Is there a cure for diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body cannot produce enough insulin. Insulin helps to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar in the body. In patients who have Type 1 diabetes, the insulin in the body is actually destroyed by the body itself. Millions of people in the world currently have diabetes and many die at an early age due to the disease and the lack of a cure.

The insulin in the body is carried throughout the body in cells known as islets. Studies have been done in the past and are currently being conducted to fully understand these islets and whether donor islets may offer a much needed cure for the disease. In 2006, studies were conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine to determine whether these donor islets would provide a cure for diabetes. Of patients who were transplanted with islets from deceased human donors, only five of the 36 patients studied were able to produce their own insulin regulation and remain independent of injected insulin after two years. Although this outcome is definitely not miracle scientists hoped that it would be, it does show that insulin dependence may be reduced by transplantation in patients diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Today, transplantation of islets is still considered to be a treatment and not a cure. There is no known cure for diabetes at this point although research, tests and more studies are being conducted every year. Researchers continue to look for cures for both Type 1 and Type 2 forms of diabetes. Today, prevention and treatment remain the only two options for dealing with the disease.

Prevention involves lifestyle changes for many and includes the need to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity and being overweight significantly increases the risks for developing diabetes. If you are currently overweight, it is important that you work to get your weight within a healthy limit. You can begin adding more fresh vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains to your daily diet. Exercise is also an important factor in maintaining a healthy weight. Losing as few as ten pounds can help to prevent or at least to delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

Try to choose foods that are lower in cholesterol and fat. You should learn to read labels on food that you purchase to ensure that you are purchasing healthier choices. Those on a 2,000 calorie per day diet should strive to keep their fat intake around 56 grams per day or less. Also, if you tend to drink alcohol, it is important that you limit quantities of this as well. Most alcoholic beverages contain high amounts of sugar so one to two drinks per day is a safe limit. Try not to drink more than two drinks per day and limit your daily drinking to under three days per week.

Exercise is crucial in maintaining a healthy weight and an overall good health. You can enroll in an aerobics class or simply begin walking daily. Try to get at least two to three hours of good, healthy exercise in every week. If you plan for more vigorous activities such as playing certain sports or running, you can limit your exercise to around an hour or two each week. Easy ways to incorporate moving into your daily life include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the store when you shop, walking to work when possible or just walking during your lunch break and taking extra steps to make yourself move more.

You can make exercise a family event and take a nice leisurely walk every evening after work or get outside and play sports with your children. Whichever way you do it, preventing diabetes is as easy as eating healthier, getting more exercise and visiting your doctor regularly particularly if diabetes runs in your family. Until a cure is found, prevention and treatment are the only two options to living with this disease.

Last updated on Jan 17th, 2011 and filed under Diabetes Mellitus. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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