September 11, 2013

When Insulin-Deficiency Strikes and Diabetes Doesn’t

by

unicornIt’s folklore to think that somebody who has an insulin deficiency doesn’t have diabetes. It’s like a unicorn, right? Actually, an article published in Cell Metabolism explains how this exists and in the face of insulin deficiency, diabetes does not appear.

For those of us living with diabetes, T1D or T2D, a day without insulin or medication may be flirting with disaster. By disaster I mean death. Everybody needs insulin to survive, right? Apparently not and this study shows us the way for potential new treatments that don’t require insulin.

Have you ever heard of leptin? It’s a hormone that regulates the body’s fat stores and appetite. The use of such a fat burning, appetite suppressant may take the cake in regulating glucose.

Researchers were able to treat insulin deficient subjects with leptin instead of insulin. The treatment proved to have two advantages over insulin. One, it cannot cause hypoglycemia. Two, it has a fat burning effect.

Although the miracle of leptin sounds too good to be true, researchers are still asking questions. They need to know exactly the mechanisms that allows leptin to impact glucose level, without insulin.

Ask and thy shall be answered. Neurons located in the hypothalamus ¬†govern leptin’s ability to regulate glucose levels despite insulin deficiency.

Insulin stimulates hunger, stores fat, and can cause deadly low blood sugar. Leptin, the sister hormone, can regulates blood sugar while suppressing hunger, burning fat, and does not cause hypoglycemia.

It seems like somebody is playing an April Fool’s joke in September on the insulin industry, estimated to be worth over $13 billion. According to this study, nobody’s laughing because this works.

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