Diabetes: Lifestyle Disease or Genetic Predisposition?

It’s no secret that diabetes is a serious health issue. But what is the root cause of this disease? Is it something we’re born with, or is it the result of our lifestyle choices? This is a question that has been debated for years, and there is still no clear answer. But one thing is for sure: managing diabetes requires a lot of hard work. Whether you are prediabetic or have full-blown diabetes, it’s important to make healthy lifestyle changes and stick to them steadfastly. Thanks for reading. I hope this blog post will help you on your journey to better health.



I’ve been working with patients who have diabetes for a long time, even before I got into functional medicine. When I saw that this disease could be reversed with lifestyle changes, it all made sense to me. If you go to https://www.cdc.gov/, you can see this is a lifestyle disease most of the time, but there are some exceptions. People with Type 1 diabetes have genetic issues, and people with diabetes caused by pancreatic failure have other problems too.


Let’s talk about the Symptoms 



Polyuria, or excessive urination is a common symptom of diabetes. When blood sugar levels are high, the body tries to remove the excess glucose by flushing it out through the urine. As a result, people with diabetes may urinate more frequently, and in larger volumes than those without the condition. While polyuria can be inconvenient and disruptive, it is important to remember that it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition.



As any diabetic knows, one of the telltale signs of the disease is an increase in eating. Polyphagia, or excessive hunger, is a common symptom of diabetes. And while it may seem like a small matter, this increase in appetite can have a big impact on a person’s quality of life. For one thing, constantly feeling hungry can be frustrating and exhausting. It can also lead to weight gain, which can worsen diabetes symptoms and make it harder to control blood sugar levels. 



Polydipsia, or excessive thirst, is a common symptom of diabetes. When our body thinks we’re dehydrated, it responds by telling us to drink more fluids. This mechanism, however, does not function properly in diabetics. Even when we’re not dehydrated, our body signals that we are, and we experience an uncontrollable thirst. This is because high blood sugar levels prevent the body from properly absorbing fluid. As a result, people with diabetes often find themselves drinking constantly in an attempt to quench their thirst.


There are many other symptoms that can happen, like fatigue, weight gain, low endurance, depression, and even sleep apnea. If you suspect that you have diabetes, it’s important to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly and get a yearly check-up with an expert. A lot of things can happen that may not be directly or indirectly connected with diabetes, but when something does fall into the category of “related,” there are some steps you can take next.


Metabolic Syndrome


The number one cause of diabetes is metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome comes with increased weight, high blood pressure, and an increased waist-to-hip ratio. How does one get metabolic syndrome? 


Diabetes (Type 2) is a lifestyle disease. It is vital to consider that you could be carrying some gene that brings this about (we will circle back to this in a bit). If your lifestyle is not appropriate, and you are not thinking about having your levels checked at all, then suddenly you can develop this disease. Remember that developing a full-blown diabetic picture takes 10 to 15 years.There are signs and symptoms to consider, and blood tests can be done to diagnose this condition.


Unfortunately, the conventional world doesn’t start checking before you are in your 40s. If you get checked early, then it’ll slow down the progress. 


Tests like Hemoglobin A1C, fasting blood sugar, or 2-Hour glucose tolerance test are crucial.


Is it with the genes? 


You could be carrying Diabetes Type 2 genes. Everyone says it runs in your family, but how much of it is actually causing the disease? It’s only 5%. 


In other words, genetic reasons are there, but something has to turn on that gene. When you turn on the gene for diabetes, that’s when you’ll be more prone to becoming a diabetic. Conversely, if you do not turn on the genes, you will not become diabetic. 


Some people in the family have diabetes, and some don’t.




It’s a condition that occurs when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If you have pre-diabetes, you’re at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as other serious health conditions like heart disease and stroke.


Pre-diabetes is something that can have the same complications as diabetes. Some doctors say it’s just borderline, but this condition has serious consequences for your health and well-being if left untreated or under-treated. 


How do we reverse it? 


You have to do everything in your power to reduce the effects of this disease on your life.

  1. Eat your greens. Vegetables are essential to a healthy diet, so make sure to load up on them at every meal.
  2. If you want to maintain your blood sugar levels, choose low glycemic index foods that are good for the body and won’t cause spikes in an instant.
  3. Actively seek to lower insulin resistance. What happens in Type 2 diabetes is that the body produces insulin, but it’s not effective at the receptors. The body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, which means even when you have enough molecules in your system, they won’t be able to do their job.
  4. Exercise regularly, as it also lowers insulin resistance and manages your blood sugar. Even 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is really helpful.
  5. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, so make sure to include plenty of high-protein foods in your diet. Good-quality fats are also important for maintaining cellular health, so aim to eat more healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
  6. There are plenty of natural supplements you can take to keep your blood sugar under control. For instance, cinnamon and fenugreek seeds have been shown in studies to be able to reduce the amount that is absorbed by our body from the food we eat. This will help with weight loss efforts if taken regularly over time. Another supplement called Berberine may also provide some beneficial effects on glucose levels. Research into this ingredient continues, but so far the results show promising signs for people who suffer from type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes symptoms.


So, is diabetes a lifestyle disease, or are you just genetically predisposed to it? The answer isn’t so simple. While genetics may play a role in your risk of developing diabetes, many cases of the disease are avoidable through lifestyle changes. That’s why we urge everyone who thinks they might be at risk for pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome to schedule a discovery call with us today. We can help you assess your risk and develop a plan tailored specifically to reverse your pre-diabetes symptoms. What have you got to lose?


If you think you or someone you know may be pre-diabetic, please schedule a discovery call with us so we can help you get started on the road to reversing it. We’d be happy to schedule a discovery call with you. During this call, we can discuss your symptoms in more detail and come up with a plan tailored specifically for you.


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DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional

About Anchor Wellness Center

Known for her successful treatment of mystery illnesses, Dr. Minni Malhotra and her team at Anchor Wellness Center combine an integrative, functional medicine approach with the appropriate lab testing.

Our unique approach to diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders recognizes that lasting health depends on resolution of the root causes of your disease. Click here to learn more »