What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes, sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease which is caused by the immune system’s attack on the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, then you are going to have to make some significant lifestyle adjustments in order to properly manage your disease. Diabetics must test their blood glucose levels multiple times a day, all meals and physical activity must be closely monitored, and insulin has to be administered via a shot or insulin pump.
(You should also check out our page on Type 2 Diabetes)
What is Juvenile Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes has been called juvenile diabetes due to the fact that it is often diagnosed in children and adolescents, but the onset of T1D symptoms can still begin in adulthood. If this disease is not properly controlled, diabetics can develop a number of other potentially life-threatening conditions, including complete renal failure and even blindness. Ongoing research on diabetes has lead to a better understanding of how to treat or even how to prevent this autoimmune disease.
Leading healthcare experts know that there are two fundamental aspects of this disease that need to be corrected in order to cure someone of type 1 diabetes. First, you would need to be able to get the immune system to stop producing auto-antibodies which would attack the beta cells. The bodies insulin dependence could be restored if new beta cells could be protected from attack (a process called encapsulation). However, scientists first need to develop a way to the body’s ability to produce its own insulin.
Restoring Insulin Dependence
At this time, there are some experimental methods which could be used to restore fully functional insulin-producing cells within the patient’s body. Clinical researchers are working with stem cells in order to create new insulin-producing cells in the gut. Also, new cells could be created through a process of regeneration, where they are produced from the few remaining healthy cells left in the pancreas.
Frankly, there is still quite a bit of work to do before we will be able to completely cure people with type 1 diabetes. However, you would be amazed by what research teams are discovering with every new clinical study. Innovative medical therapies are being tested on type 1 diabetics with really promising results. Because of these new diabetes clinical trials, people who must live with this chronic illness can now enjoy a better quality of life than ever before.
Breakthroughs in Diabetes Research
The latest technology has also played a very important role in many of the recent breakthroughs in diabetes research. Diabetics now have access to devices like the continuous glucose monitor, which can provide them with an optimal level of control over their blood glucose levels throughout the day. With some of these new devices, it has also been able to cut down on the number of times that diabetics must prick their fingers during the day. In the near future, inventions like the artificial pancreas could be able cure people with this autoimmune disease.