Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Cure for Diabetes?

At a recent visit to my nearby hospital doctor I enquired about the new, upcoming diabetes "cures". I asked about stem cell research and other things, and wondered if these would be available to me in the future.

Stem cells are blank cells that can grow into any kind of cell; this means they can grow into the all-important insulin producing islets. These could then be transplanted into the body and potentially cure the disease. As a young woman with type 1 diabetes I felt that this research was something I would be able to benefit from in the next 10 years, at least this is what I was told by another doctor 4 years ago. However, my doctor said that the best possible way for me to maintain good control and keep a great amount of freedom would be to stay with my Minimed insulin pump. I didn't realise how risky the procedure might be or the amount of anti-rejection drugs I would have to take after such an operation. It seems to me that I need to make the best use of my insulin pump in order to keep my body at a good level of health and my sugar levels stable. And although there are great improvements constantly being made to stem cell research, it seems best to make the most of what we currently have and just hope for the future.

A Cure for Diabetes? - Stem Cell Research through the eyes of a Type 1 Diabetic

2 comments:

Bernard said...

I posted recently about an article that outlined what it might take to get from stem cells to beta cells (insulin producing cells). Let's just say it's not easy.

I'm betting that research like that being done by Dr. Denise Faustman will yield results before stem cell work does. I hate to get my hopes up, after 35 years, but I'm starting to think that we might see something important within the next 10 years.

And I agree with you. Good control is the best way to can be ready for whatever comes along.

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