Diabetes remains a global disease for which man is yet to find a solution. We have diabetes type 1 and type 2. In both, the levels of sugar in the blood remains high. The type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system of the body destroys the cells in the pancreas. This results in the inability of the body to produce insulin.
Use of insulin for diabetes treatment
The type 2 diabetes happens when the body develops resistance to the insulin or there is not enough insulin to convert all the sugar to energy. To treat the diabetic condition, they began to use insulin. Insulin found use for treating diabetes in the 1920s. The other method is to rectify the body conditions using medications.
Latest medicine for treating diabetes
Researchers have found a new compound called PGLP-1 which is the latest treatment for diabetes. This is an analogue of the gut incretin hormone glucagon-like-peptide 1 (GLP-1). The action of the GLP-1 is to increase the increase secretion, which it does by using similar pathways. The PGLP-1 helps protect the beta cells islets improve the conditions of insulin resistance, and enhance insulin production.
Though there are more than six types of GLP-1 analogues, the markers for both diabetes type 1 and type 2 improved only for PGLP-1. One of the primary ways the PGLP-1 lowers levels of blood sugar is by inhibiting the gluconeogenesis of blood sugar in which the non-carbohydrate sources such as fats and proteins are not converted to glucose. This prevention of the gluconeogenesis is done by increasing the expression of the key pathways of the energy balance known as AMPK.
Benefits of using PGLP-1
Drugs such as thiazolidinedione and metformin activates the AMPK. Thereby, the research has shown that the decrease in the AMPK expression is responsible for the elevated level of blood sugars. Naturally, activates the vicious cycle of gluconeogenesis. The researchers also noticed that there was an increase in the islet beta cell mass due to the new diabetes treatment using PGLP-1. They also noticed a preservation of the beta cells because they saw a higher level of C-peptide. The higher level of C-peptide also helps to decrease the occurrence of microvascular complications. In all, the PGLP-1 helps treat people with type 1 and those with type 2 diabetes.
Action of SGLTs
The action of the kidneys is to keep the glucose in your blood. When you pee, it filters the sugar and sends it back to the blood. Otherwise, it will go out with the pee. The kidney makes use of proteins known as sodium-glucose transporters (SGLTs). For those who already have diabetes type 2, the sugar levels in the blood is more and so you can use one of the medicines to pee out the sugar. When you have these tablets, the kidney will stop filtering the glucose and send the glucose out with the pee. Examples of these drugs are Canagliflozin, Dapagliflozin, and Empaglifozin. Since weight loss usually accompanies drop in sugar levels, the diabetic patients will see some weight loss. This might be as much as 3-5 kilograms in six to seven months. However, the diabetes latest treatment with SGLT2 has some side effects one of which is that you could develop excessive blood acids. This condition is known as ketoacidosis. You might be hospitalized if the amount of acids becomes too high.
Downside of the medicines
Infections: One of the risks is that of yeast infection. The reason is that you have sugar in the nether regions. Women are more susceptible to yeast infections. Uncircumcised men have a higher chance of developing foreskin infections.
Dehydration: When you take these medications, you suffer mild to medium dehydration. This is especially true for elderly people who suffer from kidney disease. People who take diuretics are also susceptible. Diuretics are pills that make send out extra water through your pee. It is better to avoid taking SGLT2 pills.
Use of probiotics for diabetes treatment
In another development, researchers found they could reduce the glucose levels using a drug containing live bacteria. This new treatment for diabetes probiotic medicine worked by shifting the control of the synthesis of the blood sugar from the pancreas to the lower intestine. Rewiring the body in this manner helped to lower the blood sugar levels. This is the potential cure for diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. They discovered the action of the drug when they tested it on rats. However, it might take some time to make if workable for people and one may need other drugs in conjunction with this for it to work.
Researchers at the Cornell University, New York engineered a gut friendly bacterium known as lactobacillus. This secretes a peptide that releases insulin in the presence of food. The probiotic lactobacillus is used often to treat irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea, skin disorders, and Crohnâ€™s disease. They tested the rats for 90 days and found that the modified probiotic produced a positive effect in the control group. The rats that did not receive the modified probiotic had a glucose level that was 30% higher than the other group.
Positive action of the probiotic pills
This action of the modified probiotic happened because the cells of the upper intestine behaved like those of the pancreas. Rats administered with the probiotic pills started to behave more like non-diabetic rats. The key to it all was in the moving of the glucose control to the upper intestine from the pancreas. The rats began to manage their insulin well and did not need any more insulin.
There is hope now that they will be able to reverse diabetes. Diabetic patients can take a pill in the morning and then this will keep their condition under control. Treatment, of course, varies from individual to individual and one needs to find the balance in the treatment that is ideally suited for them.
The treatment using genetically engineered cells will take some time to come to fruition. However, once it does, it will become relevant for all diabetic patients regardless of whether they were type 1 or type 2. Presently, they were considering implants that one need not bother about for 3-4 months at a stretch.