Go Ad-Free
logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Aggressive Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Deadly

In the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, children learn that too much and too little are not good. We all need to strive for just right. The same may be true for the management of type 2 diabetes.

There was a time when tight blood sugar control was considered highly desirable. This often meant treating type 2 diabetes quite aggressively in an attempt to achieve as close to normal blood glucose levels as possible. The hope was that this strategy would lower the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other complications of diabetes.

A new report published in The Lancet, however, suggests that such an approach may produce unexpected complications. In this European study patients who used insulin to bring blood sugar levels close to normal had a 49 percent higher risk of dying than those who just used oral medications to manage their diabetes. The results confirm those of a large U.S. trial that was stopped prematurely because there were one fifth more deaths in diabetes patients who were treated aggressively than among those treated more cautiously. The message seems to be that blood sugar should never be too high or too low.

[The Lancet, Feb. 6, 2010]

Rate this article
0- 0 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.