In a time when Type 2 diabetes is at an epidemic level, the doctors and staff at Chattanooga Research and Medicine are doing their part to help patients fight back.
"Diabetes really is a fast-growing problem in our country," said Dr. Eugene Ryan. "We are happy to do our part to give patients more options and help them get on and stay on the road to getting healthy."
Lead clinical research coordinator for CHARM Judy Kroulek added that often patients do not realize how diabetes greatly impacts all of the body. "It affects everything," she said. "People with diabetes often struggle with high cholesterol, have heart or lung disease or even kidney disease."
The good news for those living with the condition is that there is new medicinal therapy on the horizon to help them stay in control and be well. CHARM is actively recruiting new patients for a global clinical research study for people with Type 2 diabetes who are not able to control their blood sugar with metformin alone. The local practice also has two other studies coming soon with some new innovative treatment options.
"We haven't been selected for it yet, but one study involves a once a week injection," Dr. Ryan said. "There are also some very promising oral medications that are paired with insulin that helps improve diabetic control."
According to Kroulek, people are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at younger and younger ages, and often, genetics plays a key role. "If you know your parent has it, there's a great chance you will have it at some point in your lifetime," she said. "It's important to stay on top of the problem and find the right treatment that helps you."
Those interested in the current study on diabetes and cholesterol should contact CHARM at 423-643-2253. Dr. Ryan said if there isn't a study that fits right away, the staff will keep patients' information and notify them when they do have something that is right for them. He encourages those with Type 2 diabetes that are not currently being treated to contact the office now.
"Heart attacks, stroke, eye problems, foot sores ... these are just a few of the problems you can face with this disease, especially when ignored," he said. "We are glad to help people and do our part. The current study is a global clinical research study testing the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medicine in people with Type 2 diabetes. The investigational medication is a fixed-dose combination of two approved oral medications.
Approximately 750 people are needed to participate in this clinical research study worldwide. To qualify, patients should be between 18 and 79 years of age; have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes; and not be able to control blood sugar with metformin alone. Those who participate will be randomly assigned to receive one of three different treatment options with oral medication. Participation in this study lasts up to 19 weeks and includes five study visits and one follow-up phone call two weeks after the last study visit.