Many pain medications used in Western medicine are opiates, or narcotics, chemically similar to the opium used in other cultures. Medications such as codeine, Percodan, Lortabs, morphine, OxyContin, Percocet and others used for conditions such as diabetic neuropathy are related to opium. An article published in the journal Acta Medica in July 2011, might be something to consider if you or a loved one with Type 2 diabetes is considering taking opiates for pain. The study was performed at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran.
In Iran it is a widely held belief that opium helps to prevent diabetics from getting heart and blood vessel disease, and it is used for that purpose. Two hundred and twenty-eight opium users and 228 non-users, all with diabetes, were included in the study. Coronary artery disease was found to be higher in the users than in non-users. The researchers concluded there is evidence suggesting the use of opium increases the risk of coronary artery disease in people with diabetes.
Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.