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What is Diabetes?
Diabetes due to its common occurrence has been referred to as the major threat posing very influential burden on socioeconomic platform of many developing nations. It is found to be an autoimmune disorder; which is known for destroying its own vital cells, such as insulin producing beta cells. Our body derives energy, it requires through the food we consume; in the form of glucose molecule. These glucose molecules are transported from blood to different cells of the body to generate energy that is required for cell functionalities. As in the case of normal glucose metabolism; glucose is transported at the cellular level through a medium of insulin hormone. However, in case of diabetes, the body either cannot use insulin efficiently as in case of type 2 diabetes or the insulin producing pancreatic beta cells are destroyed due to autoimmunity as in case of type 1 diabetes.
Can it be treated with current medical practice?
In current medical practice, diabetes mellitus cannot be cured but managed to certain extent, if supplemented with proper medications, diet and physical rehabilitation. Thus, insulin shots are given to make over with the insulin deficiency in case of type 1 diabetes; or some steroidal medicines and diet is prescribed to manage blood glucose level in case type 2 diabetes. But these approaches are just supplementary that cannot prevent further progression of disease, whereas can manage its flare ups. Many scientists are thus making lot of efforts to find out possible solution against the issue.
Is stem cells treatment the answer?
In the recent past of the healthcare segment, stem cells are supposed to be the new medical boon with their power to regenerate. These are the cells that are present in dormancy in their specific niches inside every mature organ of the human body; throughout their life! In case of crisis or diseased condition, these silent cells are stimulated by the body's strong signalling mechanism and utilized by particular organ to produce lost or damaged cells.
This power of reprogramming body's underutilized stem cells has been identified and established outside the body to exploit the same for treating various debilitating conditions that are so far been nuisance to the society. With the technical advancements thus, it is now possible to isolate stem cells, enrich them in the laboratory and re-infuse back into the body, through specified route to effectively regenerate lost cells like pancreatic beta cells in case of diabetes type 1.
Various types of stem cells can be utilized as per the demand of the body such as mesenchymal stem cells isolated from autologous source such as adipose tissue and/or allogenic sources such as cord blood and cord tissues. So far with many clinical studies and result oriented bench work; the concept has been routed but has to be developed further for routine implementation.