More than 13,500 people are gathered in San Diego at the 71st annual scientific conference of the American Diabetes Assn. to lead the fight against diabetes, a disease that affects more than 26 million children and adults in the U.S., according to the ADA.
By 2020, the ADA estimates that more than half of adult Americans will have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Already diabetes contributes to the deaths of more than 231,000 Americans each year, more than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
The ADA estimates that the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. tops $174 billion. Added costs associated with gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes bring the total up to an estimated $218 billion.
Presenters at today’s conference displayed results of studies surrounding gastric banding surgery, highly restrictive short-term diets and more effective therapies for treatment and reversal of the disease.
- Is surgery the answer for type 2 diabetes?
Several studies have found that weight-loss surgery can reverse e type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, but researchers have been largely in the dark about how or why the process works.
A recent report in the Archives of Surgery covering a meta-analysis of diabetes studies found that more than 80 percent of gastric bypass patients came off their diabetes medication, sometimes just days after surgery, as did more than 60 percent of gastric banding patients, Reuters reported.
"In my practice, I routinely see patients who have remission of their type 2 diabetes within days or hours of gastric bypass, but we don’t know why this occurs,” said professor of surgery and director of advanced laparoscopic & bariatric surgery at Cleveland Clinic Dr. Philip Schauer during a briefing at the ADA conference. “Understanding how surgery has this effect has the potential to unlock new mechanisms of treating type 2 diabetes and, potentially, how to replicate the effect with less invasive procedures or even without surgery.”
Through the Metabolic Applied Research Strategy (MARS) project, joint research between the Metabolic Diseases Institute at the University of Cincinnati and the GI Metabolism Laboratory and Weight Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital, researchers hope to deconstruct, understand and reinvent bariatric procedures in ways that might lead to less costly, less invasive and more effective treatment options.
The research is driven by Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc.
- Extreme diets can reverse type 2 diabetes in two months
An extremely low-calorie diet consisting of diet drinks and non-starchy vegetables may prompt the body to clear out fat that clogs the pancreas and prevents it from making insulin, said researchers presenting at a panel during the ADA conference today.
About 2.5 million people in the U.K. have been diagnosed with diabetes, the Guardian reported. Researchers from Newcastle University in England followed 11 patients with adult-onset diabetes, putting them on a strict 600 calorie diet for two months.
After the first week, pre-breakfast blood sugar levels of the entire group were at normal levels. Three months later the group had returned to non-restricted eating and seven were diabetes-free.
The study was inspired by findings from bariatric surgery studies that demonstrated the potential for weight-loss surgery to reverse type 2 diabetes, said Roy Taylor, professor at Newcastle University and primary researcher.
- SweetSpot announces FDA bid for data transfer service for diabetic patients
SweetSpot Diabetes Care Inc. announced that they registered their diabetes device data transfer service as a medical device data system in a bid for FDA clearance. The service is a web-based platform that collects data from patient devices and transfers, converts and displays the data in research tools and databases controlled by researchers.