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Oral Medicine Great for Juvenile Type 2 Diabetes Control

Oral medicine may help control symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children just as well as insulin injections, a new study reports.
According to the medical records of 26 children diagnosed with the disease, oral medications reduced levels of a compound in the blood called hemoglobin A1C by an average of 2 percentage points.
A 2-percentage-point reduction is enough to decrease serious health risks and symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes, said Milap Nahata, the study’s principal investigator and a professor of pharmacy and pediatrics at Ohio State University .
High blood sugar levels leave a diabetic vulnerable to developing heart and kidney disease and vision problems; symptoms include frequent urination and excessive thirst. Diabetics normally show high levels of hemoglobin A1C, which is a marker for blood sugar levels.
“This is the first study to show that oral medicines may decrease these levels in children,” Nahata said.
The researchers wanted to compare the effectiveness of injected insulin to oral medications in lowering levels of this hemoglobin marker in children. Clear guidelines on the best treatments for children with Type II, or insulin-resistant, diabetes, have yet to be established, said Nahata.
“It’s only been within the last 20 years that we’ve seen large numbers of children developing this disease,” he said. “And most oral medications typically prescribed to children with the illness have never been compared to one another or to insulin.”
A common side effect of insulin is weight gain, which often discourages medication compliance among teenagers, Nahata said.
The results appear in a recent issue of the journal Pharmacotherapy.
In Type 2 diabetes the body’s cells don’t respond to insulin, the hormone that helps the body regulate blood sugar levels.

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