• Question: I have diabetes is there a cure

    Asked by truedonnyharley to David, Thiloka, Shonna, Shobhana, Ryan, Ross, Rebecca, Rachel, Patrick, Nina, MattyB, Matthew, Marianne, Lorena, Kate, Kaitlin, James, Ettie, Emmanuelle, Deepak, Anabel, Ambre, Alex, AlexAgrotis, Aina on 17 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 17 Jun 2019:


      My mum has diabetes too. Unfortunately, there is no cure at the moment but the treatment (insulin and/or drugs that help insulin be made or make it more effective) are pretty good ay alleviating the symptoms and spikes in glucose (sugar) levels. Hopefully, in the future there will be a cure that stops it once it does develop. But, research focusing on prevention – stopping diabetes occurring in the first place – will be really important as well.

    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 17 Jun 2019:


      Sorry to hear that you have diabetes. I have looked after a lot of children and young people with diabetes and it is far from easy and I admire all my patients and their parents who put up with it day and night. At the moment there is no cure for type 1 (insulin deficiency) diabetes as we still dont know exactly what triggers it. It is likely a combination of genetic factors that increase the risk, and maybe a viral infection. As yet they also have been able to make an artificial pancreas but there are ever improving technologies that help with the day to day management of diabetes such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose sensors (I suspect you know/have heard all about these, if not, speak to your diabetes team), and I suspect in the not so distant future the technology will improve so that continuous glucose sensors can talk and alter the insulin pumps, but we are not there yet. Diabetes management has come so so far though I think it can only get better. Good luck x

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 17 Jun 2019:


      For Type I diabetes, sadly not at the moment – but there is a huge amount of research going on in this area and some great patient support out there. You probably already know the Diabetes UK website, but if you haven’t visited their ‘Research’ tab yet this a great place to keep up-to-date with all the latest research that’s trying to find a cure for diabetes. The research spotlights page is below:
      https://www.diabetes.org.uk/research/research-round-up/research-spotlight
      Did you know that other animals such as dogs and cats can get diabetes too? I hope that if we can find a cure in either humans or animals, it will help the other too! Here is some more information about it:
      https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Diabetes-in-Pets.aspx
      https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/feline-diabetes

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 17 Jun 2019:


      Thank you for the question. In addition to what the others have said, there is also now advancing research in this field around Islet Cell Transplant. This is when healthy pancreas cells responsible for producing insulin (islet cells) are transplanted into the pancreas of someone with diabetes. You can read more about the research here: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/insulin-medicines-treatments/pancreatic-islet-transplantation
      The research is still at the early stages, but now being trialled in the USA and there are some groups in the UK also working on this: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/research/research-round-up/research-spotlight/research-spotlight-islet-transplants
      This could be very helpful to reduce the need for insulin, and is also used to help those people who have lots of hypos. Hope that helps!

    • Photo: Kate Timms

      Kate Timms answered on 18 Jun 2019:


      Hi. As others have said, there is no cure at the moment, but there is treatment. AND there’s lots of research going on to try to cure type 1 diabetes by turning stem cells into functioning pancreatic beta cells (these are the cells which make insulin). In fact, I have some mouse pancreatic beta cells growing in my lab at the moment! We’re using them to mimic diabetes in mice to see how this affects the pups of mouse diabetic female mice.
      We don’t know why, but whilst it’s really easy to grow mouse pancreatic beta cells and make them from stem cells, we can’t do it yet for human ones. They just never quite work. Hopefully sometime soon someone will figure it out!

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 21 Jun 2019:


      I think the others have pretty much answered this for you spot on. But I will echo what they have said, there is a lot of research into finding possible cures…. so watch this space!

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