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Blood Sugar Testing, Insulin, and Diabetes Management continued...

Medication Options: Avandia
If your physician or endocrinologist believes your condition warrants it he may prescribe medication to help control your high blood sugar. The drug rosiglitazone (brand name Avandia ®), for example, attacks insulin resistance directly. Avandia increases the sensitivity of the body's cells to insulin. This allows the body to make better use of available insulin, breaking the cycle of insulin resistance.

Avandia must be used in conjunction with dietary changes and exercise for full effectiveness. Side effects include fatigue, weight gain and fluid retention. Avandia is not recommended for patients with heart failure or liver disease.


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The Vanadium Controversy
Some individuals have suggested that a deficiency of the trace element vanadium may be related to insulin resistance, a theory that has resulted in a boom in the purchase and consumption of vanadium supplements to treat diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance. Vanadium has lowered glucose levels in diabetic lab animals in some tests, and may mimic the effects of insulin in body cells or increase their sensitivity to insulin. Preliminary human studies have been positive.

While vanadium may help lower blood sugar levels, its effectiveness has yet to be clinically proven. Supplemental doses call for much higher amounts of the element than are usually present in the human body. No one knows the long-term effects that such high doses may have on the body. While vanadium hasn't been proven unsafe, neither has its safety been validated. Consultation with your physician or nutritionist is recommended.

Resources

Avandia.com. (nd). Avandia: Rosiglitazone maleate. Retrieved July 22, 2002 from www.avandia.com/index.jsp.

Anuussek, G. (2001). Vanadium. Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine.

Cygnus, Inc. (2001, July). GlucoWatch® Biographer: Patient Information.

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation. (2002). Diabetes: Some answers to your questions.
 
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