lactic acidosis

  1. Easy ways to avoid diabetes now

    Stop diabetes before it starts

    Diabetes is a lifetime of pricked fingers, insulin injections, and enough drugs to open your own pharmacy -- and who wants to live like that?

    You don't have to, of course. You don't have to if you have the disease and work hard to get it under control and even cured (and yes, it can be cured). And you certainly don't have to if you've been diagnosed with "pre" diabetes.

    All you need to do is get your blood sugar levels under control.

    It's obvious, of course, but apparently not obvious enough since 70 percent of the 80 million people with pre-diabetes are expected to go on and get the disease anyway.

    But if you have the condition, you don't have to share their fate -- because a new study of more than 3,000 pre-diabetics confirms that normalizing your blood sugar levels even briefly can cut your risk of the disease by 56 percent.

    The key word here is "briefly." Don't settle for "briefly," like the patients in this study -- control your blood sugar permanently, and you can slash your diabetes risk by 100 percent.

    The researchers claim it didn't matter how the patients brought their blood sugar levels down. Whether they did it with the drug metformin or through lifestyle changes, the reduction in risk was the same.

    And they're wrong on that, because out in the real world it matters quite a bit.

    There's been a big rush to put pre-diabetics onto metformin, and some doctors are even giving it to obese patients as a weight-loss tool, but this drug comes with far too many risks to be used that widely.

    Some of the risks are simply embarrassing -- like bad gas and diarrhea. Others are downright dangerous, including a potentially deadly condition called lactic acidosis in which too much acid enters the blood.

    Healthy lifestyle changes, on the other hand, can do so much more than slash your risk of diabetes every bit as effectively as the drug and then some. They can also lower your risk of just about every major killer today: heart disease, cancer, stroke and more.

    Don't wait for pre-diabetes to set in. Make those changes now. I'll have more on some simple ways to slash your risk of diabetes in Sunday's House Calls, so keep an eye on your inbox.

  2. Diabetes drug wipes out key nutrient

    If you've been tempting fate with the endless cycles of the drugs-and-insulin approach to battling diabetes, you've got plenty enough to worry about.

    And now, a new study shows one more problem with the Big Pharma solution to this increasingly common condition: a serious shortage of vitamin B12.

    Researchers say the common prescription diabetes drug metformin can rob diabetics of this key nutrient, leading to depression, moodiness, irritability, fatigue, nerve damage, anemia and memory problems.

    It's the gift that keeps on taking.

    Even worse, many docs miss this critical deficiency completely, and assume those conditions are simply being caused by the diabetes itself or ordinary aging.

    Researchers gave 390 diabetics either metfomin or a placebo. After four years, those who had been taking metformin were found to have a 19 percent drop in their vitamin B12 levels, while those on the placebo had no change.

    What's more, the researchers say this deficiency appears to get worse over time, according to the study published in the British Medical Journal.

    You might conclude, as the mainstream already has, that anyone taking this med should have their B12 levels tested regularly. But that's only half the solution--because the problem isn't just the B12 deficiencies, it's the drug itself. Metformin has been linked to vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, and headaches.

    Even worse, this drug can cause lactic acidosis--a condition so dangerous that it kills half of those who get it.

    What's more, many patients who are given this med can't even bring themselves to take it--it can smell like anything from wet dog to dead fish.

    Restoring your B12 levels won't fix any of those other problems associated with this smelly drug. But here's some good news: Diabetics across the nation have been freeing themselves of meds and even insulin through lifestyle changes--and if they can do it, you can do it, too.

    That means giving up the carbs, especially sugar. That one drug-free move alone can help you lose weight, manage your diabetes and improve your overall health.

    Don't worry, you'll hardly feel deprived: You can enjoy a steady diet rich in the delicious meats and natural fats that will help ensure you never suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency.

    Who wouldn't want that?

    No matter how bad your condition has become or how long you've had it, it's not too late to make these changes. Even better, you can start to feel the difference in just a few weeks.

    And eventually, you may be able to toss your meds where they belong: in the trash, where the smell won't matter as much.

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