Under-skin Transplants Show Promise For Type 1 Diabetes

Under-skin transplants show promise for type 1 diabetes

Under-skin transplants show promise for type 1 diabetes

In theory, transplanting insulin-producing cells into the body should work as a treatment for type 1 diabetes. However, in practice, researchers face many challenges, especially in finding a non-hostile environment for the cells. Now, a new study describes a tissue engineering approach that may create a suitable environment under the skin.
In the journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) at the University of Toronto in Canada describe how they developed and tested their subcutaneous transplant method in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes.
A significant feature of the study is that the transplant method uses tissue engineering to generate blood vessels that integrate with the host's blood supply.
Insulin-producing cells are very sensitive to lack of oxygen, and inadequate blood supply is a problem that has dogged previous attempts to transplant them.
Type 1 diabetes destroys islet cells
Diabetes is a chronic disease that develops when the body cannot stop blood sugar or glucose getting too high.
If untreated, high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, damages many parts of the body, including the heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels.
Insulin - a hormone that is produced in the pancreas - is the body's main regulator of blood sugar. It helps cells to take in sugar and use it for energy.
In people with type 1 diabetes, their immune system destroys the islet cells in their pancreas that produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin but cannot use it effectively.
Ther Continue reading

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For 26 Years, I’ve Managed Type 1 Diabetes With a Plant-Based Diet

For 26 Years, I’ve Managed Type 1 Diabetes With a Plant-Based Diet

Until age 35, my health was very typical for an American. Then in November of 1988, all that changed: my immune system suddenly decided that my insulin-producing pancreas beta cells were foreign and attacked and annihilated them, leaving me with type 1 diabetes.
In less than 30 days, I lost 45 pounds and grew deathly weak. Eventually, I was found barely conscious at my work desk and rushed to the hospital, where I immediately received my first shot of insulin. My doctor’s grim prognosis hit like a ton of bricks: even with the best possible diabetic control, I would still suffer many debilitating, chronic complications of the disease. I envisioned myself disabled, blind, amputated, and living in a wheelchair. More on that later…
A few days into my hospital stay, a fill-in doctor literally saved my life with a very simple short statement. He said, “No doctor can manage your diabetes.” He explained that the insulin doses are dependent on metabolism which changes from minute to minute, and so are too variable to be predetermined or managed by any other person. He recommended that I keep a log and learn the effects of everything I ate and did, and adjust my diabetes control and lifestyle accordingly. The geek in me took that advice to heart. Back home, I immediately bought a glucometer, a kitchen scale, a nutrition facts book, and a notebook in which to begin logging my new life. I began to learn how to match up the food I ate, my activity levels, and my insulin intake to keep everything in sync.
My Doctors Prescribed a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet
All of the nutritional info Continue reading

Reverse type 1 diabetes with a raw food diet

Reverse type 1 diabetes with a raw food diet

(NaturalNews) Is it possible to reverse type 1 diabetes (T1D, previously known as insulin-dependent diabetes or IDDM) simply by enjoying a raw food diet? According to Dr. Kirt Tyson, a naturopathic doctor who practices in Arizona, eating a diet that primarily consists of raw foods can dramatically reduce blood sugar levels in type 1 diabetics, perhaps even stopping their insulin dependency.
How one doctor stopped his insulin dependence
Dr. Tyson speaks from experience. A former self-proclaimed fast food junkie and a type 1 diabetic himself, he now believes in the amazing power of eating raw.
During an interview with Robyn Openshaw, also known as Green Smoothie Girl and author of "12 Steps to Whole Foods," he revealed that, prior to starting a raw food diet, his blood sugar level was extremely high (diabetic ketoacidosis) at around 300 mg/dL. Anything above 240 mg/dL is cause for concern.
However, within 2-3 weeks of eating raw foods - nuts, seeds and vegetables with no dairy, meat or fruits - he checked his blood sugar again. The unbelievable result? His blood sugar level dropped to an acceptable, safe range: 76 mg/dL. Today, he says he only needs insulin if he becomes sick (which causes blood sugar levels to rise).
Raw foods: what's best for diabetics?
The American Diabetes Association's website lists top super foods for diabetics. Among them are nuts and seeds such as walnuts and flax, as well as vegetables - the darker and leafier, the better. These suggestions align with the raw food diet lifestyle that worked for Dr. Tyson.
Other diabetics following a raw food diet oft Continue reading

The Frozen Shoulder: What's Diabetes Got to Do With It?

The Frozen Shoulder: What's Diabetes Got to Do With It?

Adhesive capsulitis—commonly known as frozen shoulder—can make routine activities like getting dressed and changing your insulin pump, nearly impossible. It is the the most prevalent upper body musculoskeletal injury in people with diabetes. Learn more.
Adhesive casulitis, also known as frozen should, is a rheumatic condition which can leave you unable to reach above your head or behind your back. It results from inflammatory changes in the connective tissue of an area called the shoulder capsule. Over time, the tissue can thicken and become tight. Stiff bands of tissue called adhesions develop, making movement of the joint painful and even blocking the shoulder joint’s normal range of motion.
Eventually the shoulder becomes extremely stiff and extremely painful to move, as if it’s “frozen” in place. If you wear an insulin pump, this condition can be especially challenging.
DiabeticLifestyle Editorial Board Member Amy Hess Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDE says she’s worked with several type 1 women diagnosed with frozen shoulder. “One of my patients who had long used an insulin pump, had to switch back to insulin injections until her shoulder issue resolved since inserting infusion sets was too difficult,” Hess Fischl explained. “Fortunately, she was able to resume her insulin pump after several months of regular physical therapy but in the interim more frequent communication was required between us to help her adjust her insulin doses to account for the pain, reduced sleep and less activity.”
There are two types of adhesive capsulitis.In the first, th Continue reading

Harnessing immunotherapy to reverse Type 1 diabetes

Harnessing immunotherapy to reverse Type 1 diabetes

In patients with Type 1 diabetes, T cells in the immune system mistakenly attack islet cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital have come up with a way to thwart this wayward autoimmune reaction, and it involves a protein that plays a prominent role in new immunotherapy treatments for cancer: PD-L1.
PD-L1 is called an immune “checkpoint” because it prevents T cells from recognizing and attacking cancer. Drugs that inhibit PD-L1, like Genentech’s Tecentriq, have proven effective for fighting some cancers. But the Boston Children’s researchers believe that in diabetes, PD-L1 may actually need to be boosted. That’s because the protein appears to be instrumental in crippling the “autoreactive” T cells that destroy insulin-producing cells.
The researchers tested their theory by pre-treating blood stem cells so they would produce excess PD-L1 and then infusing them into mouse models of diabetes. The treated stem cells sped towards the pancreas, curing almost all of the mice of diabetes in the short term, according to a press release. About 30% of the animals remained diabetes-free for the duration of their lives. The research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The idea of using blood stem cells to reverse diabetes isn’t new. In fact, bone marrow transplants have been tried in diabetes patients, but they haven’t been uniformly effective. The Boston Children’s team wanted to find out why, so they set out to profile all the proteins made by blood stem cells from diabetic people and mice.
They di Continue reading

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