30 Days to a Diabetes-Free Life

Despite what You’ve been Told – You CAN Reverse Diabetes Permanently – and You Don’t Need Insulin Shots

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

How Close are We to Finding a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes?

By Graham Shelton

Currently Type One Diabetes sufferers have to administer regular insulin injections in order to stop their blood sugar levels from rising dangerously high. While this makes the condition manageable, it's not an ideal lifestyle, and there is still a lot of danger involved if sufferers fail to keep up the routine. Some research is currently working on more efficient ways of getting insulin into the body, such as implants that can be push-button activated and last for days, or inhalers. But these approaches aren't 'cures' to the disease, they are only ways of keeping it from being deadly.

So what's going on inside the body of a Type One sufferer? The problem comes down to an autoimmune response - so the body attacking itself basically. White blood cells which usually help mop up bacteria, called B cells, register the cells of the pancreas which produce insulin as a problem. As a result they are broken down, and are rendered ineffective in the production of insulin. We need insulin because this is the body's chemical message to tell cells to stop taking more sugar into the blood.

One approach is to study the interaction of B cells with the pancreas to figure out why they trigger a response in the immune system. A team at King's College London are currently investigating a specific molecule on the pancreatic cells of Type One sufferers, called HLA molecules, which seem to cause the body to think there's a problem. If this work can figure out a way of restricting the action of the B cells on these HLA molecules, it might just lead to a cure.

Another approach from Cardiff University involves looking at the B cells themselves and trying to isolate what makes them tick. Again, the hope would be that there is some characteristic of these cells which can be used to the advantage of patients.

These are only a couple of examples of the work being done to better understand this serious condition, and hopefully with more understanding a cure might be found.

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