Diabetes Treatments: As with any well-researched disease, there are treatment options for every type of diabetes. We can treat type 1 diabetes with insulin injections. We can treat type 2 with insulin or in other ways. And gestational diabetes usually disappears after birth.
There are more than 400 million people who have diabetes worldwide. Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent disease. About 90% of the diabetic population has type 2 diabetes. The numbers are constantly increasing, and diabetes actually doubles the chances of death.
There are more than 4 million deaths caused by diabetes (or resulted from the complications). Treatment consists mainly of insulin shots.
However, insulin injections are quite unpleasant, especially since they need to be done frequently and many times a day. However, there is a solution for this issue – the insulin pill.
Researchers have just announced that the pill has reduced blood sugar levels in over 100 patients with type 2 diabetes.
This is a very good result and it makes us all enthusiastic about the future of treatment options. Scientists used to believe that insulin would simply not survive in the stomach.
Digestive juices would decompose it before the needed amount could reach the bloodstream. This is why injecting insulin was the only way – up until today!
New research results have managed to prove that within the right conditions and in the right doses, insulin can actually survive.
If these results will keep showing up in early trials, then we will find a decent basis for tablet treatment. We have already found the correlation, now we just need to find the causal relation. If we are able to do this, then we can absolutely replace insulin injections with insulin tablets.
The insulin pill would be more convenient, less painful and could possibly cause fewer complications as well.
Researchers also believe that the insulin pill might actually be better for the patient’s health. The tablets imitate the pathway of natural insulin.
Natural insulin is able to go directly through the liver before being filtered into the bloodstream. Imitating its natural path would only be beneficial to patients. Or at least, this is what the studies show us.
Even though they have not yet published the research, we need to have faith that this innovation will soon be on the market. The study has proved numerous times how oral insulin works and is worth the investment. Now they just need to be approved.
The insulin trip works, thanks to its protective layer. Also, the tablets contain a high enough dose of insulin so that it can safely reach the bloodstream. Even though part of it is destroyed in the stomach, there is still a pretty safe quantity entering the bloodstream.
And unlike injections, these can actually be administered as often as the patient feels like taking them. They are not difficult to take – swallowing is way easier than injecting.
Type 2 diabetes will not allow the beta cells to regulate blood sugar levels on their own since they do not produce enough insulin. The condition is correlated with an unhealthy lifestyle and may occur if the individual is over eating.
This is why obesity is also highly correlated with this kind of disease. The patients have to rely on injections if they want to survive; otherwise, they get into a coma and never return.
The researchers have tried this for 28 days. During the trial, over 100 patients with type 2 diabetes were administered these pills. They were in fact no longer properly responding to the injections they were given.
This can happen over time. A patient can increase his tolerance to the medication he is given, in which case there is not much to be done. Or was. Because today, we have found another cure for diabetes that will save even the unresponsive patients.
There were 2 control groups. One was given the actual insulin pills, while the other was given a placebo. Their glucose levels were monitored during the night, and the results were indeed astonishing.
Those who had received the pill had a reduction of about 6% in their sugar level, which was actually quite a promising result. There are no noticed side effects. If the blood sugar levels drop too low, there are also no issues. The results of the trial are also posted online, and our young scientists are only waiting for the approval of others.
There will also be clinical trials and they will start pretty soon. If the results turn positive, which they most probably will, we will have an approved and safe alternative to the insulin injections.
Even though they believe that the insulin pills might actually be more effective for patients, we do not yet know anything about their effect on type 1 Diabetes. Further clinical studies need to be done. But the researchers will be focusing only on type 2 for a while, at least until they get approved.
The difference between the 2 types of diabetes is that type 1 is an autoimmune condition, where the patient’s own immune system attacks the beta cells. Beta cells are located in the pancreas and their role is to produce insulin for the patient. Once they die, it is quite obvious that insulin can no longer be produced.
But there hope for those diabetics too! Nowadays, researchers are also working on stem organs. And one of those organs can imitate the pancreas quite efficiently. Although we are not sure when it will be officially released, the tiny pancreas is ‘under construction’.
All in all, the future is not that dark for diabetics. In fact, it’s looking up. With several advances in nowadays’ technology, as well as a continuous study of the disease, the future is actually quite bright!
We are far away from finding a cure, but continuous advancement in the industry means that one day, maybe we will have a cure. Until then, diabetics can only hope, and not forget to take their shots – or pills!
Diabetes is a serious disease; it is not to be taken lightly. If you find out that you have any of the symptoms, no matter how mild, immediately see a doctor. If you have diabetes, take proper care of your feet, do not forget your insulin shots, do not overeat. And last, but not least, have hope.
The advancement in technology is quite obvious. The future is looking up for you. In fact, people with diabetes have a longer expectancy of life than they had 50 years ago. And with the new inventions of today, one can only hope that a cure can be found.
Until a cure is found, however, there is not much we can do besides wait. We must rejoice over the small victories, and the insulin pill is one of them. Godspeed to those researchers, and may the odds be ever in our favor.