The Newest Rx? Not Needing One. How Targeting Insulin Resistance Is Changing the Game

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By David Rambo, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Simplex Health 

For decades, conventional medicine has managed chronic diseases following a standard track – test, diagnose, prescribe, repeat. As a result, the number of Americans struggling with chronic illness has skyrocketed.  According to the CDC, six in ten Americans live with at least one chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Not only are these and other chronic illnesses the leading causes of death and disability in America, they’re also a leading driver of healthcare costs. And for those four in ten Americans who aren’t currently living with a chronic disease, there’s more bad news. In a study published in the Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders journal, seven out of eight Americans are metabolically unhealthy, putting them at greater risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other serious health issues. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

Healthcare is undergoing a seismic shift as functional medicine comes to the fore — proving its efficacy in halting and even reversing chronic disease progression. 

But what is functional medicine? And how is it different from traditional dietetics? 

Functional medicine (or nutrition) acknowledges the inextricable links between what you eat, metabolic health, medicine, environment, and lifestyle. Its “root cause resolution” approach attacks the culprit of most chronic disease pathologies today: insulin resistance. 

Conventional nutrition therapy (or dietetics) however takes an ‘eat less, exercise more’ approach — which epically fails to address the underlying hormonal imbalances at play. As a result, not only is conventional nutrition ineffective, it is (at its worst) downright destructive. No wonder doctors have completely lost faith in nutrition interventions as a front-line defense. They’ve simply been ineffective, until now. 

Insulin Resistance Explained

So what exactly IS insulin resistance? And why is it harmful? Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is responsible for moving glucose into cells after a meal. When the cells cannot absorb glucose, levels of this sugar build up in the blood, causing this condition. Insulin resistance is a major driver of metabolic syndrome, which precedes the development of most chronic diseases. Still not convinced? Studies have shown that one in three Americans have this silent blood sugar problem known as insulin resistance.

Up until now, physicians have been forced to rely on medication and high-cost diagnostic testing as primary front-line interventions. That’s because they have (understandably) lost faith in traditional nutrition therapy due to ineffective outcomes. But as national lab companies begin offering insulin sensitivity testing, doctors are now able to look to alternative (read: more effective) options like functional nutrition.   

Simplex Health works with physicians at hospitals and specialty practices to provide patients of all populations access to our powerful nutrition interventions. The result? Higher quality care, better patient outcomes, and cost savings across the board.

These new tests for metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance are ushering in a new age of care — one that doesn’t require patients to simply cope with chronic disease. An age of care where doctors can now prescribe functional nutrition therapy with confidence, and without fear of conventional dietetics getting in the way. 

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