What is the best doctor to treat diabetes?
Endocrinologists are specialists in hormonal problems and know the glands that produce these hormones. These specialists are very suitable in treating diabetes as this disease is given by the pancreas’ lack of production (which is a gland) and insulin (which is a hormone). The pancreas produces the insulin we need to regulate blood sugar. When a person has diabetes, the pancreas either does not produce insulin or does not work properly. An endocrinologist treats especially patients with type 1 diabetes.
A dietician can support people with diabetes to find a diet that fits their lifestyle. The dietician can advise you on:
- Nutrients you need
- Best sources of these nutrients
- How to get these nutrients throughout the day
- How to manage portions
- How to successfully measure blood sugar
Dietitians can also train people in self-management skills to:
- Test your blood sugar at home
- Administer injections
- Manage high or low blood sugar
What is worse, type 1 or 2 diabetes?
No type of diabetes is more severe than another. Both types of diabetes greatly increase the patient’s risk of experiencing some serious complications. Specifically, they can cause blindness and kidney failure. It can also cause heart disease, strokes, and amputations of feet or legs.
Let’s see what the main differences are.
Type 1 diabetes
It affects 10 in 100 people who have diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the cells that release insulin, ultimately eliminating the body’s insulin production. Without insulin, cells cannot absorb the sugar they need for energy.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects 95 out of 100 people with the condition. In type 2 diabetes, the body cannot use insulin and has what is called: insulin resistance. As this type of diabetes worsens, the pancreas can produce less insulin, causing the patient to lack insulin.
What is the new cure for diabetes?
1. Stop the immune attack.
To stop type 1 diabetes, we need to stop the immune system’s attack on beta cells.
This means that people could be prevented from developing type 1 diabetes in the future. Scientists have tested some immunotherapies in people at high risk of getting type 1 diabetes and have delayed the condition’s onset for a few months.
The treatments tested so far can preserve the number of insulin people make and improve blood sugar control. But the protective effects appear to diminish over time. Work is now underway to understand how to combine immunotherapies to target different immune system parts and have a greater impact.
2. Replacement of beta cells
For people who already have type 1 diabetes, a combination of different treatments could be a cure. The first step is to replace the beta cells that have been destroyed by the immune system so that people with type 1 diabetes can produce enough insulin again.
There are already cell transplants taken from donors. But they stop working overtime, and there is a limited number of donated pancreases available. Scientists are now working to create an unlimited supply of beta cells in the lab.
Cells created in the laboratory were implanted in animals. These have had excellent results, but the duration of these effects is not yet known. More recently, researchers in Canada and the United States have switched to testing transplants in people with type 1 diabetes. Transplants are safe, and they are currently testing whether they can improve the amount of insulin produced.
3. Beta-cell protection
Once the beta cells are transplanted, they must be protected. The immune system of the person with diabetes will try to destroy it. One way to prevent this from happening is to retrain the immune system, so it doesn’t attack the pancreas.
Another method could be to transplant the beta cells into a protective barrier with the system that is called: beta-cell encapsulation. This barrier would allow beta cells to detect blood glucose levels and leave behind important nutrients they need to survive but prevent immune cells from attacking.