The waiting room at my wife’s doctor’s office always has multiple copies of the latest WebMD magazine, with “Complimentary Waiting Room Copy” imprinted on the cover. Although I brought my own reading material to a recent visit, I picked up the current copy to look for news about type 2 diabetes.
The November/December 2017 issue had no such news, except for pets. There was, however, an ad from Big Pharma to treat type 2 diabetes. The ad said, “…when [their product was] used with diet and exercise,” it may help to lower your A1c. The placement of the ad was prognostic: it was in the middle of the food section.
Beginning on page 87, the “holiday” food section featured 5 content pieces. Nestled among the first sugar-choked three – on red grapefruit, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce – was this 3-page ad for a new injectable medication, “to help type 2 diabetics lower A1c’s.” The FDA had approved it to be used “with diet and exercise in people who are not controlled” with long-acting insulin (<60 units daily), or lixisenatide.” The new drug is made by the makers of Lantus, a popular long-acting, injectable insulin (insulin glargine).
This new drug is a combination drug – mixing 100 units/ml of insulin glargine with 33mcg/ml of Lixisenatide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist. This is a serious medication regimen. Think about it. It is for the type 2 diabetic whose A1c, even after taking up to 3 classes of oral meds, then usually another “non-insulin” injectable (you’ve seen the ads), then usually long-acting (basal) insulin, has progressed over the years…and after all this, is still “not controlled”. That’s why has this new drug been introduced. Take a moment to ask yourself this:
What’s a doctor to do? A doctor is trained to treat symptoms. High blood sugar and high A1c’s are symptoms that the patient’s type 2 diabetes is “not controlled.” The doctor knows the medical protocol to treat these symptoms: prescribe drugs in increasing doses as the patient’s disease “progresses.” They are taught that type 2 diabetes will progress, and the only thing the doctor can do is prescribe higher doses, stronger medicines and, as the patient’s condition worsens, the latest combination drugs until…? You can’t blame them, can you?
But why is the patient’s disease “not controlled”? All the ads are required to say that the patient is supposed to participate in their own treatment with lifestyle modifications, specifically “with diet and exercise.” Well, that’s quickly become a worn out trope, hasn’t it? The only elucidation in the drug ad is, “Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly.” You can’t blame Big Pharma for not getting into the “healthy foods” debate, can you?
In the ad a woman holds a sign that says, “A1c, it’s time to take you down!” A man with a little pot belly holds another saying, “I’ve been good, so why is my A1c bad?” On the website, a “GET THE FACTS” link takes me to another smiling person whose sign says, “My diabetes changed – so I made a change,” and another, under the heading, “Diabetes is complex with factors beyond your control. Here the sign suggests, “Age? Metabolism? Family History? Well, you can’t blame the patient for things that are beyond the patient’s control, can you?
Wrong! Your metabolism IS within your control. You’re a type 2 diabetic because of what you eat. If your type 2 diabetes is not controlled, or getting worse, it is because of what you eat NOW. That is THE CAUSE of your type 2 diabetes, and that is NOT a factor beyond your control; It is ENTIRELY within your control, and you have only yourself to blame (in spite of your doctor’s treatment protocol and Big Pharma’s slick ads) if you don’t understand that. CARBs become glucose in your blood. They RAISE your A1c and CAUSE you to gain weight.Contrary to what Big Pharma and your doctor would have you believe, you have NOT been “good” and that’s why your A1c is “BAD.” If you want to lower your A1c and control your type 2 diabetes, you’re going to have to change what you eat. You’ll need to learn about carbohydrates and eat fewer of them. If you do, you will stabilize your type 2 diabetes and could even reverse it and put it in remission, to the point where, by diet alone, you could eliminate most, or even in some cases, all diabetes medications, including insulin.