Some Type One Diabetics May Not Need Insulin Injections

Type One Diabetes is a disease children and young adults are typically diagnosed with.

It happens when the body stops producing insulin, a hormone needed to regulate blood sugar.

Now, researchers have found that not everyone with the disease needs to take insulin.

Lilly was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes when she was just a month old.

For six years she was poked and prodded.

Her blood sugar was checked ten times a day and she was given insulin to keep her alive.

Then doctors diagnosed Lilly with a rare, genetic form of diabetes.

Instead of insulin, she now takes a pill twice a day.

Experts say up to 2,000 Americans diagnosed with type-one diabetes may actually have Lilly's form of the disease. “It's hard to imagine anything more profound than to take a child and convert them from insulin to pills," says Dr. Louis Philpson of the University of Chicago.

Patients like Lilly carry a gene that allows too much potassium to leave their pancreas cells.

Drugs called sulfonylureas increase the amount of potassium, so patients can produce insulin on their own.

People who are diagnosed after six months of age do not have the same gene as Lilly, so the treatment would not work for them.

WNDU - Channel 16 54516 State Road 933 South Bend, IN 46637 Front Desk: 574-284-3000 Newsroom: 574-284-3016 Email:
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 5431431 -
Gray Television, Inc.