(Thanks to Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD)
Unfortunately, the conventional approach all too often makes patients worse. There are three common mistakes doctors make in treating diabetes:
1. Prescribing Oral Diabetes Drugs
If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you will most likely be prescribed an oral drug. These medications increase the risk of:
- Hypoglycemia (potentially dangerous low blood sugar),
- Weight gain (average 5–10 pounds),
- Increased risk of serious cardiovascular events (including Avandia, Actos, Glyburide and Glipizide that have black box warnings),
Furthermore, many people end up taking more than one medication, which puts them at even greater risk of adverse effects.
Now ask yourself, if a drug increases your risk of dying, why would your doctor prescribe it (it’s not entirely their fault since drug companies push them a lot). More importantly—why should you take it?
At Dr. Whitaker’s clinic, they often stop all oral diabetes drugs and start their patients on a diet, exercise, and weight loss program. They then start them with vanadyl sulfate, berberine, chromium, cinnamon, and other safe, natural, glucose-lowering therapies (that we also have in our Diabetes protocol supplements).
Dr. Whitaker says people are often resistant to discontinuing their medications at first. After all, they’ve been told for years that drugs are absolutely necessary. Stopping insulin, and getting serious about weight loss, shocks many patients. However, they’re pleased when they see for themselves that this program works. As their blood sugar goes down and stabilizes over the course of the week or two they’re at the clinic, they understand the wisdom of the approach.
2. Giving Insulin to Heavy Patients
Approximately 4.5 million Americans with type 2 diabetes are on insulin. If they are obese or overweight, as almost all are, it’s a clear sign that insulin injections are doing more harm than good. Insulin doesn’t just escort glucose into the cells. It also signals for fat storage and stops fat burning – a recipe for weight gain.
Dr. Whitaker doesn’t ask heavy patients on insulin if they’ve gained weight; he asks how much. Excess weight makes blood sugar control more difficult, and poor control increases insulin requirements. In other words, the more weight you gain, the more insulin you need, and the more insulin you take, the more weight you gain. It’s a vicious cycle that the use of insulin only makes worse.
3. Overlooking Vitamins and Minerals
A hallmark of diabetes is increased urination. That’s because high levels of sugar in the blood act like an osmotic diuretic, overwhelming the kidneys’ ability to reabsorb glucose and essential nutrients, such as antioxidants, B-complex vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and other minerals. This nutrient wasting is a major cause of heart attacks, amputations, blindness, kidney failure, and premature death, the most common complications of diabetes.
We must constantly replace the nutrients that are being lost. We need to make sure we are on a nutrient-dense diet and lots of antioxidants, alpha lipoic acid, benfotiamine, carotenoids, coenzyme Q10, and other vitamins and minerals that protect the blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. This alone goes a long way toward warding off the devastating complications of diabetes.
This is just common sense, but incredibly, conventional physicians almost never prescribe nutritional supplements. Even worse, they almost always overprescribe oral drugs and insulin. We are not suggesting that you stop your drugs on your own; that’s best done under medical supervision. However, you need to be aware of the possible results they can cause.
How Diabetes is Connected with Heart Disease?
The American Heart Association’s “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2012 Update” has some good news and some bad news. The good news is that between 1998 and 2008 death rates from cardiovascular disease and stroke declined by 30 and 34 percent, respectively.
The bad news is that 11% of the adult population now has diabetes and another 36.8% are pre-diabetic.
Why is diabetes even discussed in the annual Heart Disease report? Well, because diabetes is a very significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease!
High blood sugar damages the blood vessels. Combined with the metabolic disturbances characteristic of diabetes, it doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Add in that two-thirds of adults with diabetes have hypertension and one in three has peripheral artery disease – it further boosts heart risks.
That’s why the American Heart Association (and Inspired Nutrition) are concerned about diabetes (and the American Heart Association doesn’t even take into account the kidney, eye, and nerve problems that plague so many diabetics).
Roger V, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2012 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011 Jan 3;125(1):e2–e220.