Diabetes is called a silent epidemic because many people don’t know they have it until the disease does considerable harm to their organs and blood vessels over many years.
But for others who fall into the category doctors call prediabetes, they can see it coming. And researchers at the Texas Diabetes Institute are looking at ways of helping them keep it at bay.
"It's very important to be able to find people early, to be able to help them, because once diabetes begins there is no prevention. It's all treatment," Dr. Alberto Chavez-Velasquez, an endocrinol ogist and associate professor of medicine at UT Health San Antonio, told reporter Jeremy Baker of KENS5.
The study is looking at whether medicines might prevent or delay the disease in those at high risk.
"The need for medication has become apparent,” said Dr. Eugenio Cersosimo, medical director of clinical research at TDI. “There are certain medications, and some of them new, some of them old medications that we use to treat diabetes. If started earlier on, they can prevent the progression of the disease.”
Prediabetics have elevated blood sugar from impaired glucose tolerance, but not yet at the threshold that doctors consider full-blown diabetes. Local researchers have found those prediabetics already have suffered some eye and kidney damage, making the prediabetes study even more significant — and urgent.
To learn more about the study or other diabetes research at TDI, call 210-358-7200.
Photo by Mark Greenberg Photography