Experts recommend call for changes in diabetes testing and treatment

In light of recent scientific findings, experts are calling for a realigning of testing and treatment strategies for type 2 diabetes.

A new consensus statement from diabetes researchers and caregivers, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, states that factors that contribute to diabetes occur earlier and more severely than previously thought, and that this emphasizes the importance of regular glycemia testing, early identification of at-risk patients and aggressive treatment.

"There is widespread evidence that conventional approaches to the management of type 2 diabetes have been inadequate," said Jack Leahy, a physician at the Vermont Regional Diabetes Center in South Burlington, and one of the authors of the statement.

He added that recent research has shown that failure of beta-cells - the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin - play an important role in the progression of diabetes. Catching this problem early may help reverse damage and reduce diabetic symptoms in individuals who have recently developed the condition.

The report says that implementing the suggested testing and treatment strategies may help catch more patients who are beginning to develop type 2 diabetes.