Methotrexate lowers blood glucose levels
A good read on Arthritis titled Autoimmune disorders published HERE made me write this blog out of personal and shared experiences. As I developed mild to medium arthritis like symptoms, my rheumatologist recommended Enbrel followed by Remicade. Due to lack of insurance support for Enbrel, which does not require hospitalization I was required to switch to the later. Life was good with my response to both the medications. However, I did not realize that long term effects of biologics will bring down your immune system.
After procrastinating for a long time, the doctors finally prescribed Methotrexate despite the type-1 diabetes for almost 12 years. The important aspect was to monitor my liver and kidney function each quarter. Unlike cancer treatments that use Methotrexate in high doses, I was on a significantly smaller dose which was increased by half after the first month. As life moved on, I realized that I was experiencing hypoglycemia every once in a while and was even more surprised that my exercise regime was also lacking consistence. Instead of a 6 day workout schedule, I was hitting the 4 day a week workout bout that was not so fancy. Just yoga, breathing (pranayama) and brisk walking.
The essence is not about how many calories I was burning which however was not intense as it used to be. My insulin intake never changed and as I consulted a diabetologist, he was not surprised that the lowering of blood glucose was because of Methotrexate. While I prefer not to glorify Methotrexate which has equal side effects as biologics do, I was definitely benefitted from an economic front which removed my dependency on expensive biologics as well as the long term side effects they promise.
Interestingly a chemical analogue of folic acid called aminopterin developed by Yellapragada Subbarao was further researched by Sidney Farber to conclude a remission like effect in certain types of leukemia effecting children. More on Methotrexate can be found HERE.