If you’re a person living with diabetes, or know someone who is, you’re aware of this blood glucose disorder and its often devastating health effects. Type 1 Diabetes (also called Juvenile Diabetes) is an autoimmune disease that strikes children as well as adults and occurs when the body’s immune system destroys cells in the pancreas that produce insulin the hormone that helps us obtain energy from food. Type 1 has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle and causes lifelong dependence on injected or pumped insulin. Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which insulin is still produced but can’t be used by the body effectively, often as a result of obesity and an unhealthy diet. It can often be treated with diet and lifestyle changes, as well as oral medications and sometimes requires injected or pumped insulin. Last year saw a variety of promising breakthroughs and discoveries that could help people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes:
- Researchers at Harvard University developed a new way to quickly convert stem cells into beta cells which produce and store insulin an important step in finding a cure for Type 1.
- University of Miami doctors completed a minimally invasive transplant of insulin-producing cells into a woman, helping her produce insulin for the first time since she was diagnosed with Type 1, 26 years ago.
- Clinical trials for a first-ever insulin pill, developed by scientists in the U.S. and Israel, are underway. The pill is being tested initially on Type 2 patients and, if successful, promises to one day replace insulin injections.
- A recent Ohio State University study suggests a work-based dietary intervention program focused on increasing moderate exercise and reducing calories and fat may be effective at reversing pre-diabetes and preventing diabetes.
Did you know? Pre-diabetes is a real concern While 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, another 86 million or 1 in 3 adults have pre-diabetes. Without weight loss and physical activity, they’re at risk of developing Type 2 within 5 years. Ask your doctor if you’re at risk! (Source)