When you got diagnosed did someone tell you there would be a cure for type 1 diabetes in the next 10 or 20 years?
Every day there is a new “cure” for type 1 and type 2 diabetes story in the news, often stories that are misinformed, people trying to trick you into buying their somewhat dodgy products to “reverse diabetes”. There are also many relevant and interesting research projects, which offer hope to those not yet diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and better options for those with type 2 diabetes.
Yet still we have no cure.
I was in 1979 that the cure for type 1 diabetes was just 20 years away. I am still waiting.
We seem to get closer and closer every day but we are still far away from curing diabetes. There are some exciting developments happening at the moment in terms of prevention of type 1 diabetes in children who are at high risk.
This latest story on channel 7, seems promising, with a number of young people with type 1 diabetes in Sydney about to take part in a world first trial which may be a breakthrough. JDRF are taking 66 Australian children recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes with the drug Tocilizumab, already used to treat arthritis. The aim is that it may slow down diabetes in its early stages when a lot of the damage occurs.
“So what we want to do is keep their pancreas functioning normally, and this drug works on a mechanism that may allow those cells to stay alive and continue to make insulin,” Dr Aaron Kowalski said.
Currently there are 122,000 people with type 1 diabetes in Australia. Let’s cross our fingers this may be a step in the right direction for the people yet to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
In terms of a cure for old jaded diabetics like me? I don’t believe I will ever be cured. I think I will go to my grave with type 1 diabetes, and that is ok. I have come to terms with it and diabetes is part of my life. It is something that walks alongside me and sometimes overshadows every aspect of my life. Other times it sits there and behaves. Sometimes, but not often. But you know what? I am ok with that. I am not saying I wouldn’t be happy if I was cured. I would be ecstatic. I imagine it would be very very strange. Worse than the house after your children have moved out, or that feeling that something is missing when you come back from an amazing holiday. I actually imagine that in some strange way I would miss diabetes. How would you feel if you were cured?
For those of us who have type 1 diabetes now, my hope is that we can continue to get breakthroughs in management tools and devices that will make our daily lives easier. It would also be really nice if we could work out why our body gets all angry and attacks those innocent islet cells. Because then we could grow new ones, or get donor islets and really truly be cured, without the need for nasty anti rejection drugs.
Getting continuous blood glucose monitoring on the National Diabetes Services Scheme so we could all access this life saving device, would be a good start too, as the quality of our daily lives is critical.
What are your thoughts on the cure for diabetes?