Engadget had a recent article talking about the use of Stem Cells to try and create insulin within people that are living with Type 1 Diabetes. Researchers at ViaCyte, a regenerative medicine company, have some good news: They’re working on a therapy based on stem cells that can automatically release insulin into the body when it’s needed.
Type 1 Diabetes is a life-long condition wherein a person’s Blood Sugar is chronically at abnormally high levels. The condition affects the body’s ability to use glucose in the blood for energy.
Two types of Diabetes are recognized: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. In this article, you will learn about the symptoms and treatment of Diabetes 1.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes can surface at any age but it is most often diagnosed in kids, teenagers, or young adults. For this reason, it was formerly known as juvenile diabetes.
People with Type 1 diabetes produce very little or no Insulin. In contrast, those with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin but the body cannot use it adequately. Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas. Its role is to transfer blood sugar into the cells to provide energy. Those with diabetes 1 have damaged beta cells, thus hampering insulin production. With little or no insulin, glucose accumulates in the blood to excessive levels.
The cause of diabetes 1 is not fully understood but many medical experts believe it can be an autoimmune disorder. Type 1 diabetes is often hereditary.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
The first signs of type 1 diabetes are:
- Constantly feeling very thirsty
- Feeling hungry
- Feeling tired or fatigued throughout the day
- Unexplained loss
- Increased frequency of urination
- Blurry eyesight
- Tingling feeling or loss of feeling in your feet
Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis
If you experience diabetes symptoms, you should consult a doctor without delay.
The following blood tests are used in the diagnosis of diabetes:
- Fasting Blood Sugar
- Random or Nonfasting Blood Glucose Level
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
- Hemoglobin A1c Test
For example, you may have diabetes if your Fasting Blood Sugar is higher than 126 mg/dL, or if your Random Blood Sugar level is higher than 200 mg/dL.
Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes
If you have diabetes 1 you must watch your diet and physical activity. You must learn how to control your blood sugar. Home blood sugar monitoring is often necessary to manage your condition.
People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin everyday to move the glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells. Usually, insulin is injected under the skin. An alternative method makes use of a pump that continuously delivers measured amounts of insulin.
Different types of insulin are available and they differ in how quickly they start to work and how long they remain effective.
By reviewing the results of your blood tests, your doctor will be able to recommend the best type of insulin for you, and at what time during the day to use it.
You will also need to know how to adjust the amount of insulin you are taking when exercising, traveling, eating more or less food, or when you are sick.
Managing type 1 diabetes is very important to prevent complications from the disorder such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and vision problems.
The Future of Type 1 Diabetes
There is hop in the future for people that suffer from Type 1 Diabetes. There is research showing that Metforim may help for Vascular (eye issues) that are linked to diabetes. Also there is some research that is showing that there is a possibility of vaccine against diabetes.
The treatment is specifically aimed at patients with high-risk type-1 diabetes. ViaCyte estimates that around 140,000 people in the US and Canada suffer from the condition, which can cause life-threatening events. The use of stem cells to replace pancreatic insulin cells has been tried before, but without much success. ViaCyte’s approach shows promise because the stem cells can mature within the body itself through an implant the company calls PEC-Direct.
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