An Oadby man has lost 5kg in weight and is full of energy after taking part in a clinical trial of a drug treatment for diabetes.

Gulabbhai Patel, 74, is taking dapagliflozin as part of a study sponsored by the University of Leicester at the National Institute for Health Research’s Patient Recruitment Centre.

The trial, which is based at Leicester General Hospital, is helping him to lose weight and feeling “more energetic than before” and always looking forward” to his next gym session, he told LeicestershireLive.

Mr Patel has type 2 diabetes mellitus, a disease characterised by high blood sugar levels which affects the body’s health and fitness.

People with type 2 diabetes may find their physical health declines at an earlier age than someone without diabetes, which makes everyday activities harder – especially if you are overweight.

There are several treatments for type 2 diabetes which helps with weight loss – but doctors are now considering their potential to improve overall physical health.

Dapagliflozin is one of those treatments, which is widely used in routine clinical care to reduce blood sugar levels and weight loss, but the extent to which it can help improve overall physical health is not known.

This is where the study comes in. It is looking at whether it can establish that dapagliflozin can improve overall physical health.

Mr Patel is already seeing some benefits to his health, losing 5kg in weight and feeling better overall.

He said: “I joined this study to give me different ideas on how to change my lifestyle in order to become healthier.

“So far I have lost 5kg in weight and feel more energetic than before. I always look forward to my next gym session.

“The research staff are very nice and generous; they look after me very well.”

The study looks at the impact of the drug by itself on those with Type 2 Diabetes along with another group that are also exercising

Researchers are also looking into the effect of dapagliflozin without exercise on blood sugar levels, as well as its impact on health as measured by blood tests, the heart’s pumping ability and tests of physical activity.

Participants in the study are randomly assigned to one of three groups. Those in the exercise group, like Mr Patel, will be required to take part in three lots of 60 minute exercise sessions a week.

A qualified team member personalises an exercise plan for each participant based on their ability, as well as factoring in any personal goals or needs.

Participants can choose to use the gym facilities on-site free of charge or exercise at home with virtual support from the team.

The single site study is taking place only in Leicester and is looking to recruit 135 participants.

Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine, University of Leicester, Clinical Director of the NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester and Principal Investigator for the study, said: “We are still looking for local people to join this trial.

“Some participants – like Mr Patel – are already experiencing weight loss, which they are reporting is helping them to feel healthier.”

“I’m so pleased to hear how positive Mr Patel’s experience has been so far. At Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester we prioritise our participants’ experience.

“We offer each person a personalised, concierge-style service throughout their research journey and regularly ask for feedback to see if further improvements can be made.”

If you are interested in taking part or would like further information, visit our website https://www.leicesterbrc.nihr.ac.uk/themes/lifestyle/research/deta/ or contact the study team by emailing DETA@uhl-tr.nhs.uk or call 0116 258 8897.

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This content was originally published here.