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How effective is treating Diabetes early?
By Dr. Lakshmi Babu, MD Physician and Diabetologist| 0 Comments

Up to date diabetes treatment depends on the most recent research and clinical study results. One of the major questions in the management of early diabetes or prediabetes, is whether there should be medication or if lifestyle management like controlling diet and exercising is enough?  Recently, a clinical study from India, called the Diabetes Community Lifestyle Improvement Program looked at just this question. In this study, 578 overweight adults in Chennai with mildly elevated fasting glucose (between 100 to 125 mg/dl) or mildly elevated post meal blood sugar values or a combination of both, were enrolled. Patients who had higher blood sugar values were already diagnosed with diabetes were not enrolled. These patients with prediabetes were divided into two treatment groups. One group received only lifestyle modification treatment that included dietary and nutritional counseling and exercise training advice. The other group was given lifestyle modification as well as treatment with Metformin (an oral medication for diabetes).

These patients were followed for three years to see how many went on to develop diabetes. In the group that had only lifestyle modification therapy, 34.9% went on to develop diabetes. In the group that was also treated with metformin, a lower number, 25.7% went on to be diagnosed with diabetes. The results showed that among the patient with abnormal fasting glucose alone, the addition of metformin decreased the risk of developing diabetes over 3 years by 12%. Among those with increased post meal glucose levels, the risk was reduced by 31%. 

The study suggests that in cases of prediabetes, the early addition of metformin may be beneficial, especially in patients with impaired glucose tolerance tests.


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