People who have diabetes, or are prediabetic, have problems using the insulin in their bodies in a way that keeps their blood sugar levels normal–also known as insulin resistance. Too much blood sugar, called glucose, in the body can lead to a host of problems, including nerve and kidney damage, and heart disease.
While some people can control type 2 diabetes just with diet and exercise, most people with diabetes need to take medications, as well as watch what they eat and how much exercise they get, for the rest of their lives.
That’s why today’s news that a drug that’s already on the market that could cure type 2 diabetes is so exciting. The medication, called Gleevec, is used to treat some types of cancers, including leukemia. The researchers, an international team including scientists from the U.S., stumbled upon the drug’s insulin-resistance lowering properties by accident.
In the study the researchers also noted that the drug may also stabilize blood sugar levels, without side effects. Plus, it seems to reduce the risk of obesity by turning white fat cells–the cells that STORE fat–into brown fat cells, which BURN fat.
No word yet when the medication will be approved to give to diabetes patients, but be sure to discuss this to your doctor if you have type 2 diabetes.