Researchers May Have Found a Potential Cure for Type 1 Diabetes

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Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that suppressing a single hormone may eliminate the need for insulin injections and may make the condition completely asymptomatic.

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Truth is, there's still a ways to go in "curing" type 1 diabetes since the researchers only conducted lab tests with mice. But they found that suppressing the hormone glucagon renders insulin unnecessary. The new findings show that glucagon may play a large role, perhaps even larger than insulin, in controlling glucose levels. Dr. Roger Unger, the study's chief researcher, on the discovery:

"We've all been brought up to think insulin is the all-powerful hormone without which life is impossible, but that isn't the case. If diabetes is defined as restoration of glucose homeostasis to normal, then this treatment can perhaps be considered very close to a 'cure.'"

The effect will still have to be proven in humans but Unger and his team are very hopeful that they're on the right path. [Endocrine Web]

Image Credit: Daily Caller

DISCUSSION

By
muyiwa

I'm a Type I diabetic. I was diagnosed almost 3 years ago. It's very exciting news, but as someone posted, it's often 5-10 years away and often nothing comes of it. It's still pretty cool to have a little bit of hope. A couple of people were concerned about the difficulty of managing Type 1 diabetes and I just wanted to point out that it's not a huge deal. Of course it's a massive inconvenience, but not that difficult to manage.

I was told (not sure if they were just trying to scare me straight) that 60% of diabetics will die from complications arising from diabetes. From what I understand, there are 3 primary reasons why that would happen:

i) Poverty - not everyone has insurance or the funds to manage the disease. It can cost around $200 / month with no insurance in test strips, syringes, alcohol swabs and insulin, which unfortunately is a lot of money for some.

ii) Lack of education - some people just don't understand the disease and they're not clear on how it does and can affect them and as such they don't take the proper precautions or care for themselves as they should.

iii) Sheer stupidity - we all know diabetics who drink to get drunk at the bar every weekend, glucose levels be damned, and they have all the equipment, and insurance and access to treatment and counselling and they don't do anything about it. Dumbasses.

If you don't fall into any of the 3 categories above, and additionally you have a good reason to live / not go blind / not have appendages amputated, then you will likely take care of yourself, watch your diet, check your blood sugars regularly and live a long healthy life.

Also thanks for your comment @tekdemon - it was well thought out.