What is your idea of a cure?

By JDCA2025 Latest Reply 2011-08-22 06:10:37 -0500
Started 2011-08-08 13:10:24 -0500

This post was kind of inspired by another discussion occurring on here ( "Cure for Diabetes Found", started by Jim Edwards), and also the work that my organization does.

Quite simply, what does a cure for diabetes mean to you? What would it have to do in order for you to consider it a true cure?

It seems that a lot of diabetics have very different ideas on the subject, and it'd be interesting to see what everyone thinks.

50 replies

JDCA2025 2011-08-18 18:37:12 -0500 Report

Also, just as a helpful tool, or organization recently developed an FAQ consisting of many of the questions people have been asking us. While I definitely am able to answer any questions, if you want anymore info on the Juvenile Diabetes Cure Alliance, don't hesitate to take a look at them.

Here's the link:


Thanks again for all the good discussion you guys have been bringing to the threads!

JDCA2025 2011-08-15 18:25:58 -0500 Report

To add just a little bit more to this discussion before it retires, I figured I'd ask about when you think a cure will come around. Some of you have been very vocal ( saying anywhere from 20 years to never), and some haven't been quite as much.

When do you think one will be availible. We obviously have our own take ( which I'll post a bit more of later) but I figured I'd post a question here first.

GabbyPA 2011-08-17 21:02:01 -0500 Report

According to your cure "qualifications" it is here already. I think that is a compromised "cure" but a good start.

As for my time frame for a cure, I think until our food is back to the way it is supposed to be, unprocessed, organic, nutrient rich, I don't think we will have that cure. I believe there is great control hidden in those elements for those of us with diabetes, but I think that our foods and lifestyles are playing a far bigger part in our development of this disease, as well as the lovely genes we have. I do not see it happening in my lifetime.

It is a huge reversal that our friendly FDA will never allow at this time. If we want to bring that preventative "cure" to our kids, we have to take matters into our own hands. Be strong parents and teach them from youth to make good choices and offer them strong foods. There is much power in there. We are truly what we eat.

JDCA2025 2011-08-18 12:10:49 -0500 Report

I do wonder how much food matters in the development of either type. I remember a few years ago hearing that how early you fed your children cereal would contribute to chance of them developing type 1. Certainly interesting, and there seems to be so much we don't know yet.

Regarding your own idea for a cure, it seems you want to be able to stop diabetes from ever starting again, as opposed to say, taking a drug when you get it and going back to normal. Hopefully one day that occurs, but that would require such a massive overhaul of our food industry to produce I can barely begin to fathom it.

Still, you have a interesting take on a cure, and I don't think many others thing of natural ways to bring one about.

GabbyPA 2011-08-22 06:10:37 -0500 Report

On the contrary. Many of the touted "cures" our there are diet based. Eating a more primitive or raw diet. These are not a cure, but high control and work very well for the strong willed person. The dedication is hard, as our lifestyles are not leaning in that way at all. I know I have seen much better results when I eat that way, but find it difficult because I have a family to feed as well, and they are not into meatless, raw veggie diets with green smoothies and the like. So I keep bits of those things in my diet, but I would love to escape to a month camp of eating that way. I think I would be amazed.

1lady4 2011-08-12 20:47:28 -0500 Report

My idea for a cure for everyone is a Pancreas transplant that way we won't have to take Insulin

jayabee52 2011-08-13 02:57:04 -0500 Report

(shhhhhh! don't tell anyone, ————— if we have a transplant then we will then need to be on some very powerful antirejection drugs for the rest of out lives. Trading one problem with another. We also will have to be so careful not to get a virus or other bug because our immune systems will be more compromised than they were with our diabetes. I'm not sure it is worth it myself)

MrsCDogg 2011-08-12 10:29:04 -0500 Report

A cure would have to completely erase all signs of diabetes. It would have to necessitate me to stop ALL medications for this condition. It would have to allow my metabolisim to regenerate to the point that I would be able to SUCCESSFULLY lose weight. It would allow me to live to a ripe old age.

JDCA2025 2011-08-11 17:23:24 -0500 Report

I figured I should probably put up what my organization believes now that this conversation is getting heated.

Our definition of a cure is that for the first year:
1. Must not require blood glucose monitoring beyond once a week.
2. Must not require carb counting.
3. Must not restrict a patient's diet.
4. Keep AlC levels between 6 and 7.

And also ( quite obviously) it cannot have any complications greater than or equal to type 1 diabetes.

Thoughts? Some members ( looking at you James) have already given their opinion, but we're interested to see what people think.

berrykins0 2011-08-10 17:45:36 -0500 Report

it would be nice if there was a cure for diabetes.as long as there isn't best you can do is eat right exersise keep your weight in healthy range best you can. to keep your diabetes under control.

dijr0365 2011-08-10 12:13:42 -0500 Report

I am a Juvenile Type I Diabetic, I have lived with diabetes for 38 years. I just started this site and find it wonderful to actually hear people being real:) A cure for me would be having a Pancreas Transplant to where Type 1 Diabetics have a chance to live without the need of insulin. Or some kind of cure for our metabolic condition to work naturally, both for Type I & II. I think a cure being found for type I would make a cure for Diabetes II easier. You want to cure the diabetes by having the body work naturallty to burn the sugar… Diabetic I do not have that choice, and some II's do not either. Not to go into all of that. my son who is 18 years old has had diabetes for 12 years and he has had more high blood sugars than I have had. he has other complications that are unrelated. we both understand we have our own way of dealing with it. Since neither of us remember what it's like to not be diabetic, it's hard to imagine what it would be like not to be. We are actually very in tune with the way we feel. and how to take care of it. Unlike diabetic II's. everyone's body works differently, no two diabetics are exactly the same. My body burns sugar sometimes differently day by day, and my insulin works more effectively on some days (different than the day before) Yes this has to do with the food intake and body usage also ~ which has proven to be exactly the same yet produces different numbers than the meal and insulin taken at the same time, the next day. Diabetes affects so much and the effects of having it for 38 years has lead to nerve damage which makes my sugars run constantly different, let alone like another person's. Basically, I gave up hope on a cure long ago… too many years to remember. But once I had my son and he became a diabetic (I have a 25 year old daughter who is not), I got hope once again. I am healthier due to the fact that I had to show my son how to take care of oneself. But now the thought of a cure is diminishing again. Why would the medical business want to find a cure if they make so much money off Diabetics??? I spend a lot on prescriptions which are needed to live, let alone prevent serious other medical problems. So they always say they are working on a cure… but are they really?

1lady4 2011-08-12 20:49:12 -0500 Report

That's what I was thinking but we would have to take rejection meds for the rest of our lives to prevent us from rejecting the new pancreas

dietcherry 2011-08-12 21:54:39 -0500 Report

Drs are now weakening an organ recipients immune system and then giving them bone marrow from the organ donor to prevent the body from rejecting the transplant…and its working!
And if thats not enough good news, a member here told me he heard that a synthetic pancreas is being developed which would negate the need for anti-rejection meds. Ive also heard that your own stem cells can be grown into beta cells which your body wouldnt reject because its your tissue!
We're still in early days but I am overwhelmed with hope!!!

JDCA2025 2011-08-13 10:26:34 -0500 Report

Yeah, some amazing advances are being made with stem cells now that the band has been lifted. Will be VERY intriguing to see how experiments with them progress.

JDCA2025 2011-08-11 10:53:02 -0500 Report

A. Congratulations on starting this diabeticconnect! It certainly seems to be booming, and I have to say we've been happy with the way people have reacted to our presence here ( with real critique and commentary, as opposed to viewing us as some sort of cloaked snake-oil salesmen).

B. Regarding the way the medical industry spends it's money, and whether or not they just aren't putting money towards a cure, it's a bit of a different problem than that. Part of the problem is that most money allocated towards cures isn't directed to anything in particular. For instance, a major diabetic charity spends it money on several hundred different scientific projects for a cure. The issue? As opposed to looking for the most promising projects and directing funds to them, the net is getting scattered too wide, making progress slow on all fronts.

In terms of the industry wanting a cure, it's half and half. Yes, pharmaceutical companies make lots of money on the drugs and treatments we use. On the other end of the spectrum, insurance companies lose tons of money for every diabetic they cover, which actually makes it somewhat surprising they haven't put any money towards a cure ( as it would be smart monetarily, as well as in terms of their public image).

So yeah, there' s a lot of conflicting ideals and messages when it comes to funding a cure for diabetes that will hopefully begin to be abolished.

thajek 2011-08-09 20:58:54 -0500 Report

Let me first say that I'm here on behalf of my three year old daughter, type 1 diagnosed about a month now. Before this we ate very healthy, got lots of exercise and things were good. Now we have to watch everything and give so many shots and finger pokes to such little fingers it,s very hard to keep from crying. At the moment I would love to see my daughters pancreas start working normal again. That not being possible, I'd wish to at least have some way to stop the progression and maintain the honeymoon phase indefinetly. We have gone gluten and dairy free and are approaching going raw foods only but that is hard and expensive. It was even before the diagnoses but that was our one luxery.

We don't watch TV, don't have fancy cars or phones or clothes or anything really. No cable TV. What we did was eat organic and enjoy the outdoors. I think type ones should be looked at for a cure as it seems that many type 2's already have other options with diet and exercise. I don't mean to belittle type two at all but I have many friends and neighbors that are type two or pre-diabetic and I see what they eat or I see it managed with pills. Some say they don't like to exercise or eat when stressed and I can understand that to a point but you can change and make better choices. I love sweets and doughnuts, but since having kids i've given most of that up. I don't even put sugar in my tea or coffee and the funny thing is that it got easier as my taste buds adjusted and I was able to appreciate and taste real food as it was made by nature, not by some processing plant in china.

My 3 year old daughter is not overweight in the least but has no choice but to be hurt by mom and dad 4-8 times a day just to be able to eat a cup of blueberries and an apple! I'm not talking doughnuts or cake or fried greasy food or something from McDonald's. I,m talking real organic food grown locally.

Before whatever triggered the diabetes my daughter was the sweetest girl a parent could ask for, now with all the highs and lows and resultant mood swings it strains all of us. Please, if there is some real hope for a cure then bring it and don't just dangle a carrot.

JDCA2025 2011-08-11 10:57:22 -0500 Report

Yikes. Having a child diagnosed that early is rough. If it's any modicum of comfort, things get much easier as they get to the age of understanding the disease, but I know that can seem so far off.

Best of luck for now.

berrykins0 2011-08-10 17:42:58 -0500 Report

your very good and smart about giving up things that are bad for you to eat.most people have a very hard time giving up bad things to eat. its important to eat healthy instead of having fancy things to wear for clothes or drive a expensive car. those things are not important your health is spend a little more money on your health is worth it. i agree with you. i'm always proud and think highly of people that have good sense to eat healthy.i eat the as healthy as i can myself to.i have gave alot of stuff up sense i was told i have diabeties type 2. it makes you feel good when you do things right.i know that i don't need fancy things either .eating healthy is more important to me.

spiritwalker 2011-08-09 20:23:10 -0500 Report

The only "cure " for diabetes is a kidney transplant.

jayabee52 2011-08-09 20:58:42 -0500 Report

not sure I follow that line of reasoning. I'm sure there is one there, but I don't see it. Could you enlighten us further?

spiritwalker 2011-08-09 21:31:38 -0500 Report

When I was working we had several end stage kidney patients who received transplants. I know 5 patients who were at one time insulin dependent. Following
their tran plants they were able to maintain normal bg readings without any form
of medication. One I know personally still gets his bg checked twice a year but remains
after seven years in normal range. His MD no longer considers him or others that
have done the same as diabetic.

jayabee52 2011-08-09 21:40:44 -0500 Report

That's fascinating, Mary. I am just about to go back to dialysis a 2nd time. (was on it for 10 months late 2006-2007) I am contolling my T 2 with an eating plan and no diabetes meds. That might be nice if a kidney transplant would give me that added little gift. I'm glad I asked

JDCA2025 2011-08-11 17:13:28 -0500 Report

My question is: do they believe the trade-off between taking immunosuppressants to allow your body to take the transplant outweighs the previous need to control your blood sugar?

I'm not asking to be incendiary, I just want to know.

jayabee52 2011-08-11 17:20:07 -0500 Report

didn't take it that way. I am aware that is a consideration. I'm not there at the need for the transplant yet. But before I do commit to a transplant, (if ever) it is something to which I will have to come to terms.

thajek 2011-08-12 11:17:34 -0500 Report

From some information I read at the Mayo Clinic site it seems that even with type 1 they will sometimes do a kidney and pancreas transplant either at the same time or the pancreas following a successful kidney transplant. I think the caveat here is that transplants tend to be the absolute last resort and often for people that have extreme difficulty managing BG levels with traditional approaches. I think at that point, having to go on immunosuppresants or not may be only a small consideration.

I think the other part of this is that the kidneys more than likely failed due to BG levels being uncontrolled. If you get a kidney transplant and still have high BG, how long before the kidneys fail. I think that's why they are sometimes doing a pancreas transplant at the same time. That way not only do you restore the kidney function but potentially the pancreas function as well and go on to not kill the new kidney again.

That's just my limited take on this. Personally, since my daughter was recently diagnosed and still has some pancreas function I have been wondering if there some immunosuppressant that would stop her body from destroying all the insulin producing cells, at least before they are all gone. This would at least give her a potential to have a basal level of insulin from her body and not an injection.

jayabee52 2011-08-15 22:56:21 -0500 Report

This resulted from Mary's (spiritwalker) comments (Aug 9) that the kidney transplant by itself (at least that is the way I read it) restored the Person with Diabetes to normalcy. Maybe I read it wrong

GabbyPA 2011-08-09 08:50:43 -0500 Report

A cure for me, being a type 2, would be that my body works the same as a non diabetic person in that even if I ate a carb heavy meal, my BG would not exceed 140 and my average would be about 80.

Type1Lou 2011-08-08 15:30:17 -0500 Report

A CURE for my Type 1 diabetes would restore my body's ability to produce insulin and properly metabolize what I eat. (Like James said below). I could eat what I want, when I want, and only worry about putting on weight…but then if I were CURED and I overate and under-exercised, I might risk developing Type 2 diabetes. ..(!#?) Diabetes is a whole range of diseases and I don't believe one CURE will fit all. The underlying causes have to be understood and dealt with. We currently have many tools to help us better manage our disease but I do hope that additional research and development will one day find CURES for all the different types of diabetes.

JDCA2025 2011-08-08 16:07:24 -0500 Report

It's certainly true about diabetes having a much greater range of than other illnesses, and treating type 1 and type 2 as the same would get us nowhere.

What I also find interesting about your post is the idea that if many diabetics were cured, they would go back to very unhealthy eating habits. A friend of mine once mentioned this idea to me before, and I'm still not sure where I stand on the subject.

I'd like to believe we'd know enough not to do that, but you never know.

Type1Lou 2011-08-09 17:07:58 -0500 Report

I did not mean to imply that were I cured of my diabetes that I would fall back on my old bad eating habits. I would like to think I would not, especially having experienced living with diabetes. I just indicated that it could be a result of my eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted…if I were to overindulge and not exercise. I never said or meant to imply "the idea that if many diabetics were cured, they would go back to very unhealthy eating habits" Those are your words, not mine.

JDCA2025 2011-08-09 17:39:49 -0500 Report

Type1 Lou:

I didn't mean to put words in your mouth, I guess I just extrapolated a bit too much.

Sorry about that. I'll be more careful next time.

Type1Lou 2011-08-10 08:21:30 -0500 Report

Thanks…apology accepted. When I was working, I was told that I tended to think of too many of the consequences of a condition or an action in trying to plan for a smooth implementation of a project. I haven't lost that tendency.

jayabee52 2011-08-08 13:46:56 -0500 Report

Howdy Stroyan,

Thank you for broaching this question.

I have some pretty strong ideas on the subject of "the cure", and it might kick up a little dust. I don't intend to offend anyone (except those who sell snake oil cures — and then not even them, really).

My idea of a cure is something where I didn't have to worry about what I ate. I wouldn't have to do "maintainence" on a metabolic condition.

Every "cure" I've seen promoted here and on other diabetes sites are either control of my diabetes (like I am doing now — with my eating plan without diabetes meds) or is a scam.

Your JDCA orgaiization puzzles me a bit. It is a laudable goal to promote a cure by 2025, but reading the articles from JDCA which were posted, I disagree that what is envisioned there is a true cure. I see that envisioned there as maintainence, minimal maintainence, perhaps, but maintainence of a metabolic condition none the less.

I am also just a bit troubled on JDCA's critique of groups like the ADA and another (can't think of the name at the moment) which are not focused solely on Type 1s, yet JDCA seems to criticize those 2 organizations because they don't put 100% of their funds toward research benefitting only type 1s.

I would be elated if a true cure would be found for type 1s, but I want a cure for us ALL. Type 1s and type 2s and 1.5s and all the other types of diabetes. They don't have to be the same cure, but they would have to be a true cure.

My two pennies


Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-08-09 10:39:06 -0500 Report

First of all James, when did you start to be concerned about offending anybody with your input? LOL! I like discussions like this where the responses become a no holds barred. It helps us to examine what gets under our skin, examine what we think, and what we expect.
To some extent this whole thing becomes a problem of semantics and/or personal preference. I would be happy to have a little more freedom in what I eat. what does that mean? I would like to be able to have a full bowl of cereal and not have to worry about my numbers going over 200. I would like to be able to eat a bowl of ice cream twice a week (with chocolate syrup if I wanted), instead of limiting myself to what I can fit on a tablespoon, once a week. I am not looking to undo the healthy changes I have made, but a relaxation would be nice. Why should I have to stop and read the labels for a salad dressing when I will be using about 2 tablespoons?
Now to the different groups. Before DC, if I had to % vote for funding for Type 1 or type 2, I would have voted for 100% for type 2 and 0 for Type 1. Now it is different. Before Type 1 did not effect me personally. Now that I have "met" some friends that are Type 1's through DC, I would not be so greedy. Maybe 99% for Type 2 and 1% for Type 1! (Only kidding) Probably a 70/30 split would be closer. I know more Type II's in my real life (as opposed to my on-line life).
So, there is my nickels worth.
Jim (yes James, I raised you by 3 cents)

dietcherry 2011-08-11 21:20:21 -0500 Report

30% of research monies for T1? Really?! T1, MY disease, was inflicted on me by my own faulty immune system! Funds to unlock this mystery may also lead to answers to the mystery of the more than 80 other auto-immunity disorders.
Its like viruses; there is NO cure for any virus and yet, discovering the cure for the common cold could potentially reveal a cure for chicken pox, hepatitis, or even AIDS!
Sorry to come on so strong but I just got out of the hospital after a particularly nasty hypoglycemic episode caused me to break my rib…AGAIN!!! Thank gawd for painkillers or Id really be ornery! ;)

JDCA2025 2011-08-08 14:43:06 -0500 Report

Hey jayabee52,

Don't worry, no offense taken. I figured given your posts on Jim's discussion board we probably wouldn't see completely eye to eye on this anyway lol.

While there's very little I can say regarding our differing definitions ( I guess this is just a case of agree to disagree) I will respond to the critique of the way we look at several diabetic charities.

Our issue is not that they don't put all their funding to a cure for type 1's, our issue is that many of these organizations solicit their donations with slogans that suggest that you are donating for a CURE to diabetes, not better treatment.

And be it type 1 or type 2, most of the funds donated to these organizations ( donated under the belief that they're going to a cure) are not being placed in such arenas. Is essence, it's false advertising.

Honestly though, I do appreciate how vocal you've been with your critique of us. I know that may sound like some sort of weird corporate spin, but honestly, we need real opinions from the diabetic community if we are to eventually offer any sort of help.

jayabee52 2011-08-08 15:17:03 -0500 Report

You can call me James, BTW.

I pray that you feel no hostility from me, because if so it is completely unintentional and inadvertant. If you feel hostility from me let me know it (preferably via DC email) and what you thought was hostile, and I will work on eliminating from or altering that in my responses if I can.

I understand about real opinions, because that's how I hone my personal relationship skills too. I have been attacked by insults (not saying you have done this) from others from time to time on this and other boards, but i do not get offended. I just try to see what they are trying to do and just calmly respond to that person appropriately.

I know that not everyone will agree with me, [after all I was married for 25 years! LoL and that ended in divorce :-( ] nor do I expect total agreement.

Perhaps JDCA's wording might be reworked when the critique of funding for Type 1s and those 2 organizations is concerned.

I have done a lot of writing in the past, and I believe that sometimes a person cannot say something so clearly, that someone else cannot misunderstand. It is a hard thing sometimes to express oneself adequately in print. So I am sympathetic in that regard.

Praying we all get a real cure soon!


JDCA2025 2011-08-08 16:04:11 -0500 Report

Don't worry James, I'm not getting any hostility from you, and it's a good point that we might want to re-do the wording on that document.

Anywho, who else has opinions on a cure?