Is there a cure for diabetes?

William Lee Dubois

We can’t cure diabetes. Not yet. But we can treat it, and absent a cure, that’s still a pretty good deal.

Most of the bad and scary stuff you hear about when people talk about diabetes “complications” are not really diabetes complications at all; they are high blood sugar complications. Granted, high blood sugar is caused by diabetes, but it’s very controllable with a little effort.

The most important tool in your anti-high-blood-sugar arsenal is your meter—a cell phone sized machine that can let you check your current blood sugar anywhere anytime.

That lets you know if you have a problem, and how serious that problem is. Once you know that, you can treat it, and fix the problem yourself—with the advice and help of your doctor, of course!

Treatments for diabetes range from changes in eating and movement patterns (OK, yeah. I was trying to slip diet and exercise past you), all the way up to exotic injectable medications.

Mr. Eliot LeBow, CDE, LCSW

Past attempts to cure diabetes have ranged from full pancreatic transplant to injecting new beta cells into the islets of Langerhans. At the end of the day, there is one problem that causes the attempted cures to fail.

Antibodies that are produced in white blood cells are hard wired to attack beta cells as though they were a pathogen and destroy the beta cells needed to produce insulin. Even though some attempts have temporally cured diabetes, they have also created other complications.

In attempts to prevent white blood cells from producing antibodies that destroy the new beta cells, individuals are placed on immune suppressants. They have been shown in past to cause patients to be very susceptible to other illnesses. When the immune system is suppressed, the common cold usually turns into pneumonia, which have caused death during past research on human participants.

At present, there is no viable cure for Juvenile Diabetes. However, with proper blood glucose management, diabetics can live full and happy lives.

The basic rule of thumb is that, whatever is healthy for a person without diabetes is also healthy and encouraged for better diabetes management. These include exercise, stress management, Good Coping skills, proper nutrition and anything that promotes a healthy lifestyle. 

Today, more and more research dollars are spent on diabetes research, which experts hope will lead to the prevention and cure of diabetes. In the meantime, you can manage your diabetes better with:

  • Home monitoring of your blood glucose levels
  • Controlling your blood pressure, and possibly monitoring your pressure at home
  • Following your individual diet
Researchers are working on a cure for diabetes. In this video, I will talk about the different approaches to curing diabetes.

There is currently no cure for diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease. A person diagnosed with diabetes will always have diabetes. The only change that a person can make is to be either controlled or uncontrolled. A controlled diabetic meets all dietary and laboratory goals, such as an A1C less than 7 percent, and/or fasting blood glucose levels of 70 to 130 mg/dl.

Currently there is no cure for juvenile diabetes. However, there are several research studies searching for a cure. Juvenile diabetes can be treated wth insulin injections to control blood sugar levels. Children with juvenile diabetes can lead relatively normal lives and participate in sports and other activities with appropriate planning, diet modification and monitoring of their blood sugar levels.

Continue Learning about Diabetes

Screening and Diagnosis for Diabetes
Screening and Diagnosis for Diabetes
Diabetes is easy to prevent—if it's caught early enough. It's also the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, a fact that should motivat...
Read More
How can I find out if my glucose monitor kit is accurate?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Most glucose monitor kits come with a test solution. You will need to squeeze a drop of this solutio...
More Answers
4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes
4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes
Cold hands could be a bigger problem than you think.
Start Slideshow
6 Steps to Better Exercise With Diabetes
6 Steps to Better Exercise With Diabetes

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.