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Diabetes: Treatment (Present and Future)

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Introduction

AN ANALYSIS OF MAIN TREATMENTS OF TYPE 1 DIABETES: PRESENT AND FUTURE Word count: 1987 Target Audience: Recently diagnosed diabetics and older diabetics Ever since the age of 2 years old, I have always had to live side by side with my diabetes. However, even through the last 15 years there have been advancements and developments which have made my life considerably easier. I wish to take a brief look at some of them and see what is may be on offer in the future. WHAT IS DIABETES? By having diabetes myself, I have always known what the basics are; what I can and cannot do. But it may be worthwhile to establish exactly what it is so that we can really understand the treatments on offer. There are two types of diabetes, aptly named "Type 1" and "Type 2", and while they are similar, there are key differences in both, which clearly define one from the other. TYPE 1 Dr. Ragnar Hanas1, in his book "Type 1 Diabetes", describes Type 1 diabetes: "the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed by a process in the body known as autoimmunity. This leads to a total loss of insulin production." More specifically, the Islets of Langerhans, situated on the Beta cells of pancreatic cells, do not function. This leads to an increase in glucose in the blood stream. TYPE 2 Type 2 diabetes is a little different. Instead of the body not producing insulin at all, the body either produces some (but not all) ...read more.

Middle

HOWEVER! - MY CONCLUSIONS I, and (possibly) you, are not alone in having diabetes. The number of people who have diabetes has grown rapidly in the last few decades. For example my cousin has just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She is currently adjusting her initial regime to 4 times a day. At the moment her mother (my Aunt) thinks that "although injections are necessary, it is hard to accept that she will have to do them for the rest of her life". I also know a few people who have been diagnosed with Diabetes since I was. Each one of them found it very difficult to get over the fact that this is a disease for life, that for those with Type 1 Diabetes they will have to inject themselves up to five times a day for the rest of their life. It is not like a cold which will eventually go away. This leads me to make a very clear conclusion: it isn't the actual treatment which is the real problem with diabetes, but the idea behind it. "The bark is worse than the bite" is an expression which I think diabetes can be related to, and I think that the perfect treatment will combat both the mental and physical elements. Indeed, once you do get over the initial shock, diabetes becomes much more manageable. Quite often I get asked, "But surely the injections hurt? I could never inject myself so often!". ...read more.

Conclusion

I asked Doctor Mann, another doctor specialising in diabetes, about the cure. She said "there is certainly a long way to go for the cure to be made commercially available, but when it does, it will solve every diabetic's worries and problems. It is the perfect cure, better than any other treatment in the works". I am sure I am not alone in saying that I cannot wait for that day! OBESITY AND TYPE 2 DIABETES Obesity has been rising, as Figure 11 shows, for the last decade, at least. Studies have shown that an increase in body fat is linked to glucose intolerance (type 2 diabetes) by suppressing the signals sent by insulin receptors (i.e. it is not telling the body it needs insulin).11 Of course, obesity is not the only cause of type 2 diabetes, but it really is a main contributor. There will still be those who develop diabetes because they have a genetic predisposition to it, even if they are healthy and active. The obesity epidemic should not only be tackled because of diabetes, but because it contributes to many other diseases or disadvantages, such as the decrease in ability of the body's immune system to recover from illness. This leads me to make another conclusion: that half of the problem of diabetes is caused by society itself. Having medication to help diabetes is great for those who have diabetes, but everyone needs to make a conscious decision to become fitter and healthier. Only then will diabetes be less of a problem, it will become rarer and eventually much less expensive to maintain. ...read more.

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