Recently the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a report that stated the prescription diabetes drugs Avandia and Actos doubled the risk of bone fracture in women. Over 14,000 diabetic patients participated in the study that showed that 1 of 20 women over 70 years of age taking these drugs will suffer from a fracture. For women in their mid-50's, 1 in 55 women would suffer from a fracture. This is more than double the normal risk in women who do not take these drugs.
It was speculated that the reason these drugs affect women rather than men is because they interfere with estrogen - a hormone that is essential for good bone health in women. In addition women have smaller, lighter bones than men so that even lesser amounts of bone depletion can lead to weakened bones.
In the past Avandia drew a lot of flak on account of reported serious side effects such as heart attacks, heart failure and even death. This lead to the US Food and Drug Administration to stipulate that warning labels on the drugs also show these side effects. Avandia has also been reported to cause rapid weight gain, trouble breathing, unusual fatigue, fast/pounding heartbeat, changes in menstrual cycles, dark urine, yellowing of eyes/skin, persistent nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain
There are more than 23 million people in the US alone with diabetes of which 4 million have been prescribed avandia and actos also known as thiazolidinedione drugs. Since these drugs cause only modest blood sugar control, many doctors question using them at all given the side effects.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that can be controlled by lifestyle changes. Increased exercise and a diet rich in fiber and whole foods will go a long way in controlling blood sugar. Herbs such as Gymnema and Karela also are beneficial and have even been recognized by the National Institutes of Health.