Diabetes is a common life-long condition and the number of children being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is increasing. The symptoms can be controlled but there is no cure. For many, diabetes means living with daily insulin injections and the possibility of long-term damage to their health.
What is diabetes?
All the cells in your body need energy. This energy is carried around the body as sugar (glucose) in the blood. Normally, blood sugar levels are controlled by the release of the hormone insulin. Insulin is made by cells in the pancreas called beta cells that are arranged into clusters together with other pancreas cells. These clusters are called islets of Langerhans. In one human pancreas there are roughly one million islets.
There are several types of diabetes. What they all have in common is a problem with regulating normal levels of sugar in the blood.
Generally Diabetes is categorized into Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system damages and then destroys beta cells. This means the levels of sugar in the blood stay high all the time, which can lead to long-term damage to the body, is also known as juvenile-onset diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when not enough insulin is made by beta cells or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly (the body’s cells become insulin resistant), also known as Adult onset diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes is when pregnant women, who’ve never had diabetes before, have a high blood glucose level while being pregnant. It may precede development of type 2 DM
Stem cell treatment
Stem Cell treatments for diabetes fights the disease at its origins in the pancreas. Decreasing hyperglycemia as well as associated complications. According to recent research, it can also relieve hypoglycemia or low level of blood sugar, which consequently can also lead to fatality if it is not treated immediately. Diabetic patients are treated by injecting enriched stem cells in to the pancreatic area via IV or directly (severe cases). Diabetes is ametabolic disease with a significant inflammatory component wherein the individual has elevated level of blood sugar, because the human body cannot generate enough insulin, or maybe because the cells are no longer responding to the insulin produced naturally by the body. The high blood sugar levels instigate signs of polyuria or recurrent peeing, polydipsia or abnormal increase in thirst, and polyphagia, pancreatitis or the state of increased hunger.(Sacks et al. 2013)*
Long-term risks of having diabetes include retinopathy (loss of vision), diabetic nephropathy which leads to kidney failure, peripheral neuropathy (foot ulcers that lead to amputations or charcot joints), and autonomic neuropathy that causes genitourinary, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular symptoms with sexual dysfunction. Patients diagnosed with diabetes also report increased occurrences of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease. Other complications include Hypertension and severe abnormalities of lipoprotein metabolism. Many patients can also impair insulin secretion because of pharmaceutical medications they are taking. These medications do not directly cause diabetes, but they may might lead individuals to become insulin resistant.
At this stage, cures for Type 1 diabetes or gestational diabetes are very low probability. There is a genetic component of the disease that will require gene therapy to reprogram the cells from reverting back to their compromised states however these solutions are just in the clinical trials stage and have not been approved for clinical applications. Type 2 Diabetes T2D however is usually treatable and reversible if caught early enough before it starts effecting other organs/systems in the body. Often time, patients simply ignore the disease and try to manage the symptoms using traditional diabetes medication (Metformin, Thiazolidinediones, DPP-4 inhibitors,Meglitinides), change of diet and/or regular insulin therapy. If left untreated, complications often occur and can include:
- Foot Complications / Ulcers
- Kidney Disease (Nephropathy)
- Ketones & DKA (Ketoacidosis)
- Ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease – IBD
- High Blood Pressure & Hypertension ( leads to heart disease, eye problems )
- Brain Strokes
Depending on the patients’ medical needs, Diabetics are most often treated by injection of lab enhanced autologous cells from peripheral blood (PBSC) or Adipose tissue. Older patients or severe cases with multiple underlying conditions will require enhanced allogeneic stem cells (anti-HLA antibodies) that will further differentiated into glucose-sensing, insulin-producing beta cells.