When you or a loved one is diagnosed with diabetes it can be a frightening and overwhelming time. Your practitioner may prescribe medication to lower your blood sugar. But what happens if that medication causes unwanted side effects? You’re typically told to eat healthy, exercise and lose weight. But what happens if you do these things and you don’t lose weight or feel better? Are you following a nutrition and fitness plan that’s right for your specific needs?

There are a lot of questions surrounding this disease and managing type 2 diabetes can be challenging for patients, especially considering the fact that traditional practitioners do not give them much direction. It’s can also be frightening when you consider the other health concerns associated with diabetes. Aside from causing gum disease, foot problems, and vision problems, diabetes can also be the cause of much more severe health concerns such as heart disease, kidney failure, strokes and even amputation. There is too much at stake here to just settle for a “one size fits all” approach to care that may not be right for you.

The good news is that there are effective ways to manage type 2 diabetes, and many people are often able to even reverse the disease with the right care and guidance. First, nutrition is critical to helping a person gain control of their diabetes, but it has to be the right nutrition for your individual needs. For example, food sensitivities could be contributing to your diabetes. When a person eats a food they are sensitive to it will cause an immune and inflammatory response, which causes insulin resistance. Most people are eating food they are sensitive to every day, but they don’t realize it.

It is also important to have a fitness program that is customized for your specific needs. Exercise can decrease inflammation in the body if it’s done properly. Activity will also positively impact gene expression and allow you to better utilize all your hormones, including insulin. Exercise helps your body filter waste. Movement and muscular contraction are required for your lymphatic system to work and get rid of metabolic waste in your body. Exercise also helps to control your cravings and hunger signals. However, when exercise is not done properly, it can cause injury and actually be ineffective.

So how do you go about finding this customized and comprehensive care? The answer is within functional wellness. This type of practitioner is trained to consider the complex web of interactions in their patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that lead to illness and the need for medication in the first place. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal and external factors that affect total functioning. A functional wellness provider uses the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques to determine the underlying causes of your diabetes, and then the focus is on restoring health through nutrition, diet, hormone balancing, detox, and exercise.