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Friday, January 12, 2007

Rediscovering an Old Ally in the Fight against Type 2 Diabetes


It is over 100 years since scientists first discovered that the intestines contain a substance which lowers blood sugar. However, research in to this hormone, called Incretin, has been relatively slow. Incretin is produced by the gastro-intestinal tract. It stimulates insulin production in anticipation of food absorption, and slows the digestion process.

Exenatide is the first medicine to be approved and to be commercially available against prescriptions, which mimics the action of Incretin. It can be used, as a sub-cutaneous injection, alone, with other oral medication, or even with insulin, for the management of type 2 diabetes.

The Incretin approach to diabetes management has the advantage that it helps people to eat less. Hypoglycemia is also not a risk if medicines which use the Incretin approach are used alone.

Exenatide has to be prescribed-you cannot buy it on your own. This medicine will affect doses of other drugs and injections you take for type 2 diabetes. People with digestive and kidney disorders cannot take Exenatide.

Overall, the Incretin approach has advantages for type 2 diabetes management-ask your physician whether it can help in your case.


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