Episode 9: Ask Me Anything Live | Dr. Simonds & Michelle Kennedy, NP-C

Michelle Kennedy NP-C and Dr. Wickham Simonds were live to answer viewer questions about weight loss and more. Today’s topic is all about diabetes and weight loss.

Q: Do you help patients with diabetes?

A: Absolutely! We help patients with diabetes on a regular basis. There are two forms of diabetes, so it’s important to first discuss the differences between the two.

Type I diabetes is when a person is born with a pancreas but is unable to produce insulin. Since insulin is your body’s fat storage hormone and a form of growth hormone, those individuals with type I diabetes can literally eat thousands of calories and still have difficulty gaining weight. They actually lose weight and individuals with type I diabetes are given insulin as a result.

We generally treat patients with type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is medically considered adult-onset diabetes. However, individuals of all ages, including children can acquire type II diabetes. It’s actually becoming more and more common in children these days. Type II diabetes is a disease of excess insulin in the body. Remember, insulin is your body’s fat-storage hormone, so those with excess insulin tend to gain weight, especially in the middle, waist area.

It’s important to recognize that your blood sugar regulation and your weight are all tied together. America definitely has a blood sugar problem! Dr. Simonds states that 75% of the American population has some form of a glucose regulation problem. It all starts with controlling insulin in order to keep blood sugar levels under control. Insulin is the real issue here.

Looking back, our ancestors obviously did not consume the American diet that we have today. Instead, they ate only what they hunted and grew. Therefore, our DNA is adapted to our ancestor’s diets. They were also very active and did not live the sedentary lives that many Americans live today. The combination of their diet and high physical activity lead to their lean physiques.

Fast-forward to today’s highly processed diet and sedentary lifestyles, many Americans are experiencing high insulin levels and an increase in obesity. Today’s diet, which is full of refined grains, refined sugars and genetically modified fruits are all a recipe for disaster. American’s are getting sicker by the day, leading to a significant increase in healthcare costs and health problems.

It’s time to start changing the food system in America. The foods that you consume will make or break your health! Shop farmer’s markets and avoid processed foods whenever possible. Today, local fresh food can be found in abundance. Your health is worth it!

The team at Dr. Simonds Metabolics and Weight Loss treat patients with both types of diabetes. While we do not treat Type I diabetes directly, we do treat the weight problems and obesity that is associated with it. We are very cautious with all diabetes patients and tailor a weight loss plan for each individual.

Q: I have diabetes and have been encouraged to lose weight. What are some things that I need to consider?

A: There are definitely a few things to consider before starting a weight loss plan. If you’re a patient of ours, it’s very important to disclose any medications that you’re currently taking, especially those that lower blood sugar. As you lose weight and your health improves, certain medications may no longer be needed and may actually cause problems.

Therefore, all new patients will receive a full metabolic assessment to ensure that we tailor a plan specifically for your needs. Many medications that lower blood sugar may actually cause weight gain too.

Losing weight is the best way to help treat type II diabetes and improve your health. We also prescribe medications to aid in appetite control to help jump-start weight loss. Remember, your diet and lifestyle are your medicine and are instrumental in treating Type II diabetes. We have treated many patients that have reversed their diabetes by losing weight.

Q:  I’ve read that a keto diet can help with diabetes. Is this true?

A: YES! Basically, a ketogenic diet is a diet that restricts carbohydrate intake. When you restrict carbohydrates that raise your blood sugar, weight loss results. It’s important to recognize that restricting carbohydrates is not just limited to eliminating pasta and potatoes. It also includes eliminating ALL foods that raise blood sugar such as rice, candy, soda, sweets, and many “healthy” grains such as brown rice and quinoa. Even foods such as oatmeal, fruits and beans will raise insulin levels. These foods will keep the body in a fat-storing mode.

The American diet is a high carbohydrate diet that is deficient in protein and fat. The complete opposite of how our lean ancestors ate. Therefore, the weight loss that results from a ketogenic diet also results in an improvement in insulin levels, lower blood pressure, and improved inflammation in the body.

The ketogenic diet is a powerful weight-loss tool that WILL help with diabetes. It’s imperative to start eliminating carbohydrates that raise blood sugar levels in the body. We know this is easier said than done. Many refined carbohydrates work on the addiction centers of the brain, making them highly addictive. That’s why we’re here to help you reach your goals.

Q: I’m currently taking Metformin for diabetes. Will my medications need to change if I work on losing weight?

A: Metformin is a powerful medication that we use regularly at the practice. It is especially effective at lowering insulin and is a medication that is continued throughout a weight loss journey. When prescribed on its own, it’s also considered low-risk as it does not cause blood sugar levels to become too low. We will evaluate all medications that you are currently taking during a metabolic assessment and tailor a plan specifically for you. Metformin is an excellent tool for weight loss and is associated with many positive health parameters. We are very experienced with prescribing and dosing Metformin.

Q: Diabetes runs in my family and I would like to try to prevent getting it. Is it preventable?

A: YES! Type II Diabetes is a modern disease that is caused by excessive carbohydrate intake. Our ancestors did NOT have type II diabetes and the carbohydrate-heavy, traditional American diet has resulted in this disease. Even if many of your family members have been diagnosed with type II diabetes, you can absolutely prevent this for yourself. Type II diabetes is directly tied to your diet. It’s important to regulate blood sugar levels at an early stage to prevent diabetes.

Obesity is a serious medical disease that causes an abundance of health problems and is killing over 300,000 Americans annually. Up to 3/4 of our population has a glucose problem and it’s important to recognize and bring awareness to treating the disease of obesity. Obesity is preventable and treatable!

Q: I’m currently taking insulin for my diabetes. Can I still be a patient at your practice?

A: YES! And, we want to help get you off the insulin. Insulin is a very weight positive medication and causes difficulty with weight loss. We have successfully helped about 98% of our insulin patients wean off of the insulin by simply following a low carbohydrate diet.

Controlling blood sugar will result in weight loss and improved health. We are so fortunate to help patients with so many non-scale victories such as a reduction or elimination in medications, an increase in energy and just being happier overall.

Thank you so much for joining us today and submitting your questions! Our experienced obesity experts at Dr. Simonds Metabolics & Weight Loss are ready to help you achieve your goals and get you started on your weight loss journey. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment. We are here to help!