Bariatric surgery, weight control and proper nutrition can cure type 2 diabetes because it is acquired throughout life. However, people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which is genetic, can currently only control the disease with regular diet and insulin use.
To solve this problem and seek a cure for type 1 diabetes, several studies are being carried out on some possibilities that may have the desired answer. See what these advances are.
1. Stem cells
Embryonic stem cells are special cells taken from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby that can be worked in the laboratory to become any other cell in the body.Thus, by transforming these cells into pancreas cells, it is possible to place them in the body of the person with diabetes, allowing them to have a functional pancreas again, representing the cure of the disease.
What are stem cells
Nanovacins are small spheres produced in the laboratory and much smaller than the body's cells, which prevent the immune system from destroying the cells that produce insulin. Thus, when diabetes is caused by this lack of control of the defense cells, nanovacins may represent the cure for this disease.
3. Pancreatic islet transplantation
The pancreatic islets are a group of cells responsible for the production of insulin in the body, which are damaged in type 1 diabetics. Transplanting these cells from a donor can bring about a cure for the disease, as the diabetic returns to having he althy cells that produce insulin.
This transplant is performed without the need for surgery, as the cells are injected into a vein in the liver of the patient with diabetes through an injection. However, it takes 2 or 3 donors to have a sufficient number of pancreatic islets for transplantation, and the patient who receives the donation needs to take medication for the rest of his life, so that the body does not reject the new cells.
4. Artificial pancreas
The artificial pancreas is a thin, CD-sized device that is implanted in a diabetic's abdomen and causes insulin to be produced. This device continuously calculates the amount of sugar in the blood and delivers the exact amount of insulin that should be released into the bloodstream.
It is made from stem cells and will be tested in animals and humans in 2016, being a promising treatment that could be used to control the blood sugar level of many diabetics.
5. Pancreas transplant
The pancreas is the organ responsible for producing insulin in the body, and pancreas transplantation gives the patient a he althy new organ, curing diabetes. However, the surgery for this transplant is complex and is only performed when there is a need to also transplant another organ, such as the liver or kidney.
In addition, in pancreas transplantation, the patient will also need to take immunosuppressive drugs for life, so that the transplanted organ is not rejected by the body.
6. Microbiota transplantation
Stool transplantation consists of removing feces from a he althy person and passing it to a diabetic, as this causes the patient to have a new intestinal flora, which increases the efficiency of insulin. For this procedure, the feces must be worked in the laboratory, being washed and diluted in saline solution before they can be injected into the intestine of the person who has diabetes through a colonoscopy.Thus, this technique is a good option for people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, but it is not effective for patients with type 1 diabetes.
According to studies, these treatments may be able to cure type 1 and type 2 diabetes, eliminating the need for insulin injections to regulate blood sugar. However, not all of these techniques are approved for humans, and the number of islet and pancreas transplants is still small. Thus, the control of the disease must be done through a diet low in sugars and carbohydrates, with the practice of physical activity and with the use of medications such as Metformin or Insulin.
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