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Future Prospects for Diabetics

Jul 13, 2008
To a great extent the future of a person with diabetes is in their hands. While not all complications can be avoided, many can be prevented with lifestyle choices

There are many possible complications that come with diabetes.

People taking insulin can experience hypoglycemia--low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia can cause many problems, including coma. Muscle weakness and headaches are common signs of mild hypoglycemia.

Missing an insulin dose or having an infection can cause diabetic acidosis-a life threatening condition. Type 1 diabetics are more prone to diabetic acidosis than Type 2 diabetics are.

Insulin helps regulate blood glucose levels, but it also plays a role in burning body fat. When the insulin level drops drastically, the body starts burning fat, producing a characteristic ketone smell from the breath. The body tries to reduce the condition by inducing rapid breathing. But that strategy can only succeed to a certain degree.

Another complication from diabetes is diabetic retinopathy in which the retina degenerates because of damaged blood vessels. Diabetes often also leads to kidney malfunction, as the glomeruli are slowly destroyed.

Fortunately, these complications can be avoided.

The possible long term effects of diabetes are very well known and there have been developed a number of strategies for dealing with them.

Accurate and careful self-care is the first line of defense. That keeps glucose and insulin levels where they should be, along with keeping the body fit to deal with the rigors of any problems that occur. It helps keep blood pressure in check to avoid long term complications from high blood pressure.

There are also other tactics being studied. Tactics which adjust your body's level of insulin production or improve your body's use of insulin would be optimal, since Type 1 diabetes comes from the first problem and Type 2 diabetes comes from the second problem. Although there are other types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 occur in over 95% of all cases. Two tactics which may alter insulin use are organ transplant and gene therapy.

Organ transplant for a diabetic means replacing the malfunctioning pancreas of a Type 1 diabetic with another pancreas. The surgery is done only if other methods of treatment have failed. In the past thirty years, transplant methods have greatly improved. New drugs now can keep the immune system from rejecting the organ. Gene therapy may soon be used to eliminate the need for autoimmune suppression medications.

Beyond being an adjunct in aiding immune system suppression, gene therapy can have a more direct role. Research is being conducted to correct autoimmune disorders, one type of which causes Type 1 diabetes. Even Type 2 diabetes sufferers have hope as well, though.

Gene therapy holds out the promise of being able to adjust the efficiency with which the body uses insulin, the characteristic of Type 2. Gene therapy may be able to affect the gene that controls the production of insulin beta cells.

New research is continually progressing. In the future, this research may lead to better treatments for diabetes or perhaps a cure.
About the Author
Julia Hanf author of the book How To Play the Diabetes Diet Game and Win Through a real life crisis Julia figured out how to live diabetes free. Visit http://www.yourdiabetescure.com and learn more about your solution for diabetes.
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