Type 2 Diabetic Shocker for 42 Year Old Man
I'm about to tell you the story of a 42 year old man I saw in my office recently who was suffering with fatigue, weight gain, and low libido. Lab test results revealed exactly why he felt terrible....Type 2 Diabetes. He was shocked to discover that he was a Type 2 diabetic. I'll explain how I found his diabetes...and why I must treat the PERSON, not their DISEASE.
I don’t treat the Type 2 diabetes because that’s a mistake. Instead of treating the disease I treat the person. I look at the person from a functional, nutritional and physiological perspective.
A person suffering with Type 2 Diabetes slowly and surely marches on a downward spiral of taking medication...then injecting insulin every day...feeling terrible...taking more medication....
The day you start injecting insulin you can pretty much just circle the calendar because you're on the way down from that point. Why?
Because insulin is inflammatory.
Any time there’s a surge of insulin, (such as when you inject it) you get a surge of of a cyotkine (immune system messenger) called IL- 6. IL-6 is inflammatory. Insulin --even if injected--promotes inflammation.
Most of people that come to see me that are struggling with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome mistakenly think that Insulin is their savior. And maybe for some people it is. Because, you know, you must have insulin in order to get blood sugar into your cells. But the inflammation from insulin can be a real Catch-22.
It’s like the "cure" is worse than the disease sometimes.
Adam presented to me complaining of fatigue and half self-diagnosing himself with Type 2 diabetes. So I did a full metabolic workup on Adam:
- Comprehensive blood chemistry
- Adrenal Stress Index (measures Cortisol amount and rhythm, DHEA).
- Food Sensitivity Tests.
I did these tests because I always want to find out what’s causing this particular person’s Type 2 diabetic presentation.
So I’m gonna show you some pictures taken from his actual lab resutls. I’ll show you what I found...
So the first thing that you notice when you look at his blood work is that his fasting glucose is normal by the lab range. (It’s also normal if I use a narrower "functional" range.)
Now the next thing you look at here is hemoglobin A1C. Adam's 6.6 and that’s lab high.
And high Hemoblobin A1c says increased risk for diabetes. Yes, greater than 6.4. Well, that’s the lab’s value for that and, remember, we use a functional range. And the functional range is usually narrower. But I can tell you that he's got 6.6. That means that, over the last 90 days, his blood sugar has been consistently high.
He’s developing "glycosylated end products." We call them GEP’s. These GEP’s will damage brain tissue. They will cause brain inflammation.
Remember, Alzheimer’s is called Diabetes of the brain.
Adam knows that he has a problem because he’s got fatigue...and he also has a lot of stress...and he has some erectile dysfunction. Here’s one of the reasons why. He has elevated hemoglobin A1C.
Now if you looked at his total Bilirubin....it is Lab High.
We have to do a little differential on that. That could be either a gall bladder or a liver problem. And we have to do a little further testing to know for sure.
NOTE: After running an Indirect Bilirubin, it is clear that Adam's high Bilirubin is a sign of a "sluggish" liver.
Now if we look over here at his ferritin...
Ferritin is a marker that we look at for iron deficiency--- but, ferritin is also elevated when you have inflammation. Let me show you how I know that Adam has a lot of inflammation, why this could be devastating for his wife and young children.
Look at the LDL----I’m not going get into that today, but his HDL is certainly low. It needs to be higher. I would like to see it in the 50’s, possibly even the 60’s before I start to get a little less worried for him.
Now, C-Reactive Protein cardiac – you see that? That’s 9.75; that’s lab high. That’s 3X the lab's forgiving high end. C-Reactive Protein is a measure of inflammation. It’s a marker of inflammation. So Adam has a wildfire burning in his body! He has increased risk for a heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.
Inflammation could kill him.
The next marker is homocysteine.
Now this is interesting. The lab's range for Homocysteine is 0-15. Adam's is 13.1. So they say it's "normal." But here’s the thing...
When read the research on homocysteine and cognitive aging, Alzheimer’s and loss of brain function, and dementia...
...those research studies show that a homocysteine level higher than 7 is linked to ACCELERATED BRAIN AGING.
And that’s what I go by. So, for me, looking at this particular patient from a functional perspective, 13 is not gonna fly. In fact, that’s almost double what I would like to see.
Homocysteine is a marker for inflammation directly linked to brain atrophy (wasting away)...This is why Type 2 Diabetes causes brain problems.)
Look at this:
It’s 25-hydroxy Vitamin D. Adam's Vitamin D is Lab Low. Vitamin D is an important regulator of the immune system...an important regulator of inflammation.
Adam has several strikes against him:
- Low Vitamin D
- High Homocysteine
- HIgh C-Reactive Protein
- High Hemoglobin A1c
- High Total Bilirubin
When I was explaining what was happening to him, Adam said:
“I’ve got to do something. I mean, this is “not negotiable. I’ve got to do whatever it takes.” (his words)
When you see someone like this or if you are someone like this, there’s a couple of different things you can do to try to get yourself back on track and avoid the hell of injecting insulin. I’ll talk about those in some future post.
Those are the types of blood chemistry markers that I think are important to look at (and I'll go over his Adrenal Stress Index in another post).
So does this guy meet the criteria for Type 2 Diabetes? Well, depending on who you talk to, yeah.
But, I don’t care about the label, or the "name" of the "disease."
What I do care about is that Adam has long-term elevated blood sugar...he has scary inflammation....and something’s got to be done or Adam may not be around to watch his children grow up.
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© 2010 Dr. David Clark, DC. All Rights Reserved.
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Dr. David Clark
Diplomate College of Clinical Nutrition
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Vestibular Rehab Specialist