Diabetes is becoming more and more common.
According to statistics published on the NHS Choices website, there are 3.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK. This figure has more than doubled since 1996, when there were 1.4 million. By 2025, it is estimated that five million people will have diabetes in the UK.
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes put patients at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy), foot ulcers, blindness (caused by diabetic retinopathy) and other illnesses.
Whilst these conditions can be managed, allowing the patient to lead healthy and active lives, we often see situations where something has been missed by medical practitioners resulting in devastating consequences for the patient, such as an amputation or blindness.
If the number of cases of diabetes can be reduced by this new research, it will inevitably lead to less people suffering the consequences of negligent medical management of diabetes as well.
Researchers have found it is not so much the overall body fat that is important in determining the onset of type-2 diabetes but the small amount of fat deposited in the pancreas, the endocrine organ responsible for insulin production. A clinical trial on 18 patients with type-2 diabetes has found that the loss of just one gram of fat from the pancreas can reverse the disease to the point where patients were once more are able to control levels of sugar in the bloodstream using their own insulin.