Effects of Anti-Diabetic Drugs – Why Self Medication in Diabetes Is Bad

In as much as it’s important for you to know most things about diabetes including the drugs for the treatment, it is also important to sound this warning:

Never ever take anti-diabetic drugs or insulin injection without due consultation with a qualified medical practitioner, not even a nurse or health worker. More so, never ever take a diabetic or hypertensive drug because you have the previous prescription or know the drugs your doctor routinely prescribes for you.

These warnings should be taken serious as the disease itself. Studies have shown that self medication accounts for about 30% of death of diabetic patients. As a matter of fact, anti-diabetic drugs or insulin injection, if taken without professional guidance, bring a diabetic patient closer to the grave than the disease itself.

What do I mean by this, you may ask.

The most important thing that keeps the brain functioning is glucose (sugar). It is the main source of energy for the brain.

Strikingly, other body cells can survive for sometime with minimal sugar but not the brain. There is a certain level of blood sugar that guarantees survival of the brain. Below such limit life could be threatening. Of course, once the brain switches off, every other body function paralyses. Even though lowering the blood sugar level is important, lowering it to lower certain level kills the patient faster than excess sugar in the blood. This is the fundamental reason for the routine blood sugar test before each prescription. To understand how this happens follow me in the imagination to see the dangers of self medication in diabetic condition.

If a man comes to hospital and his fasting blood sugar result was found to be 17mmol/L, it means that his blood sugar was very high (normal is between 3.3mmol/L). Based on that report, the doctor prescribes for example, glucophage and asked the diabetic patient to take the drugs, the man’s blood sugar came down to normal 4.8mmol/L, one week later. Then the man became well, stopped urinating and drinking excessively. Good news! Isn’t it?

Now could you imagine the fate of another diabetic man whose blood sugar was 9mmol/L and decided to take the same dosage of glucophage (one three twice a day) based on the doctor’s prescription for the previously treated man? I can assure you that the man would collapse and die right at the spot, if there is no immediate emergency assistance. Of course, the drugs would clear all the sugar in the blood and brain, a condition known as hypoglycemia. This goes to lend credence to the fact that majority of poorly informed diabetics who have once commenced treatment, die as a result of self medication. As a matter of fact, some even commit suicide by taking over dose of either the drugs or the injection. Usually, when sudden poorly understood collapse occurs.

Friends, don’t kill yourself! Never take diabetic or hypertensive drugs without knowing your current sugar level through proper test. It is the current Fasting Blood Sugar Level that guides the doctor to prescribing ideal dose for you.

Diabetic patients have always been bothered by possible diabetes control measures that will enable them get on with their life.

NOW, HERE’S THE BITTER TRUTH!

Discover sure diabetes control, prevention and management tips that will help you put the problem of diabetes to a reasonable level, if not stop a permanent cure:

o Dietary management: In general principle, dietary measures are required in the treatment of all diabetic patients in order to achieve the overall therapeutic goal.

o Endeavour to exercise yourself as much as possible. It works magic!

The Truth About Diabetic Drugs and Pancreatic Cancer

There is much evidence to consider the fight against diabetes the greatest battle that the human physiology will fight. Live an anti-diabetic lifestyle and you will lower your risk not just for diabetes, but also for most chronic diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, dementia and cancer.

However, mainstream medicine understands the concern about diabetes and has created a large arsenal of drugs designed to combat the elevated blood sugar associated with diabetes. But at what cost? Can diabetic drugs lead to more problems than the diabetic condition itself would have? And what is the truth about diabetic drugs and pancreatic cancer?

Of cancers, pancreatic cancer is clearly one that we do not treat well. 5 year survival rates are almost unheard of. This makes prevention of pancreatic cancer of the utmost importance. Ways to avoid pancreatic cancer have been well established in the medical literature and can include:

1) One of the strongest factors in our risk of developing pancreatic cancer is a history of pancreatitis.
2) A strong second on the list is a pro-diabetic lifestyle.
High intakes of fruits and vegetables have been shown to lower rates of pancreatic cancer.
3) Greater intakes of omega 3 fatty acids and reduced intakes of omega 6 fatty acids have been shown to lower the risk.
4) Optimal levels of vitamin D may play a role in preventing pancreatic cancer as well.

So clearly, diabetes and pancreatic cancer are linked. What does this have to do with diabetic drugs? If a diabetic drug makes our blood glucose numbers look better, would they not also lower the risk of pancreatic cancer by proxy?

Everything in our bodies has a place and a range that it is designed to function best at. Hormones certainly fall under this category. Insulin, for example, does amazing things in our bodies, but as the levels of insulin increase, either from prediabetes or prescription insulin given to type 1 diabetics, this elevation leads to a breakdown in health of epic proportions.

Another very important hormone is one called Glucagon-Like-Peptide 1, or GLP-1. This hormone is released in response to certain signals in the food we eat, but mainly from “sweet.” Our small intestine has taste cells just like those of our tongue called “L” cells. So when “sweet” crosses this cell in the small intestine, these taste cells release GLP-1 that does all kinds of wonderful things in regards to helping our bodies handle sugar.

Our bodies were designed to break down GLP-1 very quickly. It was clearly not designed to be active for a longer period of time in the human body. In steps the pharmaceutical companies.

The initial drug development was on synthetic GLP-1 (ours gets broken down in about 2 mins, so human GLP-1 can’t be used), but that proved tricky. The next direction was to slow down the enzyme that breaks down our own GLP-1 so it will last longer than 2 minutes. This involved slowing down the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP4).

This where current research stands, but drugs designed to interfere with the normal action of GLP-1 are being used very heavily in medicine today, and not just for diabetics, but also for weight loss.

As always, anytime we begin to mess with the normal actions of the human body there is going to be a price to pay. Current concerns over the use of drugs to interfere with the normal actions of GLP-1 pathways are growing. Thyroid cancer growth in mice is well established, but a recent study in the May issue of the journal Diabetes raises graver concerns.

Researchers found that chronic stimulation with GLP-1 in rats led to overstimulation of and abnormal growth of the cells in the pancreas. Clearly this can pave the way for the development of pancreatic cancer in susceptible individuals. And who are susceptible individuals? We’ve already established that diabetics are at greatly increased risk.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that lifestyle changes to lower your risk of diabetes or to manage your diabetes is the ONLY answer to the problem. These include thinks to avoid such as:

**Refined carbohydrates (including enriched wheat flour- read the label; it’s just white flour made brown)
**High fructose corn syrup
**ANY and ALL artificial sweeteners – Splenda, sucralose, Nutrasweet, aspartame, acesulfame K
**Bottled water- a chemical called BPA leeches into the water, and most studies show it’s no different than water from your tap
**ANY and ALL artificial food colorings- the FD&C stuff
**FARM raised fish – the fish are fed corn, which is high in Omega 6 fats, also high in pesticides
**Beer/hard liquor
**Corn fed beef – antibiotics are added to grain, which contributes to the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, ie. MSRA, also high in Omega 6 fats which create inflammation
**FAKE peanut butter- the kind that you don’t have to mix (Jif, Skippy, etc.)
**”Healthy” or “Lean” type frozen entrees (Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Smart Start, etc.)
**Dairy products- research shows that it does more harm than good; pesticides and antibiotics are concentrated in milk
**Energy drinks (Red Bull, Monster, 5-hour Energy shots, etc.)

Things to have more of:

**Olive oil (cheap stuff for cooking, expensive for dips and dressings)
**Quick, easy meal – Kashi or Amy’s frozen entrees (reasonable prices at Sprouts, Costco, Wal-Mart)
**REAL peanut butter (Naturally More brand)
Organic, grass fed meats (beef, bison, chicken, venison, elk, etc… higher in Omega 3 fatty acids) (Don’t be afraid to ask the butcher)
**Variety of fruits and veggies- 8-10 servings/ day
**WILD caught fish (has higher levels of Omega 3 fats, which are anti-inflammatory)
**Nuts (make sure there are NO added oils like cottonseed or peanut)
**Dark chocolate- high in an antioxidant compound called polyphenol, which protects our cells against aging, injury, damage
**Unsweetened tea- green tea is better than black- also high in polyphenols

Exercise Info:

**Have to perform aerobic as well as strength training (HAVE to build muscle)
**Find something fun to do that feels more like fun (sports, hiking, martial arts, etc…)
**Look into following Al Sears, MD’s PACE program found in the book “Reclaiming our Native Fitness.” A variation on interval training that is gaining evidence as one of the better ways to improve our body composition

Stress:

**Stress kills us. Period. Understand that.
**We all experience stress. Find your way to deal with it through exercise, meditation, hiking, deep breathing techniques, yoga, prayer, etc.

Read the issue of Diabetes here http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/61/5/1250.abstract.

The Most Popular Anti-Diabetic Drug – Know More About It

Metformin can be used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. It is not used to treat type 1 diabetes. First of all what does this medicine do in the human body.

Metformin helps to control the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. It does this in three main ways:

1.It decreases the amount of glucose you absorb from the food you eat and

2.It decreases the amount of glucose made by your liver.

3.Metformin also helps your body to respond better to insulin natural or injected.

Only your doctor can tell you how much Metformin and how many times a day you need to take. Do not take more or less of it than what your doctor has prescribed. Metformin controls diabetes but does not cure it. Continue to take metformin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking metformin without talking to your doctor.

Not everyone who takes metformin is a Type 2 diabetic. Metformin may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor for more information regarding this.

Once you start taking metformin you cannot start eating whatever food you like and stop doing any exercise. Diabetes treatment can only work when the person who has diabetes eats the medicines on time and also eats the correct amount of the correct food at the correct time and exercises at least 30 min. a day 5-7 days a week.

In case you forget to take a dose take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Metformin may rarely cause a serious, life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. Drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing lactic acidosis or may cause a decrease in blood sugar. Ask your doctor how much alcohol is safe to drink while you are taking metformin. Side effects from metformin include a change in taste, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, abdominal bloating or gas, diarrhea, or skin rash. These may occur during the first few weeks of taking the medication but are seldom long-lasting. Taking the medication with food and starting out with a low dose help reduce side effects. The dosage can be gradually increased as side effects diminish.

Metformin may rarely cause low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia. Your doctor will tell you what you should do if you develop hypoglycemia. He or she may tell you to check your blood sugar, eat or drink a food or beverage that contains sugar, such as hard candy or fruit juice, or get medical care. Follow these directions carefully. The following are symptoms of hypoglycemia:

  • shakiness
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • sweating
  • nervousness or irritability
  • sudden changes in behavior or mood
  • headache
  • numbness or tingling around the mouth
  • weakness
  • pale skin
  • hunger
  • clumsy or jerky movements

If hypoglycemia is not treated, severe symptoms may develop. Be sure that your family, friends, and other people who spend time with you know that if you have any of the following symptoms, they should get medical treatment for you immediately: confusion seizures loss of consciousness

Therefore who should not use metformin?

In a nut shell, it should not be used by those who use more than two ounces or two drinks of alcohol everyday day, who have congestive heart failure, or who have significant kidney, liver, or lung disease.

The advantages of metformin are that it has a much short action time and has a much lower risk for severe side effects and is quite safe for use by anyone who is otherwise healthy. In fact, in the major UKPDS study, it was the only drug that reduced diabetes-related death rates, heart attacks, and strokes. Metformin lowers fasting blood glucose levels by an average of 25%, postprandial blood glucose up to 44.5%, and the HbA1c by an average of 1.5%. Metformin reduces raised plasma insulin levels in cases of metabolic syndrome by as much as 30% and reduces the need for injected insulin in Type 2s by 15 to 32%.

Metformin possesses some distinct advantages in treating diabetes. Excess glucose produced by the liver is the major source of high blood sugars in Type 2 diabetes and is typically the reason for high blood sugars on waking in the morning. Metformin reduces this overproduction of glucose. It helps in lowering the blood sugar, especially after eating, with no risk of hypoglycemia when used alone. Modest improvements in cholesterol levels are also seen. The 10 year UKPDS Study of over 3,000 people with Type 2 diabetes found that those who were placed on metformin had a 36% decrease in overall mortality and a 39% decrease in heart attacks. Because metformin shuts off the excess production of glucose by liver, it reduces the amount of injected insulin needed to control the blood sugar in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes who are on insulin usually are advised to lower their insulin doses prior to starting metformin. The full improvement in glycemic control and cholesterol levels may not be seen until 4 to 6 weeks of use have passed.

Dr Sherry Chandy is a Medical Domain Specialist at Yos Technologies. For more such useful information and diabetes care tools which help you to Control Diabetes effectively visit the website.