Diabetes has for long been a slowly building epidemic in India. Recent studies have shown that there are around 62 million diabetics in India, almost 7% of our adult population. India has been labelled as the diabetic capital of the world and, believe me, the future looks far worse.
Diabetes is a silent killer known to predispose to many conditions affecting the heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves and the circulation. While there have been many medications like Metformin, OSU, acarbose, gliptins, this blog is about the new kid on the block-"The Flozins".
While most diabetes medication work by generating more insulin or making its use better, the flozins do not have anything to do with insulin. Our kidneys tend to store glucose with the help of SGLT2 (Sodium-glucose cotransporter) receptors. The flozins, also known as SGLT2 inhibitors, inhibit this process and helps our body lose glucose in urine. As it affects the sodium-glucose cotransporter in the kidneys, it also helps the body to lose salt (sodium) and thus also helps in reducing the Blood pressure.Flozins also have other beneficial effects like weight loss since our body loses calories, better glycemic control and reduction in cardiovascular risk. While there are many benefits there are also some adverse effects with the use of Flozins. Predominantly, because of glycosuria, there is an increased risk of mycotic infections in females and uncircumcised males. And also, since there is osmotic diuresis, it also causes electrolyte imbalances, orthostatic hypotension, dehydration and the risk of ketoacidosis.
Finally, Flozins or SGLT2 inhibitors are a new insulin-independent drugs which block reabsorption of glucose in the nephron and thus induce glycosuria and reduce blood glucose concentrations. They also have an added advantage of being able to be used as monotherapy or as adjuvant therapy for treatment of early, late or extremely resistant type 2 diabetes mellitus.
While Diabetes is a rapidly growing menace to the society, let's hope that more new medications arise and more emphasis is given on prevention of diabetes. I end my blog with a quote of Gautam Buddha, ' "Every human being is the author of his own health or disease." May the force be with us in this fight against diabetes.