The Women's Journal

Functional Medicine & Diabetes

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By D
r. Cynthia Crosser  

Most of us are aware that the diabetes epidemic in America is increasing at a rate of 1% per year. Prior to 1940, there were no type-2 diabetics. Scarier yet, the chance of death within five years of diabetic foot ulcer is greater than that for many cancers. A staggering statistic is that the number of diabetics rose 48% from 1997 to 2007.

There are several factors behind this, such as the growth of America’s farming industry to produce high-glycemic wheat products and the push for fruit juices over the last 50 years. This was followed by the encouragement of the U.S. government for a high-fiber diet. Thus, Americans became connected to the oat-bran fad with 60% of calories from grains. A 2000-calorie/day diet would now equate to 60 teaspoons of sugar flowing through the blood. The reduction of salt also increased insulin resistance.  Fats from eggs, butter, and cheese were replaced with highly polyunsaturated vegetable sources such as margarine. It is now known that these processed fats significantly elevate glucose levels.

In time we see excess weight gain, increased cortisol levels, and difficulty sleeping. High glucose levels have been researched and connected with chronic diseases such as autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, hormonal disruption, etc. due to the associated inflammatory response.

Enter energy drinks, one of America’s most popular dietary supplements according to NIH. An average can consists of 240 mg of caffeine (espresso contains 64 mg) and 62g of sugar (15½ tsp of sugar). This combination creates on average a 74% increase in fight-or-flight hormones and a 6.2% increase in systolic blood pressure, all putting stress on the adrenal glands, which are integral in controlling blood-sugar levels.

So, how do we deal with this? Many of my patients present with musculoskeletal pain exacerbated by an inflammatory response. This is caused by poor diet, including complex and simple carbohydrates, all becoming sugar. Their bodies are largely “glycated.” Within the functional medicine model, a detailed history, lifestyle, and diet assessment is made, and comprehensive laboratory testing is most often ordered. A stool sample may also be ordered to assess the ability to digest protein, fats, and carbohydrates. If they’ve had a diet high in refined carbohydrates or overused antibiotics, they may have overgrowth of Candida, whose preferred source of food is sugar, causing sugar cravings. This information is used to devise a healthy eating plan which most often consists of high-quality protein, healthy fats, and fewer carbohydrates. Exercise must always be part of the equation.

Teaching patients to read labels will tend to further eliminate hidden sugars from their diets. Most often, whole food supplements might be recommended to assist in digestion, etc. The most difficult time of the day for sugar cravings is in the evening. In time, with the addition of nutrient-dense foods, a low insulin index and the elimination of processed foods, the blood sugar levels can return to a more normal level. Then the risk of associated health problems is reduced greatly. As expected, the patient reports “feeling great”!

A significant part of the process is tracking foods to monitor their individual impact on your blood sugar levels to find the culprit(s). Thus, they can then be eliminated or reduced in the diet. This would enable you to take control of your health.


Cynthia Crosser is a Doctor of Chiropractic and a Fellow with the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture. She completed two postgraduate programs: Chiropractic Neurology and Physical Rehabilitation. She is currently in the process of certification with the Institute for Functional Medicine.


“To say Dr. Crosser is a life saver is an understatement. Dr. Crosser has changed my life for the better. I started seeing her because I was tired of not feeling good and just being told that I needed to up my medication. Once I met with Dr. Crosser . . . I started feeling better within DAYS! One of my favorite things about Dr. Crosser is she takes the time in the beginning to teach you the WHY behind all your symptoms. She helps you to really treat and understand your symptoms and not just put a Band-Aid on them. There is no better feeling than being myself and feeling great. I am excited about continuing leading a healthy lifestyle because of the inspiration and information that Dr. Crosser has provided to me over the past few months.” ~ Caitrin C.

“As a double cancer survivor, Dr. Crosser and I, immediately connected. What an inspiration she is! I’ve never experienced a doctor in my 60+ years that is as compassionate, devoted, and GENUINELY concerned for their patients as Dr. Crosser is! I’ve been seeing her since August of 2015. Through her patient-specific, tailored program of nutrition, appropriate supplements, and workshops, I’ve managed to lose the extra pounds, get back to the gym, and have a litany of nagging and annoying physical ailments that other doctors mostly attributed to “old age,” or “in my head” disappear! I haven’t felt this good in 35 years! She’s absolutely changed my life! Thank you so much Dr. Crosser!” ~ Steve H.

“Since working with Dr. Crosser my health and well-being has changed dramatically! As a woman in my mid 50s I try to stay somewhat healthy or at least I thought so! Experiencing stubborn weight loss, bloating and poor gut health I was in a slow spiral to poor nutrition and health. Through Dr. Crosser’s guidance, high quality nutritional supplements and her unwavering dedication to her patients I have never felt better! Thank you, Dr. Crosser!! Everyone should have just one hour with you to see how they can make improvements for a healthy lifestyle!” ~ June E.

For more information, contact us at 302-994-1010 or through our website at

Wellness within reach!

Pike Creek   302-994-1010

5700 Kirkwood Hwy., Suite 101, Wilmington, DE 19808

Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Weight loss, Neurofeedback, Nutritional Counseling