Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Diabetes. Is it caused by pharmaceutical drugs?

Diabetes UK, via their website, have warned us that the number of people living with diabetes in Britain has soared by nearly 60% in the past decade. Extracting the statistics from NHS data, they say that more than 3.3 million people now have some form of diabetes compared with 2.1 million in 2005. They remind us that the inability to control blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage, loss of vision, organ damage, and limbs amputations.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK. draws our attention to the cost this epidemic on the NHS budget in Britain.

     “Diabetes already costs the NHS nearly £10 billion a year, and 80 per cent of this is spent on managing avoidable complications. So there is huge potential to save money and reduce pressure on NHS hospitals and services through providing better care to prevent people with diabetes from developing devastating and costly complications?.

The BBC informs us that the NHS are aware of this issue when they quoted Dr Martin McShane, NHS England's Director for Long Term Conditions, saying:

     "These figures are a stark warning and reveal the increasing cost of diabetes. We've said it before and we'll say it again, it's time to get serious about lifestyle change."

There is a similar pattern throughout the world, particularly in Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia. Anywhere, in fact, where Big Food dominates our diet, and Big Pharma dominates our medical care.

Nor is this a new problem for the conventional medical establishment. The Independent newspaper, on 24th February 2009, told us that the problem of diabetes was getting so big, it is "threatening to overwhelm the NHS".  So it would appear that little to nothing has been done to reverse the situation for the last 6.5 years!

Whenever diabetes is discussed, the reason for the epidemic appears to be universally agreed. It is about our diet. As the BBC says, "the explanation for the soaring cases of type 2 are being placed squarely on the nation's ballooning waistline".

And certainly, it is undeniable that the food processing industry causes a large part of the diabetes epidemic, not least as a result of its long-standing love affair with the profits it makes by feeding us with sugar, and sugar substitutes. 

Yet there are other important factors giving rise to the diabetes epidemic, not the least of which are the pharmaceutical drugs used routinely by the conventional medical establishment for the treatment of other medical conditions.

Statin drugs 
Statins are being prescribed to increasing numbers of people to lower cholesterol, as well as to people who have type-2 diabetes. Yet even the USA drug regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, has admitted there is a risk of developing diabetes when taking statin drugs. Indeed, they now place warnings about the risk of diabetes on the labels of all statin drugs distributed in the USA. However, this warning is not required in Britain, and in many other countries, the reason for this lack of caution being rather uncertain, but probably having something to do with being told for decades that these drugs were 'entirely safe'!

The Daily Mail confirmed this in an article dated 5th March 2012 - over 4 years ago.

     "So while popular brands ... (of Statins)... will need to include a new warning on their labels in the US they will not have to on the same products in the UK.

So the conventional medical establishment is dishing out Stating drugs to millions of people, fully aware that they cause diabetes, and then bemoaning the fact that there is an epidemic rise in the numbers suffering from Type-2 diabetes!
  • Is this link mentioned by the pharmaceutical industry?
  • Is this link mentioned by Diabetes UK?
  • Is this link mentioned by NHS spokesmen?
  • Is this link mentioned by the BBC, and other media outlets?
Of course it is not. Patients suffer from a conspiracy of silence. We are not supposed to know that the drugs doctors give us cause diabetes. It might upset the profitability of a major industry! So it can all be blamed on the food we eat. Big Food, after all, is less powerful than Big Pharma!

Yet Statin drugs are not the only pharmaceutical culprits linked to the creation of the diabetes epidemic.

Beta Blocker and Diuretic Drugs
In 2006, the Daily mail reported that Beta Blockers drugs have been found to increase the risk of diabetes by 50%. It was quoting a study conducted at Imperial College, London, by Professor Neil Poulter. The study looked at 14,000 patients in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. Yet, instead of focusing on the dangers of these drugs, the study sought to compare the risk of the "old style" combination of a beta blocker and a diuretic, and to highlight that 'new' drugs were better! And we are told that "the benefits outweigh the risk", without any real or substantial corroberation about what the benefits are, and just how substantial the risks are!

This focus is typical of medical research. It has the ability to identify a problem, but not to highlight it. So Beta Blocker drugs ar a problem, but they are no longer a problem because there are 'newer' drugs that can be used instead. 

Yet Beta Blocker drugs continue to be prescribed in huge amounts to large numbers of patients.

So despite the risks, little or nothing is done to protect patients. The assumption is made that the drug is safe - until proven otherwise. So Beta Blockers continue to be prescribed to patients. At the same time diabetes continues to rise, exponentially. And we are not told about the link between the two.

Antihypertensive drugs
So what about other hypertensive drugs? WDDTY March 2007 (reporting the Lancet 2007; 369:201-7) said that "it's been suspected for nearly 50 years that antihypertensive drugs provoke diabetes because they lower a patient's glucose tolerance levels". But a 'definitive statement' has been hard to come by because (we are told) many patients with raised blood pressure are simply more likely to develop diabetes in any event. But the article states that researchers from the Rush Medical College in Chicago arrived at these conclusion after re-examining 22 clinical trials involving more than 143,000 patients who did not have diabetes when they started taking an antihypertensive drug to control their blood pressure.

A study entitled 'New-onset diabetes and antihypertensive treatment' in 2010 adds to the picture.

      "Numerous analyses have demonstrated that antihypertensive therapies promote the development of type-2-diabetes mellitus".

Again, the study suggest that using angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor-blockers (ARB) leads to less new-onset diabetes compared to beta-blockers, diuretics and placebo. Note the wording here. It does not say that ACE inhibitors and ARB drugs do not cause diabetes. It says that they cause less diabetes! How much less? We are not told. The conclusion is:

     "Antihypertensive treatment has a significant influence on the incidence of diabetes mellitus, whereas the incidence is higher for patients treated with diuretics or beta-blockers than for patients treated with calcium-channel-blockers, ACE inhibitors and ARB. 

This antipsychotic drug is used in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is not only known to cause diabetes, it is also known that the drug company sought to hide this from patients. In a story published in the New York Times and Yahoo News (17 December 17 2006) and Consumer Affairs (18 December 2006) evidence had been obtained by an attorney representing patients in a lawsuit suggested that Eli Lilly covered up concerns about the drug. Although the company denied this, the documents suggested that the company withheld important information about the drug's links to obesity and increased blood sugar levels for the 10 years it was being marketed. 

So this is yet another  drug implicated in causing diabetes, and this one shows the lengths that drug companies, and the conventional medical establishment, will go to prevent us knowing about the full enormity of the side effects that they cause.

So one of the results of taking these, and no doubt other pharmaceutical drugs, is that patients, in ever-increasing numbers, are contracting diabetes. Common pharmaceutical drugs are an unmentioned and unacknowledged cause of diabetes. The conventional medical establishments calls this a 'side effect' but of course it is not. Diabetes is a disease. Drugs are causing disease!

And as a result of the diabetes epidemic health resources are required to deal with it. It has been estimated that diabetes medication now accounts for 10% of the entire NHS drugs bill, amounting to nearly £1 billion! These diabetes drugs, in turn, go on to cause of side effects (that is, other diseases) for which other drugs are required. 

Yet although we (as tax payers) are required to continue paying for the drugs, and (as patients) take them, and suffer the consequences, we are not told the real consequences of doing so.