Diabetes Natural Path Center/Sacramento Naturopathic Medical Center is an innovative natural medicine primary care clinic focusing on helping people to improve the quality of their lives by optimizing their health, restoring vitality and preventing and reversing disease, especially diabetes-related conditions.
Upon writing his 2007 diabetes e-book, “The Practical Guide to Overcoming Diabetes Naturally,” Dr. Dennis Godby founded, EndToDiabetes.com. Dr. Godby, ND, MA, is one of California’s first licensed Naturopathic Doctors (#84), the recipient of California Naturopathic Doctor’s Association first “Doctor of the Year,” in 2012, a nationally-known diabetes expert, and a speaker and writer for his naturopathic profession on the subject of diabetes, insulin resistance, abdominal fat gain, and others. Dr. Godby is the founder and medical director of Diabetes Natural Path Center/Sacramento Naturopathic Medical Center, a credentialed complementary practitioner for Sutter Health for the last nine years, a former Diabetes Wellness Coach for Sutter Health, a former member of the Board of Directors of California Naturopathic Doctors Association, and a health columnist for a local newspaper. Dr. Godby, in addition to treating patients with diabetes-related conditions from his Sacramento office, is an activist working to reverse the very preventable, but enduring national diabetes epidemic.
Dr. Godby: As a naturopathic doctor, I have witnessed the power of a preventative lifestyle and naturopathic medicine to transform the health and lives of thousands of patients. To nationally share this extremely good news – how to prevent the preventable – I founded and co-directed The Run: Moving Natural Medicine Forward, and ran 3,000 miles across the USA, at a 30 mile per day clip, in 2011, to promote a healthier America and to increase the visibility of naturopathic medicine (see www.TheRun.org).
After talking to thousands of people across 16 states, on The Run, from California to Connecticut, and Washington, DC, over 124 days on the highways and byways of America, there is a virtual consensus across the USA that our nation is not preventing the preventable, and that our very lifestyles are killing us, and that as a nation, we are overusing pharmaceutical drugs!
My passion for reversing the diabetes epidemic began in the mid-1990s while researching a diabetes natural medicine treatment plan for my mother. First hand, I witnessed her struggle to understand how to implement her doctor’s treatment plan of “diet and exercise,” and to “take these pills.” My extensive search and interest in finding a natural cure for my mom’s diabetes was the catalyst for my pursuit of becoming a naturopathic doctor. During this time period, I began to remember the struggle of: my aunt who had diabetes while I was a child, which eventually led to her premature death; my cousin who lost most of his leg in his thirties; and witnessing the frustrations and agony of many other family members and friends with diabetes.
As a naturopathic student in Portland, I worked for three years at a low-income clinic with mostly Hispanic patients, where at least half of the patients were diagnosed with diabetes, or treated for diabetes, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. As a result of the amazing benefits of natural medicine and lifestyle changes on diabetes, I wrote my doctoral thesis on, Preventing Type 2 Diabetes, Naturopathically, On a Budget.
I grew up using conventional medicine, as many of you probably did. My mother was a Registered Nurse (RN), which afforded me the opportunity of hearing many amazing hospital stories. Over her 34 years of nursing she provided care for generations of families throughout the community. To this day, it is the stories of her compassionate care for the “whole” patient and their extended family that serve as an inspiration for my work in the field of medicine.
What made sense to me as early as my high school years was what we now refer to as preventative medicine. I became very passionate about exercise, and discovered the mind-body-spirit connection. I experienced the power of endorphins, also known as the “runner’s high,” long before I studied about these hormones in physiology class. I became a lifelong runner, accumulating over 45,000 miles, while also enjoying other rigorous activities such as lake swimming, bicycle commuting, and hiking.
From my earliest memories, I have had a deep appreciation for food and healthy eating. Growing up with California’s abundant fresh fruit and vegetables, a mother that grew up on a farm and provided many meals for frequent guests, I became interested in nutrition at an early age. After taking a college fitness appreciation class, I changed my major to Health and P.E., emphasizing exercise physiology and nutrition. To encourage running and physical fitness I organized family “fun runs” in my college community. To test the limits of human endurance and promote physical fitness and nutrition I ran to Alberta, Canada, from Corvallis, Oregon, attempting the longest run ever, without a support team. Running 39 miles a day, alone, for 37 days, over the Cascades and Canadian Rockies, pushed my physical and mental limits, and also provided a tremendous source of spiritual growth.
After college I became more aware of the African famines and world hunger, and thus began my increased involvement in social justice work. After much study and traveling throughout the U.S. on a “Journey of Truth,” I spent the next decade working as a community organizer for peace and justice in Latin America. I learned Spanish, and fell in love with the Latin American people and culture. Again, using running as the way that I could best contribute my energies towards peace and justice in Central America, I organized and ran across the North American continent, from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. This 3,006 mile, “Central America Emergency Run” took place over a 16 week period, in the middle of winter, and became known in the media as a “Run of Conscience.” Speaking in town hall meetings, and to the press, daily, including receiving an award from then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, the motivation for this run was less about exercise, and more about promoting compassion, social justice, and peacemaking.
Having the yearning for a deeper spirituality, and more academic grounding, I attended the Maryknoll School of Theology, receiving a fellowship. After receiving my M.A. in Theological Studies, with an emphasis in social justice and peace, I taught high school religious studies courses and public school E.S.L. classes, for over a decade. My students and colleagues had a profound impact on my life! It was here that I discovered that the most significant element in the learning process as a teacher was not in imparting information to students, but in developing genuine relationships with my students. After seven years of life-changing teaching, I decided to return to school to become a naturopathic doctor. For the next six years, I attended and graduated from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland. I have had the opportunity and the privilege to practice medicine in California as a licensed primary care provider for nine plus years. I feel honored that I am able to make a difference in the lives of my patients.
After witnessing the struggle of my mother and other family members with type 2 diabetes – an almost completely preventable disease – I made the commitment to spend the rest of my professional life on the prevention, treatment and reversal of diabetes and the many other chronic conditions.
The struggle for health and vitality continues.