A pill could hold the answer to preventing millions of children from getting daily injections for diabetes.
The National Institutes of Health is hoping to prove the pill's usefulness in a study at Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University Medical Center. Every six months, children at high risk of diabetes go to those centers to take a glucose tolerance test and get their blood checked to see if any are developing diabetes. Between checks, half of the kids in the study are taking a glucose pill every day.
Darrell Wilson, M.D., a Pediatric Endocrinologist, says, "It seems to have the possibility of interacting with the immune system to kind of quiet down or slow down the attack on the cells that make insulin."
No one knows which children are actually getting glucose in a pill or a placebo. The study is looking to see if can delay the onset of diabetes for at least two to three years in children who have a parent or siblings with the disease. Dr. Wilson says that they are hoping to find that oral insulin may even prevent some high-risk patients from ever developing diabetes.