If there is one thing I know for sure about diabetes, it’s that it isn’t one size fits all. Some people do great on pumps, others flourish with MDIs. Foods that spike me may not necessarily spike you. I do best on Apridra, one of my friends does best on Humalog and another friend needs to use Novolog. The list goes on, but it’s best summed up with the words of my wise friend Bennet, “Your Diabetes May Vary”.
Lately my Facebook feed has been filled with excitement over the progress being made toward encapsulating islet cells. There were a flood of links to this article in particular and to other similar pieces. Thrilling stuff, for sure, and I’m excited to see progress toward new treatment options. But one word halts me every time I see the article. And that word is “cure”.
Encapsulation, for me, is not a cure. My definition of a cure would be my body producing its own insulin again. Encapsulated cells in my body producing insulin will hopefully be a fantastic step forward in treatment, but I would still think of myself as a person with diabetes. It’s my understanding the device would need to be replaced periodically. Therefore, I’d still need to undergo procedures and that isn't a cure in my mind. And what if I had an allergy to the device, or for some other reason it needed to be removed? I’d still have diabetes and I’d be right back where I am today.
Some people with diabetes may consider encapsulation devices to be a cure. And that is their right. But I wish the media wouldn’t toss that word around so frequently. Because just like diabetes, Your Cure May Vary.