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[IP] Re: Edmonton protocol

Well, even if you don't call it a **cure** , if I were offered, I think
I'd take the the antirjection drugs and the remote risk of cancer over
another 30 years of using synthetic insulin.  First and foremost, you may
still get cancer plus you'll still be diabetic which would really
stink -- If I'm going to get cancer, I think I'd rather have it without
the burden of having diabetes.  Another is that after 29 years, I still
find that dosing insulin remains a crap shoot guided by only a handful of
known variables including current blood glucose levels, food intake
(specifically carbs, but also fat and proteins play a role), and activity
and duration of activity for the insulin.  Supposedly, these things
enable us to precisely dose insulin, yet somehow after 29 years, it never
works flawlessly.  Even if I am able to stretch the bolus over time, I
still find that my blood sugar does not respond precisely the same way
each and every time, so obviously some element of the puzzle is still
missing.  In the past 30 years, the only new strategy for determining
insulin dosage has been to count carbs vs. the original food exchange
system I was taught in the 1970s.  I've read countless guides to managing
everything, and not one new strategy has emerged from any of these
self-titled gurus.  On the other hand, the short-term side effects of
insulin are aweful hypos which carry their own risks, and already having
a problem with hypoglycemia unawareness, I think the risk of cancer from
taking antirejection drugs seems pretty tame by comparison.  Also, having
spoken with people who take these drugs, my impression is that the new
immunosuppression regimins are remarkably mild.  I've met about 4 people
who take them, and not one of them has ever even had a mouth ulcer,
(supposedly one of the terrible side effects of these drugs) or even
naseau.  I wish I could say all the scars I have from insulin infusion
sites and injections were as minor, but instead, it wreaks incredible
havoc with variability in insulin absorption, making predictability of
dosages even more of a crap shoot.

It may not be your idea of a cure, but it sounds like a much better form
of treatment to me.  I suspect that plently of people with diabetes must
agree, because the wait for Islet transplants remains quite significant. 
Like you say, however, YMMV.


Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 12:40:26 -0500
From: "JHughey" <email @ redacted>
Subject: [IP] Re: Edmonton protocol

>  Yes, the Edmonton Protocol is islet cell transplant which, IMO, right
> now is not going to be available for all Type 1s in the near future.

It takes 2 pancreases to implant enough cells into one person. Also,
anti-rejection drugs must be taken, which can cause cancer. I don't
really call that a *cure* but a change in treatments. YMMV
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