No, don’t worry I’m not about to confess to an undying passion for Gothic rock from the 1980’s.
I’m going to have a moan about how many times the ‘’cure’’ for diabetes has been found.
Anybody who has diabetes, loves a diabetic or even knows a diabetic in their daily lives will certainly know what I mean here. It seems to be every 6 to 8 weeks a new cure has been found, in fact the first cure I was aware of was just 2 weeks after I was diagnosed back in 2014. Since then I must have seen, on at least 10 occasions, that the cure for diabetes has been found.
Each and every time the latest cure has been found I know exactly what is coming my way, an entourage of well-meaning people tagging me in on Twitter or Facebook, with a link to the latest cure which is going to mean I’m not diabetic anymore. I’m sure that when a cure is found it will be a Doctor who lets me know about it, not Mark Zuckerberg and co. or the Daily Express.
Last Weeks Latest Cure
Just last week we had a massive breakthrough in the world of research, and this one applied to ALL types of diabetes, including type 1’s.
Don’t get me wrong I am eternally grateful that these studies are taking place, and one day they will find the cure, apparently just 10 years away!
“The pancreas can be triggered to regenerate itself through a type of fasting diet, say US researchers,” BBC News reports.
The study carried out by researchers from the University of Southern California and the Koch Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, and the IFOM FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Italy. The full 27-page study can be viewed ➡ Here
The NHS website has a good simple overview of this study, I have put the brief synopsis below, the full article is ➡ Here
Research in mice found a low-calorie diet may help in cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The pancreas is an organ that uses specialised cells known as beta cells to produce the hormone insulin, which the body uses to break down sugars in the blood (glucose).
In type 1 diabetes the pancreas stops producing insulin. In type 2 diabetes either not enough insulin is produced or cells in the body fail to respond to insulin (insulin resistance).
Mice were fed for four days on a low-calorie, low-protein and low-carbohydrate but high-fat diet, receiving half their normal daily calorie intake on day one, followed by three days of 10% of their normal calorie intake.
Researchers repeated this fast on three occasions, with 10 days of refeeding in between. They then examined the pancreas.
They found in mice modelled to have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, insulin production was restored, insulin resistance was reduced, and beta cells could be regenerated.
Why So Pessimistic
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? And it is amazing that these studies are taking place, and that the funding is there to enable them to happen thanks to great charities like Diabetes UK, JDRF and the like.
As great as this all sounds I can send you the links to dozens of studies, exactly like this one, dating back for the past 2 decades. Each of them claiming to have made the ‘’breakthrough’’ and yet here we are still pumping ourselves with insulin every day.
The British media really don’t help the cause either. Diabetes seems to be the ”go to” sensationalist headline, something which grates my goat, a lot. I wrote about the great British media and diabetes a while back – ➡ British Media & Diabetes
My Concerns With The Latest Cure
This latest study has shown some real promise but I have one major underlying reservation with this one. The premise of this fasting, calorie restricted diet, inducing my pancreas to spring into life again has an underlying flaw. See I am a type 1 diabetic, the cause of this illness is still unknown. The accepted theory is that it is caused by an autoimmune response. Which results in my immune system attacking and killing of the insulin-producing beta cells in my pancreas.
Now, this development is claiming that my pancreas can be kick started into producing these magical beta cells. This means I can have my own working insulin factory again. Sounds great but what it isn’t considering is that my own immune system will just attack these shiny new beta cells and kill them off again. This leaves me right back at square one, diabetic!! This is also not to mention the fact the mice used were not type 1 diabetic. They had high blood sugars induced on them, much different to an autoimmune response killing off their beta cells.
Obviously, immune suppressing drugs are available. The side effects of those, in my opinion, are as bad as living with type 1.
Rant Over, Let’s Be Optimistic
I am certain that one day the cure will be found and we will all be cured. There is so much money being invested into research that the breakthrough should be inevitable. I am not willing to hold my breath and wait for that day, though. I would sooner just live my life, we all get one go at this. Make the most of every day and the hand that life has dealt you.
Take care, the cure is there……. Somewhere