It’s been all over the news. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that type 2 diabetes is far more aggressive in teens than adults. They also found that the popular diabetes drug metformin often fails to work in teens.
For the study, the researchers compared metformin, metformin with lifestyle changes, and metformin plus the drug rosiglitazone (Avandia). Fully half of the kids on metformin and roughly 40 percent of those taking metformin plus rosiglitazone ended up resorting to insulin injections to control their blood sugar. What’s more, the kids on the two-drug combination actually gained the most weight during the study.
Nevertheless, the researchers concluded that metformin plus rosiglitazone worked best. In fact, the study’s chair was quoted as saying, “The results of this study tell us it might be good to start with a more aggressive drug treatment approach in youth with type 2 diabetes.”
Folks this is downright ludicrous, and quite frankly dangerous, advice. We’ve long known that diabetes drugs have huge and dangerous side effects in adults—including weight gain, elevated triglycerides and cholesterol levels, and an increased risk of heart disease. The drugs themselves make the diabetes worse.
Plus, now they’re suggesting pairing metformin with rosiglitazone—a drug that the FDA put restrictions on because it causes strokes and heart attacks in adults. In fact, right now rosiglitazone is not even approved by the FDA for use in teens and children.
It’s only when you dig really deep into the study’s findings that you get to the real story—that the researchers were unable to achieve sustained lifestyle changes in teens. One news commenter summed it up best when he said “no drug can make up for an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.”
The real solution for anyone with type 2 diabetes—whether we’re talking about adults, children, or teens—is eating right, exercising, achieving a healthy weight, and using targeted nutritional supplements.
Here are some resources that can help:
Now it’s your turn: What do you think about this new study?