Diabetes Drugs and Osteoporosis – Have You Heard the Connection?

Diabetes drugs and their link to osteoporosis have long been studied. So 16,000 studies with 800,000 people involved were reviewed. Of this number, almost 140,000 experienced fractures to the hip. It is safe to say that the diabetics have a better chance of sustaining hip fractures.

The review did not mention the effect of diabetes drugs. That will come later. The thing they emphasized at this point is that those who have type 2 diabetes are more prone to sustain hip fracture by 70% while those with type 1 diabetes have a six more times risk to experience fracture to the hip.

Around this time, the researchers were just saying that the reason for the higher risk could be diabetes complications. They said that those with diabetes and have low blood glucose level, stroke, neuropathy and retinopathy have more chance of falling.

One study even went so far as to say that bone loss that can give rise to osteoporosis is a diabetes complication that is just not well known. In fact the researchers even said that osteoporosis from type 1 diabetes is different from the one that is often found among the aged.

In Germany, the study found an increase in the occurrence of osteoporosis and diabetes. This they say may be due to the lack of the insulin’s anabolic effects. Vascular complications are thought of as behind bone mass that is low which in turn leads to the increase in fracture risk.

What I like about this is the fact that they suggested ways to prevent fractures. To lower the risk for fractures the main thing to do is to maintain a tight control of the blood sugar level. It is also recommended that vascular complication has to be prevented or treated aggressively.

Note that they have not mentioned diabetes drugs as the culprit of osteoporosis among the diabetics. In fact, they are also pointing to the high fatty fat as responsible for the high risk to develop low bone mass. So what has this got to do with diabetes drugs?

Here is the warning that says that Avandia that is used to treat type 2 diabetes may lead to more risk of fractures to the bones. This is what GlaxoSmithKline issued to those who take diabetes drugs that contain rosiglitazone. The drugs that contain this are Avandamet, Avandaryl and Avandia. They gave out this warning after comparing rosiglitazone to metformin and others.

Experts say that Avandia makes the body reabsorb the bones thus making them more fragile. Therefore, the bones are more prone to break. Before, the drug has been found to raise the risk of bone fractures in women. This new report just solidifies this finding and is published in Nature. Scientists say that the drug encourages the action of osteoclass which are the cells that make the bones weaker.

The leader of the team from La Jolla, California’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Professor Ronald Evans, said that the balance between the affirmation of new bones and the taking away of old ones is delicate. Any piece of bone removed should be replaced by the same amount but with Avandia, the cells that are removed are encouraged while the cells responsible to produce bones are pacified. This makes the body break more bones than it is refilling it.

Ronald Evans emphasized that patients should not be taken off Avandia right away. But women should avoid Avandia because of the increased risk of fractures found among this population. Consult your doctor though as there are others that can be used to treat this condition for it looks like there may be a connection between osteoporosis and diabetes drugs.