Tackling Diabesity With Functional Medicine

By Mark Hyman, MD Chairman, Institute for Functional Medicine Founder and Medical Director, The UltraWellness Center Author of The Blood Sugar Solution

Posted on | By Dr. Mark Hyman

In conventional medicine, you’re either sick or healthy. Functional medicine is fundamentally a new way to think about health and disease. We view health as a continuum from optimal health to hidden imbalances to disease. Along the way, we intervene at root causes and reverse the process. Disease goes away as a side effect of creating health and balance. We treat the whole system, not just the symptoms. We also think of food as a powerful medicine available to heal chronic disease.

When it comes to thinking about and treating diabetes, most conventional doctors have it wrong. Traditional doctors see two distinct problems – diabetes and obesity, but it should be called “diabesity.” Obesity and diabetes are so interconnected, it’s really one disease. Diabesity causes heart disease, strokes, cancer, dementia, depression, infertility, sexual dysfunction and more. Conventional doctors don’t think about that continuum and don’t treat you until you have full-blown diabetes. Not only is it unfortunate, it’s wrong.

Testing for Diabesity


Doctors can and must diagnose the problem much earlier. Two special tests help identify early diabesity:

1. Insulin Response Test

Most doctors focus on fasting blood sugar, which is a late stage and poor indicator of diabesity. Instead, docs should look at insulin – the fat storage hormone. It’s first to go up and causes you to gain belly fat and become inflamed, which leads to a vicious cycle of weight gain and more diabesity.

Article written by Dr. Mark Hyman