Combination treatments involving insulin may lead to improved blood sugar control

Combining cutting edge medications with traditional treatments may provide the best results to individuals with type 2 diabetes, according to new research from University of North Carolina researchers.

Writing in the Annals of Internal Medicine, investigators said that a combination of the new diabetes drug exenatide and standard insulin injections appears to help diabetics control their blood sugar levels more effectively than either treatment on its own. Additionally, the combined therapy may contribute to weight loss, which can help reverse some of the damage.

"This study may be the best result ever for patients whose diabetes is inadequately controlled on a combination of pills and insulin," said John Buse, who led the investigation."Until now, it was inconceivable that you could get such patients under excellent control with weight loss and no significant problems with hypoglycemia."

For the study, 60 percent of participants who had type 2 diabetes and were given the combination treatment achieved near normal blood sugar levels. For comparison, only 35 percent of those given a placebo had well-controlled blood sugar.

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