Being told you have type 2 diabetes is frightening enough, but here’s how you can go from the frying pan to the fire: Start taking insulin injections.
But wait — isn’t that what diabetics need?
Well, only sometimes. Certainly if you have type 1 diabetes, where you can’t make your own insulin, those shots can be a lifesaver.
For those with type 2, however, not so much. Actually, deadly complications resulting from insulin therapy have been well known for some time now.
That’s why media reports about a new study out of the prestigious Brigham and Women’s Hospital caught my eye. Those researchers are saying that there are a lot of bad patients out there who don’t get with the insulin routine quickly enough.
But it looks like there might be more to this push to get all those who suffer from type 2 “with the program” than meets the eye.
Calling the shots
Despite the fact that untold numbers of people have been able to control and even stop type 2 diabetes in its tracks without medication, this new study tries to take things in the other direction — by calling for patients to start risky drugs ASAP.
Lead researcher Dr. Alexander Turchin is saying that patients with type 2 who decline or delay taking insulin — around one-third of those who are prescribed the shots — are sabotaging their own efforts to effectively manage the disease.
That delay, he says, can have a “significant impact” on the “outcomes of diabetes.” And then he throws in some scary words, like “blindness, amputations, kidney failure, and heart attacks.”
To come to that conclusion, he looked at the electronic doctor notes for over 3,000 diabetics who got treatment from Brigham. But before I go any further on Dr. Turchin’s findings, the first notable piece of information here is that the cost for the good doctor’s study on these errant patients was footed by Sanofi, which just so happens to make the bestseller insulin brand Lantus.
Dr. Turchin is also well connected with Novo Nordisk, having received “personal” and “consulting fees” from the drugmaker, which coincidently has just been given FDA approval to sell its new insulin brand called “Fiasp.”
But of even more importance to those with type 2, is a study that came out over four years ago, which found that insulin is putting millions of them at risk.
That research, done by a team out of Cardiff University in the UK, pulled the records for close to a whopping 85,000 patients with type 2. They found that compared to treatment with metformin only, insulin users have an off-the-charts risk of suffering from some of the worst diabetes complications there are — such as heart, eye and kidney disease.
And if that wasn’t enough, that study revealed how insulin can double the risk of death from all causes for those with type 2.
A previous study out of Canada found a threefold increase in death for insulin users, and another study from the UK reported that diabetics taking these risky shots were 50 percent likelier to die than those on metformin.
So, we certainly don’t need Dr. Turchin to come along telling us what a tightrope diabetics who don’t start right up with insulin shots are walking.
A better approach is some advice coming from an endocrinologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Dr. Vanessa Arguello.
Dr. Arguello says “the key to avoiding insulin” is also the “most inexpensive option for optimal glucose control.” And that begins with making changes early on — such as controlling dietary carb intake, exercise and weight loss.
So, if you’ve received a diagnosis of type 2, the best thing you can do is to consult with an integrative physician — one who doesn’t just treat the symptoms of your condition, but rather will get to the cause.
And if you’re not sure where to find one, you can search the HSI database at this link: hsionline.com/findadoc.
“Why some people with diabetes reject insulin treatments” Lisa Rapaport, September 28, 2017, Reuters, huffingtonpost.com