You may have thought the only way to treat diabetes was by administering blood tests and insulin shots every day. But what if we told you there was another treatment available that could require less attention and maintenance?
And this treatment can even keep you from developing diabetes if you are already at risk? Interested? Then read on.
First, let’s take a look at the “problem,” diabetes. If you have already been dealing with diabetes, you probably already know the ins and outs.
However, we are going to discuss diabetes details and how it impacts you. Then, we hope you will better understand how bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), as part of a holistic approach to treatment, may help you manage symptoms and even reverse type 2 diabetes.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that develops when the body is no longer able to metabolize sugar properly. Sugar is processed by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas.
When there isn’t enough insulin or none at all, then the glucose (sugar) that comes from the food that you eat doesn’t get to your cells.
This is a problem because blood glucose is what fuels the cells of the body, so if it isn’t getting appropriately processed, the cells aren’t getting the fuel that they need.
Too much glucose in the blood can also lead to health problems like:
- Heart disease
- Kidney damage
- Hearing impairment
- Eye problems
- Nerve damage
- Foot damage
- Skin conditions
- Alzheimer’s disease
Some Serious Stats
If you have diabetes, you are not alone. In 2015, it was estimated that 30.3 million Americans— 9.4% of the population, had diabetes. These staggering numbers define diabetes as an epidemic.
Other diabetes-related facts:
- More than 1 in 4 Americans who have diabetes do not know they have the disease.
- 1 in 4 people over the age of 65 have diabetes.
- Approximately 90-95 percent of cases of adult diabetes are classed type 2 diabetics.
- Approximately 86 million American adults have prediabetes.
- A 2018 study released by The American Diabetes Association stated that the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2018 was $327 billion and that 1 out of every seven healthcare dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications.
The Different Types of Diabetes and Their Sources
You may have heard the phrases “a touch of sugar” or “borderline diabetes” used to refer to someone who has diabetes. These terms may sound benign or suggest that someone has a less severe case, but every case of diabetes is serious.
The three most common types of diabetes are:
- Type 1
- Type 2
- Gestational diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your pancreas does not make any insulin. This type of diabetes has traditionally been labeled juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes because it most often appears in children or adolescents, but it can also develop in adults.
Researchers are still unsure of the exact cause of type 1 diabetes. Most often, it occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing (islet, or islets of Langerhans) cells in the pancreas. It can also be caused by genetics and viruses and other environmental factors.
Despite the researcher’s best efforts, type 1 diabetes has no cure. Managing blood sugar levels with insulin, diet, and lifestyle is the accepted form of treatment.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body either resists the effects of insulin or does not make enough insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes. Although type 2 diabetes used to be referred to as adult-onset diabetes, it can develop at any age.
Although this type of diabetes most often occurs in middle-aged or older people, more and more children are being diagnosed as type 2 diabetics, most likely because of the rise in childhood obesity.
Your chances of developing type 2 diabetes increase if you:
- Are 45 years old or older
- Are overweight
- Don’t exercise (physically inactive)
- Are of African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander descent
- Suffer from depression
Also, if you have:
- A family history of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- A low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol or a high level of triglycerides
- A history of gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
- Polycystic ovary syndrome also called PCOS
- Acanthosis nigricans—dark, thick, and velvety skin around your neck or armpit
Although there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, recent studies have shown that it may be reversible depending on its cause. Most often, though, the disease and its symptoms are managed by:
- Losing weight
- Eating well
Diabetes medications or insulin therapy may also be required if lifestyle changes aren’t enough.
Gestational diabetes may develop in women when they are pregnant. Although gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, the mother has an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes when she gets older.
Sometimes diabetes doesn’t go away because it is not gestational diabetes; it’s actually type 2 diabetes that had not been diagnosed before the pregnancy.
Of course, any complication during pregnancy is a cause for concern, but expectant women can control gestational diabetes by eating a healthy diet, exercising and, taking medication when necessary.
Early Symptoms of Diabetes
When the early symptoms of diabetes come together, they create a condition called prediabetes. Prediabetes is the pre-cursor to type 2 diabetes.
Blood sugar is consistently high, but it’s not high enough to be labeled as type 2 diabetes. You may hear prediabetes referred to as “impaired glucose tolerance.”
Prediabetes symptoms include :
- Excessive hunger
- Excessive thirst
- Consistent feelings of tiredness or exhaustion
Health problems like diabetics can develop over the long term, and high blood glucose leads to health problems like:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Foot problems
- Kidney disease
- Dental disease
- Nerve damage
- Eye problems
The Correlation Between Diabetes and Hormonal Imbalance
The endocrine system is complicated and interdependent. It is made up of hormones and glands that secrete hormones. When one hormone is out of balance, it can cause a cascade of imbalance throughout the entire system.
As we stated earlier, insulin is a hormone. When there is a problem with the synthesis of insulin, other hormones are affected. Just as if there is a problem with another hormone, insulin is affected.
Thyroid and Adrenal Glands
Two additional glands help keep glucose levels in a healthy range we have not acknowledged yet, the thyroid and the adrenals.
If either of these glands is malfunctioning and the hormones they secrete are imbalanced, then blood sugar levels will be affected, and diabetes may develop.
Sex Hormone Imbalances
Sex hormone imbalances commonly accompany blood sugar issues. Recent research suggests that sex hormone levels are linked to type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
A 2018 study found that lower levels of testosterone in men and higher levels of testosterone in women increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
This study also found lower levels of sex hormone-binding globulin in both men and women increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
Research is also pointing to low progesterone levels as a cause of insulin resistance in both men and women.
Menopause and Andropause Impact Blood Sugar
Menopause and andropause create an environment ripe for blood sugar irregularities because they naturally throw the hormones out of balance. And when hormones are not existing at beneficial levels and ratios, they cannot do their work properly.
Notes about menopause and diabetes, include:
- Women with type 1 diabetes may notice low blood sugar levels more often as they get closer to menopause. Low blood sugar levels can be a sign that your hormones are decreasing, and you may need to take less insulin.
- Discerning the difference between the effects of low blood sugar and mood swings caused by perimenopause symptoms can be difficult as they often feel the same, but it is an important distinction to make.
- Women who have type 1 diabetes may reach menopause early.
- Women who are overweight and have type 2 diabetes may start “the change” later because estrogen doesn’t drop as quickly in heavier women.
Andropause and Diabetes
Andropause, the decline of testosterone, is a natural stage of a man’s life. The decrease of this sex hormone affects:
- Sex drive
- Muscle mass
It can also impact the way your body’s cells don’t respond to insulin called insulin resistance. And when this happens, you are likely to develop diabetes.
Suggestions for Men and Women Entering Midlife
As you get closer to midlife hormonal changes, there are many lifestyle choices that you can make to manage your diabetes or decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
1. Watch your weight.
It’s essential to maintain your target weight— that’s the ideal weight you should be at based on your height and gender
2. Eat a healthy diet.
Eat plenty of vegetables and whole-grain foods. Avoid fatty proteins. Choose low-fat dairy.
3. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
Not only is this great for your metabolism and heart health, but it will give you more energy and boost your mood. Doing exercises that increase your heart rate alongside strength training will provide you with the most benefit.
4. If you already have diabetes, pay attention.
Keep a record of your blood sugar levels. If they are all over the place and you don’t understand why make sure to talk to your doctor.
5. If you think your hormones are out of whack, speak to your doctor about BHRT.
Although hormone deficiencies accompanying menopause and andropause reduce glycemic control in men and women with diabetes, hormone replacement helps support healthy glucose levels.
BHRT as a Treatment for Diabetes
We’re sure that you’ve heard suggestions 1-4 before, but five may be new to you. That’s because studies on how hormones other than insulin affect blood glucose levels are relatively new, as are studies about how hormone replacement therapy affects those with diabetes.
Here are some of the findings of recent studies:
- So far, research has uncovered that women with type 2 diabetes who are using BHRT have lower A1C levels than those who were not on BHRT.
- Postmenopausal women receiving estradiol therapy improved their whole-body insulin sensitivity.
- Testosterone therapy has been shown to improve blood sugar levels in men going through andropause.
- Providers prescribing BHRT find that restoring the proper balance of vital hormones like thyroid, testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, and vitamin D made a profound impact on patients with diabetes.
If the underlying cause of your type 2 diabetes is testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone related, then BHRT may be able to reverse your diabetes.
Heard Bad Things About HRT? Consider BHRT
You may be turned off by the idea of getting hormone replacement treatment because of recent studies and reviews that have placed it in a negative light.
These studies were based on hormone replacement therapy that used synthetic hormones— but synthetic hormones aren’t the only ones out there. Bio-identical hormones are also available. Let’s take a look at both.
The word “synthetic” technically means something made by chemical synthesis or synthesized. Many “natural” hormones have been produced – or synthesized – in a lab.
These hormones may have technically come from a natural source, but they have still been chemically structured and synthesized in a lab.
When we refer to bioidentical hormones, we are talking about one that, chemically, is a replica of the hormones that the human body makes.
This means that it is identical in its molecular make-up, shape, and structure to the hormones found in your body.
When it comes to hormone replacement therapy and hormone levels, the structure of the hormones used is significant. Using hormones that are both bioidentical, and have the same structure as those found in your body guarantees the highest rate of successful, safe, and effective treatment.
That is why we use natural plant-based hormone pellets at EvexiPEL. The pellets metabolize in your body naturally, as intended. We believe that when it comes to hormone replacement options, the chemical structure of the hormone is usually more important than where the chemical itself is coming from.
Why Is It Important for Hormones to Be Bioidentical?
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is – when putting hormones into your body – for them to share the same molecular make-up that your hormones have.
Human hormones are made up of a base of cholesterol, which has specialized attachments that allow them to fit perfectly into receptor molecules in your body. When a hormone perfectly nestles into a receptor, it tells that receptor to turn on or off certain behaviors.
These hormonal and cellular commands are what makes us act certain ways and feel certain things. If you put a bioidentical hormone into your body – one that is structurally the same as the ones you already have – it will fit perfectly into your body’s receptor molecules. And, it will start acting on them as one of your hormones would.
Synthetic Hormone Effects
But, if you put a synthetic hormone into your body, it won’t fit into your receptor molecules as seamlessly as your hormones do. That’s why synthetic hormones can cause erratic effects.
Patients report constant ups and downs in terms of hormonal impacts when taking synthetic hormones. They also correlate with an increased chance of:
- Blood clots
- Heart attacks
- Breast cancer
- Gall bladder disease
Why We Don’t Support Mass-Produced Hormones
Although something is mass-produced, it doesn’t automatically make it good or bad. In the case of hormone replacement therapy, however, you should be wary. If you hear the phrase “mass-produced,” it should be a turnoff.
Horse urine and lab-created hormones make up almost all mass-produced hormones. Neither sounds like something we’d like to put in our bodies.
Mass hormone manufacturers try to patent everything they create, so they have a monopoly on the industry.
However, to patent a hormone, you have to make it slightly different than the hormones produced in the human body, so that you have a unique product to lay claim to. And, unsurprisingly, creating synthetic hormones different from what you’d find in your own body is not generally the best thing to put into your body.
We Love Bio-Identical Hormones
At EvexiPEL, we are not trying to make our pellets “different” or “unique” enough to patent. We strive to create the most natural, plant-based, bioidentical hormones possible so you, as a client, can have the best possible experience from hormone replacement therapy.
We believe the best way to produce hormone therapy is customized to your specific needs. That way, your body is getting exactly what it needs based on your doctor’s determination.
We Also Believe That Pellet Therapy Is the Superior Approach To BHRT
If you have diabetes, you already have enough on your mind. And if you are also suffering other symptoms of hormonal imbalance, you’ve got more than enough to deal with.
That’s why we love pellet therapy. It’s simple and effective. You don’t have to mess around with creams, pills or patches, and you don’t have to remember to do something every day. The pellet does it for you.
What are hormone pellets?
Hormone pellets are roughly the size of a grain of rice and composed of an estrogen hormone or testosterone.
They come from organic plant materials that mimic the molecular structure of those hormones found in the body. And, these tiny pellets are inserted under the skin, usually in the buttocks, in a simple and painless in-office procedure.
How do BHRT pellets work?
The pellets release small amounts of hormones directly into the bloodstream, similar to the way your body would in previous years.
Also, the pellets will release hormones in response to physical activity or emotional stress, both the good and the bad kind. They also allow for a steady stream of hormones, which can help curb symptoms and side effects of your hormone levels.
What are the pros of hormone pellets?
BHRT with pellets is preferred by many patients thanks to its incredible convenience. Rather than remembering to take daily pills or apply cream throughout the day, most patients need only to visit their practitioner 2-3 times per year for pellet implants. With hormone pellets, you can truly restore order to your life!
Are there any cons of hormone pellets?
For some patients, the idea of a procedure can be scary. Though the insertion method is painless and straightforward for most, there is always a possibility for discomfort.
Also, there is a little downtime required post-insertion; you should not practice any strenuous physical activity or have prolonged water exposure for the first few days after implantation.
Finally, BHRT with pellets can be slightly more expensive than other forms of hormone therapy. However, providers and patients recognize it as more reliable and valuable.
We Can Help
We’re prepared to “attack” on all cylinders. At EvexiPEL, we don’t just stick a pellet in your body and move on!
Our practitioners spend as much time as necessary, talking with their patients. This means they will not stop until they have uncovered the root cause (or causes) of the issues their patients are having.
This could require:
- Several tests and follow-up tests
- Multiple conversations
- Open communication
We Also Believe in an Integrated Approach
Treating diabetes and hormone imbalance can require a multi-tiered approach. EvexiPEL providers know this and will help you:
- Gather the information and team you need to support healthy lifestyle choices
- Learn more about BHRT and supplements
- With anything else you may need to avoid developing diabetes
- Keep your symptoms of already diagnosed diabetes to a minimum or even reverse your type 2 diabetes