Millions have been affected, but there is still no one single drug to cure diabetes. While insulin injections have been used as a treatment for diabetes, it does not actually cure diabetes. Instead insulin is merely a temporary solution to reduce the complications that accompanies the disorder and a means to improve the quality of life for many diabetics.
Causative mechanisms have been proposed across a range of possible biological systems including gene defects, viral and bacterial triggers, dysfunction in sensory neurons, and autoimmunity factors among the research community in an effort to discover a permanent cure for diabetes. As diabetes research continues move forward, promising treatments are now being investigated and tested as possible cure for diabetes.
- Stem cell therapy. Many researchers are hoping that the science of stem cell could be an answer to many chronic diseases including a way to cure diabetes. Initial animal studies on Type 1 diabetes using grafted stem cells in the pancreas yield encouraging results. Growth of new beta cells in the pancreas and production of insulin is actually observed. However, the process of implanting stem cells in humans is not yet available.
- Bariatric surgery. People with Type 2 diabetes who underwent weight loss surgery have actually improved their health profile and their need to maintain diabetes medications. For many who had real problem losing weight through diet and exercise, bariatric surgery has been considered as an option to keep their weight within normal levels. But diabetes could recur once they gain back those extra pounds.
- Capsaicin injections. In a 2006 study, a group of researchers discovered that an active compound in chilli peppers called capsaicin when injected into the pancreas of Type 1 diabetic mice killed the pancreatic sensory neurons and stimulated the gland to start producing insulin at normal levels. This study however, has not been replicated in humans to see if it has the same positive effects.
All of these promising medical procedures remain at the level of laboratory testing and a number of controlled clinical studies are still needed to test its medical value and effectiveness as a means to cure diabetes.