Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells.
Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems. Although diabetes has no cure, you can take steps to manage your diabetes and stay healthy.
Sometimes people call diabetes “a touch of sugar” or “borderline diabetes.” These terms suggest that someone doesn’t really have diabetes or has a less serious case, but every case of diabetes is serious.
What health problems can people with diabetes develop?
Over time, high blood glucose leads to problems such as
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- eye problems
- dental disease
- nerve damage
- foot problems
You can take steps to lower your chances of developing these diabetes-related health problems.
There is no current cure for diabetes although several treatments are available. Treatments include, diet plans, insulin injection, oral medication or surgery depending upon the type of diabetes. The proper management of treatments for diabetes helps diabetics maintain a normal way of life.
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Diabetes has three specific types: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
Is there a possible cure for diabetes type 1?
In type 1 diabetes, the islet cells of the pancreas in charge of producing insulin is being destroyed by the immune system of the body. Hence, the production of insulin by the pancreas is affected or the pancreas no longer produces insulin. The cause is still unidentified but this is often attributed to viral infections or disorder in the genes.
This is treated by a daily dose of insulin injection, an insulin pump or the insulin jet system. Oral medication as a treatment for type 1 diabetes is not applicable since it still has to pass the digestive system before it can take effect in the blood.
The currently suggested cure for type 1 diabetes are pancreas transplant, islet cell transplantation or stem cell transplant. Individuals who have undergone these surgical treatments as part of clinical tests, are still under evaluation for possible re-development of immunity rejection and its ability to maintain adequate number of insulin cells that can meet insulin requirements as well as keep new cells alive.
Other new treatments like synthetic human insulin, insulin analogs, genetic manipulation, BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccine, gastric bypass surgery and computerized artificial pancreas are still undergoing human clinical trials and study, in the hopes of finally determining if there is a cure for diabetes.
The drug BCG is said to have been tried and tested for 80 years now. Hence, if human clinical tests can prove this drug to be successful, the availability of a cheap generic drug to administer is possible.
Is there a possible cure for diabetes type 2?
Majority of diabetics are suffering from type 2 diabetes. This is due to insulin resistance of the body brought about by the inability of the cells to react to insulin or the production of insulin is not sufficient to control the blood glucose.
This is familiar among older people, obese individuals or persons with weight problems, due to their physical inactivity. Treatment initially requires diet control, exercise and oral medication to avoid progression into becoming type 1 diabetes. In the event that it does progress, treatment will then require insulin injection.
Similarly, there is also no cure for type 2 diabetes, hence, proper management of its treatments is necessary to avoid the progression of the disease.
This type of diabetes may also crop up in pregnant women known as gestational diabetes and may take place in the last months of pregnancy. Although considered as not life-threatening and may disappear after giving birth, the mother is already deemed prone to type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes.
Once an individual becomes afflicted with diabetes mellitus, it will become a part of his or her life and can even be a cause of death. Adequate knowledge in managing this disease can help the patient live longer.
Management includes lifestyle change, nutrition plan, physical activity and having a diabetes team to supervise the daily medications and monitoring. Other than the doctor, nurse, dietitian and healthcare professional, one should include a diabetes educator as part of the diabetes team. The diabetes educator will be responsible for the psychological needs of the patient and in providing assistance for some of the clinical requirements.
In as much as the elusive cure for diabetes is still undergoing further researches and clinical tests, management of the diseases is still the best way for the diabetic sufferers.
Those who are not yet afflicted with diabetes but are engaged in a lifestyle that may develop their body system into becoming one, it is best for them to consider the necessary changes in their way of eating and living to prevent diabetes from having control over their lives.