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 July 8, 2005
Controlling Diabetes With A New Drug
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Fifteen years ago, one week before his wedding, Geoffrey Forman was told he had Type I diabetes.

"If I had gone on my honeymoon, without having been diagnosed, I probably would have died," says Geoffrey.

Type I diabetics have to take daily insulin shots to keep their blood sugar levels in check and adopt a new lifestyle.

Geoffrey says, "Unfortunately it's changed almost everything about it. It's changed my eating habits, my sleeping habits, my exercise habits."

An experimental drug called Pramlintide may make Geoffrey's life a little less rigid.  It's a synthetic version of the hormone amylin, which is deficient in diabetics.  A recent study shows adding Pramlintide to insulin treatment significantly improves patient's blood sugar levels.

"Many of the people in the study felt that it helped them maintain smoother blood sugars, gave them more flexibility in their diabetes plan, and many said they felt better," says registered nurse and researcher Laura Want.

"Using amylin has allowed me to eat things and do things that I never thought I'd be able to do again. Have things like pancakes with my daughter or even have a Coke just because I want to have one and not because I'm hypoglycemic," says Geoffrey.

Geoffrey believes he's finally found the winning recipe for a long, healthy life. Pramlintide is still awaiting FDA approval, but researchers are hopeful that will happen within the next two years.

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