Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the world, type 2 diabetes being the most common form. Researchers and Scientists have been constantly working towards development in this area and figuring out the better treatment methods for diabetes. There are new ways to control the disease now, experts are learning every day about how it works and developing new medicines.
Earlier, research in this area was concentrated towards transplant of cells in pancreas which produce insulin, the islet cells. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system of the affected person destructs these cells. As a result, there is not enough insulin in the patient’s body to guide the glucose, broken down from the food to its intended place i.e. the other organs and muscles. Now the course of research has redirected towards learning about this immune attack on the islet cells and mitigate it. Insulin was recommended mostly for type 1 diabetes, but with the latest diabetes treatment developments, doctors have increasingly started recommending it to type 2 cases as well.
Another thought process among the researchers, is to regenerate the islet cells, which will help maintain the insulin level in the body. Researchers are also attempting to re-engineer other cells to produce insulin. Especially in type 1 diabetes cases, it is believed that islet cells can be regrown.
Much focus has been on finding the root cause of type 2 diabetes. One of the theories involve inflammation. Researchers are also investigating the malfunction of islet cells in this type of diabetes. Is it hereditary? And how can in some of the cases, islets produce more insulin to compensate for the lack of insulin and fight diabetes for a long time, while in other cases, islets fail to supply enough insulin?
There has been significant progress made in understanding of complications in treatment of diabetes as well. Prolonged exposure to high level of glucose may result in damage to the blood vessels and nerves throughout the body.
There are many drugs that have come up as a result of the latest advancements in the current treatments for diabetes. New types of insulin have been launched in the market, Injectable or inhaled ones etc. All injectable drugs can be taken with a syringe and a needle. Many other hormone mimicking medicines have been introduced recently, that help body regulate the blood sugar in a better way. There are 2 classes of these medicines as mentioned below:
- GLP-1 agonists drugs, ideal for treatment of type 2 diabetes.
- In both type 1 and type 2, Amylin analogs drug can be of help. This a great alternative to insulin.
Oral Drugs is the other category of drugs besides injectable ones and has been the prominent choice for treatment of type 2 diabetes. Following two drugs have been newly added to the list of beneficial oral drugs for treatment of type 2 diabetes:
- DDP-4 inhibitors, help produce more insulin without causing low blood sugar problems.
- SGLT inhibitors, they get rid of excess sugar in the urine.
It is recommended that you consult your doctor and go for a treatment with knowing the benefits and side–effects of the drugs that you intend to take.