Is there a cure for diabetes?


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There are currently countless researchers investigating potential cures for diabetes however the complexities of the disease are making a conclusion very difficult. Type I diabetes is caused when your body is unable to produce insulin due to autoimmune damage (damage caused by the cells of your own immune system) to the β cells (the insulin producing cells) in your pancreas. So one of the potential cures for diabetes type I is a pancreatic transplant. This means that your diabetic pancreas will be surgically removed and replaced with another pancreas that has working β cells. So far, there has been a small amount of success with this type of treatment and pancreatic transplant patients no longer need to use insulin. However, these patients do need to continue to take immunosuppressor drugs for the rest of their lives in order to stop their bodies from rejecting the transplanted pancreas. So the question is: is this a cure or are we actually just replacing one drug for another? Another potential cure for diabetes type I is based on the use of pancreatic stem cells. Researchers are looking into ways to grow new β cells from your own stem cells so that they can be transplanted into your own pancreas. The idea is that because the new β cells would be made from your own cells, you would not need to take immunosupressor drugs. However, the use of stem cells is highly complex and the main problem is that (because they are the same as your original β cells) they are also quickly destroyed by your immune system in the same way as your original β cells. Cures for type II diabetes are equally difficult but a number of potential cures are being researched including the use of microscopic implants that could act to provide your body with drugs and insulin as required by monitoring your blood glucose level.  


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