Is It Possible to Ever Cure Diabetes?

Diabetes, for many people, is one of those complicated disorders that cannot usually be controlled by simply taking a pill. Diabetics must completely arrange their lives around their health needs, planning special meals, getting enough rest and exercise and staying away from stress, taking their medication properly and monitoring their blood glucose levels daily.

Combine that with such factors as the rate of deaths due to complications from diabetes, the cost of treatments and more, and it is plain why there is such a desperate rush to find a cure. Though there are innumerable supposed “cure-alls”, a real cure has yet to be found. The race is ongoing, and in the meantime, there are fortunes to be made by keeping ahead of the pack with the latest research and development. Still, a total cure is the ultimate goal.

In the April 29, 2009 issue of The Epoch Times, Dr. John Briffa discusses a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Can Diabetes Be Cured?” (2009, 301[15]), authored by Dr. Chris D. Saudek. Dr. Briffa gives a brief overview of the original article, admitting part of the reason for his interest in the commentary is Saudek’s use of the word “cure” in relation to diabetes. Everyone knows there is no cure for diabetes. Or is there? Dr. Briffa appears to think diet management is a largely unexplored avenue for a possible cure.

Briffa points out the traditional thinking is “once a diabetic, always a diabetic”. He says the commentary challenges the tried-and-true methods of treatment, citing the possible cures for diabetes, including organ and cellular transplant, and even such novel approaches as the use of stem cells. Saudek also discusses mechanical technology which would administer specific amounts of insulin after sensory devices found blood glucose levels to be low, though the technology not imminent or even inevitable. Should it even become available, these therapeutic techniques would only serve to manage the disease, not make it go away. Briffa is clear about his aversion to calling any treatment method a cure. According to him, they are just more ways of managing diabetes.

Briffa asserts there might be more natural means of controlling diabetes, including specialized diets. He presents a hypothetical example of a fifty year-old man who has been tested twice for diabetes type 2, and both times the test was positive. However, after being on a low-carbohydrate diet for a year, he is tested at two months, and again at a year, and both tests come back negative. Briffa raises the question of whether or not the man is actually diabetic. He explains that if the man had not been tested in the first place, and chose to go on the low-carb diet on his own, and did not have diabetes after being tested, then he does not actually have diabetes. He may have had it, may be likely to have it, but he does not currently have it.

Dr. Briffa contends physicians have been under the mistaken impression for years that the answer to diabetes is a high-carb diet which is completely wrong. Thus if doctors have traditionally been prescribing treatment completely opposite of what the patient actually needs, then there is no wonder so many doctors are jaded as to the validity of the supposition a change in diet could be a potential cure for some types of diabetes. Dr. Briffa is careful to advise his readers to continue with whatever course of treatment has been prescribed by their physician. He warns against relying wholly upon experimental and holistic therapy.

Of course, money plays another role in the types of treatments that are most ardently researched. While there is almost endless profit to be made from sales of diabetic medications, supplies and services, such is not the case for the more homeopathic avenues. Dr. Briffa postulates there has not been sufficient attention paid to natural remedies and therapies like diet management. He points out Dr. Saudek is a consulting advisor for two diabetic medical supply companies, which he proposes is a potential reason for Dr. Saudek’s apparent reluctance to tout diet management as a valid method of managing the disorder.

While it seems unlikely that man will be able to eradicate the disease anytime soon, the technologies available for both research and treatment continue to make life ever more comfortable for those with diabetes. Dr. Briffa concludes his review of Saudek’s commentary by making it clear he believes dietary management is a practical, feasible prospect for a cure for diabetes, a missed opportunity that is going unheeded by those who benefit from the lack of a cure, for whom implements fortreatment and management of diabetes are bankable commodities. Dr. Briffa leaves the readers pondering if the prognosis may not be very good for those who so desperately need a permanent, lasting cure for diabetes.

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