Has Anyone Been Cured of Type 1 Diabetes?

Reviewed on 4/16/2021

Type 1 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin, leading to increased blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Because type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, there is no cure and it must be managed for the rest of a person's life.
Type 1 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin, leading to increased blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Because type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, there is no cure and it must be managed for the rest of a person's life.

Type 1 diabetes (formerly called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes) is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the little to no insulin is produced by the pancreas causing blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise (hyperglycemia).

Glucose is the body’s main source of energy, and the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin that helps convert glucose from the food you eat into energy your body uses.

It is different from type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, which occurs when the body doesn’t use insulin properly causing blood sugar levels to rise. 

There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. It is an autoimmune condition, which means it is chronic and will need to be managed for the rest of your life. 

There are occasional random anecdotal reports of people who claim to have been “cured” of type 1 diabetes, such as actress Halle Berry, however, it is believed she may have had type 2 diabetes

What Are Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can develop over a few weeks or months, can be severe, and may include:

What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction in which the body attacks itself and destroys beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin. 

Risk factors for developing type 1 diabetes include: 

  • Genetics/family history
  • Age: more likely to occur in children, teens, and young adults, though it can develop at any age
  • Triggers, such viruses
  • Ethnicity: Caucasians are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than African Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans

Type 1 diabetes is not caused by diet or lifestyle factors.

How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?

Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed with the following tests: 

  • Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test 
  • A1C test 
  • Glucose challenge test
  • Random plasma glucose (RPG) test 
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)

SLIDESHOW

Type 1 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms? See Slideshow

What Is the Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is treated with lifestyle modifications and medications when needed. 

Lifestyle changes to manage type 1 diabetes include:

  • Manage A1C (average blood glucose level over the past 3 months)
  • Check blood glucose levels daily
  • Keep blood pressure in check
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Don’t smoke
  • Follow a diabetes meal plan as recommended by your doctor or nutritionist
    • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean poultry and fish, and low-fat dairy
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Chose foods that are low-calorie, low-fat, low-sugar, and low-salt
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Manage stress/practice relaxation techniques 
  • Take prescribed diabetes medications 

Medications used to treat type 1 diabetes include: 

If lifestyle changes and medications are insufficient, other treatments for type 1 diabetes may include: 

  • Weight-loss surgery (bariatric surgery) for certain patients who are obese
  • Artificial pancreas 

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Reviewed on 4/16/2021
References
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes

https://www.fda.gov/media/119148/download

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type1.html

https://www.battlediabetes.com/celebrities-with-diabetes-halle-berry

https://www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/about/treatment/