More is Needed

A fresh look at physiology is needed to better understand and intervene in the primary medical complaint of pain. Western universities are still teaching that life is based on a chemical model.

Given the explosive growth in electrical technologies and our ever increasing understanding of physics, it is more realistic in the 21st century to view biological processes on an electrochemical basis rather than on a chemical basis alone.

Western allopathic medicine is limited to a mechanistic approach to physiology and accordingly stands alone in its reliance on synthetic chemical treatments and invasive procedures. But today with the complexity of managing difficult diseases like diabetes and the complications associated with the disease, we need more than chemical (pharmaceutical) treatments.

 Difficulties in managing the following diabetic conditions with chemical-only methods include;

  • Pre-diabetes: Communication error of the cell: The cells of our bodies are constantly sending and receiving signals. But what about if a cell fails to send out a signal at the proper time? Or what if a signal does not reach its target? What if a target cell does not respond to a signal or if a cell responds even though it has not received a signal? These are just a few ways in which cell communication can go wrong, resulting in disease. In fact most diseases involve at least one breakdown in cell communication.
  • When the target ignores the signal: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have similar symptoms but they have different causes. While people with Type 1 diabetes are unable to produce the insulin signal, those with Type 11 diabetes do produce insulin. However, the cells of Type 2 diabetics have lost the ability to respond to insulin (insulin resistance). The end result is the same; blood sugar levels become dangerously high. The precursor to most diabetic issues seems to be involved around insulin sensitivity.
  • Insulin Resistance: The bodies of many people with diabetes are fighting a quiet war against the essential hormone insulin. This conflict is called insulin resistance, and while it’s a hallmark of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, it can also affect those with type 1. Insulin resistance isn’t a cause of type 1 diabetes, but people with type 1 who are insulin resistant will need higher insulin doses to keep their blood glucose under control than those who are more sensitive to insulin. Although, theoretically increasing insulin due to insulin resistance would prove effective, it most often becomes only a temporary improvement of glucose control at best. No medications are specifically approved to treat insulin resistance.

Type 2 Diabetes

  • Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and in many cases completely reversed. (Source: Aug 2012 Article by Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J Richards.)
  • Type 2 diabetes is a difficult metabolic problem. It is a national embarrassment that so many of our young people are becoming type 2 diabetic.
  • An overwhelming body of science demonstrates that insulin resistance leads to obesity and vice versa.
  • Once this problem sets in, a person is on a path of ever worsening metabolic control and subject to diabetic related issues, cholesterol problems, and heart disease risk factors pile up.
  • If nothing is done, very poor health and early death are certain.

Aggressive Medication can be deadly

Medication for type 2 diabetes has not solved the problem and actually has made it worse.

  • On Dec 17, 2008 the New England Journal of Medicine reported that aggressive use of blood sugar lowering medication to prevent heart disease was a failure.
  • This type of treatment made the patients heavier and more hypoglycaemic. The ACCORD trial (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) found there was a 22 percent increase in the death rate of diabetic patients who were aggressively treated with medications.
  • Some of the newer diabetes medications like Avandia have proved to be quite deadly. Scientists reported a 43% increase in the risk for heart failure from Avandia, which reached $3.2 billion in sales each year.
  • Doctors have taken the point of view that taking medication to lower blood sugar is helping the patient. But if you are lowering blood sugar with a drug, where is the sugar going? The answer is most often stored fat, or the sugar is simply forced into cells and kills them because the cells can’t use the sugar.
  • Despite all ongoing efforts, only about 50% of known patients with diabetes are at the recommended target for glucose control. (Source Canadian Diabetic Association)

Diabetic Neuropathy

  • People living with diabetes can over time develop nerve damage throughout the body.
  • Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms.
  • Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness, loss of feeling in the hands, arms, feet and legs.
  • Nerve problems can occur in every organ system including the digestive tract, heart and sex organs.
  • About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy.
  • The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years.
  • Symptoms are often minor at first and because most nerve damage occurs over several years, mild cases may go unnoticed for a long time.
  • Any nerve of the body can be affected.

Can diabetic neuropathies be prevented?

The best way to prevent neuropathy is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as possible. Maintaining safe blood glucose levels protects nerves throughout the body.

Doctors usually treat painful diabetic neuropathy with oral medications including:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, imipramine and desipramine (Norpramin and Pertofrane).
  • Other types of antidepressants such as duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine, bupropion (Wellbutrin), paroxetine (Paxil and citalopram (Celexa).
  • Anticonvulsants such as pregabalin (Lyrica), gabapentin (Gabarone, neurontin), carbamazepine and lamotrigine (Lamictal).
  • Optoids and opiod-like drugs such as controlled release oxycodone, an opioid and tramadol (Ultram) that also acts as an antidepressant.
  • Duloextine and Pregabalin are approved by the US FDA for treating painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

All medications have side effects and some are not recommended for use in older adults or those with heart disease. Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen may not work well for treating most nerve pain and can have serious side effects. Some experts recommend avoiding these medications.