Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Subscribe to the Magazine for free
Subscribe for free to keep reading! If you are already subscribed, enter your email address to log back in.
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Are you a healthcare practitioner?
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Top Labs To Run Bi-Annually On Your Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Medically reviewed by 
Top Labs To Run Bi-Annually On Your Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Type 2 diabetes is a massive health issue in the US and around the world. Over 400 million people worldwide have this condition. It's the seventh leading cause of death in the US, costing Americans up to $327 billion in 2017. You may find these statistics overwhelming. However, this lifestyle condition can be effectively managed with comprehensive care that takes an individualized approach. 

Functional medicine labs can offer valuable insights that can provide guidance into customized treatments and protocols for patients with type 2 diabetes or people who are at risk for it. This article will discuss the top labs regularly run by practitioners that can help create individualized health plans to address this fast-growing condition effectively.


What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes, also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition characterized by increased blood sugar levels due to inadequate use or poor insulin production. Insulin is a vital hormone that controls and regulates blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes, cells become resistant to insulin, and the pancreas can't produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels and keep it normal. It's called non-insulin-dependent diabetes because the body can still make and use insulin, though it's not as effective. 

Lifestyle factors play a major role in this condition, if not the primary role. There are other certain factors that can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, such as being over 45 years old, having prediabetes, having a history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy, having a family history of diabetes, being overweight or obese, having a lack of physical activity, having other conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or depression, and having low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides. Additionally, the presence of acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition, can also increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.

Why is it Important to Run Functional Medicine Labs Bi-Annually on Your Type 2 Diabetes Patients?

It's important to run functional labs bi-annually for patients with type 2 diabetes because this condition is considered a lifestyle condition and thus can be modified through lifestyle changes. Regular testing can help screen for people who are at risk of developing this chronic condition. Testing can also monitor the progress and effectiveness of treatments so that proper adjustments can be made. 

Functional labs provide a unique approach as they are comprehensive and assess for underlying factors that contribute to this condition which can be helpful for practitioners in designing personalized protocols for their patients. These labs can provide the specific needs of each patient that need to be addressed, such as food habits. 

Although there are risk factors, just because a patient has these doesn't necessarily mean they will develop this condition. However, knowing these factors is vital because they are modifiable and can allow for necessary lifestyle changes to reduce risk or improve the progress with type 2 diabetes.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

There are a few factors that cause insulin resistance and result in the development of type 2 diabetes. As previously mentioned, lifestyle factors have a significant impact. However, genetic and other environmental factors also have a role. The primary factors for developing this condition include being obese or overweight, which can lead to insulin resistance. A sedentary lifestyle that includes a lack of exercise can also contribute to insulin resistance. Some important factors, typically the most adaptable, are dietary factors. Consuming a diet high in unhealthy foods and sugars and being deficient in specific nutrients can both contribute to developing type 2 diabetes.

Additionally, experiencing disruptions in the gut microbiome, exposure to toxins like BPA and pesticides, and facing disturbances in the body's internal 24-hour clock, known as the circadian rhythm, can trigger irregular sleep patterns, all associated with this condition. Other factors involve genetic factors such as having a family history of diabetes or being over 45 years old, experiencing gestational diabetes during pregnancy, and having prediabetes. It's essential to be aware of these contributing factors so your patients can take the right steps to reduce them. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) provides a complete picture of the individual's blood sugar regulation, measuring the average amount of glucose in the bloodstream over three months.

Top Functional Medicine Labs to Run Bi-Annually on Your Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Lifestyle, medical history, and environmental exposures should be thoroughly explored to determine which physical and functional laboratory tests are needed to identify the underlying causes of your patient’s type 2 diabetes. Here are the top labs to consider to help address type 2 diabetes and effectively manage this condition:

Blood Sugar Screening

Markers, like glucose, insulin, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) are valuable for diagnosing and monitoring type 2 diabetes. Fasting glucose measures blood glucose at the time of the test, but it's best used together with other lab tests to account for variations over time. If elevated, further testing is necessary. Fasting insulin helps assess insulin production, and high levels may suggest insulin resistance. HbA1c shows the average glucose levels for the past three months making this a vital indicator of long-term glycemic control. This comprehensive diabetes screen can help practitioners assess for diabetes risk and monitor treatment progress so necessary adjustments can be made.

Circadian Rhythm Assessment

Cortisol and melatonin are hormones released in daily cycles that regulate circadian rhythm. In a healthy individual, cortisol levels increase in the morning, signaling the body to wake up, while melatonin is produced at night, promoting deep rest during sleep. The DUTCH Plus™ test assesses the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR) and melatonin levels, providing an in-depth look into the function of your patient’s circadian cycle. This test is completed through a saliva and urine sample and is helpful for people who experience sleep disturbances and are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Retesting can help monitor if these levels are getting rebalanced and if treatments are effective.


The GI-MAP is a comprehensive test that measures different types of microorganisms in the gut through a stool sample. It can detect imbalances in the gut microbiota, harmful microbes causing illness, and markers related to digestion, absorption, inflammation, and immune function. It also provides specific markers related to blood sugar, like Akkermansia muciniphila, associated with obesity and metabolic issues. It also looks at Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, and abnormal results in either suggest an imbalance in the gut's normal microbes. A high F/B ratio indicates a microbial imbalance linked to disrupted insulin regulation and other metabolism issues. The GI-MAP helps practitioners design personalized treatment plans by identifying the overgrowth of pathogens and optimizing gut function by targeting specific areas based on the results. Retesting allows monitoring of treatment progress, showing if dysbiosis has improved.

Micronutrient Panel

Evaluating micronutrients helps identify deficiencies or insufficiencies. The comprehensive Micronutrients Test assesses certain nutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies, like inositol, Vitamin D, zinc, chromium, and magnesium, which may be linked to type 2 diabetes. Results can help to target treatment plans with specific supplements and nutritional plans to support improvements in metabolic health. Retesting these levels bi-annually can evaluate the absorption of these nutrients and the effectiveness of the treatment protocols, allowing for adjustments if necessary.



Type 2 diabetes is a fast-growing health issue. It is considered to be a global pandemic and one of the primary challenges to human health in the 21st century, per the Diabetes Journal. Insulin resistance which contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes, involves a genetic component. Still, lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise, significantly impact the development of type 2 diabetes. This is where functional medicine testing can help. It can uncover these factors to help create a personalized treatment plan, including specific diet and supplement recommendations.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
Learn More
No items found.

Lab Tests in This Article

  1. Pivari, F., Mingione, A., Brasacchio, C., & Soldati, L. (2019). Curcumin and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Prevention and Treatment. Nutrients, 11(8), 1837.
  2. Statistics About Diabetes | ADA. (2019). Retrieved August 1, 2023, from website:
  3. ‌(2023, March 9). Retrieved August 1, 2023, from Rupa Health website:
  4. Ranjit Unnikrishnan, Rajendra Pradeepa, Joshi, S. R., & Mohan, V. (2017). Type 2 Diabetes: Demystifying the Global Epidemic. 66(6), 1432–1442.
  5. ‌Reutrakul, S., & Van Cauter, E. (2018). Sleep influences on obesity, insulin resistance, and risk of type 2 diabetes. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 84, 56–66.
  6. Pizzorno J. (2016). Is the Diabetes Epidemic Primarily Due to Toxins?. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 15(4), 8–17.
  7. Javeed, N., & Matveyenko, A. V. (2018). Circadian Etiology of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Physiology (Bethesda, Md.), 33(2), 138–150.
  8. INTERPRETIVE GUIDE. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  9. Khakham, C. (2023, May 15). Boosting your patient’s immunity through gut health: Testing, nutrition and supplements. Rupa Health. 
Subscribe to the Magazine for free to keep reading!
Subscribe for free to keep reading, If you are already subscribed, enter your email address to log back in.
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Are you a healthcare practitioner?
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.