From Hebron, Indiana, USA:
I recently took my 83 year old mother-in-law, who has Type 2 diabetes and is taking 28 units of insulin once a day, to the doctor. He put her on Rezulin [troglitazone, a medication for Type 2 diabetes] and Vitamin C & E. He commented that these would make the insulin work better since she had been having some highs lately. I have an 11 year old son who was diagnosed with Type 1 this past summer. He is taking 13 units of N in A.M. and 6 units in evening with fairly good control. An occasional 200+. Can you comment on the doctor's remarks of how the Rezulin and vitamins can help the insulin work better and if it is something my son should look into?
Vitamins C and E are both known as 'antioxidants' which scavenge various harmful varieties of the oxygen molecule like Nitric Oxide. There is some evidence that in this capacity they may delay the progress of the vascular complications of diabetes. They do not have any direct effect on insulin action.
Rezulin or troglitazone acts by increasing the sensitivity of the insulin receptor on the cell surface to insulin. It is an expensive drug and certainly worth trying for your mother; but in the results that I have heard about only about 25% of subjects were able to come off insulin though about half showed a significant reduction in insulin need. In the remainder there was no effect.
As to your 11 year old son trying Rezulin, I think that you should know that the drug has been taken off the market in Britain because there have been a few fatal incidences of liver complications. Besides that, diminished receptor sensitivity is not a feature of the great majority of cases of diabetes in children and in any case it is much easier to control blood sugars in Type 1 Diabetes through the conventional parameters of insulin, diet, exercise and stress without introducing a fifth variable.
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