Type 1 diabetes

English

Designer insulins and meal-time blood glucose control

After the discovery of insulin in the 1920´s, available insulin was from natural sources (animal pancreas) until human insulin was made available in the early 1980s. None of these insulins was ideal for injection under the skin. Now, new

New treatments for diabetes: generating new insulin-producing cells

A new generation of treatments for Type 1 diabetes is likely to come from within our own bodies. We know that a wide range of cell types have the ability to regenerate. Although some of these cells are found outside the pancreas, their regenerative capacity can be harnessed to replenish the insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas that are destroyed in diabetes. In this article, Denise Faustman looks at the potential benefits and pitfalls of four biologically based therapies, all of which take advantage of the body’s own capacity for healing and renewal.

Dietary toxins: digging up the dirt on vegetables

Recent research from Australia has implicated infections of common garden vegetables as a possible source of chemicals which cause damage to the pancreas, the organ that makes insulin. This damage could thereby cause Type 1 diabetes, the insulin-dependent form of the disease.

Contraception: making the right choice

There are no contraceptive methods that are specifically contraindicated in women with diabetes. Given the increased risks associated with unplanned pregnancy, methods with proven high degrees of effectiveness are to be preferred. The most important medical factor which affects the choice of contraception is the presence of vascular complications. For this reason women with diabetes should be evaluated by a physician before making their contraceptive choices. Contraceptive counselling should be an integrated part of care for all women with diabetes of childbearing age.

Eating disorders and other vulnerabilities: a passing phase?

The metabolic control of diabetes tends to deteriorate during the adolescent years, and this deterioration is more pronounced in teenage girls than boys. Efforts to achieve and maintain excellent blood glucose control are more difficult and less successful in adolescents than in adults. This suggests that the teenage years are a highly vulnerable period for girls with Type 1 diabetes, a time when the risk for the later development of diabetes-related complications may become accelerated.

Beta cell insulin therapy

The insulin pump offers advantages to some people with Type 1 diabetes, freeing them from the chore of administering a number of injections every day. However, the high cost of the pump and the need for careful supervision will limit its use to wealthy patients who can count on sophisticated medical support. This article proposes the use of "beta cell therapy" in order to create surrogate insulin-producing cells.

Towards an understanding of the genetic causes of diabetes

People develop Type 1 diabetes when their immune system specifically seeks out and destroys the insulin-producing ß-cells in their pancreas. The interaction of environmental factors with a number of gene variants results in the immune disturbance which causes the condition. In this article, Tony Merriman looks at the approaches used to identify the genes which make a person susceptible to Type 1 diabetes.

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