CTV News

5/8/2012

A new study by Toronto researchers on an experimental way to treat type 2 diabetes shows it may cause temporary remission of the disease in up to 75 per cent of patients.

The experimental treatment involves having non-insulin-dependent, type 2 diabetics take four shots of insulin per day for one month.

According to Dr. Bernard Zinman, the director of the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes and lead researcher of the study, by giving these diabetics concentrated levels of insulin early on in their disease, their pancreas, in effect, gets "a break."

"The diabetes, in essence, goes away because their own pancreas now can make enough insulin," he tells CTV News.

Patients develop diabetes when their pancreas can't produce enough insulin to lower blood sugar levels after meals. While medications can temporarily boost insulin production, many type 2 diabetics eventaully need to begin a lifetime of daily insulin shots. Over time, patients with the disease can go on to suffer from a range of complications including blindness, heart disease, kidney problems and nerve damage.

In Zinman's study, after the month on concentrated doses, patients then take a test medication called liraglutide to see if they can maintain the remission. 

The period of remission may eventually wear off, Zinman says, and so he sees the possibility of a future "top-up" treatment, which would last another month.

While the remission period can vary in patients, the prospect of improving pancreatic function is an exciting development in diabetes research, said Dr. Ravi Retnakaran, co-researcher of the study.

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Tags: diabetes, insulin, liraglutide, treatment, type 2

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Unfortunately, this is a terrible misrepresentation of the situation. It has been known for quite some time that initiating insulin therapy can relieve patients whose T2 diabetes has overwhelmed their beta cells. And that with changes in diet,exercise and medication, those patients can obtain better control than patients who did not initiate with insulin. Liraglutide is in fact the name of Victoza. Suggesting that patients who take a medication like Victoza and control their diabetes are not in remission, they are in control.

By that definition, since I control my diabetes with insulin, then I am in remission.

I was gonna say about the same there bsc. But then again I should keep my mouth shut b/c I'm a Type 1 myself

Many T-2's come in with very elevated A1C's and the damage is already done. Moreover every T-2 is different on their insulin resistance. I agree with the insulin therapy but question the Victoza. Victoza helped me but eventually it didn't work that great anymore telling me that the stimulation of the pancreas was not working as when I was first on it.

The way I see it you would be setting someone up for a let down. I agree with the theory but don't see it as practical. Knowing what I know about myself and most but not all T2's after the reprieve is over they will be back to square one and maybe a little more discouraged. If someone will use the time gained to get their diet and lifestyle in order then this strategy might work but I don't see it happening with most T2's.

Gary S

The key here alluded to is that once system but back in regulation; it is critical to remove the condition causing the excess glucose condition saturating the skeletal muscle cells and that means dropping calorie input and upping exercise.

this has been found in bariatric surgery cases, lap band and starvation diets.
Folks coming off these corrective measures need to have tight diet of 1200 calories and up exercise. No snacking or sneaking extra calories allowed.

The statement "but not all T2s" is unfortunate but probably accurate given all the bum advice out there and the failing to generally accept low glycemic diets/mediterranean diets and emphasize sufficient hearty exercise. Why on April 12, 2012; I finally see joint statement from ADA-EASD that:

Any rise in glycemia is the net result of glucose influx exceeding glucose outflow from the plasma compartment. In the fasting state, hyperglycemia is directly related to increased hepatic glucose production. In the postprandial state, further glucose excursions result from the combination of insufficient suppression of this glucose output and defective insulin stimulation of glucose disposal in target tissues, mainly skeletal muscle.

No kidding!

WE have/had idiotic food pyramids and suggested large calorie daily recommendations and fast food operations and portion size providing fare as though we were feeding the workers on the pharoah's tomb projects moving 2 ton stone blocks by hand and then wonder why we have problems. Our snack machines are all stuffed with high carb choices.

on top of all this we have an ancient hunter gatherer gene/digestion system that does not have excess energy balance tactics built in. Starvation prevention tactics are included in ancient body(muscles to energy; fat to energy).

i do agree it takes discipline and tough determination to hold on target on a tight diet, but the choices are clear.

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