I have stated before that I have several health problems, including hypothyroidism for whioh I take synthetic Levothyroxine, and Diabetes Millites for which I now take insulin.
I have known for some time that they two medications interact and are not therefore fully effective, but trying to get GPs to look at me as a whole instead of to individual illnesses, is proving difficult.
I knew that I was on human insulin, although my present GP thought at first that it was synthetic insulin. I have had to change my doctor's practice three times within the last 18 months because of home moves and I have to teach them all over again what sort of person I am and the fullest extent of my health problems. They only want to deal with one at a time, and ignore the possibility of side effects and interactions.
I discovered last wekk that on 31 December 2010 the human insulin, Mixtard 30, is being withdrawn from the UK by the manufacturer. It was apparently known by many in the medical profession as long as June, but I only learned of this from pharmacist last week, and managed to rarely get an immediate appointment with my chosen doctor. I wonder when he would have bothered to inform me of this important change? As it was I said I wanted to change to whatever would be most appropriate and available and have the dosage, and other aspects sorted before the long period where there is practically no support at Christmas and New Year He undrstood my reasoning, and prescribed a synthetic insulin.
It is Novolog, a disposable plastic pen, with insulin inside, and it is known as Insulin Aspart. The information sheet informs me yet again that it will not be as effective with Levothyroxine, and this has already proved true. I have also had extra side effects which I will be seeing my GP about on 1 November. However, what worries me most is that this Insulin Aspart is, what one website termed it, "genetically engineered". It is apparently altered at the DNA level. What is this going to do to people like me?
Insulin is made up two amino acids. Combined they make a protein. Proline is removed in this synthetic process and aspartic acid is put into yeast encouraged to grow, placed into the remainder of the insulin compound minus the proline and then under another process the yeast is extracted leaving the insulin aspart I inject.
I looked up the history of proline and it is a very important item in its own right, but is not considered an "essential amino acid" because it is made in the liver and not directly from food. However, this amino acid is unique in its make up and its byproduct is vital for the function of other proteins in the body.
I believe I have understood it this far, but what worries me most is that we are not being given a proper alternative. Something that has been created that would not normally be made in nature is a step too far, with limits as to what the long term effects will be.
The process has been around for ten years, but even so the product will not suit everyone, especially those taking other medications which also interact with it and do not work as efficiently as they should. All in all, this ia s bad decision, and one that does not appear to have any real need other than more profit for the drug company.
It is more expensive, and it will take up more time in GP's surgeries and hospital departments. The dosage doesn't even match so finding the right one is going to take more time, more tests, more visits to the medical establishments. Expense, expense, expense.
If I didn't know it before I know it now - big business cares only about money and holds the ordinary person in contempt. I also believe that the UK politicians are just as uncaring as big business. Our coalition government has already proved itself to be incosistent when it comes to austerity, and this adds to it.
Meanwhile, what am I supposed to do? I will try and get my GP to look at both health problems, but I believe he will be more interested in pushing this synthetic insulin.
The sweetener Aspartame has been known to cause a lot of health problems worldwide. Its name suggests it uses Aspartic Acid. Could this also be genetically engineered? It is difficult to discover but I will keep looking. Meanwhile, don't drink soda pop (as the Americans like to call it) for at least 99% of brands use aspartame instead of sugar, along with other sweeteners, and they are just as bad for you as too much sugar, possibly worse. Could it be that the aspartame has been genetically engineered as well and the genetic changes are what has caused so many health problems, even for pilots?
Let us say, I consider this a possibility and if it is the case then I despair for my future.
The insulin is supposed to be faster acting for the first part of it and then a slower release version covers the rest of the time. I have found I am wanting to eat more, my stomach is growling a greaty deal suggesting I am hungry but my blood sugar levels are high. I have woken up in the middle of the night with a headache several times, and my breath smells terrible now. I am also severly constipated again which is something I always associated with a poor thyroid function. I also have problem swallowing and have had that happening even more this week. Could it be that I am slightly allergic to the medication that I have been taking for years and this is one of the side effects, or could it be something else. I will certainly be trying to persuade my GP to look at this further, although he seems to laid back to give me confidence he will.
It is known that insulin helps a person gain weight so this will certainly not help me lose it. I have tried another product supposed to be for diabetics who wish to lose weight, and instead I gained it, had oedema, my blood sugar levels went up not down, and I could only take it by breaking it up and putting it into a jam sandwich - not very nice.
Has any other country had the same message for diabetics? Has human insulin been removed from other places already or is this still to come? I would appreciate any response on this subject. Thanks.
BTW If I haven't already mentioned it, my husband is also Diabetic now, but he is not as yet on insulin, only gliclacide.