When you or a loved one is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it can be very frightening. Most of the time patients are given minimal guidance for their diabetes care other than to eat healthy, exercise and lose weight. Sadly, this guidance is not enough to even effectively manage the condition, and patients are left feeling overwhelmed and alone. When patients feel this way and don’t know what to do they often choose to do nothing.

When you’re faced with diabetes the stakes are too high to do nothing, and the good news is that there is help out there for patients who are willing to take an active role in their health care. The first step is finding the right practitioner to work with, and the first thing you want to look for is a provider with training in functional medicine.

Functional neurology involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Ultimately, it’s patient-centered care as opposed to disease centered care. By listening to the patient and learning his or her story, the practitioner brings the patient into the discovery process and tailors treatments that address the individual’s unique needs.

Secondly, it’s an integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional neurologist are evaluating the entire body as an operating system to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal and external factors that affect total functioning.

Functional neurology integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, hormone balancing, detox, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of botanical medicines and supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

Many patients are achieving great success with this approach and are not only able to control their diabetes, but also even reverse it in some cases. The goal of a functional neurologist is to educate their patients about their conditions, coach them through the recovery process, and mentor them so that they have the knowledge and tools to manage their own health for a lifetime.

However, this approach isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a “quick fix” or “magic pill” to manage your condition this certainly isn’t the right model of care for you. But for those who have in interest in making the necessary changes to improve their condition and reclaim their health, functional medicine is a great place to start.