In diabetes the lack of the hormone insulin, which is secreted from the pancreas into the blood, results in the situation where the tissues of the body are not stimulated to take up sugar. Diabetes means sweet urine since the sugars are than lost in the urine.

Type 2 Diabetes

In certain situations in diabetes disease pathology, the cells of the tissues actually develop insulin resistance i.e. stop responding to the insulin (type 2 diabetes mellitus). Modifiable factors thought to contribute to insulin resistance include diet, exercise, smoking, and stress. Lifestyle interventions combined with a well controlled diet and maybe additional micronutrients and botanical substances are important factors any therapeutic approach. 

Research into cure for diabetes

There is a great deal of research and treatments with new pharmacological compounds are in the pipeline of many research Institutions and Pharmaceutical companies. In addition, research from various fields is contributing to the final  cure of this disease. There are a number of research scientists who have cultured Islet cell from the pancreas and transplanted them in animals and humans. Transplanting these insulin-producing cells into severely ill diabetic patients has been successful in stopping blackouts and ending the need for injections of insulin  as reported recently in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

Type 1 Diabetes

The researchers conducted their study on eight patients ranging in age from 29 to 54 who had severe cases of Type 1 diabetes, often called juvenile-onset diabetes. Each had a history of out-of-control metabolism and comas from very low blood sugar, the researchers said, and each had had diabetes for many years. They were being treated with insulin injections.

After the cell transplants, however, all the patients showed "sustained insulin independence," meaning they no longer required insulin injections.

All have remained insulin independent for at least a year since the transplants, which occurred during a 10-month period beginning in March 1999, the researchers said. And, oral glucose-tolerance tests showed that none of the patients met the criteria for diabetes currently used by the American Diabetes Association.

The problems include rejection of the cells and also the difficulty in in obtaining donor cells with each patient requiring cells from at least two pancreases. The investigators in this field. like Dr James Shapiro of the University of Alberta in Canada, say that the procedure would be limited to people with severe Type 1 diabetes who cannot control blood-sugar levels, to the point of "having devastating complications such as hypoglycemia unawareness which can cause blackouts and coma."

The field of genetic engineering and the nearing of the completion of mapping of the human genome also offer possibilities of curing diabetes.

More Information

Drug Abuse and diabetes

There is a dangerous relationship between diabetes, alcohol and other drugs. see http://drugabuse.com/guides/substance-abuse-and-diabetes/ or contact outreach@drugabuse.com for info.