Diabetes is a chronic disease characterised by high blood glucose levels resulting from the body not producing insulin or using it properly. Insulin is a hormone needed for glucose to enter the cells and be converted to energy. (View full article. Info Below)
There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas no longer produces the insulin needed. It is usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood and is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and occurs when the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin produced. The build up of glucose in the blood deprives the cells of energy and over time impacts eye, kidney, nerve or heart functioning.
Treatment for Type 1 diabetes is lifelong insulin replacement by as many as six injections per day. People living with diabetes must follow a healthy eating plan, exercise regularly and monitor their blood glucose levels several times a day. Blood glucose levels must be kept in a healthy range to help prevent short term and long term complications.
LCT aims to treat Type 1 diabetes with DIABECELL®, a porcine, insulin-producing cell product. Healthy islet cells are encapsulated and transplanted into the body to produce insulin and regulate blood glucose levels. The capsules ensure that the cells are not recognised as foreign by the patient’s immune system, so no immunosuppressant drugs are needed.
Facts about Type 1 Diabetes
- Diabetes is the world’s fastest growing chronic disease. It has been recognised by the UN as a major health crisis facing all nations of the world
- Diabetes currently affects about 346 million people worldwide, and the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts diabetes deaths will likely increase by more than 50% in the next 10 years
- Type 1 diabetes represents an estimated 10% of all diabetes cases
- In Australia, diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death
- 890,000 Australians are currently diagnosed with diabetes. Total number (diagnosed and undiagnosed) of Australians with diabetes is estimated to be 1.7 million people
- In 2007, diabetes cost the US economy $174 billion and it is estimated that one in every 10 health dollars in the US is spent on diabetes
- The WHO estimates that 2.5 - 15% of annual health budgets are spent on diabetes-related illnesses