Early Treatment Cuts Diabetes Risks of Kidney Disease

A new study shows a new aggressive treatment for Type 1 diabetes can lower the chances of kidney disease by half. The study followed the participants who had diabetes since the 1980s. This study and the findings were published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Kidney disease shuts the insulin making parts off and is a major complication of having Type 1 diabetes. If an individual cannot make insulin, they cannot break down sugar properly. Insulin is the driving force behind the movement of sugar, which gives the body energy.

The study showed that there was a need to find those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes to ensure that their blood sugar levels were around normal. They followed over 1,400 diabetics who had Type 1 diabetes, and they tried to get them in the study as soon as they were diagnosed. Some of these participants were given an insulin pump to use or given shots of insulin three times a day.

Type 1 diabetes is less common than Type 2 diabetes and is often called “juvenile diabetes”. Out of all the diabetic individuals, only 5-10 percent have Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity and lack of exercise. But the aggressive treatment did not help those with Type 2 diabetes. It only affected those individuals with Type 1 diabetes.

The researchers saw that those who were given this aggressive treatment were decreased their risk by half to develop problems with kidney disease as those who did not have the aggressive treatment and only had standard treatment. Standard treatment is to just maintain blood sugar levels by taking a shot or two a day of insulin. It is hard to maintain glucose levels, so that is why they have to do an aggressive treatment.

The participants were all studied from 1983-1989 and studied individuals who were ages 13 through 39 when they were just diagnosed or had no or just slight complications from diabetes. They compared those who got aggressive care to try and keep their blood sugar as normal as possible to those who just got regular care. The study showed that it is possible to decrease the risk of kidney disease or prevent it all together by keeping glucose normal. However, unfortunately it will be at least a decade before we can see the full results of the study.

Kidney disease is just one of the major complications from Type 1 diabetes because it tears down the body’s ability to make insulin. And insulin is needed to break down sugar and provide energy. A study was performed to see if an aggressive treatment would slow down or prevent the risk of kidney disease. They performed research on over 1400 patients who had Type 1 diabetes and found that if aggressive treatment was taken with newly diagnosed patients would reduce the risk of kidney disease. They found out that it did work with and it reduced their chances by 50%. This is great news for the diabetes community.

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