Tag Archives: Type 2 diabetes

Dr. Greg Symko, Concord-area Functional Neurologist, writes about depression and what can be done about it.

Sad face

At least a third of us will experience depression at some point in our lives.


There are several types of depression, the most common being melancholic depression.  Melancholic depression can be broken-down, more specifically, into episodic or chronic depression.  Episodic is often associated with a specific event, such as the loss of a loved one, a struggling marriage or other stressful situations.  Chronic depression usually cannot be attributed to one specific event or occasion.

The medical explanation for depression is the lack of serotonin, which is a brain neurotransmitter.  Thus, the traditional treatment is something called SSRIs, which try to boost serotonin levels.  (SSRI’s are used for both episodic and chronic depression.)  What typically happens is the SSRIs work temporarily, but eventually begin to wear off so the individual needs a stronger dose, a different SSRI or a combination of several drugs to have a beneficial effect.

Functional medicine’s approach to depression is quite different and doesn’t come with all the side effects of prescribed drugs.  (For more on that, please read my previous article on the effects of drugs on the body.)  As a functional doctor, I want to know why the serotonin level is low in the first place.

Serotonin can be deficient because of inflammation, and research is beginning to link inflammation to depression.  Researchers have found that individuals with inflammatory disease such as arthritis or diabetes often have depression associated with it.  You could say that they are depressed because of the disease, which might be true, but chemistry reveals the link between inflammation and low serotonin levels.

The chemicals that are released in the body because of inflammation actually block the production of serotonin, so it pays for your body not to be inflamed.

There is a functional way of reducing the inflammation in your body, therefore easing the depression you might be experiencing.  The interesting part is that you might not even be aware that you are inflamed!! We can help, to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 978-369-7070 or e-mail drsymko@gmail.com.

It is possible to support Type 2 diabetes sufferers and improve their lives with out more medication.

type2diabetes-s5-woman-removing-glasses-150x150Medications that help with type 2 diabetes are important, but they do have side effects.  One of the goals of functional health care is to support the patient so their dependency on medication is less and thus the chances of nasty side effects diminished.

With type 2 diabetes if the sufferer is willing there are many ways to help to improve their lives, reduce pain, improve the neuropathy,  increase energy, lose weight and live a healthier more satisfying life.   It takes a careful and in-depth approach to determine the underlying cause of the diabetes.

Once the cause can be found, help can be delivered.

Are we made to sit all the time?

How to add exercise into your life without adding stress:


After our ancestors stopped chasing deer in the woods our physical activity suffered.  Farming was arduous and made up for this, but farming is much more difficult than hunting and gathering.  Ask any farmer.  But most of us don’t farm.  The average commute time in Massachusetts is about 27 minutes.  At work, the average time a worker sits is 5 hours and 41 minutes. That is a lot of time sitting in one day.  Researchers have discovered that after just 20 minutes of sitting the part of your brain that runs your posture and muscle tone shuts down.    So the average worker sits at least 6 hour a day.  That is 360 minutes or 18 times that the brain shuts down.

The part of the brain that shuts down is called the Ponto-Medullary Reticular Formation (PMRF).  The PMRF is very important for our body function.  Not only does it run posture and muscle tone, but helps with blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and a whole host of functions that your body does automatically.  There is more.  Ninety percent of all your brain’s thinking goes to the PMRF and thus ninety percent of the feedback from the PMRF goes to your brain.  If the PMRF is not working in this regard, it could have effect on our thinking.  This could mean depression, anxiety, dark thoughts, or fearful thoughts.

Further, what they discovered is that exercising 3 times a week, although helpful, is not enough to counter this effect.  This is pretty overwhelming.  The key is to break up the sitting.  It is up to you but here is a simple suggestion to get you started.  While driving at traffic lights think about walking.  This can fool your brain and the PMRF.  Thinking about physical activity is almost like actually doing the activity.  It will take practice, but can make a difference.  While working, every 20 minutes stand up and march in place for about one minute.  Other simple things are to take the stairs, and every hour go for a short walk.  Try this for 30 days to see what effect it has on you.  You will be happy you did.

Boston area Functional Health Care provider Dr. Greg Symko D.C. writes about Type 2 diabetes.

diabetes-150x150Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem in the United Sates.  There are an estimated 23 million people affected.  Traditional medicine calls Type 2 Diabetes “idiopathic” which means it has no known cause.  The problem with that is the term does not tell you how you might be able to help the condition improve.

The drugs used for Type 2 Diabetes only help slow the decline.  Functional health care may have the answer.  There are several reasons why someone develops Type 2 diabetes and being overweight is only one of them.

A functional health care provider is equipped to figure out the reason. Once the reason can be determined, the possibility of real help is realized.

Boston area functional health care provider Dr. Greg Symko D.C. writes about the possible causes of Type 2 Diabetes

diabetesA-150x150Now we understand how you can have the beginnings of Type 2 Diabetes without realizing any symptoms or having blood work show that you might.  What are the causes?  How does this happen?  First you must understand that it is not necessarily the individual’s fault that they get diabetes.  Here are five possible causes.

Lifestyle factors:  consuming certain foods, not having enough time to eat a proper meal, going hungry between meals, not getting enough sleep and dealing with chronic stressful situations.

Obesity:  Yes, obesity can cause Type 2 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes can cause obesity.

Environmental factors: exposure to toxic substances

Genetics: certain combinations of situations can trigger the genes’ expression and finally, you can get Type 2 Diabetes from faulty brain firing.   My job is to figure which of the above are the problem and then address it.