Almost 26 million Americans have type II diabetes, and many don't even know they have it. This silent killer is a leading cause of heart disease and many other health complications. Once called "adult onset diabetes," this disease now affects a growing number of children's lives. Ravaging not only quality of life but quantity, diabetes shortens life span by up to 10 years. In 2012 year alone, The U.S. spent more than $245 billion on diabetes, which grew 41 percent in 5 years. By the year 2020 the diabetes epidemic is projected to have cost us around 3.35 trillion dollars over the preceding decade. This epidemic is not only looking to bankrupt the United States, but Europe as well. With billions being spent, you would expect an improvement, but it's estimated that by 2020, just a few years away, 50 percent of the United States will be at risk for diabetes.
Diabetics are given very little options in mainstream medicine. They are typically told to do three things: 1. Take this pill, 2. Lose weight, and 3. See you in six months. Left to fend for themselves, they are inundated with the endless amount of conflicting information marketed to people with this disease, consumers in a billion-dollar industry. In my experience, most people are well intentioned and try to do the right thing, but are overwhelmed with misinformation and propaganda.
At the heart of the propaganda machine is the pharmaceutical industry, which spends 19 times more on self-promotion than they do on actual research. The medications given are anything but magic pills, all having negative side effects and some being linked to bladder and pancreatic cancer. Not designed to heal, the medications typically have to be increased in dosages until no other option is left but to go on insulin. When nothing changes but your prescription list, it's really disheartening. When you're told to lose weight but are given medications that make you gain weight, it's discouraging. In short, no one is sick from a medication deficiency.
So what's the solution? Well, there's no one-size-fits-all solution, which is another reason why mainstream medicine for chronic conditions is dismally inadequate. In functional medicine, we see high blood sugar as the body's "check engine" light. Instead of covering up the light and telling you to keep on living life normally, we look at why your blood sugar is high in first place. We look at the intricate, complex systems that regulate your blood sugar. Your brain, thyroid, adrenal glands, liver, pancreas, gut and cell membranes all work synergistically in regulating your blood sugar, and need to be looked at diagnostically. Food intolerances, chronic infections, hormonal imbalances and nutrient deficiencies have to be investigated to gain comprehensive understanding. Instead of just diagnosing and matching with a corresponding drug, we have to design a thorough health program for the individual.
Throwing more money into a failing system isn't the answer. Doing the same for years and expecting a different result is a definition of insanity! The mainstream model is looking in the wrong place. If I lost my car keys in my car, but hired all the best detectives and spent billions of dollars to look for the keys in my office building, what good would it do? For the sake of our health and our lives, we need to start looking somewhere else.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com