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Question:

From Cairo, Egypt:

Recently, my eight-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1. He takes one unit of NovoRapid prior to each meal, one nighttime shot of Lantus, for a total of four units of insulin. He now weighs 30 kg (66 pounds). What is the latest news about cures (other than islet cell transplantation)? Is there a vaccine to preserve the remaining beta cells of the pancreas from destruction noting my son is newly discovered case (less than one month)?

Vitalzym and Protocel are medications referred to in many diabetes sites to cure diabetes caused as a result of scar tissue or fibrin or a thick mucus covering the beta cells. How true and tested are these medicines? What tests should I go through to make sure that my son does not have scar tissue on his pancreas?

Internet sites talk about vaccinations being possible causes of diabetes. My boy had a swine flu vaccination last year. I am not sure if this is what caused the destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas.

Answer:

There are some experimental cures being researched but not really available - and none totally safe and proven effective at the moment. Same for the vaccine approach, which remains experimental. This is all exciting research but still not available as a recommendation because of unknown side effects and unknown benefits - except in theory.

My best advice is to aim for optimal glucose control while always minimizing hypoglycemia. The intensive treatment regimen you are using is an excellent system using rapid acting analogs for meals and then a basal insulin, like Lantus, for overnight and between meal coverage. The key will be to get sufficient blood glucose testing so that you are aware of premeal and postmeal blood glucose results and then can titrate food and insulin doses with activity day-by-day. Better control allows the damaged pancreas to rest a bit and, therefore, to work a little bit longer and this, too, is an important treatment goal for more stability, perhaps inducing some months of remission.

SB

[Editor's comment:

I could find no studies indicating the use of Vitalzym or Protocel for diabetes. The only web sites I found where these were mentioned were ones trying to sell these "supplements." Remember that it is best to follow the advice of your son's physician.

BH]

DTQ-20110424163141
Original posting 17 May 2011
Posted to Research: Cure

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday May 17, 2011 16:17:52
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