In the Pipeline: Early Intermittent Insulin Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes – Medical News Bulletin

A clinical trial is currently recruiting eligible patients with type 2 diabetes to determine whether intermittent insulin therapy can preserve the functioning of the beta cells in the pancreas.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes either do not make enough insulin or their bodies do not properly respond to the insulin produced. Insulin, a hormone that helps the body control glucose levels in the blood, is produced and stored in beta cells of the pancreas. In type 2 diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas cease to work properly and do not produce enough insulin, resulting in an increase in blood glucose levels.

Insulin Therapy

While some individuals with type 2 diabetes can manage their blood glucose levels through diet and exercise, others require medications or insulin therapy. Insulin therapy aims to maintain levels of blood glucose within a specific range by injecting insulin into the body.

There are different insulin therapy regimens depending on the severity of the disease. Individuals generally start with a long-lasting shot of insulin before bedtime, but they may also take short-lasting shots of insulin immediately before or after meals. Apart from insulin injections, individuals may choose to use an insulin pump, which releases insulin into the body through a plastic tube under the abdomen. Taking multiple doses of insulin is an aggressive approach to treatment, called intensive insulin therapy.

Intermittent Insulin Therapy

Previous research studies have suggested that insulin injections for a few weeks may protect the beta cells in the body. This has allowed those with type 2 diabetes to maintain their blood sugar levels for several months without medication. However, this effect is only temporary.

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