Diabetes research has been ongoing for nearly 100 years. Scientists have been working steadily to learn what causes the disease and different methods of treating it. The goal is to eventually find a cure for the disease and eliminate the need for anyone to take insulin injections or other drugs to control the blood sugar.
In recent years, many enzymes that affect the way blood glucose enters the cells and regulate the production of insulin inside the body have been identified. In addition, The difference between type I diabetes and type II diabetes has been redefined based on the causes of the condition rather than whether or not one is insulin dependent.
In addition, researchers have discovered several new classes of drugs that are used to treat the condition. Some work by stimulating the production of insulin. Others work by limiting the production or absorption of one or more of these enzymes that control the way glucose interacts with the cells and/or the way insulin works to bridge the gap from the blood to the cells.
Diabetes research has identified specific mutated genes that are associated with the development of Type I and/or Type II diabetes. Knowing what genes are affected and how they have mutated can lead to targeted gene therapies in the future that may eventually lead to a complete cure.
Researchers have also done studies that prove that current technology does not allow one to prevent the onset of Type I diabetes. Researchers tried administering low dose insulin by injection and orally to individuals that had been found to possess the mutated genes associated with the development of diabetes. The individuals in this study all developed the condition without exception.
Other research has shown that lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise can help to prevent the development of Type II diabetes. In addition, it has been shown that the condition can be reversed after onset by making many of these same lifestyle changes. This relatively new discovery has profoundly impacted the manner in which doctors treat Type II diabetes.
Studies have also been done and continue to be done on preventing some of the other effects of diabetes such as renal failure and blindness. It has been proven that controlling the blood glucose levels at normal levels can prevent the disease advancing to these stages. This research points up the importance of monitoring one's blood sugar and following the doctor's orders to maintain lower levels.
Diabetes research continues every day. Researchers are working to find a cure for both types of the disease. They are making new advances at frequent intervals that bring the day when nobody will have to suffer this disease and its effects closer.
Some are working to develop new drugs that moderate the blood glucose levels in different manners. Others are performing genetic research to determine the causes of the disease. Still others are looking at different ways to control the immune response that results in Type I diabetes. There is also research in the works to learn more about the various enzymes and hormones that control the production of insulin in the pancreas and how the cells react to insulin. This last affects the efficiency of insulin in aiding the transport of glucose from the blood into the cells.
Diabetes research has been going on for many years. Advances have been made on many different fronts in the identification of causes and the treatment of the condition. Since the mapping of the human genome, several genes have been identified that are associated with the development of this disease and there is hope that gene therapies may be created that can cure it in the near future.