Holistic Integrative Health

I am sure this is not a question anyone commonly thinks of and you might even think I am a bit crazy for posing the question. They do however have one important thing in common. They both contain an important phytochemical known as Quercetin. Quercetin is the most researched bioflavonoid and has many important benefits.

 

Quercetin is known for for its ability to stimulate a metabolic pathway known as AMPK. This pathway helps with fat metabolism, blood sugar control and helps the body to get rid of damaged or dying cells and cell parts called mitochondria. The removal of these cells and cell parts helps the body to maintain a healthy cellular environment and cell function. Its antioxidant properties helps to protect blood vessels, testicles and the brain.

 

Research has shown variable effects of quercetin when it is taken as a supplement. It is suspected that this is due to the lack of absorption. This really underscores two important things. A food first approach is most important. You can not go wrong when you are providing your body nourshing, healthy foods. A food first approach is always best to start with and then adding on a high quality supplement can be helpful.

 

Remember food is medicine. Food is how we communicate with our body. It is how we tell our body what to do. So tell your body to be healthy by eating some onions on a salad or snaking on an apple.

 

Over the last couple of years there seems to be more buzz about continuous glucose monitors (CGM). It occurs to me that when I look at various social media ads I see more health conscious individuals, wellness experts, nutritionists, or athletes using these devices. I cannot get on TikTok without seeing someone showing the effect of food on their blood sugar using their CGM. I regularly receive emails advertising continuous glucose monitors.

 

At the beginning of my journey to improve my health, I felt a bit helpless. I had been told that I had protein in my urine (which means kidney disease), a fatty liver, and my average blood sugar (measured by a hemoglobin A1c) was 126. This represents a hemoglobin A1c of 6.0. When one reaches a Hemoglobin A1c of 6.5 they are assigned the diagnosis of diabetes. I had a significant case of prediabetes and was experiencing the complications of diabetes without having the diagnosis. At that time, I felt a bit helpless, frustrated and was in denial. So, I decided to do something about it, and I got a continuous glucose monitor.

 

I did some research and found a company from whom to purchase a continuous glucose monitor package. I purchased six months of their service for nearly $900.00. For this price I received the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor and an app that provided me extensive information regarding my glucose levels. The app also had tips on how to eat to control your glucose and put me through various activities to show me how my glucose was altered by the activity. I was able to track my food in the app so I could easily see at any time what my glucose did in relation to the food I ate. Because I paid the money, I committed to the process for 6 months and am very happy I did.

 

At the end of the six months, the protein in my urine was almost undetectable, I had reversed my fatty liver, lost 20lbs, and my hemoglobin A1c was 5.3, which is an average blood sugar of 105. I learned what foods were affecting my blood sugar adversely (some of which were unexpected) and what foods did not affect my blood sugar. I learned how to eat for my health. I know that may seem strange, but I was never taught healthy eating and the impact of doing otherwise. Most of all, I learned accountability. It is hard to be in denial when you see the effect of your food choices immediately. I can not express how startling it was to see my glucose shoot up to 170 after one meal and remain elevated (over 120) for 4-5 hours after. My denial quickly went away.

 

Is a CGM right for you if you are not diabetic? Perhaps, but that is something you should discuss with your health care provider. Do not allow finances to be a barrier. Some health insurance companies are now paying for a CGM in persons without diabetes but it does require a prescription. If you are interested if a CGM is right for you, set up an appointment to talk with me.