Type 2 Diabetes – Does Taking Insulin Early In The Disease Help Recovery?
In Type 2 diabetes the usual indication for the administration of injectable insulin is glucose or blood sugar control in those people who are not responsive to oral anti-diabetic medications, as stated by Medline Plus. Insulin is a hormone which facilitates the transfer of sugar into individual body cells enabling glucose to be converted into usable energy.
In Type 2 diabetes there is resistance to insulin in the bloodstream reacting to the receptor sites on cell’s surfaces, therefore preventing the receptors designed to absorb glucose from reacting as they are meant to. More and more insulin is produced in an attempt to get the cells to allow sugar to enter. Eventually there is decreased insulin produced by the pancreas necessitating the use of external insulin sources. Insulin administration prevents sudden increases in blood sugar levels. And with more consistent control, acute and long-term complications of high blood sugar can be prevented. According to Medline Plus, insulin therapy by itself is not a cure for Type 2 diabetes. It is only used to give much tighter blood sugar control.
However, in several recent studies, insulin therapy begins to change the face of management of Type 2. It is now known that insulin therapy given early in the course of the disease can help improve remission in people suffering from this metabolic problem. In a study published in May 2008 by Lancet, it was shown that intensive insulin therapy in newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetics results in:
better function of their beta cells, the producers of insulin in the pancreas, and
better blood sugar control
resulting in the recovery of the person diagnosed with diabetes. In this study, 382 diabetics with ages ranging from twenty-five to seventy years old and with a blood sugar value ranging from 126 to 300 mg/dL (7 to 16.7mmmol/L) were recruited and randomly assigned either insulin administration or oral anti-diabetic medications. The anti-diabetic medications were stopped after normal blood sugar levels were achieved. These diabetics were then placed on lifestyle modifications consisting of regular physical exercise and diet.
Blood sugar levels were taken and recorded before and after the observational period of one year. After one year, the researchers noted the Type 2 diabetics who received insulin therapy had a better recovery rate compared to those who took the oral anti-diabetic medication. Thus, they concluded early intensive insulin therapy in newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetics have a higher chance of remission compared to those taking oral anti-diabetic medications.
The management of diabetes has been constantly evolving, especially during the last few years, With continued research and experimentation, the treatment for this metabolic problem just keeps improving. Sooner or later Type 2 diabetes management will not only be focused on blood sugar control. It is looking like In the future, there will be a real cure.