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Low-cost Interventions Could Ease the Burden of Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) currently affects millions of people and is increasing globally. Management requires chronic medication use, with the expectation that this will be required life-long, creating a huge burden on medical systems. Recently, however, novel low-cost noninvasive treatment approaches demonstrate promise for the long-term remission of T2DM symptoms, write Paul Marik, M.D., and colleagues in the winter issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

 Abnormalities that contribute to T2DM include insulin resistance, impaired insulin secretion, increased glucose production in the liver, and other factors. A subset of patients may have a remission with significant weight loss. Treatment based on biological mechanisms could drastically reduce the disease burden, the authors state.

With increased affluence and migration to cities, people are more likely to consume processed convenience foods, which are high in sugar and have a high glycemic index, owing to separation or removal of blood glucose blunting factors including fiber and protein, they note. Eating throughout the day, sedentary behavior, high stress, lack of sun exposure, and toxic exposure contribute to T2DM.

Helpful interventions that the authors explain include: intermittent fasting, foods with lower glycemic index, avoidance of artificial sweeteners and trans fatty acids, and a more balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Supplements to consider include berberine, melatonin, magnesium, resveratrol, and probiotics.

“Provided that patients are willing to make lifestyle changes, especially in their food consumption patterns, it appears that T2DM is a treatable disorder, as genetic factors only account for 18% of the variability in T2DM risk,” the article states. “Even in those with increased genetic susceptibility, significant improvement is possible.”

The direct cost of diabetes to a patient is $800 per month, much higher if insulin is needed. In contrast, the authors state that the recommended supplements plus metformin cost together around $200 per month.

“Low-cost solutions are urgently needed for the growing, extremely costly problem of diabetes,” the authors conclude. “The suggested protocols need further study, and funding is needed for holistic diabetes management in medical systems.”

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

Read Full Article: https://jpands.org/vol28no4/marik.pdf

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