This drug helps type 1 diabetes patients stop relying on insulin, study finds

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A New Hope for Type 1 Diabetes Patients

Researchers from the University at Buffalo have found that a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes could potentially revolutionize the treatment for type 1 diabetes.

The study, involving only 10 participants, showed that the drug semaglutide, known by the trade names Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus, could dramatically reduce or even get rid of the need for daily insulin shots.

The Promising Results

The study focused on 10 patients who had recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. These patients initially had extremely high average blood sugar levels, well above the recommended safe range.

Doctors treated these patients with a low dose of semaglutide while also giving them insulin. As the study went on, the semaglutide dose was increased and the insulin was gradually reduced.

Remarkably, within just three months, the patients no longer needed their mealtime insulin shots. And by six months, seven out of the ten patients didn’t need any insulin at all.

During the year-long study, patients’ average blood sugar levels also came down to a much safer range.

Paresh Dandona, the senior author of the study, said, “If these findings hold true in larger studies, it could be the most significant change in treating type 1 diabetes since insulin was discovered in 1921.”

Applying Type 2 Diabetes Drugs to Type 1

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time researchers have considered using drugs for type 2 diabetes to treat type 1.

The same team had earlier explored the use of liraglutide, another type 2 diabetes drug, for treating type 1 diabetes.

The rationale behind this is that many people with type 1 diabetes still have some ability to produce insulin, especially when they are first diagnosed.

Semaglutide works by encouraging the body to release its own insulin, which is why researchers thought it might work for type 1 diabetes patients as well.

Side Effects and Next Steps

The study wasn’t without its drawbacks. Patients reported some side effects like nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss, which led to weight loss in some cases.

However, weight loss isn’t necessarily a bad thing since about half of type 1 diabetes patients in the U.S. are overweight or obese.

While the study was small, the results are highly encouraging. Researchers are now planning a larger study to see if these impressive results can be replicated in a bigger group over a longer period.

If the findings hold up, this could mean fewer daily injections for people with type 1 diabetes and a much easier way to manage the condition.

So, there’s a lot of hope and excitement around what these results could mean for millions of people living with type 1 diabetes.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about new drugs to treat diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and heavy cannabis use may decrease the incidence of diabetes.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about the normal blood sugar for people with diabetes, and results showing Vitamin E may help prevent Parkinson’s disease.

The research findings can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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