Hoping For A Cure
Type one diabetes is a disease that affects without warning, as it knows no gender, class, race, or religious limits. Type one diabetes most often takes those afflicted by storm, changing their lives forever. Type one diabetes has no cure, only treatments to keep blood glucose levels regulated and to keep the person who has diabetes healthy and happy. In the last ten years diabetes research has made the treatment of diabetes much more tolerable, yet it would still be a win for scientific research if we could put all the pieces of the puzzle together to find a cure for this chronic disease that affects so many people on a day-to-day basis.
Type one diabetes means that a person is and always will be insulin dependent. When a person does not have diabetes their body makes insulin to counteract the sugars in the foods they eat, but those with type one do not produce insulin. Unfortunately, the only way for those with type one diabetes to take their insulin is through shots or what is called an insulin pump. Either way, a person has to insert a needle into their body to get a regulated amount of insulin because their body lacks this vital substance.
It seems like finding a cure for type one diabetes would be simple, because we know what the problem is. The medical community is well aware that type one diabetes is simply the lack of insulin production which causes the cells in the body to become so inundated with glucose that they cannot function properly, so it would seem to be an easy fix. Unfortunately, type one diabetes isn’t easy to cure because it’s not as simple as figuring out how to make the pancreas that is responsible for insulin production secrete insulin again. Type one diabetes is an autoimmune disease, meaning that for one reason or another, the body attacks and kills off the insulin producing cells. This means even if doctors were to transplant insulin-producing cells into the diabetic pancreas that they would only work for a limited amount of time, until the body killed off those implanted cells.
There is hope for a cure though, the American Diabetes Association along with the Juvenile Diabetes Research foundation are always raising money to aid in the research for a cure, or at the very least, less intensive daily treatments. With a regimen that consists of five or more pokes for glucose testing a day and two to six insulin injections there is a lot of room for progress to be made, even if a cure cannot be found in the near future.
A diagnosis of type one diabetes changes your life, and the life of all the people who love you. You are forced to look at food very differently, and you learn to live life to it’s fullest. With good glucose control, a person with diabetes will likely live as long as one without the disease but good care must be taken to avoid serious complications of long-term high glucose levels. With all of the tools available to manage diabetes and ongoing research there is hope, hope that we’ll be able to lessen the impact, hope that we’ll be able to cure the millions of people afflicted with this relentless disease.