Thursday, October 15, 2009

Help From Biotechnology for Diabetes Mellitus

Biotechnology Help for Diabetes Mellitus

Current research has indicated that up to four injections per day of insulin is protocol. Even better, an insulin pump to reduce vascular and renal complications of Type I diabetics.

Now, if you add a glucose sensor and a miniature computer to an insulin pump you have just manufactured an artificial pancreas that would dispense insulin as needed.

Mist inhalers and insulin patches are other methods of administering insulin.

Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplants are increasing in their ability to help Type I diabetics. The limiting factor in islet transplantations is the need for long-term immunosuppression.

The side effects from immunosupressant drugs may cause complications. Thus, pancreatic islet transplantations are only used for patients that cannot control their diabetes any other way.

For those of you that have Type II diabetes the worry about ketoacidosis is far less but the other complications that afflict Type I diabetics still exist for you. Heredity or a familial predisposition is very strong for Type II diabetics. An estimated 25 to 30 percent of Americans carry a gene that predisposes them to Type II diabetes, with non-white populations at a far greater risk.

Most Type II diabetics produce insulin but the insulin receptors on body cells are unable to respond to it, a phenomenon called insulin resistance. Mutations in any one of several genes could lead to insulin resistance. One example is a gene called PC-1. That gene, a membrane protein gene, causes that membrane protein to react strongly to insulin receptor that prevents the receptor from being activated.

Lifestyle can play a role. Diabetics are almost all overweight and sedentary. Adipose cells of obese folks overproduce a number of hormone-like chemicals including tumor necrosis factor alpha and adiponectin which may alter the cascade sequence triggered by insulin binding that makes it possible for your body cells to absorb glucose for metabolism.

The good news is that many Type II diabetics can control their diabetes by exercise, weight loss and a healthy diet. Some diabetics benefit from oral medications like Orinase. There is a number of drugs that are referred to as insulin resistance reducers such as Avandia.