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Type 2 diabetes has become increasingly more common in the United States than it used to be. It’s often a side effect of long-term obesity. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse estimates that 95 percent of all people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes starts as your body’s resistance to insulin. As your pancreas becomes further impaired, it can no longer produce insulin, and diabetes develops. The causes, symptoms, and treatments of type 2 diabetes greatly vary among patients. Clinical trials can help find new treatments and make strides in future medical care.

What Do Clinical Trials Do?

This type of diabetes is a major cause of death among American adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes is the seventh most common cause of fatalities in the United States. Through clinical trials, researchers have the opportunity to study potential treatments that may improve quality of life, and possibly even extend it.

Type 2 diabetes is managed through medical treatments as well as a healthy lifestyle. There are new methods in each of these categories worth expanding on. Researchers must test new treatments before they can be accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Clinical trials can research:

  • new medications
  • insulin therapy
  • weight loss supplements
  • vitamins (taken as supplements)
  • diet pills
  • weight loss programs
  • reduced serving sizes of food
  • dietary changes

Insulin is needed to help break down glucose (sugar). Doctors know that type 2 diabetes develops when the pancreas can’t make insulin. Some clinical trials investigate how the body develops insulin resistance. Excess body weight is a major cause of insulin resistance, but it isn’t the only cause.

Clinical trials can help investigate other possible risk factors such as:

  • genes
  • race
  • high cholesterol
  • gestational diabetes
  • high blood pressure

Participation Requirements and Considerations

People with type 2 diabetes must volunteer to participate in clinical trials. New trials come up on a regular basis. It’s important to thoroughly examine the requirements to make sure you qualify before signing up, and discuss it with your doctor.

Studies tend to look for a group of patients with similar factors in order to gain accurate results. Some requirements might depend on:

  • age
  • race
  • gender
  • length of time you’ve had diabetes
  • treatment history

If you’re interested, you’ll need to fill out an initial assessment. It’s crucial you speak with your doctor before considering a clinical trial. While you might gain help with symptom management, studies that measure drugs and supplements may carry risks of side effects.