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Improved quality of life for diabetic sufferers.
Find out about some of the most modern strides taken to combat type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Here are some of the most recent strides taken against the persistence of diabetes:
An existing vaccine could help reverse type 1 diabetes
The Bacillus Calmette–Guerin is a vaccine for tuberculosis. Scientists have discovered that this vaccine can help regenerate insulin-making cells which could effectively lead to reversing Type 1 diabetes.
The initial test results in diabetics who have had the disease for an average of 15 years suggest that insulin production can be briefly restored by a booster injection, and phase II trials have been approved.
In a recent article, Dr Denise Faustman, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard University and Director of the Immunobiology Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital commented, “We saw early signs that even at low doses of this vaccine the bad white blood cells that were killing the pancreas were killed and the good white blood cells that quiet down Type 1 diabetes were up-regulated”.
A patch could replace injections
A high-tech patch has been developed that sticks to the skin like a plaster and monitors glucose levels and delivers insulin automatically via hundreds of micro-needles. The patch would only need to be replaced every few days and due to its glucose-sensing enzymes, just the right amount of insulin would be delivered whenever needed.
A new device could put an end to regular invasive blood tests
Monitoring glucose levels by finger-prick testing often have to be done as many as a dozen times a day. It’s a painful and constraining necessity for diabetics. A new invention, using mostly existing technology, allows low-powered lasers “to generate a fluorescence which can be analysed to measure the levels of glucose in the blood” according to a recent Sky News article.
An artificial pancreas may not be far away
Creating an artificial pancreas has been on the scientific-medical-technology community’s agenda for years. As technology develops, the possibility of such an innovation becomes more of a reality. At the moment one medical technology company leads the charge, and has its sights set on developing an artificial pancreas that according to its June press release “is designed to automatically suspend insulin delivery when sensor glucose levels are predicted to approach a low limit, and automatically resume insulin delivery once sensor glucose levels recover.”
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A vaccine could prevent type 2 diabetes
In recent research from the University of Iowa, a new theory for the cause of Type 2 diabetes has been tabled: bacteria. According to this university article, the research team “found that prolonged exposure to a toxin produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria causes rabbits to develop the hallmark symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, including insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and systemic inflammation.”
Obesity still plays a major role, however. But the reason why is now considered to be because they are more likely to have large numbers of the staph bacteria colonising their skin and the toxins they are producing.
Consequently, the team is working on a gel to apply to the skin for pre-diabetics and a vaccine for Type 2 diabetics.
We all have questions.
Below are some of the answers to the most common questions that you need to know.
Which is worse – Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes?
“Worse” is a harsh comparison. The difference between these two types of Diabetes is that Type 1 requires insulin, and it never goes away. Type 2 requires consistent effort and can be managed over your lifetime.
What is the normal HbA1C level?
It is generally accepted that you should maintain HbA1C below 8%. The following guidelines are suggested by the South African Diabetes Association:
- 4 – 6% Non-diabetic range.
- < 7% Well-controlled diabetic 7% – 8% Acceptable diabetic control > 8%
- Poor diabetic control needs attention.
What is the main cause of Diabetes?
Diabetes (Type 1) is usually a predisposed or genetically inherited condition. Diabetes (Type 2) is caused by lifestyle choices. Gestational Diabetes can be caused by either genetics or lifestyle choices.
What are the first signs of diabetes?
- Excessive thirst over a prolonged period.
- Increased frequency in the need to urinate.
- Significant weight loss or gain.
- You find yourself fatigued, tired, and irritable, on a regular basis.
- Open or ruptured wounds take a long time to heal.
- Blurred vision.
- Tingling sensations in your hands and feet.
Can you get life insurance if you have Diabetes?
Yes. AllLife can help you get up to R10million life insurance, as either a Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic.
Can I test myself for Diabetes?
Although you can easily test your own blood glucose levels at any time, only your doctor, nurse, or clinic team can confirm a Diabetes diagnosis. This is because a series of specific tests are required for diagnosis.
Up to R10 million Life Cover for people living with Diabetes.
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What will I be covered for?
With just one phone call, you could be offered comprehensive Diabetic Life Cover and Diabetic Disability Cover (optional). A simple underwriting process is completed once you’ve signed up, usually consisting of common blood tests, to determine if full cover can be continued.
What happens after I‘m covered?
After you’re covered you can enjoy the benefit of our Health Control Programme where we remind and assist you when it comes to regular tests and checkups, ensuring that you live a healthy and happy life.
Remember, life cover gets more expensive as you get older, so your premium will never be lower than it is today.