UVA Granted $2.7 Million to Test New Way to Manage Blood Sugar

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University of Virginia Health System now has $2.7 million to help people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes.

The grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow UVA to test alternative ways for people with Type 2 diabetes to manage their glucose levels without worrying about dieting.

“Conventionally the focus is on losing weight by reducing calorie intake, a lot of people don’t want to that, or can’t do that, or not successful with that,” said Daniel Cox, UVA researcher involved with the project. 

Researchers at UVA developed a three-pronged approach program aimed at using blood glucose monitoring to educate, activate, and motivate.
The principle is to make people more aware of changes in their glucose levels by avoiding foods that spike their blood sugar, and helping them appreciate the benefits of physical activity.

“The program focuses on reducing starches or carbohydrates instead of reducing calories, and this is done through a four class educational program, plus monitoring your blood sugar levels to see which foods do, and which foods do not raise your particular blood glucose level … Once you’re able to identify those foods, then you can learn how to select those foods, or choose those foods to keep your blood glucose from going up,” said Cox. 
Researchers hope that people will be better equipped to manage their diabetes without the need to lose weight or take medication. 

“An alternative needs to be developed that is as or more effective than weight loss and more sustainable, so we've developed a program that focuses on, instead of focusing on reducing weight, it's focusing on reducing the blood glucose rise after meals,” said Cox. 

Participants in the study will be broken into groups that test different methods to lower glucose levels.

They will receive free blood tests, physicals, a Fitbit, blood glucose supplies, and an education program.

If you would like to participate in this study, you are asked to contact t2dm@virginia.edu via email or call at 434-243-6520 for more information.