Diet and Exercise or Pills Against Diabetes?
Many people are waiting for the decision which will be made by the Food and Drug Administration regarding the famous diabetes pill, Avandia. Thousands of searches are made each day online, as everyone would like to see if the medicine will be banned, or if people will still be able to find it.
The problem is that more and more people are solely using the medicines in their fight against the terrible disease. The worrying thing is that the doctors have the same approach; they prescribe the medicine, and they forget to tell their patients about the diet. That’s right, more and more doctors are completely ignoring the diet, when it is clear that it plays a huge role in controlling the blood sugar spikes. The FDA completely ignores this aspect as well. It is a known fact that the best way of preventing diabetes is by combining the diet with the exercise. The disease can be controlled thanks to the combination, and in some cases it can even be reversed. The Archives of Internal Medicine have released a study which can prove these claims.
The study was called Look AHEAD, and it proved that an active lifestyle can influence the life of the people, as it can help them lose massive amounts of weight, control their disease, and reduce certain risk factors such as the ones for the heart strokes. They did not mention that one can simply take the Avandia pill, and then eat and drink whatever they wanted, and go on with their daily activities. The study said that the best thing for a person with diabetes would be to consume less than 1,800 calories each day, and to perform exercises for at least 30 minutes daily. 2,570 overweight and obese patients participated at the study, and all of them lost weight during the four years of the study. Their blood pressure went down thanks to the active lifestyle, and the HDL cholesterol, which is the “good” one, increased.
Taking Avandia resulted in something completely different, as many of the people who resorted to the pill instead of the active lifestyle, have developed numerous heart problems. The New England Journal of Medicine performed a study in 2007, in which they found out that Avandia increased the risk of developing a heart problem by 50 percent. The risk of dying from heart failure was increased by 65 percent, and the results are worrying. Heart failure is the biggest cause of death amongst the diabetics, and because of this, it is ideal for the people who suffer from the illness to reduce the risks of this health issue. Like I previously stated, the FDA is currently analyzing the situation, and the problem is that they have completely taken the diet out of the equation. They are simply comparing Avandia with a different drug; too see if Avandia is more dangerous than that particular drug.
The point is that they can not make anyone replace the drug with the active lifestyle. It is way easier to take a pill and to eat whatever you want, than it is to eat less food, and to go for a walk for 30 or 40 minutes or so. The FDA said that this is the main reason why Avandia is still on the market. The interesting thing is that the medicine has been banned in Europe for a while now, and the U.S government said that it will do the same thing. It is known that the European Union and the U.S government have a different approach when it comes to products which might represent some risks for the health. The FDA said that they intend to keep Avandia on the market because the other type of medicine, Actos, contains pioglitazone, which can cause bladder cancer. Avandia contains rosiglitazone, which as I’ve previously mentioned, increases the risks of developing certain heart problems.
The FDA said that Actos is more suited for the persons who have heart problems, whereas Avandia is more suited for the ones who have bladder problems. Troglitazone was on the market until 2000, when it was found out that it can cause severe liver problems. It is clear that the money is a major factor in the situation as well. Avandia is more popular, and hundreds of millions of dollars are made each year from its sales. The situation is tragic, giving the fact that many people are willing to risk their lives by taking the medicine, instead of leading an active life. The number of the people who use oral medication in order to take care of their problems has increased by 28 percent from 1997 to 2007.
The general guidelines for treating diabetes state that diet and exercise is required. In many of the cases the doctors tell this to their patients, but they are not convincing enough. Another problem is the fact that many of them lack the required training that can help people maintain a healthy diet. They just tell them to keep a diet, but they do not suggest what foods they should eat, how much of it, and so on. The AHEAD study is different, as it schedules monthly meetings with the patients where they teach them about healthy eating behaviors, exercises, and so on. It is without a doubt much easier to take a pill than to be committed to such a lifestyle.
The doctors simply prescribe the medicine, and tell their patients that they should eat better. The patients return for a new prescription, the doctors offer it to them, and then they tell their patients that they should eat better, and that’s it. Without a diet, those patients will require more and more medicine in order to control their blood sugar levels. After a while, the damage of various organs will take place. The heart, the liver, the kidneys, the pancreas, and even the eyes, all of them are in danger if the disease is not controlled. It is believed that some or maybe all of these will become affected later, even if a diet and a healthy lifestyle is used, but at least it can keep the effects of the disease away for a very long time.11