We know that diabetes drugs regulate high blood sugar. Good, sound, randomized clinical trials published in reputable medical journals tells us it's true. In fact, they tell us these drugs work very well. While you may think this is all you need to know about these medications, it’s not. What you haven’t been told about them can affect the length and quality of your life. And quality of life is important to all of us.
The problem is with what these studies didn’t evaluate. Only one out of five of these studies looked at how diabetes drugs affect a patient’s quality of life or risk of complications.
Medications for diabetes can cause many health complications. These include heart attacks, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. They can lead to the need for dialysis or even amputation. Although these side effects matter to everyone with diabetes, the researchers simply aren’t evaluating them.
“The apparent benefits of these trials are a mirage,” says Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Victor Montori, MD, in a letter in The Lancet. “Patients and society may end up paying dearly for medications that cause more harm than good.”
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The result is that there are smaller, shorter, and obviously much cheaper studies that give the public more choices. But the drugs they sell don’t have any proof that they’re better or safer.
What we need are more studies that test the effects of these drugs for possible side effects as well as for their ability to regulate blood sugar. If you’re taking any blood-sugar-regulating medication, make sure it’s both safe and effective. There should be studies that prove this. Insist that your pharmacist give you well-documented information on its side effects. If none are available on the product you’re taking, have your pharmacist discuss other solutions with your doctor. The quality of your life matters as much as regulating your blood sugar.
There are numerous natural products and diets that can often lead to the elimination of medications. I’ve talked about them extensively in my newsletter, available on my website at no charge to subscribers. Lifestyle changes may be a bit difficult to make at first, but you’ll reap the benefits quickly. And they have no negative side effects.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
“Clinical trials for diabetes drugs should measure outcomes important to patients, states Mayo Clinic researchers in The Lancet”, Mayo Clinic, September 27, 2007
The Lancet, Sept 29, 2007