The treatment with weight loss and diabetes medication semaglutide could allow those newly being diagnosed Type 1 diabetes to dramatically reduce or even end the injection of insulin in a small study that was published on Wednesday suggests.
The medication, referred to more often in the name Ozempic or Wegovy has seen a surge in popularity over the last year, mostly due to its positive effects of weight loss. Ozempic is officially approved for treating the condition of Type 2 diabetes and Wegovy is approved to treat weight loss.
The report was published as a research note within the New England Journal of Medicine Researchers analysed data they had previously collected from 10 patients with Type 1 diabetes who had begun taking semaglutide every week. After three months of treatment, all of them were capable of stopping taking insulin at meals. In just the period of six months seven of 10 were able to quit using insulin completely in accordance with the report.
People who weren’t involved in the study deemed the findings thrilling, but they also stressed that further research is needed.
The findings shocked even the study’s authors.
“I was absolutely shocked that we could get rid of fast-acting insulin in three months and then basal insulin in seven out of 10 patients,” the author of the study Dr. Paresh Dandona, said in reference to two forms of insulin: one that is quick-acting, which is used to reduce blood sugar spikes following meals while the other is more long-acting one, designed to maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day.
“It was almost like science fiction,” said Dandona Professor of medicine in the University of Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in New York.
Patients with Type one and Type 2 diabetes both experience difficulties managing glucose levels. However, the causes for both diseases and the ways they are treated differ.
The Type 1 Diabetes is a an autoimmune disorder. With Type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to recognize and eliminate beta cells within the pancreas, which produce insulin. Insulin is a molecule which allows the body to move sugar from blood into cells where it is used to create energy. The people who suffer from Type 1 diabetes must therefore use insulin since the body is unable to make it.
The cause of Type 2 diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas don’t get affected however they don’t make enough insulin. Additionally the body isn’t able to respond effectively to the insulin produced, a condition referred to as resistance to insulin. The drugs for diabetes of the type 2 diabeticswork in a variety of ways, like lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, and boosting insulin production.
How can semaglutide aid?
Semaglutide assists with Type 2 diabetes by mimicking a hormone within the body called GLP-1. This hormone is released by the digestive tract after eating and causes the body to produce an increase in insulin. This reduces blood sugar levels.
In the year 2011, Dandona had previously tried treating patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes with a similar but less effective drug known as Liraglutide. The drug, which closely resembles GLP-1, lowered how much insulin needing treatment, but not as drastically as the one he described in the report.
Semaglutide first came onto the scene, Dr.. fascinated. At the time the doctor said it was also discovered that when patients who were diagnosed Type 1 diabetes, they had half of their insulin reserves intact.
“I thought why not try treating patients newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and see what happens” he added.
To determine if semaglutide was effective, Dandona looked at patients’ blood sugar levels. low levels could indicate that the drug was working. At the time of diagnosis, an HbA1c average (a measure of an individual’s average blood sugar levels over a period of 90 days) was 11.7 significantly higher than the suggested 7 or less. After six months, HbA1c levels for patients had decreased to 5.9 in average and at 12 months it was at the average level of 5.7.
Another major benefit for patients was the fact that the blood sugar level didn’t change, but instead were stable.
A treatment using the weight loss and diabetes medication semaglutide can allow people who have been identified with Type 1 diabetes to dramatically reduce or even eliminate injecting insulin in a small study that was published on Wednesday suggests.
The drug, known more often by its aliases Ozempic or Wegovy has seen a surge in popularity over the past year, in large part because of its benefits in weight reduction. The drug is officially recognized as a treatment for the condition of Type 2 diabetes and Wegovy is certified for weight loss.
In the study — released as a research letter published in New England Journal of Medicine Researchers analysed data they had previously collected from 10 patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes who had taken semaglutide for a week. After three months of treatment, all of them were in a position to stop taking insulin at meals. In just 6 months, 7 of 10 were able stop using insulin completely in accordance with the report.
People who weren’t involved in the research found the findings interesting, but also noted that more research is required.
The findings shocked even the authors of the study.
“I was absolutely shocked that we could get rid of fast-acting insulin in three months and then basal insulin in seven out of 10 patients,” the principal author Dr. Paresh Dandona, said in reference to two forms of insulin: one that is quick-acting, which is used to reduce blood sugar spikes following meals while the other is more longer-acting insulin, which is designed to ensure that blood sugar remains steady throughout the day.