SAN DIEGO — It’s been called the largest epidemic in human history. Not COVID – diabetes.
More than 37 million Americans are living with it right now, and more than 90 percent of those have Type 2 diabetes. Seven million people rely on a daily insulin shot to manage their condition.
Now, a breakthrough in the diabetes world may simplify the future of diabetes treatment.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing — needing insulin to treat diabetes can be difficult.
Forty-eight-year-old Chris Sheridan was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 20 years ago and has been checking his glucose levels every day for years, now.
“I had to give myself a shot every day,” he told Ivanhoe.
Chris has to remember to take his insulin while working on his Jeep, and then, he has to make sure he has it when he’s in the middle of nowhere.
But then Chris was offered to be part of a clinical trial that would allow him to take only one insulin shot a week.
Adult endocrinologist at Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, Athene Philis-Tsimikas, MD, explained, “It is taking the same molecule of insulin, a human insulin, a synthetic human insulin, but it's been altered a little bit and allows it to last longer in the body and get taken up a little bit slower.”
Dr. Philis-Tsimikas is part of the team leading an international study comparing the new once-weekly shot to the daily insulin shots.
“There was not only equal lowering of the blood sugar to an equivalent amount between the two groups, but there was actually greater lowering, better blood glucose control,” Dr. Philis-Tsimikas further explained.
This particular shot may give millions of people new hope in the new year.
“When you think about a once-weekly injection for people with diabetes, they're going from having to take 365 injections a year to only 52 times a year. And although this might not seem like a lot to you and me, to the person having to do the injection, it can be incredibly significant,” Dr. Philis-Tsimikas emphasized.
Novo Nordisk, in Denmark, created the once-weekly insulin shot. They plan to file for market approval in the United States, Europe, and China early next year. That means it could hit doctors’ offices by mid-2023.
If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Ann Sterling at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at email@example.com.
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