Diabetes

Pancreas Transplants - A Solution For Type 1 Diabetes Sufferers?


Type 1 diabetes was formerly known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes matures quickly and symptoms are very visible.

This type of diabetes occurs when the body's immune system destroys pancreatic cells. These cells are the insulin producing cells. This type of diabetes affects mostly children and young adults. Risk factors for type1 diabetes include autoimmune, genetics, and environmental factors.

Many clinical studies have shown that an option for type 1 diabetes treatment is the pancreas transplantation. For some patients, surgeons can restore the function of the pancreas with an islet cell transplant.

The most important benefit of pancreas transplantation is freedom from dependence on insulin. Although this is significant, this is not recommended treatment for diabetes unless there is a need for a kidney transplant as well.

On the other hand, pancreas transplants still remains problematic in that the immune system still can attack new pancreas cells. Some people who have transplants do find that the transplanted pancreas is attacked and the insulin-producing cells are killed off after operation.

At this time, pancreas transplants do not always provide permanent cures, and people who have transplants must take anti-rejection medication and immune-system suppressing drugs.

Many research teams are still working on this immune system problem that seems to be the root cause of type 1 diabetes (sometimes called auto-immune diabetes).

This is main reason that pancreas transplants are still only being studied experimentally and are not considered currently to be an automatic cure for all patients with type 1 diabetes.

Valerian, freelance writer specialized in health issues affecting men
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