New Delhi: Dr Alvin C Powers, President of American Diabetes Association, was recently in India to co-inaugurate ‘International Diabetes Update’ 2017, which highlighted many advances in diabetes therapy and how to use these advances to improve the lives of people with diabetes. During his presence at the event, Dr. Alvin C Powers shared with ETHealthworld insights on latest advances in drug and technologies in diabetes care. An edited excerpt:
New Technology in Diabetes
Insulin infusion devices or insulin pumps are now being coupled with devices that frequently measure the blood glucose level without a finger prick (or with a very few finger pricks).
New Drugs in Diabetes
New types of diabetes drugs are mainly for use in type-2 diabetes. In addition to drugs like metformin and DPP-IV inhibitors that are widely used, there are now drugs that reduce the blood glucose in other ways such as promoting the excretion of glucose in the urine. There are also new types of insulin that act more rapidly or last longer than those currently in use.
Research in Pancreatic Islets
New findings help in understanding how the human pancreatic islet, which produces several hormones like insulin and glucagon, works and how it is destroyed in type-1 diabetes or becomes dysfunctional in type-2 diabetes. For example, we now know of many individuals with type-1 diabetes who continue to take a small amount of insulin dosage for many years after the onset of diabetes.
Current Ways to Optimize Insulin Replacement
Continuous glucose monitoring allows the individual with diabetes to monitor his or her glucose level and then adjust the insulin dose. If not perfect, this gives a person with diabetes, especially type-1 diabetes, the ability to regulate the blood glucose and better avoid hypoglycemia or low blood glucose.