Reliance On Drugs Has A Human And Economic Cost

When too many of us take too many drugs, there are consequences. These are both economic and human. The solution is to use drugs judiciously and not as a replacement for being responsible for what we put in our mouths.

Human inventions are not intrinsically good or bad. It is how they are used which determines this. For example a knife is useful to cut your food but can also be used to stab someone. Fire can warm us on a cold night but has the potential to burn the house down if not used correctly.

And so it is with pharmaceutical agents. They have the capacity to do enormous good when used correctly. However when misused or used inappropriately or when they are not really needed problems can and do occur.

Figures from the USA show that almost one in two Americans take at least one prescription drug per month, an increase of 10% over ten years. A staggering one in five children 11 years and younger were in the same boat. Spending on prescription drugs more than doubled to $US 234 billion over the decade to 2008.

Amongst the commoner medications used were those for cholesterol and depression in adults and for A.D.H.D. in adolescents.

British researchers have previously noted that 7% of N.H.S. spending on drugs went on drugs for diabetes. Between 2000 and 2008 the number of prescriptions had risen 50% but costs had risen 104%. This reflects use of newer and more expensive (but not always better) medications. One of these is rosiglitazone.

The fundamental question that never gets asked is whether the best way to manage a problem is with medication? The second question which also is rarely asked is what other consequences might occur if medications are used?

We have just seen the withdrawal of diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia) from sale in Europe and severe restrictions on its use in the USA. A report in the British Medical Journal (B.M.J.) had earlier called for the drugs withdrawal and questioned whether its use should ever have been approved.

The drug has been shown to lead to an increase in rates of heart attack and strokes in people taking the drug compared to those not. In 2007 a study showed a 43% increased risk of heart attack.

John Yudkin of University College London said in the B.M.J. “We need to be absolutely certain that our long term treatments for type 2 diabetes are not causing the very harm they are meant to prevent”.

Type 2 diabetes comes about predominantly from people eating too much processed and sugary foods, being obese and not exercising. Logic would dictate that the primary treatments would be correcting what led to the problem. Some people may still end up needing drugs but it would be far fewer and they may not need drugs as potent (or costly) as rosigltizone.

It has also emerged that another diabetes drug, pioglitazone (Actos) is being investigated as it may increase the risk of bladder cancer. It has also been shown that bisphosphonate drugs used for osteoporosis can double the rate of esophageal cancer.

None of this is to say that there is not a role for drugs. However when we are dealing with conditions that come about from lifestyle choices we make, reliance on drugs in preference to making the necessary lifestyle changes are not without other consequences. These examples show that just “popping a pill” may seem an easy option but may not be.

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.

Glucosans Reduces Blood Sugar

Overview

Diabetes affects more than 20 Million Americans and every year nearly 1 million more people are diagnosed with diabetes. It is estimated that another 5 million have not yet been diagnosed. 300,000 Americans will die this year because of complications from diabetes.
Diabetes, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, is a chronic disease characterized by persistent hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels).
In a healthy person, blood sugar levels, which fluctuate, based on food intake, exercise, and other factors, are kept within an acceptable range by insulin. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps the body absorb excess sugar from the bloodstream. In a person with diabetes, blood sugar levels are not adequately controlled by insulin.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces some insulin, sometimes even large amounts; however, either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells are resistant to the action of insulin. In many cases, Type 2 can be prevented by proper diet and exercise.
The burden of diabetes is much greater for minority populations than the white population. For example:

  • 10.8 percent of non-Hispanic blacks,
  • 10.6 percent of Mexican Americans,
  •  9.0 percent of American Indians have diabetes,
  •  6.2 percent of whites.  

Certain minorities also have much higher rates of diabetes-related complications and death, in some instances by as much as 50 percent more than the total population. In the senior population the rate may even be as high as 20%.
 
What is it?
Glucosans is a specially formulated oral supplement designed to lower blood sugar. It contains scientifically proven ingredients that help the body reduce blood sugar. Glucosans is a patent pending formulation developed by Blue Sparrow to help people with borderline Type 2 diabetes regulate their blood sugar. It is based on Homeopathic and Ayurvdic solutions and has no side effects. In many Asian countries, the ingredients found in Glucosans are regularly consumed as ingredients in many types of dishes. 
Like any medication, Glucosans needs to be taken as directed by the label or a physician.
 
How does it work?

Glucosans is a patent-pending formulation of ingredients that have been used throughout the world to help regulate blood sugar. Many of the glucose reducing properties are well documented by the scientific community and published research is widely available.  The main ingredients of Glucosans are:

Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia)

Bitter melon, also known as balsam pear, is a tropical vegetable widely cultivated in Asia, Africa and South America, and has been used extensively in folk medicine as a remedy for diabetes. The blood sugar lowering action of the fresh juice or extract of the unripe fruit has been clearly established in both experimental and clinical studies.

Bitter melon is composed of several compounds with confirmed anti-diabetic properties. Charantin, extracted by alcohol, is a hypoglycemic agent composed of mixed steroids that is more potent than the drug tolbutamide which is often used in the treatment of diabetes. Momordica also contains an insulin-like polypeptide, polypeptide-P, which lowers blood sugar levels when injected subcutaneously into type 1 diabetic patients. The oral administration of 50-60 ml of the juice has shown good results in clinical trials.

Excessively high doses of bitter melon juice can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Small children or anyone with hypoglycemia should not take bitter melon, since this herb could theoretically trigger or worsen low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. Furthermore, diabetics taking hypoglycemic drugs (such as chlorpropamide, glyburide, or phenformin) or insulin should use bitter melon with caution, as it may potentiate the effectiveness of the drugs, leading to severe hypoglycemia.
 
Gymnema Sylvestre (Gurmar, Meshasringi, Cherukurinja)

Gymnema assists the pancreas in the production of insulin in Type 2 diabetes. Gymnema also improves the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It decreases cravings for sweet. This herb can be an excellent substitute for oral blood sugar-lowering drugs in Type 2 diabetes. Some people take 500 mg per day of gymnema extract.

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

Experimental and clinical studies have demonstrated the anti-diabetic properties of fenugreek seeds. The active ingredient responsible for the anti-diabetic properties of fenugreek is in the de-fatted portion of the seed that contains the alkaloid trogonelline, nicotinic acid and coumarin.
 
Compare to Prescription Medication

Only your doctor can determine your need for prescription medication. However, taking prescription medication for reducing blood glucose has side effects:

The US Dept of Health and Human Services determined based on studies, completed by the Agency’s Johns Hopkins University Evidence-based Practice Center in Baltimore, concluded:
 

  • Metformin and acarbose do not increase weight among diabetes patients. Other diabetes drugs (glimepiride, glipizide, glyburide, pioglitazone, repaglinide, and rosiglitazone) have been shown to increase weight by an average of 2 pounds to 11 pounds.
  • Blood levels of low-density lipoprotein, which is known as “bad cholesterol” because it may amplify risks of heart attack and stroke, consistently decrease (by about 10 milligrams per deciliter) in patients taking metformin and increase (by similar amounts) in patients taking rosiglitazone and pioglitazone.
  • Pioglitazone and rosiglitazone cause a small but significant increase in high-density lipoprotein, often called “good cholesterol” because it promotes the breakdown and removal of cholesterol from the body.
  • Glimepiride, glipizide, glyburide, and repaglinide are associated with hypoglycemia (when blood glucose levels go too low) more than other diabetes drugs.
  • Metformin and acarbose are generally more likely than other diabetes medications to cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea. Patients who used metformin alone were more likely to experience problems than those using the drug at a lower dose in combination with glimepiride, glipizide, glyburide, pioglitazone, or rosiglitazone.
  • Patients who take pioglitazone and rosiglitazone have a greater risk of congestive heart failure compared with those who take metformin, glimepiride, glipizide, or glyburide. While one recent analysis raised the possibility that rosiglitazone may also increase heart attack risks, authors of the AHRQ analysis concluded that current evidence is not sufficient to make a meaningful assessment.

Glucosans is completely natural and its ingredients have no documented side effects.  
 
Serious Medicine
 
Unlike typical supplements, Glucosans provides results within two weeks. It really works so, if you are taking prescription medication to control your blood glucose it’s important to let your primary care provided know that you are taking Glucosans.
 
Directions
Blue Sparrow Medical Guarantees that you will see reduced blood sugar within 1 week. Take the 10 -day challenge

  1. Take 2 tablets with an 8 oz glass of water 2 hours prior to testing with your glucose meter.
  2. Write down your test results

NOTE: Glucosans is a designed as a supplement, not a replacement for any medication you may be currently taking. Because Glucosans reduces your blood sugar you still need to maintain control of your blood sugar.