Investigational Inhaled Insulin May Offer Diabetes
Patients a New Way to Take Their Insulin in the Future:
Medical Research Study Underway in Dallas to Determine if an
Investigational Inhaled Insulin is an Effective Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is the sixth-leading cause of death related to disease in the United States. Type 2 diabetes is a disorder of the metabolism, in which the body cannot effectively use the insulin it makes. Over 18.2 million Americans have diabetes. However, over five million are undiagnosed. Diabetes contributed to 213,062 deaths in 2000. A medical research study is now underway in Dallas to evaluate the effectiveness of an investigational inhaled insulin in controlling HbA1c levels when used with other diabetes medications. The study will also examine whether specific dosing levels of the inhaled insulin will allow participants to reach target blood sugar levels. The investigational inhaled insulin has been studied in more than 3,500 patients, some for more than seven years. “The development of inhaled insulin allows us to introduce insulin treatment earlier in the course of the disease, and reduce complications earlier in the disease,” said Sam Miller, M.D., director and owner of the S.A.M. Clinical Research Center in San Antonio, Texas.
The American Diabetes Association emphasizes that the disease is a “silent” killer because many of its symptoms are not regarded as serious. The warning signs that everyone should be aware of are: frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability, and blurry vision. Doctors state that it is important to realize that diabetes is a manageable disease. Exercise, good nutrition, frequent blood sugar testing, and regular monitoring of medication are all important to control the disease and to lead a normal, active life.
Traditionally, insulin therapy has been used to treat type 2 diabetes patients only after lifestyle changes and oral medications do not sufficiently control blood glucose levels. New research is challenging this treatment approach. According to a 2004 review article in the American Journal of Medicine, adding insulin earlier can help individuals control their blood glucose levels and reduce their risk of complications from the disease.
“A lot of patients think this is the last resort medicine and you would only use it after you have failed all others. Use of insulin early could control the disease and prevent complications,” said Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D., of The Whittier Institute for Diabetes in La Jolla, Calif.