Research in the field of diabetes is continuing at a brisk pace the world over. Scientists continue to look for the exact causes and cure for this disease. For example scientists are looking at how our genes affect us and are identifying genetic markers for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This will help establish the correlation between our genetic make up and the progression of the disease. It will also enable the medical community to warn individuals who are at risk. Research is also underway to ward of diabetes related complications and many new drugs and drug delivery mechanisms are being constantly tested. Some of the new class of drugs that are being developed aim at stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin while other drugs are attempting to make our tissues more receptive to the insulin produced by our body.
Today several oral medicines are available that do not require patients to take insulin. People with type 2 diabetes are major beneficiaries of this type of medicines. Several clinical trials are going on at different locations worldwide on volunteers to test the efficacy of these new drugs. New therapy approaches, better devices to monitor and administer insulin are being developed at various laboratories throughout the world. Initially laboratory tests are conducted, which are then followed by animal tests and only then human trials begin. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease or NIDDK recently concluded that strict control of blood glucose level is the most important factor that influences the delay or prevention of diabetes related complications like nerve, eye, and kidney damage.
The NIDDK launched the Diabetes Prevention Program or DPP in 1996 to see if type 2 diabetes could be avoided or slowed down. The program concluded that people at high risk of type 2 diabetes can significantly lower their risk profile if they lead a physically active lifestyle and lose weight. Treatments with drugs like Metformin also reduced several risks.
Heart disease remains the principal problem with patients suffering from diabetes. The National Institute of Health conducted studies and found that those patients who voluntarily lost weigh by engaging in physical activity and eating healthy foods reduced their risk of heart disease significantly. The effects of Revascularization are also being studied.
Research is underway to evaluate which method medical or surgical management of diabetes is effective in type 2 diabetes. However, the best method as of now to stop the progression of diabetes is strict control of blood glucose levels, regular exercise, medications, and healthy food.