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Have type II diabetes? Look out for these dangers in your blood sugar control medication

by , 14 May 2013

It's quite ironic that sometimes the medication that's supposed to heal you may be worse than the disease itself. This is the case with many diabetes drugs. Read on to discover the two red flag warnings diabetics should look for when it comes to blood sugar control.

If you’re a type II diabetic, there are two types of drugs that can hammer your body with hurricane-level destruction.

Fortunately, protecting yourself is easy.

Two red flag warnings for diabetics on blood sugar control medication

The first red flag: The simple choice between one drug or another might increase your risk of dying...

While doctors treating type II usually prescribe metformin, there’s another widely used class of diabetes drug called sulphonylurea that, a new study reveals, could make you “50% more likely to die over a period of just two years,” writes Jenny Thompson for the Health Sciences Institute.

Red flag two is for anyone taking metformin or planning to switch to it.

The reason? There’s a link between metformin and vitamin B12 deficiency.

B12 is a vitally important nutrient, especially for older people. It helps protect bones and cognitive health. B12 also protects nerves and helps prevent peripheral neuropathy.

And that’s where the danger comes for diabetics.

While, metformin helps control blood sugar, it depletes the key vitamin (B12) that protects you from nerve damage. Prolonged B12 deficiency kills is dangerous because it kills your neuron cells.

Once neurons are lost, they’re gone. And “this neuronal death occurs in the spine and brain,” writes Thompson.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom.

Here’s how you can boost your vitamin B12 deficiency

Dr Allan Spreen told Health Bytes that he recommends 1,000mcg of sublingual B12 daily. But he adds that B12 needs these other nutrients to be most effective. And that’s 1.6mg of folate daily, vitamin B6, 100mg daily and magnesium, 400 to 500mg daily.

Your best dietary sources of B12 are meat, fish and eggs. So diabetics who are also vegetarians or vegans should definitely consider supplementing with B12.

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