What is Juvenile Diabetes?
Juvenile Diabetes/Type 1 diabetes develops when a child’s pancreas stops producing enough insulin. Insulin lets blood sugar-also called glucose-enter the body’s cells, where it is used for energy. Without insulin, the amount of sugar in the blood rises above a safe level. As a result, children experience high and low blood sugar levels from time to time. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves throughout the body and increases your child’s risk of eye, kidney, heart, blood vessel, and nerve diseases.
Experts do not know what causes type 1 diabetes. But the cause may involve family history and maybe environmental factors like diet or infections.
Juvenile Diabetes is the 2nd most common chronic childhood disease in the world. It is estimated that India is housing about 97,700 children with Juvenile Diabetes. Surprisingly India has more diabetes patients than the United States.
Current treatment: Insulin is the only injection-based medicine that can keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. It cannot reverse the disease.
Role of Cord Blood in Curing Diabetes: Infusing cord blood stem cells into the body, scientists have proven that it can slow down the immune system’s attack on pancreatic cells producing insulin and perhaps replace them with healthy cells.
Results: So far 11 diabetic children aged 2 to 10 have been treated with their own cord blood. The follow up lasted between 3 and 31 months. The study concluded that stem cell transplant is a permanent cure and the treatment is feasible and safe.
Benefit: 1 in 3 Indians could be benefited with this novel cord blood stem cell therapy to treat diabetes.