| Luzia, One of the scariest things that can happen to a diabetic is having a limb cut off… But one of Big Pharma’s biggest-selling diabetes drugs actually INCREASES your risk of amputations! Let me explain… One way we measure the seriousness of diabetes is by testing “hemoglobin A1c” (HA1c). This blood test measures how well your body controlled blood sugar over the past three months. But for diabetics, as HA1c levels go higher the risk of serious amputations also shoots up. A study found that an HA1c above 10% predicts that a minor amputation of toes will progress to a full below-the-knee amputation.1 So diabetics had great hope when Johnson & Johnson came out with a new diabetes drug. It’s sold under the names Invokana, Invokamet and Invokamet XR. J&J submitted studies to the FDA showing these drugs lowered HA1c to below 7. But after this drug was on the market for several years, two clinical trials showed that it increased leg and foot amputations. In fact, amputations occurred about twice as often in patients treated with the drug compared to patients treated with placebo.2 Amputations of the toe and middle of the foot were the most common. But amputations of the leg, below and above the knee, also occurred. Some patients had more than one amputation. Some lost both legs. The results of the studies are shocking, but what’s worse is that they were only discovered after the FDA had already approved the drug. My advice to you: Try your best to avoid these drugs. Here are three steps to help you control your blood sugar naturally.
3 Steps To Controlling Blood Sugar
1. Eat a Primal Diet. The first step and most important step in controlling your blood sugar is to avoid carbs and other processed foods. If you don’t do this, you can skip right over the next two steps. They won’t matter unless you’re willing to change your diet. On a primal diet, you eat more protein and fat to normalize blood sugar. You enjoy grass-fed meat and wild-caught salmon. You can have nuts, seeds, and berries. And you avoid processed sugar, fast foods, grains, and sodas. In a matter of months, most of my patients eating this way see a complete turnaround. Blood sugar, insulin, HA1c, and other labs return to normal. 2. Move Your Muscles. To reset your metabolic capacity to handle blood sugar and avoid diabetes, work your legs and back. These are your biggest muscle groups. They burn excess sugar in the blood faster than any other muscles. In one study, a single high-intensity workout temporarily restored insulin sensitivity.3 But what’s even better than high intensity is increasing intensity. Try my PACE program with walking, cycling, swimming, or any other activity you enjoy. Do two minutes at an easy pace, then raise the intensity for 30 to 60 seconds. You should feel yourself working. Then rest for two minutes, and repeat the cycle, increasing the intensity each time. Do three or four cycles. 3. Take These Natural Blood Sugar Busters. Most health gurus recommend cinnamon to control blood sugar. It’s good but there are other herbs that work better. Here are two safe and powerful herbs to help balance blood sugar.
- Chromium. This important mineral controls insulin sensitivity. Without enough chromium, insulin can’t work properly. But we are in the middle of a chromium pandemic. Today, almost 90% of American adults are chromium-deficient despite the fact that chromium is in many foods including brewer’s yeast, meats, potato skins, cheeses, molasses and fresh fruits and vegetables.I recommend supplementing. But you can’t take just any kind of chromium supplement. Some types may actually do more harm than good. Research shows that your chromium supplement needs to include niacin to be effective. Look for chromium polynicotinate or niacin-bound chromium, which are both safe and effective as a dietary supplement. Take 400 mcg a day.
- Fenugreek. This herb has been used to treat high blood sugar in herbal medicine for thousands of years. It contains galactomannan, a type of soluble fiber. This slows down the rate of sugar gets absorbed into your blood. One study found that fenugreek consistently lowered fasting blood sugar and HA1c levels.4Look for fenugreek supplements, with either the whole herb or seed extract. I recommend starting with 500 mg twice a day.
- Berberine. A Chinese study of 84 patients with diabetes found that the herb berberine lowered blood sugar levels just as well as the drug metformin. It also significantly cut HA1c levels.5Berberine is sometimes sold under the names “Goldenseal Root” or “Oregon Grape.” I recommend taking one 500 mg capsule two to three times a day with food.
To Your Good Health, Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Diabetes In Control, “A1c Predicts Success of Amputation in Diabetics.” Issue 219 Item 2, August 2nd, 2004. 2. FDA Drug Safety Communication: Interim clinical trial results find increased risk of leg and foot amputations, mostly affecting the toes, with the diabetes medicine canagliflozin (Invokana, Invokamet); FDA to investigate issued on May 18, 2016. 3. Ropelle ER, et al. “Reversal of diet-induced insulin resistance with a single bout of exercise: The role of PTP1B and IRS-1 serine phosphorylation.” J PHysiol 2006;577(Pt 3):997-1007. 4. Deng R. “A review of the hypoglycemic effects of five commonly used herbal food supplements.” Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric. 2012 Apr 1;4(1):50-60. 5. Yin, Xing, Ye. “Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Metabolism 2008;57(5):712-7.