New method of treating type 1 diabetes proposed by US researcher

Targeting the liver with insulin could be the best way to treat type 1 diabetes, US researchers have claimed.

A team from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center set out to investigate whether people with type 1 diabetes experience resistance to the manufactured insulin they take and consider how insulin delivery may affect the risk of complications.

To date, it is widely believed that high levels of glucose leads to greater risk of diabetes-related complications, but lead researcher Dr Justin Gregory, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes more than 19 years ago, does not agree.

The assistant professor of Pediatrics at the medical centre said: “There’s more to treating type 1 diabetes than just bringing down high blood sugar.”

He thought the answer might have more to do with the way insulin is delivered into muscle. In people who do not have diabetes, insulin is produced by the pancreas first before it travels via the liver, halving the amount of the hormone before it is despatched to the muscle.

However, when insulin is injected under the skin in those with diabetes, a key part of that process is bypassed, and the liver is initially missed.

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