Although researchers have studied diabetes for many years there is no cure for diabetes. However, in the last few years there has been an explosion of options for treating type 2 diabetes which affects more than 21 million people in the United States. Several new diabetes medications with new mechanisms of action and benefits are now available and offer patients more options. Patients are no longer limited to metformin, sulfonylureas, or insulin as options for diabetes treatment. Here are some of the advancements in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Prevention Of Diabetes
Diet and exercise are the best approach for preventing type 2 diabetes in people with risk factors for diabetes. However, metformin has been shown to prevent diabetes in people with pre-diabetes.
The 2014 ADA guidelines state metformin may be appropriate for patients with pre-diabetes, especially in persons with specific risk factors. These risk factors include:
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a large clinical study that examined whether weight loss through diet and exercise or the use of metformin prevented or delayed the onset of type 2 diabetes. It took place in 27 clinical centers in the United States and included 3,234 participants. The participants were randomly divided into lifestyle modification intervention, metformin intervention, placebo, and troglitazone groups. Metformin reduced the development of diabetes by 31 percent. However, weight loss through diet and exercise was more effective, reducing the development of diabetes by 58 percent. The 2014 ADA guidelines note that metformin may be appropriate for some persons with pre-diabetes, but emphasize that metformin does not replace lifestyle modifications.
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