By Adrian Galbreth
A new drug to control diabetes may be effective in helping to reduce the number of people suffering vision loss, it has been claimed.
The drug has been formulated by experts at Optimum Clinical Research, based in Salt Lake City, and works by prompting the pancreas to create and control insulin.
Jared Shields, a spokesman for the organisation, said it is a "unique medication" that could offer new ways to treat diabetes, which affects millions of people around the world.
"It stimulates the pancreas to create additional insulin for you, but as your blood sugars come back to normal, the medication becomes inactive in the body," he explained.
He added that diabetics gain weight when their bodies produce too much insulin, but until now there has not been a diabetes medication that shuts off extra insulin production once the body has had enough of it.
In many cases, too much insulin causes blood sugar levels to drop rapidly, which could result in shakiness, blurred vision and extreme hunger.
Another problem with overproduction of insulin is that it causes people to gain weight, which is counterproductive for diabetics, but the new medication may help to solve this problem by giving sufferers more control over when and how they are producing insulin.
"If we can better control diabetes, we can help reduce other things like obesity, heart disease, loss of eyesight and kidney disease. All of these things are affected by diabetes," he added.
He noted that clinical trials of the new medication have so far been successful at stimulating insulin production when blood sugar levels are high, then regulating the insulin as levels return to normal, with the third phase of the study currently underway in Salt Lake City.
If this is successful, it may not be long before the drug is rolled out to the general public and diabetes sufferers across the world can help to combat the condition and its associated health problems, including sight loss.
by Alexa Kaczka