By Melody Simanian
GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonists are a class of drugs that work by increasing insulin secretion, reducing glucagon secretion, slowing gastric emptying, and reducing food intake. By improving insulin sensitivity and reducing overall glucose levels, GLP-1 receptor agonists can help lower hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a measure of long-term blood glucose control.
HbA1c is a measure of the average blood glucose level over the past three months, and a high HbA1c level is a key indicator of poor glucose control and an increased risk of diabetes-related complications. GLP-1 receptor agonists have been shown to be effective in lowering HbA1c levels in people with type 2 diabetes, often reducing HbA1c levels by up to 1.5% over the course of several months.
It's important to note that GLP-1 receptor agonists are not a cure for diabetes, and they should be used in conjunction with other measures such as diet, exercise, and oral medications to manage blood glucose levels.
Studies have shown that GLP-1 receptor agonists may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes. This is because high blood glucose levels, as seen in uncontrolled diabetes, can lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. By improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood glucose levels, GLP-1 receptor agonists may help reduce this risk.
In addition, GLP-1 receptor agonists have been shown to have beneficial effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other cardiovascular risk factors. These drugs may also help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which are important contributors to the development of cardiovascular disease.
It's important to note that GLP-1 receptor agonists should not be used as the sole treatment for cardiovascular disease, and that other measures such as lifestyle changes, medication, and monitoring of cardiovascular risk factors are also important for managing cardiovascular health. If you are taking GLP-1 receptor agonists or are considering starting them, it's important to work closely with your healthcare provider to monitor your cardiovascular health and adjust your treatment plan as needed.