Diabetes occurs when the body can’t effectively process the insulin it produces from the food you eat, leading to hypoglycemia or raised blood sugar levels. The common types of diabetes include Type 1 or insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset, Type 2 or non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset, and gestational diabetes, which develops during pregnancy.
Common Signs of Diabetes
While the types develop at varying speeds, they have shared symptoms, including:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Changes in appetite
- Recurrent infections
- Blurred vision and fatigue
- Pain and numbness in the lower extremities
With early diagnosis, diabetes is treatable, and its consequences can be managed through lifestyle changes, regenerative medicine, and interventional pain management techniques.
Diabetes Testing and Diagnosis
The classic signs of hyperglycemia are the three Ps of diabetes, namely, increased thirst, urination, and appetite changes. The fasting glucose test and A1C or Glycated Hemoglobin tests are used to measure blood glucose levels. Blood and urine samples can also be tested for autoantibodies and the presence of ketones, which are signs of Type 1 diabetes.
Promising Regenerative and Cellular Interventions
Diabetes has become an epidemic contributing to kidney failure, blindness, stroke, and heart attack. While the biotech industry is still striving to find a cure for this chronic autoimmune disease, the following are four of the most promising interventions in diabetes treatment and management.
Replacing missing insulin-producing cells to recover normal insulin production is among the biggest hopes for finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes, even though it’s in its infancy. Because donor limitation is the most significant setback, the American Diabetes Research Institute is working toward bioengineering pancreases that encapsulate insulin-producing cells, which are then implanted into the abdominal lining.
Since the immune system gradually destroys insulin-producing cells in Type 1 diabetes, a Belgian company is using immunotherapy to attack the origins of the disease. The interventional treatment is designed to kill the immune cells in type 1 diabetes, which are responsible for destroying the pancreas, effectively preserving healthy insulin cells.
Stimulating Insulin Synthesis
One of the biggest promises in treating type 2 diabetes is introducing glucagon-like peptides such as GLP-1 to help induce insulin production in pancreas beta cells. Oral GLP-1 drugs, such as Novo Nordisk, simultaneously suppress glucagon secretion while targeting the muscles, liver, and pancreas to reduce blood sugar levels.
Targeting the Gut
The gut microbiome has been linked to diabetes including numerous chronic diseases ranging from inflammatory bowel syndrome to multiple sclerosis, autism, etc. Diabetes patients naturally tend to have less-than-ideal gut fauna and flora, leading to an unbalanced microbiome composition. With this realization, scientists are developing specially-formulated drugs targeting specific pathophysiological mechanisms of prediabetes. The medication shows promise in treating early-stage Type 2 diabetes, as it’s designed to boost the microbiome diversity in the gut.
Future Outlook for Diabetes Management
Although in the early testing stages, cell therapy, immunotherapy, insulin stimulation, and boosting the gut microbiome treatments may undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of millions of people living with diabetes in the near future. We can expect revolutionary, non-invasive technologies such as microchips that can diagnose diabetes before symptoms present.
Diabetes patients can also look forward to a pain-free future with electromagnetic devices and patches that can measure glucose levels, minus the discomfort of needle-pricking. For additional information, fill out the form below to contact our team at BrioMD.