To medicate, or not to medicate, that is the question

By clj01 Latest Reply 2012-12-07 11:54:20 -0600
Started 2011-09-11 13:38:21 -0500

It has been quite a while since I did anything in this group, and have been doing a little reading during that time. I have found that there is a faction that honestly believes that the pharmaceuticals we use to control Type II
diabetes may be doing more harm than good. They say that these medications contribute to our obesity, and may do damage to some of our body systems. On the other hand there are those who encourage the use of not just the oral medications, but the different forms of Insulin available. Are we being used by the pharmaceutical companies to make people rich, or are these medications truly the answer to living longer and healthier? May God help the generation that is growing up with the problems of adolescent obesity and Type II diabetes in their teenage years.

19 replies

swlinda 2012-12-07 11:31:41 -0600 Report

Does anyone think doctor's get kick backs from the drug companies for prescribing the most expensive new medications? Why can't they start us out on an old tried and true drug instead of the newest thing on the market.

jayabee52 2012-12-07 11:50:29 -0600 Report

Think It? I have seen, heard and read reports of that happening.

I am with you on that. If Dr wants to put me on a new medication (new to me, that is), I often ask them if they know how much a 30 day prescription is. Then I ask if there is a demonstated benefit to me should I take this over whatever else I have been taking for the same condition. I also like to check out the profile of the med online, to check for interactions with other substances or any significant side effects.

Lately (past couple years) I have been weaning myself off of medications. I think I am now down to 2 meds whereas I had been on about 15 or so.


swlinda 2012-12-07 11:54:20 -0600 Report

That is great. I took myself off Januvia due to cancer risk. I am on metformin and seem to be doing fine without the Januvia. I didn't tell the doctor because she would have had fit. I am moving soon and will have a new doctor and maybe things will be better.

Okiedude 2012-01-21 14:25:30 -0600 Report

It is important to remember, however, that anything that is "low in sugar" is usually High in Fat; and vice-versa. So be careful to read the label when consuming Low-Fat foods.

esjesjesj 2011-09-19 08:27:27 -0500 Report

I do believe we have a bunch of really bad medications out there. Things like TZD families (Actos, avandia) which have been clearly associated with significant cardiac failure as your control improves. Then there are DPP4 inhibitors (Januvia) which significantly increase your risk of pancreatic and prostate cancer. Having lost a friend to pancreatic cancer, there's no way I'm doing anything for is my risk of that horrible disease.

The big problem with all drugs, not just diabetes, is that the drug companies do not test enough for long-term problems and efficacy. a related problem is when they do get results they don't like, they suppress them or otherwise disguise them. One great example is gabapentin, a drug commonly used for neuropathy. Problem is, it doesn't work any better than a placebo. But somehow the company managed to get a use for all sorts of off label uses and made a bazillion dollars before independently funded studies were published saying that it was not the miracle drug it was touted as. I would love to see independent public funding for testing the efficacy of all drugs.

The other problem is you have people like me who are hypersensitive to medications. I can tolerate metformin, thank God, but when they tried me on glyburide it was a disaster. Sure I had a low a1c but I was passing out with blood sugar in the 60s every single day at three o'clock and angry erratic behavior because my blood sugar was then rapidly swinging back up into the 175 range. Not fun so now I restrict carbohydrates and exercise more and as long as I can keep my diurnal sugar swings between 135 and 95, I'm doing okay.

patients with uncooperative bodies, lying pharmaceutical companies, makes a doctors life really tough.

clj01 2011-09-19 16:30:23 -0500 Report

Thank you for your reply. Pharmaceutical companies need to be held to a much higher standard. This will only happen when we the people, not congress, not the white house, demand it.

jayabee52 2011-09-12 01:19:14 -0500 Report

As of Feb 2011 I attempted an experement which has thus far been quite successful. I have attempted to regulate my BG levels with what I ate alone. NO MEDS! My May A1c was 5.5 and my weight has lowered about 50 lbs. I eat a low carb high protein meal plan. As long as I keep on that meal plan I keep my BG levels at normal levels.

I think that what you suggest about diabetes meds may have validity

clj01 2011-09-12 10:42:28 -0500 Report

I worry about going to either extreme. We need to have a more balanced approach to diet to achieve the goals of meeting our energy needs as well as support of our natural defenses, and cell reproduction. Wow! Makes choices difficult, doesn't it.

Abby888 2011-09-11 20:14:23 -0500 Report

My doctor suggested U500 the last time I saw her. I told her no and that's when I got my butt in gear (finally). U500 is an extremely potent insulin with all the same side effects as regular insulin. Now my numbers are getting better. Tonight I opted NOT to take my Humalog at meal time (just limited my carbs) and my blood sugar was 138 two hours after eating, which is a normal reading for me. I don't suggest that everyone do this but my doctor gave me permission to decrease my insulin when eating less carbs. It does make me feel like I am kind of on my own AND do need to be my own advocate. Like the book I'm reading about diabetes, we have to take control of our own health. Obesity is a huge problem in this country and the more information we give our children about healthy eating and good exercise, the better.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-11 19:55:34 -0500 Report

CLJ I have wondered that myself especially after reading the warnings about our prescriptions. My dr hates prescribbing medications. He was happy when I became insulin free and was able to take one glyburide off my daily meds. My type 2 started after a dietician started me on a high carb low fat diet. I lost a lot of weight and got in shape walking 5 or more miles a day. But the dietician forgot to ask if I am of Native American decent. There has to be a natural alternative to the 9 diabetic pills that I take every day. One without all the possible side effects.

clj01 2011-09-11 20:02:06 -0500 Report

that should make us all remember to be advocates for ourselves, and when a healthcare worker, be it a dietician or a doctor, makes changes in our diets or med routine, we need to question it.

Type1Lou 2011-09-11 15:36:02 -0500 Report

I thought Suzy Cohen made some very astute observations in her book "Diabetes Without Drugs". Certainly, our super-size culture has contributed to the diabetes epidemic we are now experiencing, as well as much of the food processing and additives. Unfortunately, there is not only one cause of diabetes. Many factors may be at work…and who knows about the drug side-effects…is the "cure" worse than the disease???? In my case, NO! I would be dead by now if not for insulin.

clj01 2011-09-11 19:57:14 -0500 Report

How do we determine if the cure that is prescribed is truly bringing about the desired outcomes. I, like others, have done better once switching to insulin, but I still see patients who are being treated with a combination of oral meds and insulin. To me this seems to raise a red flag.

Type1Lou 2011-09-12 14:50:13 -0500 Report

Yours is a good question. I would suggest that carefully controlled scientific study might provide some answers.

realsis77 2011-09-11 14:35:52 -0500 Report

Yes that's a very scarey thought isn't it? I trust my doc when he says I need insulin. Lucky for me its made me feel better! But before insulin he gave me pills and they didn't work for me. I hate to think of the money being made off others illness but it is a reality.

clj01 2011-09-11 19:54:37 -0500 Report

I too use insulin, and have noticed that the doses that I am on are exceedingly large compared with others I know who use insulin. I recognize that doses are truly tailored to each patient, but it still makes one wonder if their treatment is as it should be. For myself, I just want a little assurance.

Anonymous 2011-09-12 01:22:42 -0500 Report

I understand completely. I take a lower dose. My dose is 10 units of 24 hour insulin in the am and a sliding scale of humulin after meals.sliding scale doses are also fairly said your dose was large? Did you start off with a large dose? I was running 300 to 400 and my dose took care of that and brought me down to normal.

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