Google’s Diabetes Contacts Are Cool, but I’d Rather Just Have a Cure

Hi, my name is Doug and I'm worth a small fortune to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Hi, my name is Doug and I’m worth a small fortune to the pharmaceutical industry.

I’ve been a type 1 diabetic for 31 years — since I was three years old — and some of my earliest diabetes-related memories were of doctors telling me that a cure was roughly five to ten years away. All the time, just five to ten years away. Every year. My gut feeling now is that I’ll probably be living with this disease for the rest of my life. More on that later.

My absolute oldest memory, as a person, happens to be a diabetes-related memory as well. I remember pressing my nose up against the glass at the cookie counter at Target, pointing to a giant cookie slathered in icing so that it resembled Cookie Monster, and eating it without consequence. That would have had to have happened before I was diagnosed as diabetic, because such an activity nowadays would require several steps to pull off smoothly.

How Type 1 Diabetes Works

The short version about how type 1 diabetes works is as follows: when I eat, my blood sugar levels go up. Eating sugary stuff makes them go up further and faster than non-sugar stuff. Injecting insulin drives my blood sugar levels back down. If I inject too much insulin, I need to eat to drive my blood sugar levels back up.

Your blood sugar level probably hovers at around 100 all day. Mine could be anywhere between 50 and 400. Some people go much lower and much higher. Anything outside of about 100 to 200 for me, and I start feeling like I’m drunk but not in a fun way (low blood sugars) or dehydrated and sickly (high blood sugars).

Much of my life is spent trying to make sure to eat the perfect amount of food while injecting the perfect amount of insulin, so that my blood sugar levels stay as perfect as possible. Your body does this automatically, because your pancreas isn’t a deadbeat like mine. It senses when you eat and when your blood sugars start to elevate, and then secretes insulin – the perfect amount – into your body to stabilize your blood sugars.

How the Google System Should Work

So, onto this Google Smart Contact Lens thing. The idea behind it – and I’m going to take what Google says in its blog post and extrapolate the idea a bit – is that there’d be a pre-defined range of blood sugar levels deemed as “OK” by a tiny sensor built into the lens, and if my blood sugars were higher or lower than that range, I’d be notified somehow.

One way would be to wirelessly transmit the data to a handheld device – oh, maybe a Google-infused Android phone – but Google also mentions embedding tiny LED lights into the contact that could flash when certain things happen. This is actually a more ideal scenario than the wireless transmission idea, but you could probably just build both features into the contact lens and be done with it.

Of more value than simply knowing my blood sugars are higher or lower than they should be, however, is knowing whether they’re trending upward or downward and how quickly it’s happening. If I eat a delicious, icing-covered Cookie Monster cookie, I’d ideally see a red light blinking like crazy, telling me that my blood sugars are skyrocketing. If I ate an apple, I’d ideally see a slowly pulsing, pink-ish blink that told me that my blood sugars were elevating ever so slowly.

Conversely, if I gave some pre-dinner insulin, knowing that I was going to eat in 20 minutes or so, I might see a faint blue pulse as the insulin started to take effect. If I got stuck waiting for a table in a restaurant and it’d been an hour since I’d given myself insulin, I’d see a flashing purple light shaped like a skull and crossbones or whatever.

There are a few systems like this already, although you don’t wear them on your eyeball. I use this Dexcom system, which consists of wearing this little patch thing somewhere on my person – the patch has a tiny, needle that sits under my skin at all times – and relays data to a device about the size of an iPod Nano, but thicker. So what Google’s doing isn’t a huge breakthrough for diabetics – it’s simply a way to wear it on your eye, and hopefully it’s less cumbersome and cheaper than existing solutions.

Getting to Market

Google’s blog post says the following:

We’re in discussions with the FDA, but there’s still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use. We’re not going to do this alone: we plan to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market.

As a diabetic for 30+ years, I can translate that for you: This thing won’t be here for at least 10 years. Google may be able to use some of its girth to move things along a bit more quickly, but I personally don’t plan on being able to get my hands on this until I’m in my mid-forties.

The most interesting bit of that quote is that Google is looking for “partners,” plural. This system will ostensibly work like Android, with several different companies leveraging the technology in their own products.

Therein Lies the Rub

There’s a lot of money to be made from diabetics. If you’re looking to start your own pharmaceutical company, we have a great disease: It’s just dangerous enough that we could die, but it’s totally manageable on a day-to-day basis – every day for the rest of your life, and I plan on living just as long as any non-diabetic would.

One time when I was out of town for the weekend, the insulin injection device I had with me broke. The seal between the vial holding the insulin and the plunger used to inject the insulin must have come apart somehow, because when I woke up one morning, all the insulin had leaked out. So I took the device – called an insulin pen (because it looks like a pen) – to CVS to get a replacement.

Well, you can’t just get a replacement. These things don’t have warranties. I wasn’t due for a refill, so my insurance wouldn’t cover it and, long story short, I had to buy five insulin pens out of pocket for almost $900. I buy five pens a month of this type of insulin and another five pens a month of another type of insulin, plus blood sugar testing supplies and other odds and ends related to the disease.

That’s the kind of money that gets spent on insulin. Granted, insurance covers a lot of it, but the pharmaceutical company still gets a big chunk of it. Even with insurance, I still spend around $200 to $300 a month on supplies. And in the above instance, I can’t just not buy insulin unless I want to go an entire weekend without eating anything with even trace amounts of carbohydrates or sugar in it.

So for all the diabetic advancements, the dependence on insulin remains the one constant. These blood sugar testing innovations are great, but if you fix the insulin problem – the lazy pancreas — you fix everything else. Everything.

The Bigger Issue

The “Let’s find a cure!” storyline – fixing the pancreas — I’d been hearing for my entire childhood and into the beginning of my adult life gradually shifted to one of insulin pumps, high-tech blood sugar monitoring devices, and artificial pancreases (which are basically insulin pumps merged with high-tech blood sugar monitoring devices). “Let’s find a cure” turned into “Let’s make diabetes so easy to live with, you don’t even think about it.”

Instead of just getting my pancreas to start working again – and there’s plenty of research going on right now suggesting such a feat is possible (I’m a participant of one such study; I’d rather not name it so it can keep flying under the radar a bit) – the idea now is to put the management of the disease on autopilot, which still entails buying expensive insulin. Ideas that are true breakthroughs toward finding a cure somehow seem to mysteriously never go anywhere, get ridiculed as pseudoscience or get bought up and are never heard from again. I’m sure there are plenty we never hear about at all, either.

The bottom line is that if my pancreas starts working again, the pharmaceutical industry loses out on hundreds of thousands of dollars I’d spend on diabetes over my lifetime. They need me to keep buying insulin. And just think of how many people would be out of work if diabetes was cured. It’s an enormous industry that won’t go quietly.

How to Find a Cure

This is the eternal question if you’re a diabetic, and the answer – in my humble opinion – is that someone needs to come along with enough eff-you money that no pharmaceutical company can stop them.

Google is actually a perfect candidate for this right now. Bill Gates’ philanthropic foundation might be another possibility. But it’s not going to be some small, brave, insightful team toiling away in a lab somewhere. Those guys seem to get eaten up faster than a working pancreas beating back a Cookie Monster cookie.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m still holding out hope for a cure. And this Google thing is a nice step toward making living with the disease more comfortable. But the reality is that there are a lot of people with a whole lot of incentive to keep things status quo. If someone in the tech industry truly wants to disrupt something, then curing diabetes – instead of continuing to build gadgets for diabetics — would be one hell of a disruption.

52 comments
J.L.
J.L.

for me its ten years ago since i was diagnosed with type 1 diabetic and, indeed, i was told there would be a cure in about 10 years... the mysteriously disappearing of breakthroughs and also more cheap variants of blood-glucose-measuring is frustrating, but, you know, its all about the money... It would be nice if those companies expressed their appreciation, send us a postcard or something: thank you for having a chronic disease. 


(For some torture about money making diseases there's this movie 'The dallas buyers club', its also a nice movie to watch.


take care, 

with love,


J.L.

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stellakyes


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lleffler
lleffler

I do believe that a cure is coming.  The science is getting there, but it is just one strange disease.  There are so many genes which appear to be involved, and this complicates matters.  UCSF just had some successful results in the implantation of islets in lab animals from stem cells.  The stem cells were turned into beta cells which were successful at producing insulin.


If anyone knows of clinical trials for the cure (not treatment, but cure), I am a willing guinea pig.  I just have not been able to locate such experiments. 

JaminderMangat
JaminderMangat

im a 23 year old mma fighter, and since i was 8 my dream was to become a champion, i now need a kidney transplant and pancreas transplant cause of my diabetes, they told me i can never fight again, i lost my dream to this disease and all i want is my last victory to come from beating the crap out of this disease.

RyanWing
RyanWing

Do any of you Type 1's go nuts with everyone assuming you could get rid of it with diet and exercise? Ugh.


When a cure comes it won't be from big pharma. It'll be from a research group that currently gets no $ from insulin or test strips. It'll be from a university, which are currently starting to buck the pharma companies and are seeking other forms of investment (see University of Minnesota). It'll be from a government backed study in a country like England where T1 Diabetes is a huge drain on the NHS. There are plenty of people out there with incentive to cure it.

the_glide22
the_glide22

Do you really think they don't want an actual cure?      www.chrisinnewberg.blogspot.com

RichardFlemming
RichardFlemming

The last thing the pharma industry wants is a cure.  Too much money is being made on their mildly efficacious, adverse effect laden drugs, billions in fact.  The mainstream press is an ally in this corruption. An example of this unholy alliance is the media's refusal to distribute any information regarding alternative treatments.  


Over the past several years, and in particular the past two months, several respected research medical schools released the results of their human clinical trials on a form of the plant extract called Resveratrol.  The specific form is called Transmax-resveratrol.  In these trials patients experienced dramatic reductions in blood glucose levels and blood pressure, decreased insulin resistance, and improvements in cholesterol metrics, better than that achieved using the statin drugs.  Despite the fact that all of these studies have been published and press releases distributed on their results, no mainstream media in the US covered this story.  


There is simply too much money being made by too many powerful interests to put the interests of the patient ahead of the pharmas, their bankers and investors, the media and endocrinologists who receive kick backs for prescribing these dangerous and virtually worthless drugs.

jkitchen28
jkitchen28

My name is Jeffrey and I have been a Type 1 diabetic for forty-six years. My older sister, Barbie, was told by my endocrinologist that I would probably not live to be 40 years old. Luckily, this physician was mistaken.

During my life and career I have witnessed the tragedies of fellow diabetics who have included parents themselves, students I have served, and children and babies of loving parents who have experienced the terror and trauma of insulin shock, diabetic coma, heart failure, blindness, kidney failure, gangrene, neuropathy and death.The time to stop this suffering is NOW!

As Doug says, "I am worth a fortune to the pharmaceutical industry." This statement clearly expresses a contributing reason why a cure has not come to fruition. 

The pharmaceutical industry and allied corporations make billions of dollars serving dependent Type 1 diabetics.

A cure to Type 1 diabetes would free diabetics from their dependency on a multitude of different types of insulin, mechanical devices, insulin pumps, and glucose testing instruments.

Therein lies the conundrum.Without these pharmaceuticals and mechanical devices each of us as diabetics would experience more suffering and not live as long or as well as we do and so each of us is and should be grateful to these industries for their contributions and services.

Conversely, the production of these instruments and the profit gained from their production lowers the motivation and incentive for these industries to work together cooperatively to discover, manufacture, and distribute a cure.

The technology exists today to find the cure, prove its efficacy, and have it produced and distributed across our county and the world.

A reasonable and practical solution is to prioritize service to the health of humans over to the goal of profit by supporting researchers, physicians, and advocacy groups across the world to join together to realize a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

simonsb161
simonsb161

Echo Therapeutics has a much more practical continuous glucose monitor. It's a transdermal sensor that just attaches to your skin and doesn't use a needle like the current Dexcom or Medtronic systems. You don't have to put anything in your eyes, either. After 10 years of development Echo is getting their glucose sensor approved in Europe in April, and going for approval in the U.S. later this year.

RRS_WI
RRS_WI

A wacky conspiracy theory to keep diabetes going is that the US Government has had import controls on sugar for decades and could have given people diabetes to control the use of sugar. 


Another huge pot of money to solve diabetes could be the sugar and high fructose corn syrup industries who have everything to gain with a cure because nobody would want fake sugars like Equal and Splenda anymore if they could eat the real thing.


jillscott
jillscott

Fancy contact lenses could help some people but what America's sick people need is universal healthcare. Most sick persons are ordinary and live from pay day to pay day. The tech industry is churning out Innovations but people really want stable incomes. http://ow.ly/sfp7W

WilliamFitzwater
WilliamFitzwater

try to deal with this disease with no health insurance . many diabetics have died from such preventable disease .

TOSG
TOSG

If a pharma company developed a cure for diabetes, they could charge a tremendous amount for it (insurers would be more than willing to pay), and make way more money than they would selling diabetes management products in a competitive and generics-heavy market.


Diabetes hasn't been cured yet because it's really hard to cure, not because pharma companies are evil and trying to keep you sick.  Indeed, it's thanks to said evil pharmaceutical industry that diabetes is now a manageable condition rather than a death sentence.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

As long as there are profits to be made in the medical world on treatments, cures will never be found.

BJWB
BJWB

Awesome article. I am also a type 1 Diabetic and work in technology. It seems impossible to me that we can have so many gadgets today that make life easier with technology that does not make sense like wireless communication for example that someone has not developed a cure for Diabetes. I honestly believe Pharmaceutical companies "pay out " anyone trying to bring something to the Diabetes billion dollar industry

BalthasarPicsou
BalthasarPicsou

Well, to the extent that diabetes is an inherited disease, there's a "cure" that won't work for the current generation but would be pretty darn good for the next generation: if you're diabetic, don't have kids.  Net cost to you: zero.  Net benefit to everyone else:  fewer people suffering the physical and social effects of diabetes for 70 years or so, less profit to Big Pharma, etc.


Of course, that involves putting the social and economic welfare of other people above your own "right" to reproduce -- and that's definitely a non-starter in this Octomom world.



StillTypeI
StillTypeI

@RichardFlemming There is only one drug(a hormone called insulin) that is prescribed for patients with Type I diabetes.  It is not worthless, as a matter of fact it has kept me and millions of others alive since it's discovery in the early 1920's.  To much money being made?  Maybe, but answer me this, what would you pay for a cure?  Personally I would give up everything I had for a cure, house, money(lots of it) and even future earnings for a cure for Type I diabetes.  

JonJohanning
JonJohanning

@RRS_WI We don't need the government to "give us diabetes"; Mother Nature does that quite well, itself.


And it's not just the consumption of sugar that causes or contributes to diabetes; carbohydrates are all metabolized into sugar in the body, and the whole mechanism behind diabetes is quite complicated.

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

@WilliamFitzwater 


Perhaps he is referring to Type 2 Diabetes -- which I would hazard to say is preventable and reversible in many cases if one manages one's weight and diet correctly

vgupta123
vgupta123

@TOSG Prevention is the true cure. But there is no money in prevention. Therefore, there is no money in finding the true causes related to diet, lifestyle, environmental toxins, chemicals, vaccinations, etc. If they keep harping on genetic causes, it keeps everybody's attention away from preventable causes. 

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

@DeweySayenoff I'd have to agree with you here, Dewey. 


I've been a Type 1 Diabetic for 23 years.  I feel that I am effectively a human farm animal -- a sheep, a milk cow -- to the medical community and the pharmaceutical and durable medical equipment industries in the U.S and those in other western nations. 


Said community and industries aren't setting me free anytime soon. 


About the only thing I have seen that even comes close to a legitimate medical "cure" for anything in the U.S. in the last 30 years is Lasik surgery.  It's bad for corrective contact lense and glasses lens manufacturers I would presume.  But that's it.  


khurtwilliams
khurtwilliams

@BalthasarPicsou  You are consuming resources that could be used by others working on solving these problems. Perhaps you should put the social welfare of the these people and the planet ahead of your right to breath and consume resources.

StillTypeI
StillTypeI

@BalthasarPicsou  Bingo!  Give this person the million dollar prize!  If you have a autoimmune disease like Type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or any of the other 100 autoimmune diseases, don't have offspring! 

ChristineCruz
ChristineCruz

@BalthasarPicsou


Please read.


http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/genetics-of-diabetes.html


1. It is not an inherited disease, as @chilap mentioned below.

2. It is possible for someone with no family history of Type I and II diabetes to develop one (for instance, the first person to ever had developed this disease) as pointed out by @rpearlston

3. Just because your parents have it, doesn't mean you'll get it. And just because you have it, doesn't mean your future offsprings will get it. Only the risk is passed.


I suggest you go take a biology class and a simple statistics class before you publicly advocate people having genetic diseases not to have children and saying that those who do, are putting their "own" right above others.




Read more: Google's Diabetes Contacts: Cool, but a Cure Would Be Cooler | TIME.com http://techland.time.com/2014/01/17/googles-smart-contact-lens-is-cool-but-id-rather-just-have-my-diabetes-cured/#ixzz2qibXzIkl

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

@BalthasarPicsou  I'm a Mensa member and a Type 1 Diabetic.  Ok, so I don't reproduce -- fine by me.  But there goes my intelligence down the line,  all on the 10-20% chance my kid will develop Type 1.  


Why --based on your line of thinking -- "chuck" whatever number of future smart people who will indubitably serve society, likely "punching" far above the "weight" of the average non-Type 1-Joe?  


Personally I think it is in society's interest to foster the development of medical cures. 

chilap
chilap

@BalthasarPicsou  It is not an inherited disease.  Researchers believe there are genetic risk factors that make a child more predisposed to Type I diabetes, but this is far different from something being an "inherited disease" - 2 parents without Type I diabetes, and without any history of it in either family, produce children with Type I diabetes (me, for example) all of the time.  If a child has those genetic factors, it takes something else to trigger the onset of the disease, and shockingly (or not, depending on whether you' share Mr. Aamoth's thoughts on the profitability of Type I's) that trigger is still unknown.


Read more: Google's Diabetes Contacts: Cool, but a Cure Would Be Cooler | TIME.com http://techland.time.com/2014/01/17/googles-smart-contact-lens-is-cool-but-id-rather-just-have-my-diabetes-cured/#ixzz2qh2E8P84

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

Where I could see something happen associated with what Doug Aamoth was getting at  -- Google or it's like  finding a cure instead of a glucose-level-metering-and-relaying contact lens -- is if any tech company founder who has made billions in recent years has a child and that child develops Type 1 Diabetes.   


And, in the case of this tech founder, let's say that there is no precedent for Type 1 Diabetes in his/her family (not that that is relevant, but it does add to the emotional surprise the founder feels about his child's diagnosis).  


And of course, said founder  sees that  his/her child has to bear quite a bit managing the condition even using the latest Type 1 DME. And "off-the-menu" treatments -- say medical tourism abroad to Brazil for stem cell treatments -- may or do not yield immediate or even substantial results over time (medical community in Brazil is presumably looking to do-no-harm, also, understandably, and may be quite conservative with their treatments; other factors may be involved also).


And the founder rules out pancreatic/islet cell transplant for his/her child due to the need for anti-rejection drugs.  


Said founder begins to see this Type 1 condition as ridiculous for his/her child to endure day-after-day, so s(he) marshals his/her substantial resources and finances R&D -- perhaps executed abroad -- to ultimately produce what could be classified as a "cure" (life-long or temporary cessation of insulin use [and in an immediate fashion])     


All of the above I could see as plausible at present, or perhaps at some point in the future.


StillTypeI
StillTypeI

@JonJohanning @RRS_WI Jon, consumption of sugar does not contribute to or cause Type I diabetes.  


rpearlston
rpearlston

@vgupta123 @TOSG Prevention for a problem that is genetic in nature?  How do think that would work?  There are very few genetically-based illnesses that are preventable, and Type I diabetes isn't among them.  

The author of this article was three when he was diagnosed.  What has a three-year-old had the time to do in order to develop diabetes?  What is a young child capable of doing in order to develop any auto-immune (AKA genetically-based) illness?  ANd yet, children as well as adults are diagnosed with such illnesses around the world every day.  

There's no money in prevention?  How about this one - it's not possible to devote enough money on finding ways to neutralize the effects of a gene that causes any such problem and still be able to afford to do anything else for anyone else.  THat's the current state of research into autoimmune illnesses.  In fact, they may not all have yet been identified.

Talk of prevention for autoimmune illnesses is a pile of garbage.

vgupta123
vgupta123

@chokingkojak Lasik surgery is not a cure either. The true cure would be to shorten your eyeball's axial length. 

However, lasik surgery may buy you about 20 years of freedom from eyeglasses and contacts (assuming your degree of myopia stays fairly stable during those 20 years). After that you will need reading glasses. 

As a myopic with long eyeballs, you will likely need cataract surgery sooner than normal. And for cataract surgery, it is better if you hadn't had lasik done. 

Bottom Line: Prevention is the ONLY true cure. And myopia is preventable.

khurtwilliams
khurtwilliams

@StillTypeI @BalthasarPicsou  Why make it voluntary? Why not just forcefully sterilize the anyone who has diabetes?  Make it a national program.  That way we could remove "undesirable" genes from the gene pool.


Interesting form of Xenophobia from you two.

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

@StillTypeI @BalthasarPicsou 


And hurt the bottom-lines of the medical, pharmaceutical and durable medical equipment industries?  

Egad...I think not (lol)!


It does seem we three seek an outcome that will dIrectly or indirectly effect  the medical, pharmaceutical and durable medical equipment industries, AS THEY CURRENTLY STAND, in a similar manner (ironically enough) --  I through cures, you through (presumably) fewer future chronically-ill people to treat.  


StillTypeI
StillTypeI

@ChristineCruz @BalthasarPicsou @chilap @rpearlston There is a risk of passing on a autoimmune disease if one of both parents have a autoimmune disease.  If you have Type I diabetes your child may or may not get Type I diabetes, but the chances of your child having a particular autoimmune disease are greater than those who's first or second relative do not have a autoimmune disease.

Type "autoimmune disease genetic inheritance" in your favorite search engine.  Enjoy!

rpearlston
rpearlston

@chilap @BalthasarPicsou And you've never heard of a "sport", a spontaneous genetic mutation that is not necessarily good or bad.  It means that a child could be a type I diabetic with absolutely no family history of diabetes on either side of his family tree.

This is an autoimmune illness, and in that it is no different from just about all of the more than 100 different types of arthritis or any number of other illnesses.  Prevention of all such illnesses, at least at this point (and possible for centuries to come) simply isn't possible.

lleffler
lleffler

@vgupta123

@vgupta123 I am guessing by your writing that you do not have T1D, or you would have a better handle on how to respond to the many people on this board who have this disease.


First of all, Type 1 (T1D, for short) is completely different from Type 2.  You may understand this casually, but that is unclear.  Type 2 is when the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas is insufficient to handle the amount of glucose in the blood stream.  Type 2 occurs often in obese individuals, and those with unhealthy diets.  It also can occur as a result of other illnesses, such as those associated with the thyroid.  Older adults have a tendency to contract Type 2 as they age due to reduced insulin production and other ailments contributing to the disease.


Type 1 diabetes often occurs in childhood to young adulthood. But, there has been a marked increase in adults contracting Type 1 diabetes in middle age recently.  I am one of those people, who was diagnosed at age 49.  Just recently, the Home Secretary of Great Britain, Theresa May, announced she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  She is 56 years old.  So what is the cause of this disease?


Well, no one knows for sure.  If they did, there would be a lot of attention to both prevention and a cure.  There are theories.  One theory is the introduction of milk at too early an age.  This theory stems from the fact that the Finnish have the highest proportion of type 1 diabetics compared to any nation.  There is a theory that something in cow's milk, if introduced too early to a child, might trigger T1D. The thought is that it might have something to do with too much Vitamin D at a very early age.   But, this has not been proven to be true, and there are contradictions to this theory.


Another theory related to the Finnish matter, is that the Finns are an exceptionally clean society, and that the introduction of antibiotics heavily in their society to keep things sterile may have made people more susceptible to the disease.


Another theory is that it is caused by a virus.  This has been the foremost theory out there.  However, which virus might contribute towards a person contracting T1D has not been fully ascertained.   There are some in the medical community that believe it might be a member of the Coxsackie virus family or even rubella.  But again, not everyone who is exposed to these viruses gets T1D.  


There is something to the genetic component.  Individuals who have family members who have T1D, especially parents and grandparents, are more likely to have T1D than if no family member has it.  There is a greater likelihood to contract the disease if the father has it than the mother.  If a sibling has T1D, there is a greater likelihood to contract it than if not.  But again, it still cannot be ascertained the genetic cause because a number of genes are associated with onset of it.  But, there is a genetic factor, that is known.  Just as Sickle Cell, Cystic Fibrosis, and Tay Sachs are strictly genetic in origin, T1D is also genetic.  It just isn't always triggered.


When one is diagnosed with life-threatening disease, it is common to read up on anything about the disease and learn about possible cures and not just treatments.  Treatments keep us alive.  Cures resolve the ailment.  Cures not only save treasure of individuals and society, but they save lives.  


Prevention is also very important, but causation must be identified before either it or a cure can be developed. 


Personally, from what I have read over the past few years, which has been extensive, is that the genetic factor is possibly triggered.  It might be triggered by what we eat or what we are exposed to.  But, there is a larger segment of the population that is immune to T1D because of their genetic makeup. 


So don't dismiss genetically acquired diseases with insensitive missives.  Most T1D persons have had this awful disease since childhood, and they have lived with it for decades.  If weight loss would solve the problem, each person afflicted with it would starve themselves to cure themselves. But our pancreases have failed.  They do not work.  This is caused by our we were made.  Perhaps something environmental triggered it, but as you cannot prevent sickle cell or Tay Sachs by any means other than non-reproduction, cure is the best solution to resolve this terrible disease.

khurtwilliams
khurtwilliams

@vgupta123  Conjecture: conjecture is a proposition that is unproven.


Since you have cast doubt on the current science it is YOU who has to provide some basis of fact for your assertions.

vgupta123
vgupta123

@StillTypeI @vgupta123 @TOSG I appreciate your complete confidence in your knowledge of human diseases. But I am always the doubtful kind of person. 

So please tell me EXACTLY what causes it. If genetic, exactly which genes cause it? If not genetic, exactly what environmental factors? If a combination of nature and nurture, then exactly what factors of nature and nurture cause it? Please try to be as specific as you can.

And if you don't know the answers to my questions, how can you be so sure that it can't be prevented?

Perhaps there is no prevention because people who have the resources to look for prevention are not interested in looking for prevention. Why? Because there is no profit in prevention. There is a lot more profit in lifelong treatment.

JonJohanning
JonJohanning

@vgupta123 @rpearlston @TOSG I think the science about diabetes is pretty clear that there is a very large genetic component in type 1 (it's an auto-immune disease) and some component in type 2.


Saying that the idea that there are genetic components to the causation of diseases is just a way to eliminate guilt feelings is crazy. People these days need to learn something about science.


I'm somewhat more optimistic than the author of this article that a serious effort is being made to look for permanent cures and prevention. But it's a very complicated disease to study. In this way, it's similar to cancer. A lot of people keep saying that "drug companies are suppressing cancer cures so they can make money," but in fact cancer is (or rather, cancers are) awfully difficult to research.

vgupta123
vgupta123

@rpearlston @vgupta123 @TOSG It is probably not genetic. At least they have not identified the specific gene(s), if any. 

It could be because of Rx drugs or alcohol your mom used during pregnancy. It could be due to vaccinations you got as a child. It could be exposure to pesticides. Who knows? I am not sure, but I am glad that you are very sure. 

Blaming a disease on the genes is the easiest way for everybody (your mom, the drug companies, vaccination makers, pesticide makers, and so on) to feel guilt-free.

When I said there is no money in prevention, I meant there is no profit (return on investment) in prevention. 

khurtwilliams
khurtwilliams

@vgupta123 @chokingkojak  Please provide some reputable science  indicating how myopia may be prevented.  By prevent, I mean that all variables leading to the myopia would be in complete control.


JonJohanning
JonJohanning

@chokingkojak Hey, get the glasses now and save a lot of time and money. Wearing glasses is not a bad fate. I've done it all my life, with no injury or pain at all.

vgupta123
vgupta123

@chokingkojak By your criterion, there are a few other cures. Cataract surgery is as good a cure as it gets. I have had it. It is not perfect. (I get floaters.) But it is cure enough. 

However, note that if you were extremely myopic (say, Rx of -8.0D or more) you are still at a very high risk of retinal detachment in your 50s and 60s because of elongated eyeballs (3 mm elongation for -8D). 

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

@vgupta123 @chokingkojak 


As a 42 year old Type 1 who has had Wavefront Lasik, I consider said Lasik at least a cure from my dependence on contact lenses or glasses.  


So I get another "cure" in 20 years -- I can live that.  Reading glasses, though, are probably inevitable.   



StillTypeI
StillTypeI

@chokingkojak And you call yourself a Mensa member, come on! (said like Gob from Arrested Development).  I do what I can, where I can!

Thanks for the wishes too!

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

@StillTypeI @chokingkojak  


My apologies -- I now admit that in my previous comment I had misinterpreted what you said (I read "Who loves ya...."  and I was thinking, "what's this guy talking about?")


I've been using the "chokingkojak" handle for probably 4-5 years and you're literally the first person to ever reply to me and actually reference "Kojak" (the TV show) and Kojak's signature line.   When you wrote it, it totally blew by me.  


So, good on you and best wishes



StillTypeI
StillTypeI

@chokingkojak I am excited to say "Who loves ya baby"!  i've been wanting to say that for years!

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

@StillTypeI


You seem excited to say so.  


And, if I may quote Tina Turner, "what's love got to do with it?" 

StillTypeI
StillTypeI

@chokingkojak I would love a cure and have been part of clinical trials to find a cure, but it ain't gonna happen in my lifetime!  The best I can do for future generations of the species is to not have offspring.  Who loves ya baby!