Categorized | Diabetes

how is a cure for diabetes comming along?

is there any news or information about a cure for diabetes. obviously theres treatment, but no cures as of yet. is there some kind of government funding for the cure in places.

also, can anybody explain why it is difficult to cure or why they havent cured it yet?

thanks!

ps: im not diabetic, but i want to learn a bit more about the condition, so i will be hanging around this forum asking and answering questions ;)

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One Response to “how is a cure for diabetes comming along?”

  1. reginachick22 says:

    Which form of diabetes are you asking about? The 2 most common forms are very different, with different causes and likely very different eventual cures.

    In the case of Type 2 diabetes, the most common form often related to obesity, a cure is not anywhere on the horizon. While some assume this is because the drugs used to treat the disease are a big money-maker (true) this is only one possible reason. The fact remains that Type 2 diabetes in MOST cases (90%) is a preventable illness that can and SHOULD be treated primarily with lifestyle changes. Pumping a Type 2 diabetic full of medications and not changing his diet or exercise habits is like telling a lung cancer patient to keep smoking and expect him to be cured.

    The bottom line is that the most effect treatment and prevention for 90% of Type 2 diabetes cases is lifestyle change.

    For the remaining 10% or so, there is much work being done looking into genetic insulin resistance and other forms of diabetes like MODY. Joslin is doing much research here.

    As for Type 1 diabetes, the "severe" non-preventable form of diabetes that often first appears in childhod (it is NOT related to lifestyle), there is also much progress being made in recent months. Before, researchers thought they could "cure" Type 1 diabetes with a pancreas transplant. But now we know that Type 1 diabetes is not that simple. Most transplants fail soon after, and the person must take toxic drugs that may be worse for the body than having diabetes. Not to mention the shortage of donors.

    So when research was focusing only on pancreas transplants, the "cure" for Type 1 diabetes was pretty dim. No one ever addressed a major problem why the transplants fail, which is the CAUSE of Type 1 diabetes, autoimmunity.

    Now, researchers are looking at ways to stop the ongoing autoimmunity in Type 1 diabetes, with the hope of regenerating the body’s OWN beta cells, or making a transplant more successful and worth the risk. Other researchers are looking at ways to encapsulate (cover) transplanted insulin making cells, to help protect them from both donor rejection and autoimmunity.

    I predict that we will see a breakthrough for Type 1 diabetes in the near future. I wouldn’t call it a "cure" unless we were to completely reverse the autoimmunity and/or regenerate islets (we are not there yet), but I DO think there will be a "cure treatment" which will restore normal blood sugar. I think encapsulated islets are on the horizon. Xeno (pig islets) will likely be used, as there are not enough donor cells. This way, more people can be helped, and right away. Stem cell research is still too far behind.

    I suspect that within 5 years or less, encapsulated islets will be available to treat Type 1 diabetes. The autoimmunity part is trickier, although HUGE breakthroughs have been made recently. The autoimmunity and shortage of donor cells (for those who will not be able to regenerate once the autoimmunity is stopped) are what’s holding back a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

    Other research is looking at a drug (AT-1001) that can actually prevent the trigger/one of the triggers for Type 1 diabetes from being absorbed into the body (research shows it may be absorbed through gaps in the small intestine). We do not know if it is a virus, a food protein (like gluten or casein), both, or neither. This drug closes these gaps, and may prevent Type 1 diabetes from occuring. It is currently in early stage trials.

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