Sunday, April 17, 2016

NW Integrative Medicine

I'm now practicing in beautiful Tualatin, OR at NW Integrative Medicine.  Call and schedule a free, complimentary consultation to see how we can help you feel great again!

- Primary Care/Family Medicine
- Women's Health
- Natural Pediatrics
- Food Intolerance Testing
- IV Nutrients and IV Therapy
- Autoimmune disease
- Diabetes care (Type 1, Type 2, LADA)
- Pain management

Accepting most insurance plans.

19365 SW 65th Ave, Ste. 209
Tualatin, OR  97062
Phone: (503) 855-4341

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunshine and Skin Cancer - Part 2: Prevention

Continuing on last weeks blog "Sunshine and Skin Cancer", I wanted to discuss some easy ways to prevent skin cancer of any type.  There are the obvious methods to preventing sun burn - staying out of the sun, wearing sunscreen and keeping covered - but is there more we can do, and can we still enjoy the sunshine safely?

The answer is, of course, YES!  There are ways to prevent cancer of all forms, and that includes skin cancer.  To best understand this, lets look at the risk factors which contribute to the development of cancer:

Genetics:  Obviously, this cannot be completely changed.  If your mother, sibling, aunt, cousin or grandparent had melanoma at one point, you can bet your bottom that your chances of having melanoma are higher than someone who has no family history of it.  This also means you should have regular skin exams by your physician to catch a possible melanoma or other skin cancer early.  However, there is a saying that "your genes are the gun, but your environment is the trigger".  Even though you have a family history of something, that doesn't mean you'll definitely be affected by that condition.

Environmental factors: Here is where we can make the most difference in whether these handed-down genes are expressed or not-expressed.  This includes those things we can change (what we eat, what habits we have, etc.) and those which are more difficult to change (what's in the air we breathe, for example).  Some of these suggestions are quite obvious, but I hope to touch on a few that are new to you.

1) Diet:  This is the foundation of our nutritional needs and biochemical processes throughout the body.  UV rays from the sun cause free-radicals to form (because those rays are a form of radiation).  Free radicals are responsible for cells of the skin (and other organs) to grow abnormally and cause cancer cells to form.  Anti-oxidants are the knight in shining armor who saves the day by neutralizing these free-radicals from affecting our cells.  If you're eating a diet of heavily processed foods and sugars you aren't getting these important anti-oxidants.  Berries, dark green leafy veggies and brightly colored fruits contain some of the most anti-oxidants, and these foods should be a large portion of your diet. 

2) Immune system health:  Considering that 70-80% of your immune system is in your GI tract, diet (see above) is another important aspect to keeping our immune systems healthy.  The immune system is so important for cancer because it's our first line of defense if a cell begins to become abnormal.  Various immune cells such as Natural Killer cells, and cytotoxic T-cells are responsible for patrolling our bodies, watching for cancer cells and killing them once they're noticed and before they get out of control.  Avoiding food intolerances, taking probiotics, hydrotherapy treatments and avoiding sugar are some of the easiest ways to promote a healthy immune system.

Concerning skin cancer in particular, protecting our skin from the damaging UV rays is just as important.  This can include wearing sunscreen, but sometimes a sun burn still gets ya - so what do you do?  My recommendation is extra anti-oxidants in the diet and even topical antioxidants.  Increase your consumption of those berries and brightly colored fruits and veggies, take an antioxidant supplement or extra green tea.  Extra vitamins A (not if your pregnant),  D (get your blood levels tested first), C and selenium play double-duty by providing anti-oxidants as well as helping boost the immune system.  Topically, I find vitamin E oil, coconut oil and pure aloe vera to be the most helpful.  Keep your burn moisturized to help minimize peeling.

So what about sunscreen?  Anytime you plan on being in the sun, it's highly recommended that you use a good sunscreen with an SPF of up to about 30-50.  Any SPF rating after 50 doesn't offer any more protection.  Be careful of excessive fragrances and parabens in the extra ingredients, and watch out for spray sunscreens which contain Oxybenzone, an ingredient many people are allergic to. I like to choose a non-spray sunscreen with simple ingredients which contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the main ingredient, and few extra ingredients.  Those infused with botanicals can even help provide extra protection in the form of those friendly anti-oxidants!  You want your sunscreen to leave your skin a little white after application, that way you know that it's reflecting those UV rays, rather than absorbing them.  Make sure to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapply often - even more often if you're around water or sweating heavily.   If you'd like to find out exactly how healthy your sunscreen is, use the EWG's Skin Deep site to help advise you.  Dont forget to seek the shade when available, and avoid being in the sun during its strongest times 10 am to 4 pm.

If sunscreen isn't available, I've found that a good coating of coconut oil can help protect your skin for a short period of time in the sun.  I have not found any studies to prove this, so this use is purely anecdotal, but I find that myself and my family don't burn as easily if we're slathered in some delicious smelling coconut oil.

Dont forget to get your annual skin and mole check!
-Dr. True




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sunshine and Skin Cancer



sunshine, skin cancer, uv, light, rays
Now that we're half-way through the month of May, it's about time we discuss the NHI's health topic for this month - Skin Cancer Awareness.  This is especially important now that summer is almost here and spring is beginning to warm and bring us more sunlight.  So what should you know about melanoma and other skin cancers?
Skin cancer is caused primarily by radiation found in UV rays given off by the sun.  This does NOT mean that skin cancer can only occur on sun-exposed areas of the body.  Skin cancer (in general) is the most common form of cancer seen in the United States, outnumbering cases of lung, breast or prostate cancers.  These various forms of skin cancer can range from less-invasive, slow growing forms such as basal cell carcinoma to the infamous and deadly melanoma.

The most common form of skin cancer seen in the doctor's office is Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC).  This cancer originates from, you guessed it, the basal (bottom/basement) cells of the epidermis.  They begin to grow and proliferate unchecked, causing them to erupt to the surface and around the surrounding skin.  This form of skin cancer commonly occurs in the sun exposed areas such as the face, scalp, arms and back.  When found early they're easy to remove surgically- and if you find a good physician, they can do so with minimal scarring.  If allowed to continually grow, these cancers can be locally destructive and disfiguring to the surrounding tissues over time - but they do grow slowly and rarely metastasize. This cancer tends to look like a small wound which doesn't heal completely, like open sores, red patches, pink growths, or shiny bumps.  It may have a pearly color on the borders and is commonly seen with superficial blood vessels (telangectasias).  See pictures of a BCC here.

 The second most common form of skin cancer is a Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC).  Originating from the upper layer of cells (known as squamous cells) of the epidermis, SCC is also a slower growing cancer, but it tends to arise from pre-cancercous lesions known as actinic keratosis and is more likely to metastasize than BCC.  Actinic keratosis can be removed by pharmaceutical creams, electrical burning (hyfrecation) or by freezing with liquid nitrogen.  SCC can occur in places such as the mouth or genitals so sunlight is not a requirement although sun-exposed areas are more common.  SCC tends to look like scaley red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed.  Here are some pictures of an actinic keratosis and SCC.

The most frightening form of skin cancer, melanoma, develops from melanocytes, or the cells within your skin which create color.  These cells are concentrated in our moles, but they exist everywhere in your skin.  Because of this, melanoma can appear even in areas which NEVER see the light of day and appear like moles or develop within moles.  Melanoma is highly likely to metastasize, and can easily spread via the lymph nodes to other organs.  It can even be found under the fingernails.  Melanoma tends to develop from a dysplastic nevus, which is medical terminology for a mole with irregular cellular changes and is considered pre-cancerous.  Your likelihood of growing a melanoma is greatly increased if you are frequently exposed to the sun, have a history of blistering sunburns as a child, or if you have a family history of melanoma. There is a good rule of thumb to follow when checking those moles:

A: Asymmetry.  Healthy moles should be symmetrical, meaning you could cut them in half and both sides will look the same.  A concerning mole will not.
B: Borders.  Healthy moles will have smooth, regular borders, cancerous moles are more likely to have jagged, irregular borders.
C: Color.  Melanomas tend to have multiple colors of brown, tan and black.  Your healthy moles should be uniform in color.
D: Diameter of a concerning mole is > 6 mm, or the head of a pencil eraser.  Make sure you have any moles larger then this evaluated by your physician or dermatologist.
E: Evolving.  If any skin lesion is changing or evolving over time in size, shape, color elevation, bleeding or itching, etc., make sure you have it checked.

A physician who is good at spotting skin cancers will use a device known as a dermatoscope.  It's basically a small, handheld microscope which can be used to take a closer look at those moles and other lesions.

skin exam, cancer, check-up, doctor
Make sure you're getting an annual skin exam from your physician or dermatologist.  Because skin cancer can appear ANYWHERE, it can be difficult to see some areas of your skin, so having another set of eyes is very helpful.  If you see a mole or other spot on your skin which concerns you, take a picture of it, grab a ruler and measure it.  Your physician will want to know if its been growing because this can be another concerning sign of possible cancer. 

Our skin has many interesting properties, lumps and bumps to it which makes it difficult to know what's normal and what's not.  If you're not sure, or if it hasn't been seen by a doctor yet - it never hurts to get it checked.  It could save your life.

Next week I'll give you some ideas on how to prevent skin cancers - There's a lot more that you can do than just wear sunscreen and avoid the sun like a vampire.  :D

-Dr. True

Source:  Skin Cancer Foundation: www.skincancer.org

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Swim Suit Season!

With warmer weather inevitably follows swimsuit season.  Many of us may be searching for ways to lose a few pounds so we can feel confident in whatever we wear.  Conventional (and extreme) procedures are available for those who need to lose more than just a few pounds, but I find in my practice that this is rarely, if ever, needed.  I’d like to share a few ideas and inspirations for those who are looking to get a bit more fit for the coming summer sun or even to jump start a plan to achieve your goal weight.

First and foremost we need to set a realistic goal which can be reached in a realistic amount of time.  Healthy weight loss is typically 1-2 lbs per week.  Losing more than a few pounds each week can put you at risk of gaining the weight back, or even causing serious illness such as gallstones.  It’s also important to know what a healthy weight is for YOU.  This is most easily determined by calculating your BMI, which can be easily found online – here’s a link to a simple one.  A healthy BMI is between about 18-24.  Play with the calculator and find a weight which sits in the healthy BMI range for your height.  Now you should have an ending goal weight, time frame to reach your goal, and a weekly goal of 1-2 lbs of weight loss.  Make sure to make an appointment with your physician to have an exam and review your goals before starting any exercise or weight loss program.

Now we can determine how much you should be eating every day.  Several websites are helpful for this:  sparkpeople.com, fitday.com or myfitnesspal.com.  These sites come with helpful food journals so you can more easily calculate your caloric intake each day.  Be sure to also use the calculator to find out how many calories you should be eating in order to reach your goal weight.  This number should be >1000 Calories, as eating less than that per day causes the body to go into starvation mode, which hinders weight loss.

What to eat?
There’s no easy, universal answer here.  Different people need different foods.  There are some universal rules which most anyone can follow though:

1) No high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners or trans-fats (hydrogenated oils).

2) Limit sweets to once per day, and aim for lower sugar content – some fruit and dark chocolate for example. Stevia and sugar alcohols (such as erythritol and xylitol) are safe substitutes, but watch eating too much of the sugar alcohols as they can create an osmotic diarrhea.

3) Veggies, veggies, veggies! Organic is ideal, and these should be eaten at every meal.

4) Limit the grains (breads, pastas, pastries, corn, etc.) and other carbohydrates (white potatoes, high sugar fruit, smoothies full sugar). Excessive intake of carbohydrates leads to insulin production, which in turn stimulates fat storage and weight gain. Instead of focusing on the pasta, focus your food choices on the veggies and protein for satisfying meals.

5) Stop the processed, easy foods. Stick to the “outer perimeter” of the grocery store where you’ll find the essentials – produce, meat, dairy and eggs.

6) Protein! You may consider a protein powder supplement, just make sure it’s not full of sugar and only makes up one meal per day. You can chose from whey (organic, please!), egg, pea, rice or hemp. I don’t recommend soy because it tends to be refined and genetically modified. For other meals, make sure you include a protein (meat, nuts, legumes, dairy, soy, fish, eggs). Don’t do the protein if you have liver or kidney disease without first checking with your doctor.

7) Fiber – aim for 35 gms per day.

8) Shoot for 3 square meals per day, and avoid snacking. If you find yourself hungry between meals, increase the amount of protein at the previous meal.

Any successful weight loss begins with some self-realization and lifestyle change – notice I’m not using the word “diet”.  That’s because a “diet” is thought of as temporary.  The last thing you’ll want to do is put all that weight back on and say good-bye to all your hard work.  It’s time to look at your diet, cut out the garbage, eat an appropriate amount of calories each day and get that exercise in!

Exercise?
Absolutely!  Burning those Calories help reduce body fat and increase lean muscle – which helps you burn more Calories while simply sitting by increasing your basal metabolic rate.  Choose something you find fun and can stick to.  For some (like me) this means taking up a sport rather than a gym membership.  Join a yoga or pilates class a few times per week, get out and run or briskly walk with friends.  The goal is to build strength and endurance, so make sure your routine isn’t always the same and works toward building up in intensity or duration.  The best exercise combines both aerobic exercise and resistance training.  Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise 3-5 days per week.

Think of this as an opportunity to become as fit and healthy as you want to be!  You’ll find more energy and better sleep with some weight loss, good food and healthy exercise.  If you find you’re having trouble with your weight loss, be sure to see your doctor.  They may have additional recommendations specifically for you.  Enjoy the sun!

-Dr. True

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gesundheit!



Gesundheit, bless you, excuse you, salud – Seasonal Allergies (also commonly called Hay Fever) are popping up now that spring has arrived and the Earth around us is in bloom.  These can certainly get in the way as we head outside for some BBQ, enjoy the sun, or just spend some time with friends outdoors. 

Allergies are a sign of a hyper-reactive immune system, and they can occur at any time in life – even after being allergy free for many years.  Pollen and other airborne particulates irritate the upper respiratory tract and cause immune cells to release substances such as histamine and leukotrienes which lead to nasal congestion, sinusitis, sneezing, runny noses and itchy/watery eyes.  Over time this can lead to the development of a bacterial sinusitis or growth of nasal polyps.

So what can we do?  A first step is avoidance until the immune system is regulated and less reactive.   If its pollen, that means staying indoors, keeping windows closed, removing the offending plant (if known) from your yard or home and purchasing an air filter rated for pollen.  I also commonly recommend saline nasal rinses such as a Neti-Pot (using only distilled water, please).  Although this isn’t ideal, it can make life a bit more bearable until the immune system is on the mend.

Rather than recommending an anti-histamine (such as Benadryl, Claritin or Allegra) or a nasal steroid (such as Flonase), which only block the symptoms of allergies, my goal with patients is to find out why their immune system is hyper-reactive.  A number of organ systems could be the problem, and an exam or testing is needed to determine which ones may be at fault for each patient: 

1) The digestive system:  The largest portion of our immune system is located in our GI tract.  In a nut shell, if food is not being digested properly, its breakdown products cause irritation of the ecosystem and immune system within the GI tract.  This can lead to an immune system which is “on-edge”. Removing food sensitivities, taking probiotics, eating plenty of fiber and nutrients geared towards optimizing digestion can eliminate this.

2) The liver:  Well-known for being our main organ of detoxification, the liver is also responsible for properly processing and removing the immunoglobulins, immune cells, histamines and other chemicals responsible for triggering the immune response.  If allowed to continually circulate, these reactants continue to have an effect on the immune system.  Avoidance of liver irritants (i.e. excessive alcohol), eating plenty of cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), selenium, taurine, glycine and healthy bile production or supplementation may help.

3) The adrenal glands: These small glands sit atop the kidneys (also called suprarenal glands) and are responsible for creating multiple hormones including cortisol, the “stress hormone”.  When cortisol amounts are too high, this leads to thinning of mucosal surfaces around the body,including in the GI tract and respiratory tract.  These mucosal surfaces provide a layer of protection over the immune systems in these areas, preventing them from becoming overly-reactiveStress reduction and nutrients aimed at supporting the adrenal glands can reduce these cortisol levels.

4) The immune system itself: Many nutrients and minerals are important to a good functioning immune system.  If any of these nutrients are deficient, that can lead to a weak immune system or even a hyper-reactive immune system causing allergies or other auto-immune disease.  Some of these nutrients include zinc, vitamins A, C, D3, omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

Allergies are a common problem, but the good news is that they can either become a problem of your past, or can be easily managed through diet and appropriate supplementation (if needed).  Many homeopathics, botanicals and nutrients can also be helpful to tame down the immune response, but finding the real cause will provide you with the most long-lasting relief for years to come.

What do you use to treat your allergies?

-Dr. True

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Can Diet affect Type 1 Diabetes?



As a Type 1 diabetic myself, I remember being told that I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as I took enough insulin for it.  The current ADA guidelines recommend that diabetics (both type 1 and type 2) stick to a diet usually consisting of at least 30 gms of carbohydrate per meal and snacks between meals of around 15 gms of carbohydrate.  Well, that’s not exactly what I do now, and I’ll tell you why.

Type 1 diabetes means the pancreas does not produce a hormone – insulin.  Insulin is required for the metabolic conversion of carbohydrates into usable glucose to provide energy to the body’s cells, and without it, this glucose builds up in the blood stream with nowhere to go.  Taking this into mind – does it make sense to eat a diet FULL of carbohydrates when the body doesn’t make the hormone to properly metabolize those carbs?  In fact, increasing the carbohydrate load leads to increased amounts of insulin needed – and the more insulin you take, the more likely you are to become resistant to that insulin.  This is the definition of type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetic taking an insulin injection

So is it possible to be a type 1 diabetic and become a type 2 diabetic later in life?  The answer is yes.  A study from the Yale School of Medicine found that there was insulin resistance in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics1.   Insulin resistance can lead to ever-increasing insulin amounts, unstable blood glucose levels, and increased complications.

So what is a type 1 diabetic to do?  Well the answer is similar to what at type 2 diabetic should do, and studies show it’s not what mainstream medicine is currently recommending2.  If you haven’t read “Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution”, you should3.  Dr. Bernstein has lived with type 1 diabetes for 64 years – with NO complications.  In mainstream medicine, this is unheard of.  In a nutshell, Dr. Bernstein has been living on a low carbohydrate diet, minimizing his consumption of breads, pastas, sugary fruits and those foods which increase his blood glucose; and instead his diet is rich in protein, healthy fats and nutrient –filled veggies.  He incorporates healthy exercise and proper supplementation (my version is discussed here) to help promote healthy blood glucose levels and metabolism.  This is a similar approach to what I recommend to my patients with diabetes.
http://diabetes-book.com/

If you’re interested in learning more, make an appointment with your physician and bring the book with you!  Have an open discussion about your current diet and what you would like to see happen to your hemoglobin A1c levels and if you’re concerned about your weight, make sure you address this too!  Losing weight and taking insulin injections can be VERY difficult.  Consumption of carbohydrates sends hormonal signals saying to create insulin (in a diabetic, we have to inject that insulin).  Insulin in turn signals the body to “store fat”, as well as create more cholesterol.  The non-diabetic is much more efficient at creating the appropriate amount of insulin, limiting excess.  Plus, they’re not insulin resistant, which may cause even more insulin to be needed in order to achieve the same blood glucose.  This extra insulin causes a type 1 diabetic to gain weight and make it very difficult to lose that weight without changing to a more metabolically correct diet.
Losing weight with diabetes

Before ANY diet change is made by a diabetic, they should consult with their physician first as this often requires a significant change in medication and insulin.  Changing the diet can be detrimental if medications and insulin amounts are not addressed appropriately, as this can lead to dangerous hypoglycemia (too low blood sugar). Because diet and diabetes medications are so intertwined, I highly recommend finding a physician who can help you find an appropriate and individualized diet as well as manage your medications and/or nutritional supplements.

-Dr. True

 Links to sources: 
1) http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00253736
2) http://www.nmsociety.org/low-carb-research.html
3)http://www.diabetes-book.com/ 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Can a Type 1 Diabetic Benefit from Naturopathic Medicine?

Type 1 diabetes, formerly called “Juvenile Onset Diabetes”, can affect both children and adults at any age.  With as many as 3 million Americans affected by Type 1 diabetes, 15% of whom are children, the rate of new diagnoses each year is estimated to increase by 3% worldwide.  Formerly a rare disease, Type 1 is becoming more prevalent as each year passes1.
Type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease, where the immune system suddenly becomes confused and begins attacking the insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas, known as beta cells.  Without insulin, these patients are unable to use glucose from the digestive breakdown of foods for energy.  Having no place to go, this glucose builds up in the blood stream leading to hyperglycemia and symptoms such as increased urination, thirst, fatigue, weight loss, heavy breathing, sugar in the urine and a fruity breath odor.  If severe enough, hyperglycemia can lead to stupor, coma and even death from DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis).

There is currently no known cure for type 1 diabetes.  Once diagnosed, these patients can only survive with the use of insulin injections, either by syringe or insulin pump.  Type 2 diabetes is a much more common but different disease, more often affecting adults (but unfortunately, some children as well) which can be controlled with diet and lifestyle, and can even be cured in some.  Type 1 diabetes does not have this luxury.


Living with type 1 diabetes is not easy, and carries many consequences when blood sugar levels are not carefully controlled.  Every diabetic, even type 2, carries the risks of complications such as retinopathy (diabetic eye disease which can lead to blindness), nephropathy (kidney disease), neuropathy (painful nerve disease), and amputation of limbs affected by lack of circulation and diseased nerves which can cause painful ulcerations and dangerous infections.  Insulin injections certainly help, but do not help entirely prevent these complications.
As a type 1 diabetic myself, I can attest to how difficult it is to control blood sugar levels as tightly as possible.  Blood sugar can be affected by more than just food – changing hormone levels throughout the month, exercise and even stress can affect blood sugar levels tremendously in someone with type 1.  I’ve found that the key to gaining better control than with just insulin alone is by a combination of eating a metabolically correct diet and replenishing the nutrients needed for proper glucose metabolism.  Below I briefly touch on some these nutrients


Fish Oil:  This nutritional jewel is incredibly anti-inflammatory, helping to counter the inflammatory effects of excess glucose.  Studies have even shown that children with cod liver oil supplementation have a significantly reduced risk of onset of type 1 in those who were genetically susceptible2.  Cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol are other common concerns in patients with diabetes which is helped by regular intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fats such as fish oil, as well as helping to prevent neuropathy and increase insulin sensitivity – which can mean lower insulin dosages.  It may also play a role in preventing auto-immunity.

Vitamin D3:  This vitamin, which acts more like a hormone in the body, is necessary for insulin synthesis, and secretion3.  Children given Vitamin D have also been shown to have a 30% less chance of developing type 1 diabetes4.

Niacin (B3): Helps decrease diabetic neuropathy5.

Benfotiamine (from vitamin B1), Vitamin B5 and Pomegranate extract:  Regular urine tests are required to evaluate the health of a diabetic’s kidneys.  When tiny proteins are found in the urine, this can be an early sign of damage and is called microalbuminuria.  These nutrients are essential to the health of the tiny vasculature found inside the kidneys, and I have even seen these nutrients reverse microalbuminuria in type 1 diabetics.

B6, B12 and folic acid: Help nourish nerves and prevent neuropathy as well as reduce homocysteine levels, which are an indicator of cardiovascular disease.

Zinc:  Another nutrient needed for synthesis and secretion of insulin, zinc is often lost in the urine of diabetics making replenishment necessary6.  Zinc is also important for healthy immune systems, which may be protective against development of type 17.

Vitamin C: When blood sugars are high, the body attempts to protect itself by converting harmful glucose into sorbitol and fructose, in doing this, tiny blood vessels in the kidneys, eyes and other organs are damaged leading to complications including retinopathy and the development of cataracts.  Vitamin C helps prevent this pathway8.

Flavonoids: Bioflavonoids such as quercetin and rutin also help inhibit the production of sorbitol.  As they have an affinity for the eyes, they are wonderful nutrients for preventing diabetic retinopathy9, 10.  These can easily be found in many teas, berries and citrus.

Potassium: Excess insulin (which is difficult to avoid) causes depletion of potassium, but also helps with insulin sensitivity and secretion11.

Alanine: When given to type 1 diabetics, this amino acid can help reduce hypoglycemic events (too low blood sugar) by stimulating the liver to release glucagon12.

These are only a small sample of the numerous nutrients responsible for prevention of complications and proper glucose metabolism and insulin usage in type 1 diabetes.  It’s important to always consult your physician before beginning any nutritional supplementation, especially if you are taking other medications.  Your unique situation may require different supplementation than what is simply listed here as well. 
    
Next week I’ll discuss what a metabolically appropriate diet for a type 1 diabetic looks like, and how it can help lead to better hemoglobin A1c levels.

-Dr. True


Links to Sources:
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