Everything You Need to Know About Diabetes
Diabetes has become more prevalent today. In fact, there are reportedly over 400 million who suffer from this medical condition and that number is expected to rise somewhere around 600 million by the time we reach the year 2035.
This is a serious medical condition as it can contribute to multiple organ failures. In fact, I lost my grandfather due to this dreaded disease and therefore, it is of utmost importance to make sure that you do not suffer the same fate.
What is It Exactly?
Diabetes is a medical condition wherein the blood cannot utilize sugar the way normal people do. The body of people who suffer from this condition is not able to properly regulate sugar in the blood.
You see, when we ingest food, our Pancreas help digest the food and it contains beta cells that produce the Insulin our bodies need to regulate sugar. Insulin is responsible for giving out signals to the different parts of our body to accept sugar (in the form of glucose) as it will be utilized for energy.
There are actually two types of Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes, otherwise known as Juvenile Diabetes, this is a condition where the body’s immune system just suddenly attacks and hampers the effects of the beta cells in order to produce Insulin. Either the patient who suffers from this type of Diabetes does not produce enough insulin or their bodies do not produce any at all. This decreased ability for our bodies to absorb glucose leads to high sugar levels in the blood, which will then result in the continued degradation and ultimately the failure of your different organs including your kidneys, eyes, lungs, and your nervous system.
Type 2 Diabetes, also known as Adult-Onset Diabetes, is a condition where the body has become resistant to Insulin and its effects. We’ve learned that Insulin is responsible for the electrical signals given to the different parts of our body to take up glucose, but since the patient has become resistant to its commands, blood sugar levels rise in the process. Again, this will lead to the same damage caused by Type 1 Diabetes as well.
People who suffer from Juvenile Diabetes are given Insulin shots to help regulate blood sugar levels. The problem is how to strike the balance so that people will not be overdosed by Insulin and also not suffer from high glucose levels in the blood.
In most cases, patients with Adult-onset Diabetes are given diet plans and are encouraged to have a healthier lifestyle. In severe cases, they are also given insulin shots as well.
What are the Stem Cells Use in This?
Although stem cells are still not being used in the treatment of Diabetes, scientists and researchers are working hard to come up with a solution. They are studying both of the types to help understand what caused them in the first place.
For instance, why does our immune system attack the beta cells in Type 1 Diabetes? And why are our bodies immune or resistant to the commands of Insulin in Type 2 Diabetes?
In one study, researchers are looking for ways to stimulate more copies of beta cells so that in the event that they are attacked (i.e. Type 1 Diabetes), they are able to regenerate almost immediately afterward.
Also, they are learning to find ways to administer the stem cells in the body and to help integrate them with the patient’s internal organs.
With current advances to technology, we hope to finally reach a point where stem cells can rid the body of the effects of Diabetes.