Not long ago, the diabetes drug Avandia made the headlines when it was linked to congestive heart failure and myocardial ischemia. Now another diabetes drug used to treat type-2 diabetes, Actos, could possibly increase the risk of developing bladder cancer.
This revelation follows on the heels of the known fact that Actos carries the risk of liver damage. Yet, the drug is still one of the top prescribed diabetes drugs. This is pretty incredible when you consider that it not only could harm your liver, it also increases the risk of heart failure (and yes, all of this in addition to the cancer aspect).
Perhaps because it’s only half
as likely as Avandia to cause heart damage is the reason why so many physicians feel it’s the “lesser of two evils.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t find that particularly reassuring.
In any event, the FDA is investigating the link between Actos and bladder cancer. A five-year study by Actos manufacturer, Takeda, reveals that patients taking the drug had a 20% higher risk of developing bladder cancer, a purportedly non-statistically significant increase. Patients taking the drug for more than two years were at an even higher risk.
The good news here is that even though the study findings aren’t considered statistically important, the FDA is taking a closer look. The results of prior clinical trials and a study based on laboratory rats exposed to the drug did show a connection to malignant tumor growth. However, the FDA is quick to point out these findings do not confirm that Actos was the cause of the malignancy.
What is so troubling about all of this is that type-2 diabetes is a disease that, in most instances, is entirely preventable
. And in current cases, lifestyle changes are sufficient to treat the disease. It’s a matter of eating smart and getting your weight down to a healthy level, something we all should be doing anyway.
Avoiding red meat, sugary drinks, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods will go a long way in keeping your blood sugar at healthy levels. Also, drinking coffee, eating brown rice, getting plenty of exercise, making sure your vitamin D levels are optimal, getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, and even black tea can help reduce the risk - or even prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes.
Making these diet changes may not be easy for some but there is certainly no danger associated with it. More and more we’re learning we can’t say the same for diabetes drugs. As long as mainstream medicine continues to hand out pharmaceuticals like candy, we will read more and more about these types of FDA investigations. Rather than pull out the prescription pad, it appears a much safer option would be to simply discuss sound nutrition.
But there’s not much money in that, is there?