Diabetes is a problem that affects so many people, both in the U.S. and worldwide, surprisingly, however, very little is known about the disease.
There are a number of organizations that are researching exactly what causes diabetes, as well new and better methods for controlling it, monitoring blood sugar levels, getting insulin into the blood, newer medicines to correct the problems and even how to stop it before it starts.
There are numerous groups and organizations involved in research such as the FDA, the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation, or DAREF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Diabetes Research Institute and the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation and many, many others, in the United States, Great Britain, Australia and many other countries.
Some of the research being done includes;
o A vaccination against the autoimmune response that causes type 1 diabetes. Testing is currently being carried out on animals.
o Genetic engineering to make liver cells that produce insulin. Although insulin is produced there is no internal control mechanism as there is with the pancreas, so the insulin levels from such cells remains constant regardless of the body’s requirement for this hormone.
o Stem cells are the very basic building blocks of the human body and have the ability to develop into any kind of cell. It is possible that researchers will find a way to use stem cells to make insulin producing cells to replace those that have been damaged by the autoimmune problem that causes type 1 diabetes.
o Immunoassay for type 1 diabetes.
o The impact of exercise training for those with diabetes.
o A recent report that transplanted pig cells have been successful in reversing diabetes in test monkeys.
o Arterial issues.
o Enhancing the cell survival of important agents in diabetes.
o A type 1 diabetes medication that helps the beta cells in the pancreas to live longer, the loss of the beta cells is one thoughts of causes of type 1 diabetes, is currently underway by the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation (DAREF) that may prove to help patients create insulin on their own, thus reducing the dependence on outside sources of insulin
Other research currently underway is the use of cinnamon to lower blood sugar levels. Dr. Richard Anderson at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Resource Center has been able to effectively isolate a compound in cinnamon that causes lowered blood sugar.
The reason that cinnamon is so helpful to someone with diabetes is the way that it inhibits enzymes in the body that may be responsible to insulin resistance. This is especially noteworthy to those who are afflicted with Type II diabetes and have insulin resistance problems. Cinnamon also was shown to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin causing insulin to be used more efficiently.
If you or someone you know is afflicted with this chronic illness, funding a research team may allow you to benefit immediately and enable you to play a role in research and the treatment of the millions of other diabetes sufferers in the world.
A couple of the more recent treatments currently in trials are –
A medicine that is based on the saliva of a venomous lizard – the Gila Monster. The drug containing this new treatment is delivered by injection in much the same way as insulin, however the early trials have seen many participants withdraw because of an increase in side effects when compared to those caused by insulin. All research so far undertaken has been sponsored by the pharmaceutical company that produces this drug.
Another new treatment going through trials is the delivery of insulin through inhalation. The insulin is prepared in a dry micro fine powder form which is inhaled directly into the lungs from where it is absorbed into the blood stream.
This would have obvious advantages when treating children in particular, as the use of needles to deliver the essential insulin shots can make the condition doubly distressing for the patient and for the parents who often have to administer the injections. There are concerns about the long term problems that may be caused by this method of delivery and it is thought not to be suitable for smokers or asthma sufferers.
All new treatments offer hope for the future but the effectiveness of any of them will not be fully appreciated until they have been tested over time.