A worldwide epidemic at crisis levels, diabetes is estimated to affect 600 million people by 2035. To combat the potentially devastating consequences, Mesa resident and naturopathic doctor, Mona Morstein, ND, DHANP, has put out a clarion call aimed at altering that trajectory. Her new 560-page book, Master Your Diabetes, A Comprehensive, Integrative Approach for Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes consists of sound evidence, supported by scientific and medical studies and analyses, practical resources, and real-world advice that empowers diabetes sufferers to harness their health and live full, vibrant lives.
“Writing this book has been a long process, with starts and stops over quite a few years,” says Morstein. “It’s amazingly exciting that it is finally done. This book gives you the information you need to be a victor in your relationship with diabetes, not a victim.”
This comprehensive, integrative diabetes guide for patients, caregivers and medical practitioners provides relevant and informative reading for anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and demonstrates how they can maintain control of their blood sugar levels to prevent and reverse existing diabetic complications. Filled with insights and guidance, MYD discusses conventional care and introduces the “The Eight Essentials” adhered to in the Low Carb Diabetes Association, a nonprofit of which Morstein is the founder and executive director. The Essentials consist of: a whole food/low carb diet, exercise options, good sleep hygiene, stress management, healing the gut, environmental detoxification, supplementation and medications.
“All of the Essentials are important to consider in treating diabetes patients,” Morstein explains. “For example, environmental toxins are proven to cause obesity and insulin resistance, and impaired gut bacteria promotes systemic inflammation. The whole body is connected.”
Morstein’s fascination with natural medicine came about when she was earning her Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition from Arizona State University in 1984. Her defining career moment came about soon after, when she spent time observing local ND, Dr. Michael Cronin. “I decided then and there, I wanted to pursue naturopathic medical school,” she says.
A graduate of National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, Morstein did her residency there, before setting up a private practice in Montana for 13 years. A move to Arizona brought new career opportunities. She worked at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe as Chair of Nutrition, gastroenterology professor, and clinical supervisor in their outpatient clinic. She is now back in private practice at Arizona Integrative Medical Solutions in Tempe.
Ironically, Morstein’s own bouts with OCD as a teenager, accompanied by recurrent seizures led her to the alternative world of naturopathic medicine. “I totally stopped eating refined sugar,” she explains, and miraculously both symptoms went away. Herbal tea healed my recurrent intestinal upsets and led me to pursue nutrition and natural healing.”
It may come as a surprise that diabetes wasn’t always on Morstein’s radar. What set her sights on becoming a diabetes expert was an event that happened as a new doctor in Montana. “I did not pick up on the symptoms of a diabetes patient,” she says. Realizing her blind spot, she contacted the clinic of Dr. Richard Bernstein, author of Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, who let her shadow him for a week. The experience was invaluable, as it set the stage for Morstein to incorporate his diabetes treatments with aspects of naturopathic modalities.
According to Morstein, there are six underlying philosophical tenets of naturopathic medicine: First Do No Harm, the Healing Power of Nature, Remove Obstacles to Cure, Treat the Whole Person, Doctor as Teacher and Prevention. Working with patients at her Tempe clinic, Morstein uses integrative testing, nutrition, natural supplemental, hydrotherapy, counseling on lifestyle and the Essentials, homeopathy and vertebral manipulation.
“Dr. Morstein treats the whole body, taking a comprehensive approach to keeping me healthy, and living a practical yet meaningful life with a chronic disease,” says patient Sara Pinson. “Diabetes is a complex disease, and Dr. Morstein not only educated me, but listened to my concerns with a whole heart.”
For more information, contact Dr. Morstein at Arizona Integrative Medical Solutions at 480-284-8155 or visit azimsolutions.com. Master Your Diabetes is available on Amazon or through Chelsea Publishing at 802-295-6300. To access a wide range of helpful tips, facts and recipes geared toward Jewish holidays and lifestyles, contact the Jewish Diabetes Organization at jewishdiabetes.org.