Change Begins With Questions

Coaching, Diagnostics, Healing

My older brother had type 2 diabetes. He managed it with insulin shots. It didn’t save him. Blood sugar and insulin dysregulation is a hallmark of diabetes and results in vascular damage, and micro circulation damage in particular. His kidneys eventually failed and he was on dialysis for five years. Multiple secondary complications ensued and eventually there was nothing else that could be done, and he passed. That was eight years ago. 25 years earlier, when he told me he had diabetes, it scared me. I knew how diabetes can end and that I was also at risk. (My whole family is genetically prone to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular and lung diseases.) I decided I didn’t want to “go there” and started asking questions and looking for answers.

Here is a simplified version of the process I went through:

  • What causes diabetes? Answer: Chronically elevated blood sugar levels and pancreatic ‘fatigue’.
  • What causes elevated blood sugar levels? Answer: The type and quantity of food eaten (sugar in), the level of activity exercise (sugar burned), and of course, insulin sensitivity.
  • What should I eat to prevent that? Answer: More vegetables. Cut out sugar and desserts.
  • What type of exercise is good for me? Answer: For me at that time, a mini trampoline and hand weights.
  • How can I be sure I’ll follow through with my goals? Answer: I found support from others who also wanted to lose weight.

 I asked questions, found answers, changed my diet, exercised, lost 80 pounds, and as a result avoided diabetes as well as other conditions that have plagued my family. Of four brothers, I ‘m the only one left. I discovered that your genes ‘dispositions’ are not necessarily your fate.

Here is a diagram illustrating the process I went through and what I later learned is the fundamental process of Functional Medicine:

Find the Root Cause

Where You’re Going Now Is Not Where You Have To Go

Not happy with your current situation? New possibilities begin with questions. Start and keep asking questions. If you don’t know what question to ask, ask yourself, “what question should I ask to help me [insert desire or intention]?” Open-ended questions invite new possibilities. For example:

  • What is the root cause of my condition? How can I change that?
  • How can I find out what the root cause of my condition is?
  • If it’s due to some form of “-its” (“-its” means inflammation), what can I do to reduce the inflammation?
  • How can I naturally rebalance or strengthen my [immune, hormonal, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, or digestive] system?
  • What behaviors can I change to improve gene expression? (i.e., diet, sleep, exercise, supplements, stress reduction, etc.)
  • Who can support my goals and journey, and help me find the questions and answers I need?

Use the immense power of open-ended questions to lead you to new healing possibilities.

This is a slightly edited version of an editorial written for and published in the September/October 2022 issue of Desert Health.

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Marty Gronewald, FMHC

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