When Will They Find a Cure for Diabetes? (Continued)
Examples of diabetes research:
The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) was a clinical study conducted from 1983 to 1993 by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). This study involved nearly 1,500 volunteers with type 1 diabetes from across the United States and Canada. The DCCT study showed that keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible slows the onset and progression of eye, kidney, and nerve diseases caused by diabetes, even if the person has a history of poor control. This study is the reason behind our target glucose goals. Did you ever wonder where did we get the fasting recommendation range of 70-120 mg/dl (3.89 - 6.67 mmol/l) and a 2 hour after meal recommendation of less than 150 mg/dl (8.33 mmol/l)? The DCCT! It very clearly showed the benefits of frequent glucose monitoring, insulin adjustments, and glucose control.
The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) was a 20-year trial which recruited over 5,100 patients with type 2 diabetes in England, Ireland, and Scotland. The study data suggests that one should aim for near-normal A1C levels (less than 7%) and blood pressure readings (less than 140/80 mmHg, although other studies now show an ideal blood pressure for people with diabetes is less than 130/80 mmHg). To achieve a target glucose level, this study showed that a combination of oral agents and insulin therapy may be required. It also documented that more than 30 percent of people with hypertension and diabetes will require three or more blood pressure medications. The UKPDS has shown that the complications of type 2 diabetes are not an inevitable outcome of a chronic disease, and that the risk can be reduced by appropriate therapy. Diabetes therapy is no longer mainly about glucose lowering per se, but about overall reduction in the risk factors for diabetic complications: blood pressure control, lipid management, and smoking cessation.
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) showed that people at high risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent (average of 15 pounds) of their body weight. This can be accomplished by eating healthier and getting 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. Oftentimes we mistakenly believe we have to vigorously exercise to prevent diabetes. This study showed that by going out for a 30 minute walk, 5 days a week, diabetes can be prevented, even in high risk cultures (reducing the incidence of diabetes by a whopping 58 percent). The DPP also studied the effects of using metformin, a diabetes pill, and the results showed a 31 percent lower incidence of getting diabetes. It proved exercise is the best medicine.
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NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...