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The Byetta Story

People with Diabetes 2 have beta cell dysfunction - the cells that make and release insulin - and a decreased beta cell mass due to apoptosis - death of beta cells. Because the number of people suffering from Diabetes 2 and beta cell dysfunction continues to grow globally, science has paid special attention to the role of incretin hormones GIP and GLP-1. There are many incretin hormones, but GIP and GLP-1 are of particular interest because of their role in beta cell growth, function, and development.

The incretins are peptide hormones; they are secreted in response to food intake by specific cells located in the small intestine. In the pancreas, incretin hormones act to increase glucose-dependent insulin secretion from beta cells and are essential for maintaining after meal glucose control.

New important observations regarding patients with diabetes 2 are coming to light. A type 2 Diabetes diagnosis is characterized by abnormal glucose levels; however, new observations reveal that other physiological activity occurs that precedes a type 2 Diabetes diagnosis and that we can identify. The disorder begins far sooner than the abnormal glucose indicates.

Below are the observations that precede a type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, which means that we can now diagnose an individual before the abnormal glucose is noted.

  • The rapid release of insulin is completely absent at the time of diagnosis of diabetes 2.
  • Total beta cell function and mass is half normal at time of diagnosis.

The remainder of the natural history of diabetes 2 is now well understood.

  • Total beta cells, beta cell mass in people with diabetes 2, decreases linearly for the first 10 years if no intervention occurs.
  • L-arginine (can be found as a natural supplement) still produces insulin response during this time.
  • Glyburide and other sulfonylureas (prescription drugs) also produce a normal insulin response.

During this 10 year period, apoptosis occurs at an increased rate. There are treatments used to treat the high glucose causing a decrease in the life of the beta cell. These medications include the following.

  • Starlix, Prandin, and Glyburide

Byetta, fondly referred to as “lizard spit”, seems to reverse the destruction of beta cells by the disease and by the medications (Starlix, Prandin, and Glyburide). Byetta is quite similar to GLP-1. There are other unique features that make it quite safe. It acts to,

  • Increase first phase insulin response
  • Increase late phase and total insulin production
  • It inhibits glucagon release
  • It lowers its power as glucose goes to normal thus decreasing the chance of hypoglycemia

Additionally it increases important regulation of beta cell gene expression for the following.

  • Glukinase – aids release of glycogen from liver
  • Insulin production.
  • Glucose transporters – decreasing insulin resistance.

Finally, Byetta will increase beta cell mass through replication of beta cell and decreased apoptosis.

It appears that Byetta will reverse the natural decline of the Islands of Langerhans where the beta cells reside and it will add a few more things that give the reversal a “soft landing” that makes it quite safe. The decrease in apoptosis and increase in beta cell mass mark this product as an exceptional advance in the care of patients with diabetes 2.

This doesn’t even take into consideration the intangibles such as decreased fatigue, increased muscle strength and diminished abdominal fat patients love perhaps most of all. It’s your time.

Ask us, and we will let you know if you are a good candidate for treatment with Byetta.

Already on Byetta? Download our Byetta Therapy Management form.

Request an appointment for Byetta therapy. More Questions? Please contact us


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