As usual, this year’s American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions didn’t place much emphasis on a healthy lifestyle. There was food everywhere, and trust me, we’re not talking fruits & veggies. But there was a great deal of research presented on diabetes medications and devices.
When it comes to managing type-1 diabetes, insulin is no longer the only treatment option. Yes, insulin is necessary, but there are other injectable medications that can serve as powerful supplements to insulin. These medications can offer benefits to those trying to improve their after-meal glucose levels and/or shed unwanted pounds.
My own personal liraglutide (Victoza) experiment continues. Victoza is an injectable GLP-1 medication manufactured by Novo Nordisk. It is commonly used in treatment of type-2 diabetes, but its effects seem to offer benefits for those with type-1 as well. A small study at U of Buffalo (NY) showed that adding liraglutide to an intensive insulin program can reduce appetite, insulin requirements and glucose variability. I've seen the reduction in appetite personally, and hence a reduction in bolus requirements. I've also seen a small reduction in basal insulin requirement due, presumably, to the inhibition of glucagon secretion by liraglutide. My one concern is that I've had to keep increasing my dose of liraglutide in order to maintain the appetite suppression. I started out at 0.6 mcg and am now up to about 1.5 mcg (the maximum dose is 1.8). Why the constant buildup of "tolerance" to the medication? Beats me. But I'll keep working with it to learn as much as I can and, hopefully, improve my own BG control along the way.