In joint pain agony? Your diabetes drug may be to blame

One day, you're dutifully following your doctor's orders and taking medication to control your diabetes.

The next, you're in so much agony you can't even open the pill bottle.

You've got joint pain so severe you can barely move, and it's not the sudden onset of arthritis nor is it a worsening of the condition if you already have it.

It's a side effect of your meds!

The FDA is now warning that one of the most commonly used classes of diabetes drugs -- DPP-4 inhibitors such as Januvia, Onglyza, Tradjenta and Nesina -- can cause sudden, severe and disabling joint pain.

What makes this newly exposed risk so frightening is that it can strike at any time.

In some cases, it might hit in the days right after starting one of these meds. In others, you could take the drug for years without an issue.

Then, one day, it hits you like a freight train hauling pain.

The good news is that the pain diminishes when folks stop taking the drug. The bad news is that it can take a month before that relief kicks in.

Most of the cases of joint pain were linked to Januvia, with the FDA identifying 28 incidents between 2006 and 2013.

That may not sound like a lot, but bear in mind that many side effects are never properly identified or reported to the agency. If they know of 28 cases, there could be hundreds -- even thousands -- of others they're not aware of.

The FDA claims this risk is new to them. If it is, that's because of the shoddy industry-controlled studies the agency accepts as "evidence" for the drugs it approves.

Januvia, for example -- a drug aimed at a potential market of 30 million American diabetics, who would be expected to take it daily for the rest of their lives -- was approved on the basis of studies involving just 2,719 patients combined.

And some of those studies were as short as 12 weeks!

So OF COURSE the studies didn't uncover the risk of joint pain, just like they didn't uncover the risk of inflammation in the pancreas that has been repeatedly linked to the drug.

Don't wait for the next study to uncover yet another horrifying new risk. Work closely with a holistic doctor who can get you onto a combination of lifestyle changes and supplements that can help you to reduce or in some cases even eliminate dangerous diabetes medications.

And if you're in Southern California, I can help slow, stop and even reverse diabetes so you never need to take one of those lousy drugs again.

Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.