I picked up a pamphlet at my Endocrinologist’s office today that discusses the process of getting children screened for autoantibodies. These markers can signify the development of Type 1 diabetes up to ten years before it takes hold. This fascinates and terrifies me in the same breath. I can find out if my children are prone to developing the disease I’ve survived for 16 years, but how will I handle the news if one of my children returns a positive result for having the markers of Type 1 diabetes?
The following letter to the editor asks Diabetes Health subscribers to share their experiences with Symlin. If you use Symlin, please tell us about it in the “Comments” section. Have you had more success in managing your diabetes with Symlin? How has your insurance company treated you regarding your prescription cost?
Insulin has a companion, and it's called amylin. Amylin is a small hormone that is released along with insulin by the beta cells of the pancreas in response to a meal. When people are insulin-deficient, they are amylin-deficient as well. Amylin wasn't even discovered until 1970, and it was not until the 1990s that scientists began to figure out what amylin does. But they now know that it partners with insulin to help control blood sugar levels, each in its own way:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved pre-filled pens for administering Symlin, which was previously available only in vials. The SymlinPen 60 delivers 15, 30, 45, or 60 micrograms per dose.
Symlin, or pramlintide, is synthetic amylin, a natural hormone that
slows stomach emptying and leads to a feeling of fullness. Currently
Symlin is used to dampen blood sugar rises in people with diabetes,
but it's showing potential as a weight loss drug as well, according
to a recent study.
As many of us know to our dismay, the desire to chow down fatty,
sugary food can be very strong indeed. In a recent six-week study of
88 obese, non-diabetic men and women, Symlin, a synthetic hormone
currently used to dampen diabetic blood sugar swings, was found to
dampen those very desires.
I recently had the privilege of interviewing Ginger Graham, the CEO who led Amylin during the launch of its two first-in-class medicines, Byetta and Symlin. A fascinating woman with a very personal leadership style, she had the following to say about her past achievements and her future hopes.
On March 16, 2005, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of San Diego, California,
announced it had received FDA approval for Symlin (pramlintide acetate)
injections to be used in conjunction with insulin to treat diabetes.
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