Health Watch - Diabetes: A Cure?

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This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about research into possible treatments for diabetes. This has been considered a disease that can be managed but never entirely cured – until some exciting research results at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Diabetes occurs when the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are destroyed, and it’s treated with injections of insulin to help manage blood sugar levels. But researchers found that suppressing the action of one hormone eliminates the need for insulin. The hormone, glucagon, helps prevent low blood sugar levels in healthy people, but in diabetics, levels of this hormone are too high and trigger the liver to release too much glucose into the bloodstream.

Dr. Roger Unger, a UT Southwestern diabetes researcher, says that since this restores blood sugar management to normal, it could be considered a cure. More research is needed before this treatment is available for humans, but it shows great promise.

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February 2011


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