Stem cell therapy has a potential to cure Diabetes, claims Dr Geeta Shroff, Director, Nutech Mediworld.
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a group of metabolic diseases in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. The chronic disease is estimated to affect around 285 million people worldwide and this number is expected to reach 439 million by 2030. DM is highly prevalent in people aged 40-60 years in developing countries whereas in developed countries it mostly affects people above 60 years. It is caused due to pancreas not producing enough insulin or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced. In fact, for many, diabetes means living with daily insulin injections and the possibility of long-term damage to their health.
The doctor said in the last decade stem cell therapy has gained a greater momentum than other treatments as it has shown positive results. A 44-year-old male was admitted at ''our facility in 2006 with the diagnosis of DM. The patient was apparently doing well till 2001, until he developed persistent rashes on his body which were not responding to the treatment given. The patient also complained of increased thirst and urination frequency for a long time before the diagnosis.'' The doctor said on investigation, he was diagnosed positive for DM. Also, he was a strong suspect of being diabetic as his mother too was a patient of diabetes. The patient was a smoker and an alcoholic too. He had been taking oral hypoglycemic drugs, including Insulin as per his doctor's prescription. Additionally, he was reported to be allergic to both wheat and dairy.
As part of a primary treatment, the patient was given hESC therapy, wherein, he was put on a strict anti-diabetic diet. Stem cells sourced from embryonic tissue, unlike adult stem cells, are not restricted to any particular tissue or organ and are capable of producing all cell types to cure multitude of diseases. Thus, after the treatment, the patient felt stable, his blood glucose levels came under control and he was not allergic to wheat and dairy anymore. The doctor said the research and trials have proved that stem cells have the regenerative potential to repair beta cells, and secondly they can modulate the immune system by inhibiting the responses that lead to the autoimmune attack on pancreatic beta cells.
Hence following the hESC therapy, patients generally show improved quality of life, maintaining blood sugar levels within normal range with minimal insulin and oral hypoglycemic drugs. There's a marked improvement in their eye sight, stamina, mental focus ability and muscle strength too. Simultaneously, there is a reduction in secondary side-effects of high blood sugar such as affectation of cardiac, kidneys, polyneuropathy, vision, etc. No adverse events and teratoma formation are observed post treatment. With the result hESCs show good therapeutic potential in the treatment of patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as these cells not just respond to glucose and secrete insulin, but they do so multiple times thereby helping patients to lead a healthier, longer lives.
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