> Diabetes Research > Texas Doctors debunk Insulin Myths

Texas Doctors debunk Insulin Myths

Weight gain, low blood sugar, and low overall quality of life—these are the major reasons why many type 2 diabetic patients often fear insulin treatment. A recent study however found hat these fears are largely unfounded.

“Insulin should not be viewed as a treatment of last resort,” said lead study investigator Dr. Ildiko Lingvay and colleagues from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Dr. Lingvay said that based on their experience, insulin can be used safely and effectively as first-line treatment for newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic patients, and that insulin treatment is associated with high rates of patient satisfaction and compliance.

More than 20 million Americans have type 2 diabetes. Obesity and sedentary lifestyle increase the risk for the disease. Upon diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, doctors often prescribe metformin to regulate blood sugar levels and this would be followed by other agents that may control the blood sugar.

The University of Texas Southwestern team tried insulin-based therapy as an initial treatment option for newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics. They compared the rates of compliance, satisfaction, effectiveness, safety, and quality of life among 58 patients, who were randomly allocated to standard triple drug therapy or insulin plus metformin.

“After 3 years, patients under insulin plus metformin therapy had fewer hypoglycemic events, gained less weight, and reported high satisfaction levels with the insulin,” the researchers reported. “All of the patients in the insulin group said that they would be willing to continue this form of treatment after the study.

The investigators noted that insulin is the most effective, blood sugar–lowering agent in our treatment armamentarium. “With the new devices that we’re using, giving yourself an insulin shot is not much harder than taking pills,” Dr. Lingvay added in a university-issued statement.

Dr. Lingvay concluded that insulin is a safe, effective, well-tolerated and well-accepted alternative for long-term treatment of type 2 diabetes, even from the first day of diagnosis.

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