Jewels Doskicz, RN, is a freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. She and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
Improvements have been made in the process of diagnosing type 2 diabetes, but research also suggests that we should be concerned about earlier and more aggressive treatment protocols for better health outcomes.
By adding insulin during the early stages of treatment, researchers have noted improvements in insulin resistance and insulin production in those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. For some people, it has resulted in diabetes remission for up to a full year.
Your experience is unique
Everyone with type 2 diabetes has their own diagnosis story and individualized treatment plan. Your diabetes may vary from your neighbor’s.
Diagnosing type 2 diabetes is not always a cut and dried process. Many people fall into the gray zone of prediabetes, and are only given a diet and exercise plan. If there is poor mentoring and monitoring of progress, diabetes may develop under the radar.
The diagnostic process can be slow or misleading. Diabetes can be missed altogether—for years.
Will insulin help you now?
Researchers studied patients who were diagnosed within the previous seven years with type 2 diabetes—not only those who were recently diagnosed.
And results are nothing to sneeze at. At week 48 in the study, 56 percent of the participants remained in remission with a hemoglobin A1c under 6.5, without taking diabetes medications.
Early intervention is the key to the “likelihood of inducing sustained drug-free diabetes remission, particularly within the first two years after diagnosis,” states Diabetes in Control. And altering the process of type 2 diabetes may delay or prevent side effects. In turn, that could reduce healthcare expenses.
It may only be a short-term fix, but it is exciting news. Every day that is virtually diabetes-free is a gift.
Ask your healthcare provider if the short-term use of insulin may have benefits for you. Research about temporary, intensive insulin treatment has also been conducted on people with longstanding type 2 diabetes, and they had positive results as well.
Insulin treatment early on could lay the groundwork for lasting gains in diabetes control.
- Longstanding improvements in fasting blood sugars
- The ability for some to control their diabetes by diet alone or with oral medications
- May also play an important role in decreasing diabetes complications
As oral insulin enters the picture, which Novo-Nordisk has been working on for seven years, we can look forward to better outcomes that are made easier and more convenient. Injecting insulin requires education, safety protocols, and training.
We all know how to swallow a pill. It is easy to forecast that any reluctance to use prescribed insulin will likely subside when oral insulin hits the marketplace.
And this next-generation pharmaceutical will be a “potentially transformational breakthrough,” Krogsgaard Thomsen told Bloomberg News. It isn’t just for blood sugars; it may also be effective in “reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths in diabetics by 26 percent.”
Thomsen forecasts that oral insulin may be available to the public by 2020.
Would you try intensive insulin therapy for type 2 diabetes? Share your thoughts by commenting below.