A unique approach to diabetes management works by mimicking the body’s natural response to food by stimulating the release of insulin only when blood sugar levels are high.
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Speaker: In Canada, more than 20 people are diagnosed with diabetes every hour of every day. And it’s estimated that an additional 700,000 people have the disease without knowing. Now approved by Health Canada, Victoza is the first human GLP-1 analogue and offers a unique approach to diabetes management for people living with Type II Diabetes. Victoza works by mimicking the body’s natural response to food by stimulating the release of insulin only when blood glucose levels are high. Doctor Stuart Ross, an endocrinologist with Foothills Medical Center and clinical professor of Medicine with the University of Calgary, specializes in the treatment of diabetes. Dr. Stuart Ross: Unfortunately, many people with Type II Diabetes do not get good glucose control. And this is unfortunate because there’s an increase risk for these people of developing what we call vascular complications of diabetes such as blindness, kidney disease, nerve disease. And this is a serious complication of Type II Diabetes. We’re fortunate now, we have newer treatment such as Victoza which are going to allow us to achieve these goals much easier and perhaps an addition to have extra advantages such as weight loss. Speaker: GLP-1 is a natural hormone that is released in the body after food is ingested to help reduce insulin. However, people with Type II Diabetes often have a GLP-1 impairment, an underlying cause of disease progression. Victoza, the first human GLP-1 analogue available in Canada is 97% similar to the natural human hormone GLP-1. It has been shown to significantly lower blood glucose levels resulting in weight loss with the reduction in the risk of hypoglycemia in people with Type II Diabetes. Dr. Stuart Ross: This presents a major challenge to a health care system particularly in Type II Diabetes where we’re trying to achieve many goals, lowering blood sugar, getting them into an exercise program, getting their weight down. These are challenges indeed for the patient and for the health care programs. We’re fortunate that the new interventions in managing diabetes are helping us get glucose levels down, helping us with weight loss programs. And in the process, we achieve far better results for the Canadian with Type II Diabetes. Speaker: Ram Krishna has been living with Type II Diabetes for 25 years. Ram Krishna: I was diagnosed with diabetes 25 years ago. The initial reaction was one is shock. Most people don’t realize the day-to-day physical and financial challenges involved in managing diabetes. There’s a whole issue of the different types of medications that I need to take and testing blood glucose levels so many times a day and then managing a rigid control on diet as well as lifestyle. Having said that, I believe that the key to managing diabetes is being more educated and self-management and I think there is also a need for more treatment options to become available to help people manage their diabetes better. Speaker: Patients who are concerned about the management of their disease should speak to their health care professional about their treatment options to determine if their disease can be better managed. (Music playing)