Insulin injection was considered to be the last treatment option, used only after oral medications for diabetes have lost their effectiveness. However, recent studies have shown that insulin injection in the early stages of diabetes may be a better solution.
Insulin secretion and Type-2 Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is by far the most common form of this disease. In fact, around 90% of all cases of diabetes are type-2. That’s why we’re going to focus on this form of the disease today. Though diabetes cases vary from person to person, it all boils down to the fact that the cases are all brought on by the fact that the pancreas is unable to secrete adequate amounts of insulin, or if it does produce enough, the body builds up a resistance to it, rendering the insulin ineffective. Numerous health studies conducted over the years however, have pointed to the fact that a unique group of insulin secretagogues (substances promoting secretion) known as Sunfonylurea can actually help treat the disease. These compounds can communicate with beta-cells in the pancreas responsible for insulin secretion, and can basically tell them to produce more insulin. This increase in insulin helps to bring high blood glucose levels down, which in turn helps to promote health and longevity.
When Sulfonylurea treatment is not enough
As promising as Sulfonylurea treatment sounds, after numerous clinical studies, unfortunately, things do not end on a positive note. You see, in the early stages, beta-cells respond very positively to the treatment. They work very well, they produce and secrete greater levels of insulin, and things seem to be working very well. However, after a couple of years, it is very common for the formerly healthy beta-cells to begin showing signs of fatigue and deterioration. This in turn means that they become less-effective at lowering blood glucose levels and keeping things stable. This means that medications will need to be used to stabilize blood glucose levels, and eventually insulin injections also look to be inevitable. So how does this happen? Well, to put things simply, when you stimulate the beta-cells with the Sulfonylurea, although it helps them to do their jobs, it also leads to physiological stress, which ironically causes the cells to become damaged, fatigued, and to eventually die off. Beta-cell mass is then reduced drastically, which results in a lack of insulin, and thereby resulting in an insulin deficiency. Now the patient is unable to control their blood glucose levels.
So, what does this tell us? Well, it shows us that treating Type-2 Diabetes using Sulfonylurea treatments may not be advisable. Instead, experts recommend looking for ways of regulating blood glucose levels and keeping the beta-cells fit and healthy. They concluded that insulin injections in the early stages of the disease could be a viable option. The reasoning behind this is that it is believed that injecting the insulin will basically give the beta-cells a chance to relax. The beta cells, that previously were overworked, will no longer need to work to produce the insulin because it is being injected instead. This gives the beta cells a chance to recover. They are still healthy and function, so they still do a job and cover what the insulin injections can’t cover. This theory is backed up by scientific evidence. In one study, patients recently diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes were given insulin injections for between 2 and 4 weeks. It was found that the insulin helped to reverse the symptoms of the disease, and in some cases, complete remission was observed.
How else can diabetes be reversed?
Any treatment options which are designed to reduce beta cell stress will help to prevent premature death of the beta cells. Now, while compounds that can stimulate insulin secretion rates may be initially beneficial, as previously mentioned, these treatment options do not last forever. Insulin injections however, especially in early onset diabetes, is a very viable option to consider. On top of that however, a healthy lifestyle consisting of exercise, healthy food, and healthy lifestyle habits, is certainly recommended.