October 26, 2009
Teflon – in your kitchen and in your diabetes treatment?
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Teflon may hold the key to successfully allowing medical professionals to implant insulin-producing cells into people with diabetes. And that could be good news for those who are dependent on as many as four daily insulin injections to treat their diabetes.
Yes, the same Teflon that was used to coat non-stick pans has been used by scientists at the
That could be great news for people who have diabetes as efforts to transplant a whole pancreas has proven to be very difficult – and donated organs are hard to come by. Instead some researchers began looking at harvesting insulin-producing cells (islet cells) from donors and injecting them into a patient’s liver.
This hasn’t been an easy process either – each patient receiving a transplant needed about 300,000 islet cells and that required up to four matching donors for each transplant plus a lifetime of immune suppressant drugs to avoid rejection. Other researchers have looked to pigs as insulin-producing cell donors. While the cells from pigs are a close match for human cells, they are still seen by the body’s immune system as a foreign invader.
That’s what led the
Medical uses are not new for Teflon, even though most of us think of it mainly in association with cooking utensils. Teflon is a lubricant and it’s compatible with human tissue. It doesn’t cause the immune system to automatically attack when introduced into the body. That’s led to its use in surgical implants like coronary stents.
While research results like this hold great promise, it’s important to continue focusing on what works for your diabetes today. If you haven’t been tested for diabetes or prediabetes, there’s no better time to do so. And there’s no better time to start eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, getting some more exercise and making sure you make regular trips to your dentist’s office for checkups. Why your dentist’s office? Because what the dentist sees in your mouth – especially if you have gum disease – can also be an early indicator that you have prediabetes or diabetes or if you already have it that it’s getting out of control.
Not all dentists are alike when it comes to understanding the links between dental health and high blood sugar levels or other systemic health problems. Every Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist, on the other hand, is thoroughly trained in the connections between gum disease and high blood sugar readings. They also know how to lower blood sugar using specific types of dental therapy, so follow this link to find a Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist near you.
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