Friday, June 24, 2011

Cure for Type 2 diabetes?

Scientists at Newcastle University, in the UK say they have found a way to cure type II diabetes. Here's a quick, basic refresher for those who are not sure what the difference is between type 1 and type 2.

Type 1:

Usually diagnosed in young children. Pancreas no longer makes the amount of insulin necessary to control blood sugar. (Usually causes blood sugar levels to spike, causing damage to small vessels in they eyes, kidneys, etc)

Type 2:

Usually diagnosed in obese people. The body is no longer produces enough insulin to control the levels of glucose in the blood, this is different than type 1, because it is not necessarily the production of insulin that is affected, it is the receptors for insulin become desensitized to insulin. Much attention and research has been given to type II, because the US has seen its population become more obese in the last few decades.

The scientists are claiming to have cured type 2 diabetes by prescribing a strict no-carb, 600 calorie diet of low-starch vegetables and diet drinks for eight weeks. They are claiming that seven of the eleven in the treatment group had no symptoms at the conclusion of the trial.

For some reason, they seem astonished that with weight loss, their type 2 patients no longer need drugs to control their symptoms. As I learned about type 2 it seems intuitive to me that with weight loss, the dependence on drugs would decrease. I know that physiology is very complex, but sometimes there can be simple cures. Lose weight, cure your type 2 diabetes. Go figure.

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