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Is There a Missing Puzzle in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes?

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Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in the United States. According to the CDC, 34.2 million people, or 10.5% of the U.S. population, have diabetes, and more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults have prediabetes—that’s 88 million people—but the majority of people are unaware because symptoms can be unclear. This number continues to skyrocket.

Diabetes is a deadly disease and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

I have seen many patients frustrated with their hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), whose A1C continues to increase despite watching their diet, exercising, and taking their medication religiously.

HbA1C is a blood test that measures the level of blood sugar over the past three months.

What could be the missing puzzle?

In Functional Medicine, we search for the root cause of what is causing the blood sugar to be elevated, not just treat the high blood sugar. High blood sugar is only the symptom in this picture.

Insulin resistance is a major contributor to elevated blood sugar. To prevent or reverse prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, it’s essential to increase sensitivity to insulin. Once there is less insulin resistance, insulin levels can fall, and it can become easier to lose weight, reduce inflammation, and control blood sugar. One of the possible missing pieces of the puzzle is unrecognized vitamin B6 deficiency. A functional test used to measure vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency is the Xanthurenate marker on an organic acid test.

That leads to a question: Just taking vitamin B6 will improve blood sugar levels? Unfortunately, not exactly. Because vitamin B6 needs to be converted to its active form, pyridoxal-5-phosphate is essential in normalizing glycosylated hemoglobin. For this process, zinc is necessary. So, zinc deficiency is an important indicator that inadequate metabolized sugars are accelerating aging, cataracts, heart disease, and nerve damage and can lead to blindness or even amputations.

Should we just take both vitamin B6 and zinc? Of course, no! If you have elevated stored phthalates (plastics) in your body, this will impair zinc metabolism; therefore, you will not adequately metabolize zinc or B6, and you will only be making more expensive urine. We should note that individuals with elevated phthalate load, even if not diabetic, unnecessarily get multiple diseases. From fatty liver to heart disease or cancers to Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, or Alzheimer’s.

This is how powerful Functional Medicine is. Searching and eliminating what is causing the problem in the first place.

Dealing with diabetes is tough. I have conquered type 2 diabetes during my own health journey, and during so many years, not a single practitioner checked my vitamin B6 or zinc. This is completely unacceptable with the high technology we have today. Fortunately, because of the Functional Medicine approach, I have been free not only from diabetes type 2 but also from asthma and high cholesterol for the past seven years.

The quality of your life depends on the decisions you make. Being proactive and reversing T2D will prevent this disease from blinding you or leading to amputations in the future.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2020. Accessed October 01, 2023.

Grisanti, Ronald. “Are Diabetics Being Cheated? Accessed October 02, 2023. The information in this article is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare practitioner and is not intended as medical advice.

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