Diabetes, as we know, is a complicated disease which has affected millions of people worldwide. The high blood glucose caused in diabetes leads to serious complications. A few of these complications include heart-related conditions, amputations caused in various body parts, kidney-related conditions, blurred vision, amongst a lot of others.
Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes are the main types of diabetes. In type 1, the pancreas, responsible for insulin production are unable to produce enough insulin. In type 2, the body is unable to utilize the insulin produced by our pancreas. Insulin is important because it is this hormone which helps the sugar in food to get converted into energy by our cells.
In this post, we shall analyze several aspects of type 1 diabetes to answer the above question. While there are a few examples where the disease was reversed, the condition is extremely difficult to tackle and not many cases can be reversed. So, join in for the article “Is childhood or Type 1 Diabetes Reversible?”
Table of Contents
- What is Type 1 Diabetes?
- Life Expectancy and Risks Involved with Type 1 Diabetes
- Understanding the Role of T Cells in Type 1 Diabetes
- Role of CD52 Protein in the Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes
- How to Successfully Manage Type 1 Diabetes
- Physical Exercise
- Blood Sugar Monitoring
- Examples of Those Who Have Successfully Been Able to Reverse Childhood Diabetes:
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
In order to understand whether type 1 diabetes is reversible or not, we first need to know the meaning of the same. Type 1 diabetes is essentially an auto-immune disease and is also known as juvenile or childhood diabetes as it starts during childhood.
An imbalance is caused in the immune system of the body due to various causes and factors. This destruction leads to the damage of those cells which are responsible for the production of insulin, an essential hormone responsible for converting the glucose in food into energy. This, in turn, increases the level of blood glucose in the body causing a lot of damage to the essential body organs.
Life Expectancy and Risks Involved with Type 1 Diabetes
Let us now look into the different aspects of type 1 diabetes including what is the life expectancy and the associated risks involved.
Some of the doctor’s belief that type is a lifelong disease and that it has immense adverse effects on those affected with the condition. Diabetes UK estimates that the expected life span of type 1 diabetic patient is reduced by more than 20 years. On the other hand, the University of Pittsburg has estimated through various studies that people who are born after 1965 and are suffering from type 1 diabetes have a life expectancy of somewhere around 69 years.
The various complications involved in type 1 diabetes include the following:
- Heart-related diseases.
- Kidney disease
- Eye problems
- Amputation of different body parts
- Nerve damage
It is this that makes the treatment of type 1 diabetes complicated and extremely difficult.
Understanding the Role of T Cells in Type 1 Diabetes
The main role of T cells is to damage the undesirable cells that might lead to damage in the body. Thus, the immune system is controlled by these T cells. However, when a person is suffering from an autoimmune disease such as diabetes, the T cells end up harming or damaging even the healthy cells. Hence, it is this damage of the healthy cells which is primarily responsible for the several complications while a child suffers from type 1 diabetes.
Role of CD52 Protein in the Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes
In order to understand the various ways in which type 1 can be reversed in kids, we first need to understand the extremely important role of CD52 protein in a disease like diabetes. As seen above, T cells are the ones which protect the immune system of the body. These Tcells are protected by the protein called CD52. Hence, the T cells which produce a higher amount of this protein is said to play a larger role in the prevention of diabetes. Hence, there are studies conducted to ensure that this protein is being used as an important agent for medicinal purposes so that diabetes can be reversed in children.
How to Successfully Manage Type 1 Diabetes
diet, as we know, play a very important part in the effective treatment of a chronic condition like diabetes. Some of the tips that should be followed are:
- One should watch the total intake of carbs and the recommended carbohydrates for type 1 diabetes include foods like brown rice, Oatmeal, lentils, and beans, etc.
- One of the other essential nutrients that come from food is protein. Hence, you need to be really careful while consuming the same. The ideal source of this nutrient should be plant as suggested by a few experts.
- Also, do keep in mind that glycemic index load in the food that you consume. The diabetic patient should ideally consume food with a low rate of glycemic index.
- Food rich in fiber is also recommended as it helps the patient feel fuller for a comparatively long period of time.
- In order to remain healthy, green vegetables are always preferred.
- Finally, lots of fruits should be a part of a diabetic diet for the effective management of the condition.
Regular physical exercise of various forms helps in building up the metabolism function of the body. However, an expert advice is always important before starting to exercise. Any form of exercise should be made a part of the daily routine only after proper consultation.
Also, it is very important to check the fluctuations in the blood glucose levels before and after the exercise.
Blood Sugar Monitoring
It is very important to monitor and keep your blood glucose and sugar levels under constant check. If the blood glucose level is kept under check, half the battle will be won. The following prescribed range of blood glucose be kept in mind for best results:
While the fasting blood sugar should be somewhere under 126mg/dl for a person who suffers from diabetes, the normal blood sugar should be around 80-130mg/dl before the meals for those who suffer from the condition and around 200mg/dl a few hours after meals as suggested by the American Diabetes Association.
Examples of Those Who Have Successfully Been Able to Reverse Childhood Diabetes:
Although type 1 diabetes may not be reversible as per the opinion of several experts, there have been a few rare cases is the past which has proved that the same is not impossible.
- A 9-year old child with the disease was successfully treated with a diet known as “Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet”. This diet consists of diet which contains an extremely low quantity of carbohydrates.
- Another known example is that of a British man who no longer needs insulin injections to deal with diabetes. He has been able to achieve the same by maintaining a healthy lifestyle which included regular physical exercise.
So, as per the above examples type 1 diabetes or childhood diabetes can be reversed although the same is extremely rare and might not be possible for every patient.
We hope that the above post has been helpful in helping to better understand about type 1 diabetes and the various complications as well as aspects of the condition. Although there cannot be any straightforward answer to whether the disease can be completely reversed, the disease can sure be better managed!