A recent study shows that type 2 diabetes may be sent into temporary remission in 75% of the patients through a new treatment. The treatment developed by Toronto researchers involves taking insulin shots for a month.
Lead researcher of the study and director of Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes explained the way the new treatment works to CTV. The patient with type 2 diabetes is given 4 shots of insulin per day for one month, while the normal course involves daily insulin shots over an extended period of time. Dr.Zinman explains that by providing pancreas with concentrated insulin levels, the pancreas gets ‘a break’. After the one month, diabetes goes into remission since pancreas begins to make enough insulin. Following this treatment, the patient has to take medication for maintaining the remission. The remission period can vary in patients.
The treatment is temporary since the remission would ‘eventually wear off’. Dr. Zinman says that he ‘sees the possibility of a top up treatment lasting another one month.’
‘Improving pancreatic function is an exciting development in diabetes research’ says Dr. Ravi Retnakaran, co-researcher of the study.
Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels and pancreas produces insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to lower blood sugar levels. Even though there are medications to control glucose level in blood, patients eventually have to opt for insulin shots. Type 2 diabetes, over time, causes complications of heart disease, kidney problems, blindness and nerve damage.
The study has had a tremendous impact on the quality of life of those who have participated in the study. The Mount Sinai Hospital research team is expecting to get study results and safety data on the medication in a couple of years.
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