Goooooooo BETA CELLS!

So the big news on the T1 front this week is that Dr. Faustman and others published results in Diabetes Care that show people with T1 may continue making their own insulin for decades.

This is good news for Old Schoolers who have had T1 for many years. It would really suck if someone came up with a cure that stops the autoimmune attack but our beta cells were already completely exhausted and could not regenerate.

There have been several earlier studies that have also show that long-time patients with T1 retain some beta cell function. In 2010, Joslin analyzed pancreatic function in 411 Medalists (people who have had T1 for more than 50 years) and found many are still making some insulin.

During my pregnancy, I believe my pancreas started functioning in a limited capacity. My insulin requirements were less than before I was pregnant, even though I was eating the same amount and weighed 35 pounds more. I needed almost no insulin to cover dinner. My control was fantastic, and not due to any great effort on my part. Studies have shown that beta cell function can improve during pregnancy. During pregnancy some maternal immunosuppression occurs to tolerate the fetus and this may result in regeneration of beta cells.

Keep fighting, little beta cells. You might get some relief soon.

Oh that would be very good news indeed. If there is a cure - hopefully soon, with all our efforts - we will hope that it excludes as few people as possible. It would be a difficult tasks, but the researchers need to start producing some positive results sooner rather than later.

I find this happens to me once in awhile and I've been T1 since 1966. Doctors used to think T1 was an "all or nothing" condition. But not so. Good news! Maybe something can be done.