Diabetes has been recognized as a disease for centuries so it’s no surprise that researchers are always claiming to have come up with a new cure for diabetes. And yet, after all these years, researchers have yet to come up with the definitive new cure for diabetes.
In this country, diabetes kills over 70,000 people every year. It’s constantly somewhere in the top five of all leading causes of death. But maybe things are finally changing. In the past 20 years ongoing clinical trials have resulted in an explosion of new theories and techniques aimed at defeating this disease. Some of techniques that show promise of being new ways to reverse and cure diabetes are as follows:
Gastric bypass (controversial new cure for diabetes) – In 1999, a New York surgeon named Francesco Rubino, accidentally “discovered” a new cure for diabetes. When doing follow-ups with overweight patients on whom he had performed gastric bypass surgery for, he noticed that the surgery seem to have a curious secondary effect. In the first few weeks following the operation, they seem to have been cured of their diabetes. Recalling experimental operations performed on the stomach and intestines in the 1940’s, that also had led to diabetes cures, he wondered if the result was due to the removal of fat or removal of parts of the intestines. So Dr. Rubino did his own tests, on animals. His conclusion was that the key to the diabetes cure was not the weight loss, but the actual operation. Needless to say, his conclusions caused an uproar in the medical world where one of the main theories regarding the cause of diabetes is that it is directly related to weight gain. You can read more about this interesting study at gastric bypass diabetes cure.
Injection of insulin-secreting cells (pancreatic transplants new cure for diabetes) – Known as the Edmonton Protocol, and carried out in the 1990’s, this method involved physicians injecting insulin-secreting cells into the patients portal vein which leads directly into the liver. These insulin-secreting cells, known as islets of Langerhans, came from donated pancreas. The trial procedures involved seven patients all of whom suffered from severe diabetes. The results were spectacular. Every single one of the patients was freed of their wild glucose level swings and were able to give up their insulin injections. Of course, more tests followed. The results of these further tests indicates that the “cure” is not always long lasting. Long term trials show that only 8% of the patients managed to stay free of insulin for over a year. However, for these 8%, the process seems to have resulted in a real cure for their diabetes. The huge drawback to this method, however, is that it is dependent on the number of donor pancreas that are available at any given time. For more info see The Edmonton Protocol.
Both of these discoveries give promise to the ongoing progress towards eventually coming up with a new and inexpensive cure for diabetes that can be utilized by the millions of Americans desperately looking for help for their condition.