For many people, managing diabetes is a daily battle. It can necessitate near-constant forethought about when and what a person will eat throughout the day, whether or not the meals will require insulin, countless finger pricks to check glucose levels, and the added inconvenience of constantly carrying insulin pumps and testers, extra batteries, and everything else they will need to get through the day.
Diabetes is a group of illnesses in which the body’s ability to make or utilise insulin, the hormone needed to turn food into energy, is impaired. Diabetes has no recognised cause, and there is currently no cure. In the United States today, diabetes is the sixth greatest cause of mortality.
The American Diabetes Association claims that “Diabetes affects 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, accounting for 7.8% of the population. Despite the fact that 17.9 million individuals have been diagnosed with diabetes, 5.7 million people (almost a quarter) remain ignorant that they have it.”
There are three kinds of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and type 3 diabetes.
Type 1 is an autoimmune illness, whereas Type 2 is linked to genetic and lifestyle factors.
- Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that develops during pregnancy.
The inability of the body to generate insulin causes Type 1 Diabetes, which requires daily insulin injections. It’s frequently referred to as “juvenile diabetes” since it most often affects youngsters. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), up to three million Americans may have type 1 diabetes (T1D), with an average of 40 youngsters diagnosed each day (more than 15,000 per year).
The key to treating diabetes is to keep insulin levels stable. Today’s conventional therapy is boosting the body’s insulin levels, usually with injections (needles) or insulin pumps worn outside the body. This necessitates the patient checking his or her blood sugar levels many times each day and monitoring blood insulin levels closely. While this is presently the best standard of treatment, researchers are hoping to discover a method to aid the body’s ability to generate or control its own insulin levels.
One approach under investigation is the use of stem cells to generate insulin-producing islets in the pancreas. While stem cell treatment has yet to cure type 1 diabetes, individuals have gone years without requiring insulin injections. Cord blood stem cells are being used in certain clinical studies to treat diabetes.
Researchers collected and evaluated 13 papers published between 2006 and 2016 that included 342 patients who got stem cells similar to those found in cord blood and another 111 who received stem cells similar to those found in cord tissue to treat their diabetes. Despite the fact that not everyone reacted to the therapy, researchers found that it improved glucose control and decreased insulin need for up to four years. While the findings indicated promise for utilising stem cells to treat diabetes, they left a few issues unresolved, such as who were the best candidates, what was the best method of delivery, what was the optimum dosage, and if repeated transfusions were required.