I have a 59 year old brother who is diabetic, taking insulin injections. We are looking for any information about insulin taken orally. We were told recently of oral insulin and want to learn more.
The hope of being able to discontinue insulin injections and substitute insulin by mouth is a very understandable one; but sadly unachievable. It has of course been tried, using insulin in capsules that release it beyond the reach of protein-digesting enzymes or in company of compounds that inhibit these enzymes. The problem is that, although the insulin is absorbed, very much larger doses are required and the degree of absorption is too erratic to guarantee the precision of control that is now thought advisable.
What you have probably heard about is the use of nasal or oral insulin to 'vaccinate' first degree relatives of new onset cases who have antibodies indicating a high probability that they will get clinical diabetes within a few years. These studies have only just begun so that there is no evidence as yet that they will.
[Editor's comment: I also would wonder from your description whether your brother might be a Type 2 patient. If so, there's the possibility of him using the diabetes pills (which are not oral insulin), either together with insulin shots, or instead of insulin injections. There are many new types of pills, and a combination of one or two might decrease his need for shots. He should discuss this possibility with a knowledgeable endocrinologist. WWQ]
Original posting 16 Nov 96
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.
This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2016. Comments and Feedback.