Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yes, I'm Certain That It Happens All the Time

I received an email from a gentleman from DrugWatch about a week or two ago, asking if I ever accepted Guest Bloggers. I never had, but I told him that I would give it a shot as long as it was related to LADA, since this is my diagnosis, and that I had to approve it before posting. When I read it, I knew right away that I would post because it is so true. The medicines that I took because of a misdiagnosis as a Type 2 diabetic will affect me for the rest of my life. I have significant organ damage from it and want to warn people about the damages it can do. This is what I received from DrugWatch:

Type 2 Diabetes, LADA and Medications that Could Prove Harmful

Oral diabetes medications come with benefits and risks, and it's important for everyone — those with type 1, type 2 or what is known as type 1.5 — to understand them.

Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA) is often referred to as type 1.5 because it shares characteristics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Patients with LADA are often misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes. About 10 percent of the diabetes population falls in the LADA camp. The American Diabetes Association defines LADA as a condition in which type 1 diabetes develops in adults.

LADA appears similar to type 2 diabetes in that it is typically not diagnosed until patients are 30 years old or older, and its initial diagnosis does not require insulin. LADA looks like type 1 diabetes because patients have antibodies in their blood that attack their pancreas, which eventually stops producing insulin. Also, LADA patients are generally slender.

All diabetes patients must monitor their condition closely and work with their doctors to make sure their medicine and/or insulin is working properly.  

Since LADA patients usually still produce insulin at diagnosis, there is debate over whether to begin insulin therapy right away. Studies have shown that insulin-treated diabetes patients possess better glycemic control and beta cell (pancreatic) function.

Some LADA patients use insulin briefly and then switch to oral medication until their bodies stop producing insulin. For those who choose to use pills, there are several considerations when choosing the right pill and avoiding potential risks like Actos side effects.

Most oral medications are designed for patients with type 2 diabetes, but doctors can choose to use them for LADA patients, as well.

LADA patients may be able to delay their need for insulin by taking medication that stimulates insulin production (sulfonylureas) or cuts glucose production by the liver (metformin).
Metformin can take time before exhibiting benefits, and if patients are near the point of needing insulin, metformin could put them at risk for lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis occurs when too much lactate gathers in the blood, lowering blood pH, and can be life-threatening.

Some studies show that sulfonylureas and metformin increase the chances of developing severe metabolic syndrome, which can put patients at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Thiazolidinediones such as Actos improve insulin sensitivity and help to cut sugar production by the liver. Despite these benefits, Actos (pioglitazone) has been linked to vision, bone, heart, bladder and liver problems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added a black-box warning to Actos to make patients aware of the risk of heart failure. The FDA has also issued a warning that Actos can increase the risk of developing bladder cancer. Thousands of patients have filed Actos lawsuits against Takeda, the manufacturer of Actos.  

It's important for people with any type of diabetes to talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of different medications. Together, they can choose the best path back to health.

Alanna Ritchie is a writer for An English major, she is an accomplished technical and creative writer.