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How Our Toronto Functional Medicine Clinic Approaches Target Type II Diabetes


Adjusting to the demands of type II diabetes can be cumbersome – but when you consult with a Toronto functional medicine practitioner, you could learn how to manage this chronic condition for your biological needs. 

As a hormone, insulin is supposed to regulate your blood sugar levels. Type II diabetes is a condition in which your body doesn’t use insulin properly, resulting in unusual blood sugar levels. When left untreated or if it’s mismanaged, the condition could influence other health issues, such as kidney and eye damage, as well as heart disease. 

Regarding risk factors, they can be either managed or they may be uncontrolled. For instance, if you’re over 40 and your parents or siblings have diabetes, your chances for developing type II diabetes increases. But if you suffer from any of these health concerns, your risks are heightened: 

  • Extreme blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Being overweight
  • Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • Depression
  • Taking glucocorticoid medications

According to The Institute for Functional Medicine, glycemic control is generally emphasized in treatments. But scientific evidence has shown that health providers may want to consider multiple strategies to further improve a diabetic patient’s health status. 

So, what other strategies can help manage type II diabetes? The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre explains how functional medicine may be applied here. 

Examples of functional medicine recommendations 

In a study of 222 participants with type II diabetes, intense physical activities were executed for three months. Noteworthy improvements were related to weight loss, blood pressure, blood glucose, and triglycerides. Scientists concluded that, because of these results, lifestyle interventions should be advocated for those with type II diabetes, especially for patients with unsteady glycaemic levels. 

By recognizing other aspects of health for managing type II diabetes, there’s promise in fostering your individual symptoms, especially those linked to weight loss. Functional medicine adheres to a whole-body systems-oriented approach to health care. This means that, for diabetes, functional medicine providers would not only look at your glucose levels, but also your medical history, current lifestyle factors, environment, and health goals. 

By understanding unique constituents, we can tailor a comprehensive treatment plan for your diabetes status. Here are some examples of functional medicine treatments, which may be practiced alongside medications related to your care:

  • Acupuncture: As adjunct support, this modality consists of stimulating points on the body with sterile needles. “Acupuncture has potential benefits in efficacy and safety and is thus expected to be a promising complementary treatment for [type II disease management],” states a review from Medicine (Baltimore).” In particular, it could be used for helping target diabetic neuropathy.
  • Dietary modifications: You must implement dietary changes to help prevent blood sugar spikes, which may include eating foods with a low glycemic effect, phytonutrients, and heart-healthy “good” fats. We can help you implement a Mediterranean-based diet, which is laden with plant-based ingredients and may lessen insulin resistance. This can promote blood sugar management while dropping levels of A1C. The diet may also help reduce inflammation and strengthen immune function, as it contains anti-inflammatory functions.
  • Regular workout sessions: Make your gym membership worthwhile – this is because aerobic and resistance training could come with various health benefits, such as reducing your risk for heart disease and supporting weight management. According to Diabetes Canada, 90-140 minutes of exercise weekly could offer benefits for those with diabetes.
  • Herbal medicines: You may be advised to take particular herbs, such as berberine, which is a plant-based compound. According to a Frontiers in Pharmacology piece, studies have shown that the herb has a “glucose-lowering effect”, and may help manage insulin resistance and metabolize glucose. Berberine has also proven to be an antioxidant, offering protection for cellular health. Scientists have discussed that, when consumed with healthy lifestyle modifications, taking berberine for diabetes does not boost your hypoglycemia risks.
Integrated health care is available for diabetes, infertility, chronic stress, and other health issues
At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, we tailor treatment plans for your needs only! Functional medicine treatments may include a combination of: 
Western medicine
Naturopathic medicine
Herbal medicine
Bioidentical hormones/Bio-identical thyroid hormone therapy
Custom nutritional tools (i.e. IV therapy, lifestyle modification)
Health detoxification programs
…and other conventional/natural therapies
Lab testing may also be accessed here (i.e. DUTCH testing). 

We advise you to seek safe strategies to manage your condition. If you need assistance, you’re welcome to work closely with our functional medicine health care providers. We can help monitor symptoms, rule out underlying conditions, and tailor adjunct treatments. Request our initial consultation today. 

How our approach to wellness works

Did you know that you can take an active role in your health care? 

This is what we strive for at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre. Our goal is to help you reach optimal wellness through customized health coaching and various therapies, which may target the root cause of your health concerns. By addressing the source of your wellness issues, we can help relieve your current symptoms, while promoting chronic disease prevention. 

Conventional and natural therapies from us may be adapted for an array of health issues, including digestive issues, nutritional deficiency, menopausal symptoms, cellular health, acid reflux, adrenal hormones, autoimmune disease, body aches, and more.  

Our health providers take their roles seriously as functional medicine practitioners. We understand that working towards a healthy lifestyle can be frustrating, which is why our compassionate health providers can educate you on your health status. This can empower you to make suitable decisions for your optimal function. 

Do you need help controlling blood sugar levels? We can build a customized, proactive, long-term health plan to address your current symptoms linked to diabetes. Check out a map of our location and send us your questions on functional medicine from our Toronto clinic.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.

Suggested Reading: Our Toronto Functional Medicine Clinic Explains The Link Between Chronic Stress And Hormones



About Diabetes” from Diabetes Canada, published 2022, viewed on July 28, 2023. 

Acupuncture for Diabetes” from Healthline, medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, by Kathryn Watson, updated on August 20, 2018, viewed on July 28, 2023. 

Hamasaki H. Daily physical activity and type 2 diabetes: A review. World J Diabetes. 2016 Jun 25;7(12):243-51. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v7.i12.243. PMID: 27350847; PMCID: PMC4914832.

Healthy Eating for People With Diabetes” by the CDC, reviewed December 6, 2022, viewed on July 29, 2023. 

Lifestyle Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes” from The Institute for Functional Medicine, viewed on July 28, 2022. 

Kazemi, A. H., Wang, W., Wang, Y., Khodaie, F., & Rezaeizadeh, H. (2019). Therapeutic effects of acupuncture on blood glucose level among patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences, 6(1), 101-107.

Liu M, Chen J, Ren Q, Zhu W, Yan D, Nie H, Chen X, Zhou X. Acupuncture and related techniques for type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review protocol. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jan;98(2):e14059. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000014059. PMID: 30633207; PMCID: PMC6336543.

Sbroma Tomaro E, Pippi R, Reginato E, Aiello C, Buratta L, Mazzeschi C, Perrone C, Ranucci C, Tirimagni A, Russo A, Fatone C, Fanelli C, De Feo P. Intensive lifestyle intervention is particularly advantageous in poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2017 Aug;27(8):688-694. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2017.06.009. Epub 2017 Jun 21. PMID: 28735815.

Taylor P, Pezzullo L, Grant SJ, et al. Cost-effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic nonspecific low back pain. Pain Pract 2014;14:599–606.

Xie, W., Su, F., Wang, G., Peng, Z., Xu, Y., Zhang, Y., Xu, N., Hou, K., Hu, Z., Chen, Y., & Chen, R. (2022). Glucose-lowering effect of berberine on type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 13, 1015045.


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