Diabetes Diagnosis And More – Do You Need An Islet Cell Transplant?

Timely diabetes diagnosis is necessary for properly managing the condition. Diabetes is a chronic disease that is caused due to high blood sugar levels, and the problem creeps up either due to lack of insulin or the body’s inability to use insulin efficiently. Depending on the outcome of the diagnosis, the doctor may suggest a pancreatic transplant.

A Look At What’s Involved In Diabetes Diagnosis

Diabetes diagnosis is done through a series of tests and these include fasting blood glucose tests, random blood glucose tests, and oral glucose tolerance tests.

  • The fasting blood glucose test involves checking the individual’s blood after making him fast for a period of 12 to 14 hours.
  • In the random blood glucose test, the person’s blood is checked at regular intervals and there is no fasting involved.
  • Oral glucose tolerance is also a part of diabetes diagnosis tests. Blood tests are conducted at regular intervals after the patient consumes high glucose drinks.

Diabetes symptoms diagnosis can be done immediately after the fasting blood glucose test. If the test indicates that the level of glucose in the person’s blood is higher than normal post-fasting, it can be confirmed that the person is diabetic.

Diabetes Diagnosis
Blood glucose tests are used for diabetes diagnosis

Types Of Diabetes And Their Causes

Diabetes can be classified as Type 1 and Type 2. Here’s a quick look into their causes:

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
  • It occurs because the body fails to recognize the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans. The beta cells produce insulin that helps regulate glucose levels in the blood.
  • The body’s auto-immune system kicks in and destroys these cells after classifying them as a foreign substance.
  • Abnormal antibodies, which are part of the body’s immune system, have been found in the bodies of patients with Type 1 diabetes.
  • These antibodies include anti-islet and anti-insulin antibodies.
  • This auto-immune response can be triggered off by viruses, including the mumps virus as well as the Coxsackie virus. Environmental factors like exposure to toxins and diets may also be a reason for the auto-immune response that destroys islet cells.

Type 2 Diabetes

  • Type 2 diabetes is known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
  • It occurs because the body becomes insensitive to the insulin produced by the body. It is also caused by decline in the insulin produced by the beta cells in the pancreas.
  • It is mostly seen in older people, though change in lifestyle, diets and increasing obesity has resulted in rising incidence among teens and young adults.
  • It is caused due to obesity and genetic factors. It is also more common among certain ethnic groups.

An islet cell transplant is mainly recommended for patients who suffer from Type 1 Diabetes. This is because this type of diabetes is caused by the destruction of the beta cells that produce insulin.

Will You Need An Islet Cell Transplant After Diabetes Diagnosis?

Generally, islet cell transplant is recommended for people who fit the following profile:

  • Have been suffering from Type 1 diabetes for more than five years.
  • Are at risk due to diabetes-related complications like frequent unconscious spells or the onset of kidney failure.
  • Fall under the age group of 18 to 65 years.

Though islet cell transplant provides hope to patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes, the therapy is still in its experimental stages. Yet another problem with islet cell transplant is the lack of donors, which has led to a shortage of islet cells.

Once your diabetes diagnosis is done, your physician will ultimately be able to take a call on the right form of diabetes treatment to adopt. Various diabetes surgery risks need to be considered while deciding whether you need an islet cell transplant.

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