Diabetes – Stop the Madness!

CNN reports today by the year 2034 that 44.1 million Americans will be living with diabetes and the cost will rise from $113 billion to $336 billion per year. For the most part I believe, after having done the research, this is a disease that should be going down in cost. Why? Well if we start taking responsibility for our own health and stop leaving it with the Doctors and Pharmaceutical companies,

Diabetes would be reduced rather than increased. This is a disease that is brought on by our diet unless you suffer from type 1 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is brought on primarily by What we eat! That would include not only what we eat with our mouths but what we are eating with our eyes.

Fast food companies are not only guilty of saturating us with their fats and high fructose corn syrup but they also saturate our minds with commercial after commercial of individuals happily scarfing down their non nutritional food. What they don’t show you is their consumers having to test their blood day after day to try and maintain their normal insulin levels. They don’t show the individuals Who have to have their leg amputated from poor circulation nor do they show you people who have to take dialysis and the problems associated with it.

Back in the 50’s, yes way back before Ronald had his McDonald’s and his Big Mac heart attack, Doctors used to puff on their healthy cigarettes and tell us that it did not matter what we ate. Cigarette companies ran ad after ad telling us the benefits of smoking and how refreshing it was. Since that time cigarette companies are no longer allowed to run commercials on television to teach us about the wonders of smoking and our view of tobacco has changed. Not only has that changed but they have also been found liable for the promotion of death in the case of some individuals. Perhaps it is time we started to treat the fast food industry like we have treated the Cigarette company. Perhaps we need to put a warning label on Fast Food packaging and stop the commercial bombardment of their advertising. Maybe they are not as innocent as they claim to be when they are being tried for their accountability with regards to an individuals health, but then again neither are we.

How wrong it was in the past to not really teach nutrition and profess that your diet had little if anything to do with a persons health. How wrong it is proving to be. Not being concerned about eating healthy has made us very unhealthy and dependent on the world of pharmaceuticals to save us. For the most part, aside from a few exceptions, The pharmaceutical companies seemed to have made our world worse not better. They have fed us with a victim mentality and told us not to worry we have a drug for you. That is as long as you have insurance. Oh and don’t worry we are not going to cut your doctor out, you will need a prescription. If you don’t have insurance we are going to make up for the discount we give the insurance companies with our astronomical charge that we are going to lay on you. For the Medical industry, and I am talking about the commercial part of it, I’m sure they are looking at the article in CNN and thinking about all their profits for the future. For you and I, I hope we are thinking about stopping the Madness!

Common Side Effects to a Well Known Drug for Type 2 Diabetes

Metformin is a blood sugar controlling drug and considered as a first step in controlling type two diabetes. The main reason Metformin is so widely used is that it generally involves less side effects than other medications.

Not all who take Metformin have side effects and the majority of those that do are treatable in some way. With that said, there are some people who choose to discontinue treatment with Metformin because of persistent discomfort.

What are the side effects?

The most common ones occur when the drug affects normal digestion. These include diarrhea, nausea, indigestion and abdominal discomfort. Weakness and headaches are reported in clinical trials as well. Also Metformin makes it more difficult to absorb vitamin B12, sometimes resulting in long-term users requiring a vitamin B12 supplement.

Hypoglycemia is not likely to occur just by using Metformin. However, low blood sugar is possible if Metformin is used in combination with other anti-diabetic medications. Some common symptoms of hypoglycemia include unusual appetite, lethargy, dizziness, shaking and sweating, and loss of consciousness.

It is possible to have an allergic reaction to Metformin. Although this isn’t common, its best to be cautious and look out for any unusual signs. These could actually be allergy symptoms. Common allergic symptoms include skin irritation, respiratory problems and swelling. Other symptoms include chills, dizziness, and unusual drowsiness. If you believe you are having an allergic reaction, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Although it’s very rare, it must be made clear that Lactic Acidosis has a connection to Metformin users. Lactic Acidosis is a serious condition when there is too much Lactic Acid in the blood and requires immediate medical attention. Doctors are very careful in screening out patients who are prone to the disease, and when used properly, Metformin by itself is low risk for developing Lactic Acidosis.

For those who have liver and kidney problems, there is the possibility of Metformin building up and not filtering out of the body properly. Most doctors believe that Metformin itself doesn’t adversely affect the liver and kidneys unless the patient has a precondition.

Do the common side effects last long?

The minor ones are usually temporary as the body attempts to adjust to the medication. Metformin side effects could last for several weeks, but many report that they experience discomfort for only days instead. There is the possibility of more long-term side effects, which may require consulting your doctor who may recommend a lower dose.

Can I allieviate some of the side effects?

Whether or not they occur depends on which brand of Metformin, how big of dose you’re prescribed and how your individual body will respond to it.

Most report less severe side effects when taking a long-acting form of Metformin. Many brands have an ER (extended release) form that usually only requires one dose per day. However, some side effects still occur often enough to mention such as diarrhea, and nausea or vomiting.

It should be noted that if you are experiencing distress due to the medication, it’s not recommended that you alter the dosage yourself but instead notify your doctor. There are many brands available that your doctor may prescribe as an alternative, but unfortunately, a few people just cannot tolerate any kind of Metformin.

The side effects outlined here are by no means a complete list of side effects of Metformin. This is just to give you an idea of the most common ones that have been reported by Metformin patients. A more complete list should be provided and discussed by your healthcare provider.

Avandia Side Effect Lawyer: Diabetes Drug Damages Liver

Avandia, a compound of rosiglitazone maleate, is an oral antidiabetic agent. Avandia pills increase insulin sensitivity for patients with type 2 diabetes, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Avandia also improves glycemic control as it reduces the circulation of insulin levels. If diet, exercise, and a single drug are not enough to control blood sugar levels, Avandia can be used in conjunction with another drug.

Avandia is not to be used for type 1 diabetes (juvenile onset diabetes) or diabetic ketoacidosis. It is questionable whether people with heart failure, fluid retention, or active liver disease should take Avandia at all. Since Avandia became available there have been reports of the development of hepatitis (the inflammation of the liver) due to elevated liver enzymes. Patients taking Avandia should have their liver enzymes monitored regularly.

Additionally, Avandia is in the same class of drugs as Rezulin, a very dangerous drug that has been associated with devastating liver injury including liver failure that can only be cured with transplant. Without immediate transplant, many Rezulin liver failures have resulted in death. Because of this close association with a dangerous drug, users of Avandia should be in close contact with a doctor if they notice any symptoms of liver problems such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, fatigue, dark urine, or jaundice. Avandia is also very dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn children.

It is also advised, should you suffer adversely from the use of Avandia, to consult a lawyer. The recent proliferation of dangerous drugs into the marketplace is a disturbing trend, and should a drug threaten your health you should be repaid for damages and the drug should be taken off the market.

Diabetes Drugs and Osteoporosis – Have You Heard the Connection?

Diabetes drugs and their link to osteoporosis have long been studied. So 16,000 studies with 800,000 people involved were reviewed. Of this number, almost 140,000 experienced fractures to the hip. It is safe to say that the diabetics have a better chance of sustaining hip fractures.

The review did not mention the effect of diabetes drugs. That will come later. The thing they emphasized at this point is that those who have type 2 diabetes are more prone to sustain hip fracture by 70% while those with type 1 diabetes have a six more times risk to experience fracture to the hip.

Around this time, the researchers were just saying that the reason for the higher risk could be diabetes complications. They said that those with diabetes and have low blood glucose level, stroke, neuropathy and retinopathy have more chance of falling.

One study even went so far as to say that bone loss that can give rise to osteoporosis is a diabetes complication that is just not well known. In fact the researchers even said that osteoporosis from type 1 diabetes is different from the one that is often found among the aged.

In Germany, the study found an increase in the occurrence of osteoporosis and diabetes. This they say may be due to the lack of the insulin’s anabolic effects. Vascular complications are thought of as behind bone mass that is low which in turn leads to the increase in fracture risk.

What I like about this is the fact that they suggested ways to prevent fractures. To lower the risk for fractures the main thing to do is to maintain a tight control of the blood sugar level. It is also recommended that vascular complication has to be prevented or treated aggressively.

Note that they have not mentioned diabetes drugs as the culprit of osteoporosis among the diabetics. In fact, they are also pointing to the high fatty fat as responsible for the high risk to develop low bone mass. So what has this got to do with diabetes drugs?

Here is the warning that says that Avandia that is used to treat type 2 diabetes may lead to more risk of fractures to the bones. This is what GlaxoSmithKline issued to those who take diabetes drugs that contain rosiglitazone. The drugs that contain this are Avandamet, Avandaryl and Avandia. They gave out this warning after comparing rosiglitazone to metformin and others.

Experts say that Avandia makes the body reabsorb the bones thus making them more fragile. Therefore, the bones are more prone to break. Before, the drug has been found to raise the risk of bone fractures in women. This new report just solidifies this finding and is published in Nature. Scientists say that the drug encourages the action of osteoclass which are the cells that make the bones weaker.

The leader of the team from La Jolla, California’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Professor Ronald Evans, said that the balance between the affirmation of new bones and the taking away of old ones is delicate. Any piece of bone removed should be replaced by the same amount but with Avandia, the cells that are removed are encouraged while the cells responsible to produce bones are pacified. This makes the body break more bones than it is refilling it.

Ronald Evans emphasized that patients should not be taken off Avandia right away. But women should avoid Avandia because of the increased risk of fractures found among this population. Consult your doctor though as there are others that can be used to treat this condition for it looks like there may be a connection between osteoporosis and diabetes drugs.

Occupational Health – Workplace Health Management

Workplace Health Management (WHM) There are four key components of workplace health management:

  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Workplace Health Promotion
  • Social and lifestyle determinants of health
  • Environmental Health Management

In the past policy was frequently driven solely by compliance with legislation. In the new approach to workplace health management, policy development is driven by both legislative requirements and by health targets set on a voluntary basis by the working community within each industry. In order to be effective Workplace Health Management needs to be based on knowledge, experience and practice accumulated in three disciplines: occupational health, workplace health promotion and environmental health. It is important to see WHM as a process not only for continuous improvement and health gain within the company, but also as framework for involvement between various agencies in the community. It offers a platform for co-operation between the local authorities and business leaders on community development through the improvement of public and environmental health.

The Healthy Workplace setting – a cornerstone of the Community Action Plan.

The Luxembourg Declaration of the European Union Network for Workplace Health Promotion defined WHP as the combined effort of employers, employees and society to improve the health and well-being of people at work

This can be achieved through a combination of:

  • Improving the work organization and the working environment
  • Promoting active participation of employees in health activities
  • Encouraging personal development

Workplace health promotion is seen in the EU network Luxembourg Declaration as a modern corporate strategy which aims at preventing ill-health at work and enhancing health promoting potential and well-being in the workforce. Documented benefits for workplace programs include decreased absenteeism, reduced cardiovascular risk, reduced health care claims, decreased staff turnover, decreased musculoskeletal injuries, increased productivity, increased organizational effectiveness and the potential of a return on investment (Mossinik, Licher1998 – Oxenburgh 1991).

However, many of these improvements require the sustained involvement of employees, employers and society in the activities required to make a difference. This is achieved through the empowerment of employees enabling them to make decisions about their own health. Occupational Health Advisors (OHA) are well placed to carry out needs assessment for health promotion initiatives with the working populations they serve, to prioritize these initiatives alongside other occupational health and safety initiatives which may be underway, and to coordinate the activities at the enterprise level to ensure that initiatives which are planned are delivered. In the past occupational health services have been involved in the assessment of fitness to work and in assessing levels of disability for insurance purposes for many years.

The concept of maintaining working ability, in the otherwise healthy working population, has been developed by some innovative occupational health services. In some cases these efforts have been developed in response to the growing challenge caused by the aging workforce and the ever-increasing cost of social security. OHA’s have often been at the forefront of these developments.

There is a need to develop further the focus of all occupational health services to include efforts to maintain work ability and to prevent non-occupational workplace preventable conditions by interventions at the workplace. This will require some occupational health services to become more pro-actively involved in workplace health promotion, without reducing the attention paid to preventing occupational accidents and diseases. OHA’s, with their close contact with employees, sometimes over many years, are in a good position to plan, deliver and evaluate health promotion and maintenance of work ability interventions at the workplace.

Health promotion at work has grown in importance over the last decade as employers and employees recognize the respective benefits. Working people spend about half of their non-sleeping day at work and this provides an ideal opportunity for employees to share and receive various health messages and for employers to create healthy working environments. The scope of health promotion depends upon the needs of each group.

Some of the most common health promotion activities are smoking reducing activities, healthy nutrition or physical exercise programs, prevention and abatement of drug and alcohol abuse.

However, health promotion may also be directed towards other social, cultural and environmental health determinants, if the people within the company consider that these factors are important for the improvement of their health, well-being and quality of life. In this case factors such as improving work organization, motivation, reducing stress and burnout, introducing flexible working hours, personal development plans and career enhancement may also help to contribute to overall health and well-being of the working community.

The Healthy Community setting In addition to occupational health and workplace health promotion there is also another important aspect to Workplace Health Management. It is related to the impact that each company may have on the surrounding ambient environment, and through pollutants or products or services provided to others, its impact on distant environments. Remember how far the effects of the Chernobyl Nuclear accident in 1986 affected whole neighbouring countries.

Although the environmental health impact of companies is controlled by different legislation to that which applies to Health and Safety at work, there is a strong relationship between safeguarding the working environment, improving work organization and working culture within the company, and its approach to environmental health management.

Many leading companies already combine occupational health and safety with environmental health management to optimally use the available human resources within the company and to avoid duplication of effort. Occupational health nurses can make a contribution towards environmental health management, particularly in those companies that do not employ environmental health specialists.

Coming up. Key steps in developing New Workplace Health Policies