DI­A­BETES: WHAT’S NEW AND WHAT’S NEXT

Reader's Digest - - Contents - SARI HARRAR

Eight promis­ing med­i­cal break­throughs are pro­vid­ing hope for the fu­ture.

IT’S NO EX­AG­GER­A­TION to say that di­a­betes is a na­tional health emer­gency. More than 30 mil­lion adults and kids have some form of the dis­ease. Type 1, caused by an im­mune sys­tem at­tack on the pancreas, usu­ally strikes younger peo­ple and fol­lows them through­out their lives. Type 2 is more com­mon and is caused by re­sis­tance to the hor­mone in­sulin, which tells the body to ab­sorb blood sugar. And 84 mil­lion peo­ple ex­hibit signs of pre­di­a­betes, which means they have a one-in-ten chance of de­vel­op­ing full­blown type 2 di­a­betes if not treated.

Yet over just the past few years, a re­mark­able num­ber of di­a­betes treat­ments, from med­i­ca­tions to sur­gi­cal so­lu­tions to high-tech de­vices, have shown prom­ise. It’s too soon to de­clare vic­tory, but these break­throughs have given peo­ple with di­a­betes some­thing sweet: win­ning strate­gies for to­day and con­sid­er­able hope for the fu­ture. Here are eight that show great prom­ise.

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