Approaching the Tsunami: An Integrative Approach to Reversing the Diabetes Epidemic

I have written extensively on the type II diabetes epidemic the world is currently up against. For some background information, check out my previous posts:

The extremely high consumption of heavily processed foods containing sugar in the Western world has been the primary driver of today’s diabetes epidemic.  Excess sugar consumption causes way more than just diabetes, as referenced here:

Excess sugar consumption is a big driver of excess calories consumption since sugar increases appetite and not feeling satiated.  There are increasing studies also clearly demonstrating that excess animal protein consumption, in the form of dairy products, red meat, poultry, eggs, and fish, are also bigger drivers of the diabetes epidemic.   There is an increasing movement to address the root cause of diabetes by better educating people on shifting to a whole food plant-based diet without added sugar and processed foods.  

Health care providers are often ignoring the severe micronutrient deficiencies diabetic patients suffer.

I want to address key micronutrients diabetic patients need in combination with diet therapy in order to effectively help reverse their disease. 

Anyone who knows how I practice, knows that I love magnesium. Pokharel and colleagues (2017) found that half of the patients with diabetes have low magnesium levels because of the following reasons: 

Think of magnesium as a cell stabilizer since it is critical for cell functioning.  

The foods high in magnesium are dark, leafy green vegetables, of course!  As always, magnesium supplementation is meaningless without dietary change though. 

Low zinc status is also associated with poor glycemic control in people with uncontrolled type II diabetes (Bandeira et al., 2017). Low zinc status was inversely correlated with a high blood sugar level.  Like magnesium, zinc is critical for cell functioning. Zinc protects the pancreas’ beta cells which produce insulin from oxidative damage.   It also stabilizes the insulin hormone (Bandeira et al., 2017). 

It’s clear that poor mineral status can negatively affect glycemic control in diabetes. Determining "optimal" levels of mineral intake can be complicated, even under the best of conditions. It is wise to approach the issue as one of constant refinement (as opposed to "Okay, the deficiency is now solved" proposition). 

The truth is most doctors do not run micronutrient tests because it’s not standard of practice. They also do not have the training to address what is going on at a cellular level. This is why SF Advanced Health offers a wider range of Special Diagnostic Tests through a partnership with local provider Genova Diagnostics and Great Plains Laboratory. 

This partnership is giving Advanced Health’s healthcare providers broader, and more effective, options to help our patients on their path to lifelong wellness. These tests have already helped us treat patients with a variety of conditions, including diabetes, with a very high success rate.


Dr. Bhandari and the Advanced Health Team Are Here to Support Your Health.

Our expert team of integrative holistic practitioners work with patients suffering from chronic health concern.  We help our patients reverse disease by better understanding how the body optimally functions and providing personalized treatment plan—a plan that removes a lot of the common food items that are making them sick and supplementing with key micronutrients they are lacking.  To learn more and book an appointment, contact Advanced Health or call 1-415-506-9393.


Bandeira, V. d. S., Pires, L. V., Hashimoto, L. L., Alencar, L. L. d., Almondes, K. G. S., Lottenberg, S. A., & Cozzolino, S. M. F. (2017). Association of reduced zinc status with poor glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 44, 132-136.

Nutrition and Health Promotion | New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services | Division of Public Health Services (NH DHHS DPHS, 2014). How Much Sugar Do You Eat? You May Be Surprised! Health Promotion in Motion. Retrieved from: 

Pokharel, D. R., Khadka, D., Sigdel, M., Yadav, N. K., Kafle, R., Sapkota, R. M., & Jha, S. K.  (2017). Association of serum magnesium level with poor glycemic control and renal functions in Nepalese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.   Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome Clinical Research and Reviews, 11(1).  S417-S423.

Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is one of U.S.'s top leading integrative functional medical physicians and the founder of San Francisco' top ranked medical center, SF Advanced Health. Her well-experienced holistic healthcare team collaborates together to deliver whole-person personalized care and combines the best in Western and Eastern medicine. By being an expert of cell function, Dr. Bhandari defines the root cause of illness and is able to subside any disease within weeks to months. She specializes in cancer prevention and reversal, digestive & autoimmune disorders. Dr. Bhandari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1997 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 2001 from West Virginia University. She the completed her Family Medicine residency in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts and joined a family medicine practice in 2005 which was eventually nationally recognized as San Francisco’s 1st patient-centered medical home. To learn more, go to

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