Know More About Anti Diabetic Drugs

What are anti-diabetic drugs?

In layman terms, anti-diabetic drugs are responsible for reducing the amount of sugar in the blood. Most commonly, they are used to treat gestational, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Anti-diabetic drugs come in many forms. Herbal remedies and different types of alternative medicines are often used as remedies for treating diabetes.

How do they work?

Typically, anti-diabetic drugs work in the following ways:
• By increasing the insulin level in the body
• By increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin
• By reducing the glucose absorption in the intestines

Types of anti-diabetic drugs
Insulin: It is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It is used by the body to control blood sugar levels. It is administered to people with Type 1 diabetes, since their bodies do not make insulin.
The discovery of insulin therapy was a milestone event in the treatment of diabetes. Today we have plenty of forms of insulin available in the market.

Sulfonylurea: This type of drug lowers the blood glucose level by causing the body to release stored insulin. Typically these are not prescribed to patients with gestational diabetes or Type 1 diabetes.
There are numerous drugs in this category, which could be administered alone or in combination with other drugs.

Metformin: This is a drug in the biguanide class that works towards increasing insulin sensitivity. It also reduces glucose production by the liver. Metformin is the most commonly-used agent for type 2 diabetes in children and teenagers and, unlike other anti-diabetic drugs, tends not to cause weight gain. Metformin is especially well-suited for women with gestational diabetes.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: These work in the small intestine by inhibiting a digestive enzyme known as alpha-glucosidase. They have unpleasant side effects such as flatulence and bloating, but acarbose has been shown to provide significant cardiovascular benefits.

Side-effects of anti-diabetic medication
Some of the side-effects of taking anti-diabetic medication are headache, stomach upset, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting. In case you develop itchy skin, dark urine, fever, sore throat, swelling of the hands or feet, unusual bleeding, then you must inform your doctor.

Anti-diabetic medications are known to cause low blood sugar. The symptoms include chills, cold sweat, shaking, rapid heart-beat, weakness, headache and fainting. If you experience these symptoms, reach out for a quick dose of sugar such as table sugar, orange juice, honey, etc.

Banaba Tree: The Source of the Next Anti-Diabetes Wonder Drug

Diabetes milletus is one of the most common diseases worldwide. According to the latest estimates, there are approximately 246 million diabetes patients worldwide. What is more alarming is that the number of people with diabetes is increasing at a fast rate. By 2025, experts predict that there will be about 380 million individuals that will suffer from diabetes.

And diabetes is not just a simple disease. It is fatal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes claims six lives per minute. That comes to 8,700 fatalities per day. One in 20 deaths worldwide can be attributed to diabetes. Diabetes is indeed a pandemic.

While there are several anti-diabetic drugs that are available in the market today, most of these are rather expensive. Depending on the form and severity, conventional diabetes treatment ranges from a quite affordable $1,000 annually to a sky-high $15,000 a year. The reason for the high cost of diabetes treatment lies on the disease’s complexity. The problem with diabetes is that it does not only affects blood sugar levels but also causes other major complications, such as, cardiovascular and renal problems. So imagine the burden to the pocket of a patient who will regularly need to buy insulin shots along with a long line of heart or kidney drugs.

With the difficulty of producing raw drug ingredients, current diabetes medicines are getting more and more expensive to manufacture. Rich people may be able to afford spending for these costly medicines in the long run, but for the vast majority of diabetes patients who live on moderate or even less than average income, procuring ever expensive diabetes drugs in the long run may not be a luxury that comes easily. That is why scientists across the globe are now embarking on a race to search for new effective anti-diabetic compounds that would be not be as expensive to mass produce as current sources of mainstream diabetes drugs. One such promising compound is corosolic acid. Extracted from the leaves of the banaba tree (Lagerstroemia speciosa), corosolic acid has insulin-like activity and lowers abnormal blood sugar levels.

Researchers from Japan, particularly Dr. Yamazaki of the Hiroshima University School of Medicine, were the first ones to isolate corosolic acid from banaba leaf extract and discover its insulin-like properties. However, banaba leaf has been used for centuries as an anti-diabetes supplement in the Philippines even before scientific studies have validated its efficacy.

Banaba tree grows conspicuously and requires little maintenance. In the Philippines, it can be found in most rural areas and usually grows by itself. Therefore, any product that comes from the banaba tree would come at a cheap price. A testament to that is the low rate of banaba leaf extract. It would not be illogical to assume that a corosolic acid based diabetes drug would have a lower price tag compared to current conventional anti-diabetic medication.

Yet research on the efficacy of corosolic acid as an anti-diabetes compound is still in its early phases. Although the initial results are very promising, more research to scientifically validate its efficacy on fighting diabetes is necessary.

Type 2 Diabetes – Can Diabetes Drugs Reverse Insulin Resistance? NO!

Insulin Resistance occurs when the internal environment, which is the interstitial fluid that surrounds your body cells becomes acidic and oxidative (due to years of unhealthy diet). Years of exposing to oxidation and acidosis had reduced the sensitivity of the insulin receptors on the cell membrane. And when insulin cannot open up the glucose channels to transport the glucose molecule into the cells to be used or stored, that forces those glucose molecules to bounce back into the blood stream.

Beside external sources of glucose (such as high carbohydrate or sugar foods), there is another source of glucose which is hidden within your body, the liver. When your body needs energy, it will signal the liver to turn those stored fat (in the form of glycogen) into glucose through a process known as gluconeogenesis. Thus, your body will try to use up the stored glycogen first before it sends out the “hungry signal” asking you to eat.

Since the blood glucose levels for most diabetes patients are always on the high side (known as hyperglycemia). Usually doctors will prescribe some anti-diabetic drugs to bring down the glucose level in the blood and one of the common diabetic drug for Type 2 diabetes patients is Metformin.

Metformin is the primary drug of choice for the treatment of insulin resistance, particularly for overweight or obese patients who still have a healthy kidney (to dispose the unwanted chemicals in the drug when it has completed its job). The main function of Metformin is to reduce the glucose level in the blood by suppressing the gluconeogenesis process.

But at certain points of time in a day, your body needs more glucose to fuel the metabolisms in the body. But when your body cannot turn the stored fat into glucose because Metformin has suppressed that function, it will send out the “hungry signal” more often so that it drives you to eat more in order to provide the glucose needed.

But even though you eat more, the glucose absorbed still cannot be used to generate energy because of the insulin resistance that hinders the entrance of glucose into the cells. Those ‘homeless’ glucose molecules will float in the bloodstream until it is excreted through urination. No matter how much you eat and how often you eat, you will still feel hungry and tired most of the time.

Thus, the culprit is neither too much of sweet food nor insufficient of insulin. You have to ask the right question in order to get the correct and accurate solution to your diabetes problem. The scientists and researchers very often focus on the surface questions which is “What causes the glucose level to rise and what kind of medication we can use to lower it?” That is why the solutions they offer usually are temporary fixes that can lower down your blood sugar for a few hours only.

The right question to ask is, “What causes insulin resistance and how we can reverse it?” You must understand and always remember that the actual root of the problem is acidosis and oxidation. Thus, you should focus on how to neutralize the acidic toxic and how to increase the anti-oxidative capability within your body instead of wasting your time searching for the latest diabetes drugs.

Continuously taking metformin will never solve your problem. Taking those temporary solution drugs will only rolls the problem to build up a much bigger problem (kidney or liver failure) in the future.