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Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge Day 7 – Sensationalise!

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There’s a cure for diabetes!

Not.

But oftentimes we hear it in the media, in fad dieting books or websites. Some natural therapy companies claim they can cure diabetes by pay a whole lot of money and following their program. It’s even more concerning when they’re backed up by health professionals but whether or not they’re legit or even accredited is another issue altogether. Some common myths I’ve heard include cinnamon curing diabetes. And liquorice. They probably have a tiny role to play somewhere in our pancreatic system to help but if it were a really a cure, why do I still have diabetes?

That's what I've been missing all my life!

That’s what I’ve been missing all my life! Cucumbers CURES diabetes!

At present there is no cure for diabetes out there. There are various therapies available out there that help make our lives so much more easier. And some that try to fix our broken pancreas(es/i?).

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The cause and triggers are unknown, which makes it hard to target a cure. Scientists have identified potential triggers and strong genetic associations. Are these triggers directly causal? It’s hard to say. Genetics are also a tricky area to target. With type 1 diabetes, it’s polygenic – no one gene has been identified for sudden mutiny against our beta cells. It’s a case of mistaken identity that just isn’t reversible at this stage.

Results from pancreatic transplants aren’t always consistent, with majority of successful transplant patients requiring insulin after a certain amount of time. Trials for a bionic pancreas is currently underway with talks of ‘closing the loop’ between the Continuous Glucose Monitor Sensor and the Insulin Pump. Talks of growing pancreatic beta cells are also in the air, so a cure is definitely only about 5 years away as our endocrinologists have once told us (maybe about 5, 10 or more years for some of us now).

Type 2 diabetes is predominantly complicated with other metabolic issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterols, and of course, our good friend – obesity. Much research has been poured into the the pathophysiology of the body and how inflammatory markers work. Sometimes, the more I study about these, the fascinated I am about the body and how complex and intricate it is. One thing out of balance and something can go drastically pear shaped. Other times I hate it and wonder why I chose to study this.

Some lucky chumps are able to manage their type 2 diabetes so well, they don’t need any medication for it and are seemingly diabetes free. But that is exactly what it is – incredibly well-managed diabetes. Still, I believe that the metabolic vulnerability is still there and things could go back the way they were, if they stopped doing all the right things. Fact.

But my biggest question is: even with the notion of being cured from diabetes, would you be able to completely erase it from your mind?

One day, if my pancreas turned around and said ‘I’m giving you a second chance’, which I’m still waiting for by the way, would I be able to shake away everything I’ve learned from diabetes? The paranoia that I might go low at any time, or the fact that if I eat that chocolate brownie, my sugars would sky rocket. I doubt I would. In fact, diabetes would haunt me like The Grim. Especially if I stopped doing all the right things. If I were given a second chance at life without diabetes, I would take every effort and care to make sure my pancreas remains one happy camper.

So at the end of the day, I don’t think there is ever a cure for diabetes. It has already left its mark on me and I will never be able to shake it off.

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Pancreatically challenged, diabetes advocate, PhD student and dietitian - working to positive changes within the diabetes community and healthcare setting. Although diagnosed at age of 19 with T2DM, the type of diabetes I have is under constant debate. Finally pumping as of March 2014.

5 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Yeah, you know, that’s an interesting point. Would I ever be able to eat meal without worrying about the stress I’m putting on my cured pancreas? Probably not!

    Reply

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