(NaturalHealth365) According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 29 million people are estimated to be living with diabetes in the United States, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed. That represents nearly 10 percent of the total population – most of whom have the preventable form of type-2 diabetes. Of those, most take diabetes medications to help manage blood sugar levels. In fact, some take two or more medications to achieve adequate blood sugar control.
While drugs have long been the go-to solution in Western medicine, they are not without their risks. Many patients and physicians put their faith in pills to achieve a health goal, only to find there are risks and adverse side effects associated with those medications. Not surprisingly, several types of diabetes drugs have been flagged for their potential dangers, which include a higher risk of heart failure and pancreatic cancer.
The link between diabetes drugs, heart failure and pancreatitis
There are several types of diabetes drugs used in the U.S. and around the world, some of the most common of which are GLP-1 agonists and SGLT2 and DPP-4 inhibitors. Keep this in mind, big pharma will manufacture these drugs under competing names, but nearly all have been linked to serious complications and risks.
Heart disease, for example, is much more common in patients taking glucose-lowering medications than in those who do not. A study of more than 95,000 patients published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology found that nearly 10 percent of people taking these drugs eventually suffer a serious cardiovascular problem or event, while approximately 4 percent experience heart failure.
Equally concerning is the increased risk for pancreatic cancer, a grave disease that kills approximately 38,000 people every year. In 2013, and independent study found that people taking certain DPP-4 and GLP-1 diabetes drugs were twice as likely to be admitted to hospitals for inflammation of the pancreas than people taking other types of medications.
The healthcare firm AdverseEvents, for example, investigated reports of pancreatic problems and found the DPP-4 inhibitor Januvia and GLP-1 agonists Byetta and Victoza together produced 4,480 cases of pancreatitis and 1,781 cases of pancreatic cancer.
All for profit: Big pharma continues to push diabetes drugs over lifestyle changes
The adverse events caused by diabetes medications forced the American Diabetes Association to call for new evaluations on type-2 diabetes drugs in 2013 – specifically calling out popular medications like Januvia, Victoza and Byetta. However, the FDA referred to claims of heart failure and pancreatitis as ‘unconfirmed’ before the review ever began and claimed that there was not enough information to make an informed decision about the dangers of diabetes drugs. Instead, patients are urged to continue taking their prescribed drugs according to their doctors’ orders.
As the debate continues on, one thing is certain – big pharma and its cronies have a much higher interest in profits than in the health and safety of those taking its drugs. Let’s face it: While drugs present an increased risk in problems like heart failure, lifestyle changes like eating more plant-based foods (and consuming high-quality nutritional supplements) present an opposite effect, actually reversing the trend and reducing the risk of adverse cardiovascular events.
So, here’s a ‘radical’ concept, instead of relying on man-made substances, we all need to take greater responsibility for our own health by following a better diet, increasing our physical activity and making healthier lifestyle choices. Let’s show big pharma that we’re done with their ‘advice.’
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