How painkillers are increasing obesity and diabetes risk

Painkillers may be adding to the health challenges we are facing as human.

Recently in a new research, it has been revealed that patients who take painkillers with medication for heart disease, stroke or diabetes are 95% more likely to become obese.

This is because the sedative drugs make people inactive and affect their metabolism resulting in obesity.

Researchers from the University of Newcastle, London analysed 133,401 people taking drugs for diabetes, heart disease or stroke.

Of which, 7,423 participants were also prescribed medication, including opioids, for chronic pain for conditions such as migraines and lower-back discomfort.

The participants were asked about their smoking status, alcohol intake, activity levels and average hours of sleep a night.

According to the study a large number of opioid drugs have been found to cause obesity, very high risk waist circumference and elevated blood pressure in people taking drugs for heart disease, stroke or diabetes.

These drugs were found to be: Morphine sulphate tablets; Tramadol; Paracetomol + Tramadol; Oramorph; Co-codamol; Codydramol (paracetamol + dihydrocodeine); Fentanyl patch; and Buprenorphine.

Also it is seen that probably a cause of the two-way relationship between kidney disease and diabetes is urea. This is because the nitrogen-containing waste product in blood comes from the breakdown of protein in foods.

Kidneys normally remove urea from the blood, but it can build up when kidney function slows down.

The findings are significant because urea levels can be lowered through medication, diet and other means, thereby allowing for improved treatment and possible prevention of diabetes.

"We have known for a long time that diabetes is a major risk factor for kidney disease, but now we have a better understanding that kidney disease, through elevated levels of urea, also raises the risk of diabetes," said the study's senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University. "When urea builds up in the blood because of kidney dysfunction, increased insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion often result."


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