Diabetic? Know a diabetic? Then here’s the urgent warning you need to see before your next dose of meds!

Diabetic? Know a diabetic? Then here’s...
The urgent warning you need to see before your next dose of meds!

There’s simply no such thing as a good diabetes drug. They range from unpleasant at best to deadly at worst.

Think “newer” equals “better?” That might be true with cars and computers, but it’s rarely true with meds——and one of the newest diabetes drugs on the market today has the potential to be the worst one yet.

It’s Victoza, aka the drug being pushed by Paula Deen since her announcement that she has type-2 diabetes.

It’s got so many question marks it’s not supposed to be anyone’s first choice——but Paula’s fans are now begging for it the way they once begged for the recipe to her red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Want to see starpower in action? In the first quarter of this year——the quarter since Deen’s not-at-all-surprising announcement——Victoza sales were up by 81 percent.

That’s great for Victoza’s maker, Novo Nordisk. But it’s not so great for diabetics——because according to a petition Public Citizen filed with the FDA, the drug Paula’s pushing can increase the risk of thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, allergic reactions, and kidney failure.

Novo Nordisk, of course, says its drug is safe, but the warning label tells a different story. It says the drug caused thyroid tumors and cancer in lab animals. It says the effect of this on humans is not clear——but do you really want to wait for clarity on this one?

The drug is also associated with pancreatitis. In fact, Public Citizen says there have been 200 reports of acute pancreatitis linked to the drug in the 17 months since it was approved.

Since roughly 90 percent of patients (or their doctors) never report their side effects, the real number could be as high as 2,000, according to the complaint.

As a result, Public Citizen is calling on the FDA to ban Victoza.

Good luck with that. I’d say the petition has a snowball’s chance in hell, but it would probably be more accurate to say it has a deep fried Twinkie’s chance on a Paula Deen celebrity cruise.

You can look around for a “better” choice than Victoza, but the only truly better option is to work your tail off until you don’t need any of these drugs at all. And you can start with these four steps:

1.   Skip the sugar and severely limit the rest of your carbs——especially rice, potatoes, and pasta. Carbs cause blood sugar levels to shoot up and come crashing back down——and they’re the main reason people get diabetes in the first place.

2.   Lose the weight. Obesity is so closely linked to diabetes it’s like they’re married. Get them divorced. If you give up the carbs (see no. 1) this will be an immediate and welcome “side effect.”

3.   Turn to natural options for blood sugar control. Vitamin D, for example, boosts pancreas function. And since the pancreas is responsible for producing insulin we want it in tip top shape.

4.   Get moving. Don’t join a gym and don’t you dare take up marathon running or anything else that might hurt you. Just get your butt off the sofa and get out and about more.

Those are the basics. A naturopathic doctor——ideally a member of ACAM——can help you make these changes, monitor your progress and choose the best natural supplements to support healthy blood sugar levels.

Many diabetics who commit to lifestyle changes find they can reduce and eventually eliminate their drugs, and even stop injecting insulin.

Make yourself one of them, and next time I have an urgent warning over diabetes drugs——and mark my words, there WILL be a next time, not to mention a time after that, and a time after that, etc.——you can skip ahead to the next story.