American Diabetes Association
Research into preventing and/or curing diabetes is ongoing. Current prevention trials involve treating close relatives of people with diabetes to see if certain medicines can prevent diabetes in those at higher risk of developing it.
Currently, the only known "cure" for type 1 diabetes is a pancreas transplant; however, such a surgery brings with it serious risks to a patient's health. Transplant patients must take powerful drugs for the rest of their lives. These drugs suppress their immune system, so that their body won't reject the transplant. Having a suppressed immune system leaves the body with very little protection from other diseases, so pancreas transplants are not the answer. Researchers are also experimenting with transplanting just the beta cells. This treatment, though promising in theory, has not been successful in large enough numbers to be viable.
Although, there is no cure for diabetes, advances in diabetes treatment are being made all the time. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and other studies show that people can and do live healthy and happy lives with diabetes.
If your child has type 2 diabetes, it may be possible for him to stop taking medicine one day. Some people with type 2 diabetes are able to manage diabetes by treating it with exercise and careful meal planning. But this is not a cure. Careful meal planning and exercise may help children with type 1 diabetes reduce the amount of insulin they take, stay within their target range, and feel better.
Good diabetes care can be complicated and adjusting to lifestyle change can be difficult. But the results -- a healthy, long life for your child -- are worth it.
Not all kids develop type 1 diabetes. These days, more and more kids are being diagnosed with type 2. View Kids and Type 2 Diabetes (PDF) to learn more about how you can better manage your diabetes.