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Early Intensive Treatment Can Slow Type 2 Diabetes Progress

Early Intensive Treatment Can Slow Type 2 Diabetes Progress

(epharmanews)- A new study suggests that early intensive treatment of type 2 diabetes can slow down the development of the disease by preserving the body's insulin-producing capacity.

To achieve that, scientists have suggested a new early intensive treatment plan, as was published in Diabetes Care. Dr. Ildiko Lingvay, assistant professor of internal medicine and author of the study explained: “We can potentially change the course of this prevalent disease, which would represent a breakthrough”

"The intensive treatment regimen we propose is different from the stepwise approach recommended in standard guidelines." She added.

In the United States, 8.3 percent of the population is diabetic. Studies suggest that this might actually double by 2025. "We believe that the stepwise approach exposes patients to long periods of high blood sugar, which leads to complications," Dr. Lingvay said.

"Unless dietary changes are significant and sustained long-term, diabetes is a progressive disease in which the body's ability to produce insulin declines."

She explained that the disease will be easier to manage if the patient can preserve insulin production. This study, conduct by the University of Texas Southwestern, showed that intensive treatment with insulin followed by one of two drug regimens was successful at maintaining a steady insulin-producing beta-cell function in the patient for three and a half years after diagnosis.

For this clinical trial, participants were divided randomly into two groups. They first had insulin and metformin (an anti-diabetes drug) treatment for three months. Then one of the groups took three types of diabetes medications daily, while the other continued the insulin and metformin treatment.

Dr. Lingvay said the study did not show that any single regimen worked better than another; both intensive treatment regimens were just as effective.

"The point is that whatever you choose, make sure it's intensive," she said. "We have shown that this preserves beta-cell function, and that's the key in changing the course of the disease."

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Prepared by: Hasan Zaytoon

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