With tens of millions of American facing life with type 2 diabetes and many millions more at risk of the disease, scientists are scrambling to unravel novel treatments. The latest breakthrough could come from California's Salk Institute.
Erin lay on a bed in the emergency room, finally serious about getting help. Her second episode of diabetic ketoacidosis in a single year had sent her to the hospital shaking and vomiting. For the past seven years, she had been driven by one desire: to lose forty pounds. She refused to give herself her full dose of insulin, fearing weight gain. She hadn't seen her endocrinologist or checked her blood sugar for a year or two.
Tony Flores is a 50-year-old native of El Salvador who works as a construction foreman. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 12 years ago, after an eye doctor told him it would be a good idea to get his blood sugar checked. He recalls, "I did the test, and they got all freaked out and told me, ‘Oh my god, your A1C is at 12%. You have diabetes type 2. You've got to cut the sugar, you've got to stop drinking orange juice and soda."
Most type 2 meds work by increasing insulin production in one way or another. The extra insulin lowers blood sugar by ushering it out of your bloodstream and into your cells, where it may, unfortunately, make you fat. Wouldn't it be nice if instead, you could lower your high blood sugar by just flushing it right down the toilet?
Data from the massive ACCORD study on intensive blood sugar control shows that lowering blood sugar levels in people with longstanding type 2 diabetes to near-normal may delay the appearance of signs that point to damage to nerves, eyes, and kidneys, but does not stop their progression toward it.
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