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Diabetes Drugs Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Problems

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Avandia is a drug to help lower blood sugar. It has been blamed for raising the risk of heart attacks and strokes among people with diabetes. The FDA recently asked the manufacturer to put a strong warning about cardiovascular complications in the prescribing information. It had appeared that a similar drug, Actos, was less likely to lead to heart attacks and strokes, although both drugs cause heart failure. A new study conducted through the health insurance company WellPoint shows no difference between Actos and Avandia with regard to heart attacks, heart failure and death. Investigators are now struggling to determine whether Avandia is as safe as Actos or if Actos is as dangerous as Avandia.

[Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, online Aug 24, 2010]

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I worked at Parke-Davis when the problems with another thiazolidinedione drug, troglitazone (Rezulin) were initiating many law-suits from patients with high levels if liver toxicity.

Avandia and Actos are the current thiazolidionedione drugs used to help lower blood glucose but they can result in heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, and death.

What gets me is that since Type 2 Diabetes is so obviously a problem with insulin and carbohydrate metabolism (glucose and other sugars), why is the first line of attack always a drug? Why is there now attempt to remove carbohydrates from the diet of Type 2 Diabetics? Why are they told that eating carbohydrate is OK?

Because drugs are lucrative business for the American Diabetes Association, the drug companies, the laboratories that test blood, the physicians and nutritionist that treat the diabetics. What would happen if this group of patients were given 100% encouragement and proper counseling to use and follow a low-carb (a truly low carb) diet?

Among other things, their blood panel would improve, they would feel much healthier and their use of drugs would decrease. They could eventually live without drugs and the continual risk of cardiovascular problems and death.

Why do we continue to advocate the use of such drugs?

I was prescribed Avandia after being diagnosed with T2 diabetes. Sometime after, I developed spells of irregular heart beat and had tests showing Mitral Valve regurgitation ( back-flow ). I had never had these problems before. However, since the news wasn't out about the side effects of Avandia at that time, I never related the two.

Not wanting to go the drug route, I opted, later on to try diet and exercise, which is working.

Since doing that, and stopping the Avandia, I have had no more problems with Palpatation or Mitral Valve.

After the last tests I had, my new Physician called with the test results and remarked " Well, if you ever had it ( Mitral Valve problems ) You don't have it now. " I have no proof the Avandia was the cause but it seems to me there must have been a connection.

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