EarlyStages keyDiabetes is a group of disorders that causes elevation of sugar levels in the blood.

Type 1 Diabetes results from the body’s inability to produce insulin, a hormone that is responsible for regulating sugar levels in the blood. This type of diabetes is also known as early-onset diabetes because it usually manifests in teenagers and young adults. Approximately 5% of all people with diabetes have Type 1.

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and involves an underproduction of insulin or an inability of the body’s cells to properly use insulin. Age, obesity, physical inactivity and a poor diet can all contribute the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Diabetes affects 382 million people worldwide and more than 25 million people in the United States. Of those in the United States with Diabetes, 7 million have not yet been diagnosed. Unmanaged diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke and the leading cause of blindness, amputations, and kidney failure. It is the seventh leading cause of death. 

Current Treatment

Treatment for all diabetics centers on maintaining a healthy weight through diet and regular exercise.

Type 1 diabetes can be managed by consistently monitoring blood sugar levels to make sure they stay within a target range. Insulin therapy through the use of injections, pumps, or an artificial pancreas (an insulin pump connected to a glucose monitor) supplements the natural deficiency of insulin. There are also a number of different types of insulin (short-acting, long-acting) that can be prescribed depending on the patient needs.

Type 2 diabetes can be managed with medications to stimulate the production of insulin from the pancreas, inhibit production of glucose in the liver, or limit the breakdown of carbohydrates in the stomach. Invasive treatments, including pancreas transplant and bariatric surgery, can be used for some patients. However, these procedures carry a high risk of complication.

Focused Ultrasound

At this time, the potential ability of focused ultrasound to treat diabetes is theoretical. Recent research suggests that removal of the omentum (fatty lining of the abdomen) improves the ability to control diabetes and studies have demonstrated that focused ultrasound can safely remove fat tissue under the skin. However, the studies in humans have focused on body sculpting in non-obese individuals, and the observed effects on metabolic factors have not been consistent. Additional studies must be completed to determine whether focused ultrasound is a viable treatment option for patients with Diabetes. 

Notable Papers

Di J1, Price J, Gu X, Jiang X, Jing Y, Gu Z. Ultrasound-Triggered Regulation of Blood Glucose Levels Using Injectable Nano-Network. Adv Healthc Mater. 2013 Nov 19. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201300490.

Saedi N, Kaminer M. New waves for fat reduction: high-intensity focused ultrasound. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013;32(1):26-30.

Jewell ML, Desilets C, Smoller BR. Evaluation of a novel high-intensity focused ultrasound device: preclinical studies in a porcine model. Aesthet Surg J. 2011;31(4):429-34.

Milleo FQ, Campos AC, Santoro S, Lacombe A, Santo MA, Vicari MR, Nogaroto V, Artoni RF. Metabolic effects of an entero-omentectomy in mildly obese type 2 diabetes mellitus patients after three years. Clinics (Sao Paolo). 2011;66(7):1227-33.

Fabbrini E, Tamboli RA, Magkos F, Marks-Shulman PA, Eckhauser AW, Richards WO, Klein S, Abumrad NN. Surgical removal of omental fat does not improve insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular risk factors in obese adults. Gastroenterology. 2010;139(2):448-55.

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