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Beta Blockers and Diabetes Numbers
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Phototaker123 posted:
Hi All,
It's been a long time since I've been here. I've been really busy with some health issues, which I finally figured out, and I wanted to share them with the rest of you.
If you have diabetes "and" heart problems, and are taking beta-blockers as heart medicine, be aware of side effects, one of them being higher blood sugar numbers. For the longest time, I was able to keep my bs numbers at bay with diet and exercise alone. When I started my first beta blocker, I started gaining weight and getting higher numbers, even with an hour of heavy UJam exercise every day! Even fruit, things I could have before like melons, a small apple started spiking me. I just couldn't figure it out. I started my 2nd heart medicine many months ago, and started having side effects, just little ones at first, but finally depression, nightmares, and even a hallucination, along with hair loss, blurry vision(surely from the diabetes I thought), out of breathe...couldn't make it through my UJam routines or climbing hills,etc. Here's what I want to say. Always research online side effects. Even with talking to both my regular and heart doctor, they would test me but nothing would show up. I finally talked to my pharmacist who told me I had almost every side effect to the medicine(beta blocker). Finally, the doctor told me (after I told him I found out my brother was allergic to the same medicine)that it had affected my nervous system. Guys...I even went for therapy, and she told me I was okay....That's what got me knowing it wasn't me.
So, if you are having many, many side effects, check it out. Don't believe what your friends are telling you. I actually stopped seeing two of my friends who didn't believe me. Believe in yourself. I'm now on another beta blocker. Yes, keeping my numbers lower is much harder. I had to start on Metformin, which doesn't even work that well for me, either, but I "am" able to exercise again, and make it through an hour class! Hooray! My bald spot has grown over, my energy is up, depression has lifted, no nightmares, etc. YES! I'm myself again.
I just believe some people have more trouble with medicines than others. Just be aware that it's not always what you've done wrong, but sometimes something else going on.
I'll try to stop in once in a while. Take care and hi to all my "old" friends. I hope you are doing well with your diabetes!
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nutrijoy responded:
Welcome back,
Although I don't frequent the forums that much myself, it has been awhile since seeing your last post. As a retired pharmacist, I can vouch for the fact that meds can sometimes produce varied idiosyncratic (unique to an individual) side effects that have not been officially reported in the literature and, in some cases, even outright denied by the manufacturer that "their" overpriced and over-hyped toxin could possibly be the cause of a problem. To get a well rounded view of potential problems, a reasonably good resource is the Ask A Patient website. While the reports from posters are NOT scientific, it can sometimes be reassuring to know that one is not alone in experiencing previously unknown or uncommon side effects.

Statin drugs, for example, can produce short term global amnesia in some patients. When Dr. Duane Graveline (an M.D.) first reported this in a blog post, he was scoffed at by the drug manufacturer. After stopping, then restarting statin meds, he again experienced the amnesia problem. Combining the reports of other forum members who had responded to his post, he began gathering anecdotal evidence based on the experiences reported by other patients on statin meds. The end result is that Dr. Graveline has since written several books about this potentially serious side effect.

Anyhow, check out the Ask A Patient website if you experience problems with any new meds that might be prescribed for you in the future. And, if you experience unusual side effects that have been encountered by other patients, be sure to file an online report with the FDA (the agency most likely won't do a thing but at least the complaint will go on record).
 
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betatoo responded:
Photo, a couple of years ago, I started talking to my Dr. about getting off of the Lipitor as I had blamed that for the diabetes. I brought in articles for him to read, talked about web sites, etc. My increased exercise had lowered my overall cholesterol some degree, and he believed that maybe a change was in order. I am now on Niaspan, and even though it causes some dizziness, and flushing, I can deal with that. I take it at night before bed, and the flush does not wake me. I am seeing good numbers in HDL, and LDL as long as I continue to do my aerobic exercise, walking etc. There is a % chance the beta blockers as a group cause diabetes. This percentage is low, but why risk it with the way diabetes is going to epidemic rates.

We never know what the long term effects of the chemicals we take do to us and often wonder if we overreact in some cases taking medication that my not be necessary. I understand your position here, and realize that even though we may read the labels today, in ten years those labels may read much worse if the product is even on the market!
I am really glad to see you posting again; I always enjoyed your intelligent, caring advice. Take care.
 
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anon615 replied to betatoo's response:
You are talking of overt side effects. Heaven only knows what is happening with any drug we take that is either not apparent or not immediately apparent. Beta blockers prevent the body's natural physical reactions and thus prevent the body from rising to meet the physical demands of heightened physical and emotional exertion. Their use could cause possible weakness in legs, a decrease in HDL, a rise in triglycerides, an increase in blood sugar. They can weaken the heart and could cause heart failure. Is there any med that does not have the potential of doing more harm than good?

dolores
 
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flutetooter responded:
Welcome again, Photo. I miss your posts, so drop in now and then. I am still off meds, and working hard on portion control, more exercise, and HIGHER NUTRIENT foods in general. More on that later, but I am rereading all of Joel Furhman's books (from the library). I'm not intending to go vegan, but using the info to tweak my own plan. Many mornings my fg is 88-89 especially when curtailing evening snacks except for 2 crackers & cheese at bedtime. Also, I sleep better.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!
 
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auriga1 responded:
So nice to see you, Photo!!!

Unbelievable what you went through. Glad you found out what the heck was wrong. Hear you on every word you said.

Glad you've got your energy and stamina back. Good thing it is.

Hope to see you again very soon.
 
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joanngres3789 responded:
I too take beta blockers, for migraines and family history of heart disease, I have type 2 diabetes . I have high fasting numbers at night. I always thought it was the beta blockers. I dont have migraines anymore. I has started going to a diabetes doctor I will ask him this. thanks for the headsup
 
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NWSmom4g replied to joanngres3789's response:
I, too, have been on Beta-blockers...for 40 years...for hypertension, and migraine prophylalxis. They have been more effective against the migraines than the HTN!

Nancy
 
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Phototaker123 responded:
It's so good to hear from some of my "older" WebMD buddies, and some of the rest of you. I'm glad you're doing so well, Beta, Flute, Auriga! For me, I just have to remember I have a body that doesn't do well with medicines. I've also had trouble with statins reacting with my heart medicine, Zocor with a past heart medicine. I had read it online before my heart doctor had even known about it. I had to get off the Zocor. That had upped my cholesterol medicine, and that made me sick, too. Now I take 1/2 of a statin a day, and that seems to be working fine. I do have memory issues, though...and not sure what caused that. We are the only ones that know own our bodies. We have to check things out, and make sure we are not have reactions. I'm also allergic to some anitbiotics. So....with that, I'm doing well, now. I just did a salsa class, 55 minutes of dancing. I have to be very careful of my lower back, and have had hip flexor problems when I couldn't exercise for months, but now am doing just great! I have learned how to modify my exercise. I was doing it too heavily. I'm 66 years old, and keep forgetting that!! My cholesterol numbers are doing fantastic! My trigs. and LDL are down, but I still struggle to get those HDL numbers up. Anon 615, you mentioned that. They had me on high doses of Zocor. My HDL numbers are okay, just not great! I "have" to be on Beta blockers for my irregular heartbeat. I have not had problems with that, except when in a spa hot tub for too long a time. My heart doctor said not to do that anymore. I have read these can cause heart damage. I just had an echo done of my heart, and thank goodness it wasn't damaged through this. I feel my dance exercise and walking on my photo trips is really helping keep my heart healthy. Anyhow, I just wanted people to know the dangers of some medicines for some people. Check online if you're having symptoms you've never had before. I'm very happy now, don't dance as vigorously as I did before, and am doing well. Photography has become my passion, even more through all of this, and I'll be starting to sell my work in a local place, soon. I'll try to visit once in a while! Keep well,my friends! Photo...
 
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betatoo replied to Phototaker123's response:
Good to hear from you again, and to see that you are taking care of that 66 years young bod of yours. You have to do what you have to do to keep things in order and your health up. Being proactive instead of just taking orders is part of the reason for sites like this one.

Wife and I are headed to China this weekend with a Chamber of Commerce group. It is eight days jam packed with all sorts of excursions. One in particular will be to see the terra cotta warriors, being a potter. . . . . So I will not be posting for a week.
 
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flutetooter replied to betatoo's response:
Get someone to spray you with Indian red suntan paint and stand in the row with them. Then have someone take your picture. (See what too much sugar can do to my brain.) ;(,
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!
 
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peiglaws replied to flutetooter's response:
I also had a problem with a beta blocker, Tropolol. I was prescribed the Tropolol as a precaution, although my blood pressure was not particularly high. Eventually, the Tropolol began causing my BP to go UP I think it also contributed to worsening my retinopathy. I recently found a scholarly article recommending that beta blockers not be used for controlling BP among diabetics:Heart Failure Clin 8 (2012) xiii-xvi. Ragaendra R. Baliga, MD and James B. Young, MD"Editorial: B-Blockers in Heart Failure: Breaking Tradition to Avoid Diabete.s" htp://dx.dol.org/10.1016j.hfc.2012.07.002/.
 
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Phototaker123 replied to peiglaws's response:
That's so interesting that you said that about your retinopathy. I had the "beginnings", slightly of retinopathy for the first time on Tropolol, which sent my blood sugars into the 200's, sometimes, high 200's. I also gained 8 lbs., in just a few months. I could not get it off! Now that I've been off Tropolol, and on another betablocker, my numbers are coming down, and staying down, low 100's mornings...128, and yesterday I had 106, which I hadn't seen in quite a while. I'm going to go for another retinopathy to check my eyes again. I'm not waiting a year. This other doctor started my on the Metformin when she heard about my eyes and my higher numbers. She told me to take 4 of these pills at night.
Nothing happened for over a month, but now it's working. I'm exercising again, too. I couldn't with all the problems I was having, some caused by the medicine!

So, "if" you find your bs numbers going up for no reason, check it out!!!!!!!!!! There's something wrong!

Hi NutriJoy and others I know!!!

Hi Beta!!! How was your trip to China?? I've missed you guys! I just have been fixated on my photography. I'll be exhibiting some of my work at a local place in town soon. I'm having so much fun since I retired and continue to work on my photography!

I'll try to peek in every so often. I just didn't feel right about giving advice, when my whole system was out of whack! I wrote about it figuring maybe someone else was also allergic to medicines they take. It's good to check with your pharmacist AND do your own readings on drug interactions!
It may save your life. My mom saved my dad's life when he had some of the same problems with medications that my brother and I do. My mom would say that the medicines caused so many other symptoms in her body. So what do you do...not take heart medicine? It helps regular my heartbeats. I have to do it. I liked taking no medicine for my diabetes. Beta and Flute....I know how very healthy you eat. I really feel your way is the way to go. I just don't know if I could go vegan, though, which one of my friends is doing. I would want to eat some meat, fish, and eggs. It's about moderation! Take care all of you!! How's our lovely doctor doing? Is he still on here?
 
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betatoo replied to Phototaker123's response:
China trip was fantastic! We climbed the Great Wall, toured the Forbidden City after walking through Tine min square. We saw the Terra Cotta warriors, the Bampo neolithic village, Temple to Heaven, and Shanghai. It was 8 days of constant exercise, and wonderful scenery and food! Food was no problem for me as every restaurant-Chinese style was high in veggies with protein. I was easily able to skip the rice, and ate well. Breakfast at the hotels were Euro/American or Chinese buffets. Lots of fruit, salad greens, eggs of all styles, nuts, granola, and other goodies. Again easy for a diabetic.

On another note, I will not be going vegetarian anytime soon, I have often posted that I still love meat for part of my meal. Not that I don't go without meat some meals, but most have to have it. I even splurge and breakfast with two slices of bacon!
 
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Phototaker123 replied to betatoo's response:
Beta, sounds like you had a fantastic trip! Did you get some new ideas for your pottery? Are you still doing that? Did you retire, yet? I forget. My memory is worse, lately, but it sounds like many of my friends are forgetting things, too, so I don't feel alone. When I was on the other heart medicine, my memory really got worse. Yes, that was one of the symptoms, too.

I probably could eat like you do, Beta, as I do love meat, too.

I went to a BBQ today. The food was heavily coated with bbq sauce. I ate part of a chicken, & stayed away from the beans, corn, and garlic bread. I missed out on a long session dancing and celebrating Cinco de Mayo at the gym. Wished I had gone. I definitely would have lost weight today!


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