all program. This program commonly revolves around you restricting your calories, consuming smaller portions, avoiding fats, not eating too late at night, eating more fruits and vegetables, eating less meat…well, you get the picture. Unfortunately, this approach is usually not sufficient to stop what has become, for many, the inevitable progression of your disease.
The standard drug-therapy model often produces the same results for patients. If you were to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, here is how it typically looks: it’s likely you are prescribed metformin. This pharmaceutical is typically the first drug of choice for the majority of doctors who treat Type 2 diabetes. You are likely initially prescribed 1,000 mg daily, though this varies by individual. At first, it seemed to work, but when you follow up with your doctor six to eight months later, you are surprised to find out that your A1c had gone up! The solution? Your doctor increased the dose to 2,000 mg per day – the accepted maximum dose. Again, you’re okay for some time. But eventually… this dose stopped working too. As you know, when your A1c is not properly controlled, you’re at risk for other complications – the very complications you’ve feared since you were first diagnosed, and the very complications you thought your medication would prevent. But no, that isn’t the case. Instead, your doctor prescribes a new medication, and so the cycle begins.
If you’ve had this disease long enough, you’ve likely been graduated to new and different drugs numerous times. In my time treating Type 2 diabetics, it is not unusual to see patients take multiple medications for “controlling” their blood sugar and additional symptoms. It’s akin to putting a Band-Aid on the problem. It’s also not uncommon to see patients who are taking all of these prescriptions at their maximum dosages. On top of oral medications, many patients are required to take insulin to regulate their blood sugar. In addition, patients are often taking two, three, or four high blood pressure medications. Frequently piled on top of that are prescriptions to lower cholesterol. And this isn’t even the end! Many patients also take a plethora of other medications to manage side effects and complications of their diabetes.
This process might be considered an acceptable approach when dealing with Type 2 diabetes if it in fact worked for patients. However, for many patients, their symptoms and lab results remain abnormal and troublesome.
It is important to understand that without a truly comprehensive and customized approach, Type 2 diabetes is destined to worsen – and will likely never go away! The pharmaceutical-based treatments along with the nutritional intervention is obviously not, as they say, “cutting the mustard.” There should be no escalation of dosage and drugs. (In other words, if the drug-based approach worked to fix the underlying problem, there would be no need to escalate treatment.) Some would argue that the increasing need for medication is just the normal course of the condition. While that may in part be true, I believe that it speaks much more of the negligence for what is actually causing this disease.
If quality of life is diminishing, then a different direction should be considered. We are all meant to be happy, healthy, and independent – exhilarated and inspired to live each day feeling as good as possible.
I believe in a different approach. I see the clinical results every day indicating that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed. In all of the cases I have accepted into care, I have rarely seen a patient fail. There are various reasons for this success, of course, and those small and various reasons are important to explore if a patient really wants to reverse diabetes. So what does it mean when I say that Type 2 diabetes is reversible? Here’s what I see with my patients:
They are able to reduce their need and dependency on drugs and insulin.
They are able to lower and stabilize their blood sugar while getting off of their medications (with doctor supervision).
- Patients lose weight, commonly without exercise.
- Patients increase their energy levels.
- Results show a reduction and elimination of risks for complications common to diabetes.
- Pre- and post-labs data is irrefutable; the patient is reversing their condition!
- Patients achieve the clinical status of non-diabetics.
- Imagine the possibilities of these results:
- No more drugs
- No more insulin injections
- Restored energy
- Controlled blood sugar (without drugs or insulin)
- Reduced risk of diabetic complications and premature death
There is a choice to be made, and it is imperative that you make it now. We all know the risks of diabetes: blindness, kidney failure, neuropathy, heart disease, and more. If you are reading this and are already experiencing these complications, you have most likely felt the frustration, fear, and panic of being told there is not much more you can do. If you are newly diagnosed, you may believe you have this disease under control. I urge you not to ignore it. Once you develop one complication, others quickly develop soon after.
If you have diabetes or know someone who does:
DO NOT TAKE THIS DISEASE LIGHTLY!
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL IT’S SERIOUSLY BAD!
I urge you not to ignore it. Once a patient develops one complication, others quickly develop soon after. There may be absolutely no reason for you to suffer from this disease any longer. To find the solution you have to know the cause. I can assure you it’s not what you’ve been told and not what you think it is. I look forward to using the next blogs to give you a better understanding of what the typical doctor’s dilemma looks like.
As always, if you have any specific questions in the meantime, you can find me on Twitter at @AskDrValdes or using #AskDrValdes. I look forward to hearing from you.