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Fast forward 10 years from now

September 19, 2010 | 12:41 pm

One of the first things that struck me when Samuel was diagnosed was how basic, almost backwards, his treatment and care seemed to be.

Essentially, we count the amount of carbs he eats and balance it with insulin. I remember a girl when I was a child of about 6 being diagnosed diabetic. She was following roughly the same routine back then, from the vague memories I have. Balancing diet with insulin and injecting all the time. From what I can gather, this hasn’t changed much in over 30 years.

Now compare this to other areas. Cars are three or four times as powerful, and twice as fuel efficient. TV screens are three times as big. Even my phone has the same computing power as a whole room of computers from 30 years ago. All this progress and we still treat my son like a pin cushion. It strikes me as more than a little backward.

A doctor that my wife used to work with made an interesting comment when he heard that Samuel had been diagnosed. Apparantly, diabetes is an area of interest for him as a practising GP and he had some words of comfort for us. He believes that, recently, real progress has been made in the understanding and treatment of type 1 diabetes and that by the time Samuel is 20, things will be very different. I hope so.

It always seems to be 10 years away. The same is mentioned in this very encouraging article about developments into an artificial pancreas. This might be on the market in 5 to 10 years!

And here, in this article on an implanted gloucose sensor, we are “several years” from it coming to the market.

Was this always the case? I wonder if during the 70’s & 80’s, were articles being written about artificial pancreas research and that within 10 years, diabetes would be a thing of the past?

Acording to Karmel Allison who wrote the article on an implantable glucose sensor, the researcher Dr. David Gough found this to be such an issue that he couldn’t get funding for his research. People assummed in the 70’s that diabetes would be cured within 10 years.

All this progress everywhere else but diabetes seems to have stood still.

I think this is the over-riding reason I have started and want to continue fundraising in this area. Even today with all our technology, little is known about what the causes of type 1 diabetes are and a cure still seems a long way off. But with funding, I hope we will move a little closer to a cure.

Perhaps within 10 years…?

Posted by Gareth

One Response to Fast forward 10 years from now

  1. avatar avatarAlan says:

    I know what you mean, but I think if you speak to some of the people who have been diagnosed decades ago, they will tell you of all the helpfl advances that have been made, and are being made all the time. Things like insulin pens, blood glucose meters delivering accurate results in seconds, insulin pumps, CGMS, new types of insulin and so on – all these have helped make diabetes management much easier and allowed control to become tighter. As an alternative to injections, how about this (still hopefully ten years away!)

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