The Worst-Case Scenario for Diabetics

In All Health Watch, Diabetes, Featured Article

Type 2 diabetes can destroy your quality of life in many ways. It can cause severe fatigue, erectile dysfunction, vision loss, hearing impairment, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s. 

But the common diabetes complication that is most feared may be the loss of a limb.  

When type 2 diabetes progresses, patients often suffer neuropathy. This is nerve and circulation damage caused by high blood sugar. It can be extremely painful. And it can lead to sores, most often in the foot or leg, that don’t heal. 

Ultimately, many of these patients must undergo amputation. More than 73,000 Americans a year suffer diabetes-related amputations.i 

Every Diabetic’s Worst Nightmare 

You might think that one of the best ways to avoid losing a limb would be to keep diabetes under control with medication. But a disturbing study shows that one standard diabetes drug actually increases the risk of amputation. And it makes patients far more likely to suffer heart disease.ii 

The research was conducted by Dr. Louis Potier and his colleagues at Bichat Hospital in Paris. The team wanted to find out if particular diabetes medications were related to the risk of amputation. 

They looked at 1,500 subjects with type 2 diabetes. They followed the patients until they died, had an amputation, or underwent major surgery. About 700 of the subjects were on a diuretic. 

Diuretics are drugs that help the body eliminate excess water and sodium. They often called water pills. They are prescribed to help diabetics control their blood pressure and blood sugar.iii 

The researchers discovered something alarming about diuretics for diabetes… 

Diabetics on water pills were nearly twice as likely to end up getting a limb amputated. About 13% of those on a diuretic had an amputation or major surgery. Only about half that percentage—7%—not on a diuretic had those procedures. 

The study concluded that diuretics “should be used cautiously in patients with type 2 diabetes at risk of amputations.” 

Natural Alternatives to Diuretics 

If you’re on a diuretic and have type 2 diabetes, talk to you doctor about alternatives. There are plant foods and natural supplements that act as diuretics, but without the side effects of drugs…iv v 

  • Cabbage. You may have heard of the “cabbage soup diet,” which takes advantage of this vegetable’s diuretic properties. 
  • Cranberries. They remove fluid without eliminating potassium. 
  • Dandelion. Dandelion supplements boost kidney activity and increase urination. 
  • Hawthorn. This supplement is effective at reducing fluid buildup. 
  • Juniper. Animal studies have found that juniper supplementation increases urine volume. 
  • Tea and coffee. Both have a diuretic effect. 

Sometimes the treatments offered by mainstream medicine are worse than the disease. That can be the case with diuretics taken for diabetes. If you have blood sugar issues, protect your limbs by considering alternatives to diuretic drugs.