This blog tracks updates to the Blood Sugar 101 Web site.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Farxiga, Another Recently Approved Questionable Type 2 Drug

Page Changed: Invokana and Farxiga: Members of a New Class of Dangerous Drugs for Type 2

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Farxiga, a Second, Even Worse Drug in this Same Class

Farxiga, mysteriously named "Forxiga" outside of the U.S., is a second drug in this same SGLT-2 inibitor class, which has all the same side efects as Invokana, along with the possibility that it increases LDL-C, the so called "bad" cholesterol.

There were more cases of bladder cancer among those taking it than in the group that did not take it. AstraZeneca, the company selling it, assures you that the numbers in the study were too small to determine if this was statistically significant. Why would you want to participate in the much larger and, to AstraZeneca highly profitable" "study" conducted on paying human lab rats that will, by the time the patent expires on this drug, make it crystal clear just how dangerous it really is?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Page changed: Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes

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Inhaled Insulin

A new inhaled insulin, Afrezza, was approved by the FDA on June 27, 2014. You can read more about it HERE. More information will be posted as more information about this brand new drug becomes known.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

FDA Warns Against Using GenStrips

Page Changed: Diabetes on a Budget

Text Modified: If you use an older One Touch Ultra or an One Touch Mini which allows you to set and change the strip code, there are two brands of generic test strips available now that will work with these meters while costing far less than the brand name strips. Both can be purchased from Amazon.
The first is Genstrips . Unfortunately, the FDA issued a warning in April 2014 stating that these strips were not accurate and that the manufacturer had failed quality inspections. When I used these strips last year, they worked well, but reviewers on Amazon who had the same experience said newer strips gave really bad readings. Even less expensive are the UniStrip Test Strips. I have not tested these, but the research used by the company to secure FDA approval makes them appear to also be as accurate as the branded strips. Let's hope that continues to be the case.

NOTE:  I have received a lot of mail from readers of my blog who received an email from Amazon warning about the FDA warning about Genstrips and I updated the blog post and Blood Sugar 101 web page that described these strips as soon as I received the same letter.  Unfortunately, I forgot to post the update on this blog for those of you who follow changes to the changes to the blog.

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Brand of Generic Test Strips that Work with One Touch Meters

Page Changed:  Diabetes on a Budget

Text Added:

If you use an older One Touch Ultra or an One Touch Mini which allows you to set and change the strip code, there are two brands of generic test strips available now that will work with these meters while costing far less than the brand name strips. Both can be purchased from Amazon.The first is Genstrips.  I have used these strips and they do appear to be as accurate as the branded "One Touch Ultra" strips. Even less expensive are the UniStrip Test Strips. I have not tested these, but the research used by the company to secure FDA approval makes them appear to also be as accurate as the branded strips.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Page Changed: MODY It's Not Type 1 or Type 2 but Something Else

Added the following:

MODY forms of diabetes were long believed to affect around 2% of all people diagnosed with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, a study of 586 children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes found that a full 8% of them were actually carrying one of the three most common MODY genes. It is likely that a similar number of people diagnosed with Type 2 may also have one of these genetic forms of diabetes, too.

Prevalence, Characteristics and Clinical Diagnosis of Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young Due to Mutations in HNF1A, HNF4A, and Glucokinase: Results From the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth. Catherine Pihoker et al.J Clin End & Metab October 1, 2013 vol. 98 no. 10 4055-4062.

Also further down the page in the list of Signs You Don't Have MODY:

  • GAD or Islet Antibodies or Diagnosis of Other Autoimmune Disease These characteristics make it much more likely that you have a form of autoimmune Diabetes, either Type 1 or LADA.

  • and

  • Normal Responses to Type 2 Drugs People with MODY rarely see any significant effect from drugs that lower insulin resistance. At the same time, they have a dramatic response to very low doses of drugs that stimulate insulin secretion like sulfonylurea drugs (glipizide, glimipiride, glyburide etc.) or repaglinide (Prandin).
  • Monday, September 2, 2013

    Page Changed: DPP-4 Inhibitors Januvia, Onglyza, Trajenta, Combiglyze, Janumet, and Jentadueto
    Content Added:

    Flaws in Studies Purporting to Refute Dr. Butler's Findings

    As soon as Dr. Butler's study came out, there was a rush to publish studies that supposedly refute it, funded, not so surprisingly by the companies who are earning billions of dollars from these highly profitable drugs.

    A good example is this one:

    UPDATE 2-Doctors get good and bad safety news on diabetes drugs

    This study claimed to find no sign of pancreatic disease with Onglyza, but there are several reasons to discount this finding:

    1. The study only lasted 2 years, which is far too short a time for the changes in pancreatic architecture discovered by Dr. Butler to result in overt pancreatitis.

    2. Cancers also take much longer than 2 years to cause symptoms. Pancreatic cancer, in particular, is almost always symptom free until it is too late for any treatment to keep the patient from dying within a few months. The patients in Dr. Butler's study who took Januvia and died with small precancerous tumors in their pancreases and abnormal cells throughout their pancreatic tissue had no symptoms suggesting anything was wrong with them.The only cases of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer which were evaluated in this study were those that produced symptoms.
    There is no way to study the cells of a living pancreas without destroying it, which is why Dr. Butler was forced to study the pancreases of people who have died of head injuries. Any study that assures you that these drugs are not damaging the pancreas which does not examine pancreatic tissue is not conclusive. (And remember, that there are several studies of huge databases of people who are taking these drugs that have already found a small rise in the numbers of cases of pancreatitis among people taking them.)

    Given how cancers progress, it will take 10 years or more for the pancreatic tumors these drugs are capable of growing to cause the epidemic of pancreatic cancer deaths that I fear is coming. By the time the deaths appear, it will be too late to do anything.

    Until someone shows you 10 years worth of data that show no significant increase in cases of either pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer in people taking any incretin drug, be very skeptical of studies claiming they are safe.

    The British Medical Journal looked into this issue and found disturbing signs of suppression of evidence suggesting this is a very real problem: Discussed here: Medcscape: BMJ Digs Deep Into Incretins and Pancreatic Cancer Debate.
    The actual BMJ review is found here:

    Has pancreatic damage from glucagon suppressing diabetes drugs been underplayed?

    Onglyza Found to Increase the Incidence of Heart Failure

    The drug company that ran the study of Onglyza discussed in the previous paragraph was attempting to show that Onglyza decreased heart attack deaths. What they found instead was that though Onglyza did not cause more heart attacks, but it didn't decrease their number either. Even more worrisome was their unexpected finding that Onglyza increased the incidence of heart failure, a weakening of the heart muscle that is almost always fatal within a 5 year period. Quoting the Reuters report: "The co-principal investigator on the Onglyza study, Dr. Deepak Bhatt, said he believed the heart failure issue seen with Onglyza was very likely a class effect common to all DPP-4s."

    Monday, August 19, 2013

    BPA and Plasticizers Closely Linked to Obesity, IR, and Diabetes

    Page Changed:  You Did not Eat Your Way to Diabetes: The Real Causes

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    BPA and Plasticizers from Packaging Are Strongly Linked to Obesity and Insulin Resistance

    BPA, the plastic used to line most metal cans has long been suspected of causing obesity. Now we know why. A study published in 2008 reported that BPA suppresses a key hormone, adiponectin, which is responsible for regulating insulin sensitivity in the body and puts people at a substantially higher risk for metabolic syndrome.Science Daily: Toxic Plastics: Bisphenol A Linked To Metabolic Syndrome In Human Tissue
    The impact of BPA on children is dramatic. Analysis of 7 years of NHANES epidemiological data found that having a high urine level of BPA doubles a child's risk of being obese.
    Bisphenol A and Chronic Disease Risk Factors in US Children. Eng, Donna et al.Pediatrics Published online August 19, 2013. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-0106
    You, and your children are getting far more BPA from canned foods than what health authorities assumed they were getting. A research report published in 2011 reported that the level of BPA actually measured in people’s bodies after they consumed canned soup turned out to be extremely high. People who ate a serving of canned soup every day for five days had BPA levels of 20.8 micrograms per liter of urine, whereas people who instead ate fresh soup had levels of 1.1 micrograms per liter. Canned Soup Consumption and Urinary Bisphenol A: A Randomized Crossover Trial Carwile, JL et al. JAMA. November 23/30, 2011, Vol 306, No. 20
    Nevertheless, the FDA caved in to industry pressure in 2012 and refused to regulate BPA claiming that, as usual, more study was needed. (FDA: BPA)
    BPA is not the only toxic chemical associated with plastics that may be promoting insulin resistance. . Phthalates are compounds added to plastic to make it flexible. They rub off on our food and are found in our blood and urine. A study of 387 Hispanic and Black, New York City children who were between six and eight years old measured the phthalates in their urine and found that the more phthalates in their urine, the fatter the child was a year later.
    Associations between phthalate metabolite urinary concentrations and body size measures in New York City children.
    Susan L. Teitelbaum et al.Environ Res. 2012 Jan;112:186-93.
    This finding was echosed by another study:Urinary phthalates and increased insulin resistance in adolescents Trasande L, et al. Pediatrics 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-4022.
    And phthalates are everywhere. A study of 1,016 Swedes aged 70 years and older found that four phthalate metabolites were detected in the blood serum of almost all the participants. High levels of three of these were associated with the prevalence of diabetes. The researchers explain that one metabolite was mainly related to poor insulin secretion, whereas two others were related to insulin resistance. The researchers didn’t check to see whether this relationship held for prediabetes. Circulating Levels of Phthalate Metabolites Are Associated With Prevalent Diabetes in the Elderly.Lind, MP et al. Diabetes. Published online before print April 12, 2012, doi: 10.2337/dc11-2396
    Chances are very good that these same omnipresent phthalates are also causing insulin resistance and damaging insulin secretion in people whose ages fall between those of the two groups studied here.