Posted in Carolyn Upshaw, Medical

Effects and Management of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes pic
Type 1 Diabetes
Image: diabetes.org

Carolyn J. Upshaw is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys activities such as spelunking, birding, and skeet shooting. In addition to her outdoor pursuits Carolyn Upshaw enjoys participating in charity events, and she takes part in walk-a-thons to benefit the causes of groups like the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Juvenile diabetes is another name for type 1 diabetes, a form of the disease that is diagnosed predominantly in children. When a person develops type 1 diabetes, his or her pancreas stops producing the hormone insulin, which is necessary for the body to control blood sugar levels. Insulin achieves this control by signaling the liver and muscle and fat cells to pull glucose from the blood and store it in these tissues.

The cause of type 1 diabetes has yet to be identified, but medical researchers believe that its manifestation is triggered by both genetic and environmental factors. Though there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, the disease can be managed with carefully measured injections of insulin, or in some cases a controlled infusion of the hormone transmitted through a pump. People living with type 1 diabetes must measure the level of glucose in their blood multiple times a day and adjust their insulin levels to keep blood glucose from becoming dangerously high as well as dangerously low.

Posted in Carolyn Upshaw, Medical

Pancreatic Beta Cell Replacement Research

Beta Cell Replacement pic
Beta Cell Replacement
Image: jdrf.org

A trained business administrator, Carolyn J. Upshaw currently devotes a great deal of time to her hobbies and charity work. Participating in several walk-a-thons on an annual basis, she most recently walked five miles in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Carolyn Upshaw’s contributions to the JDRF are particularly important to her because several of her loved ones suffer from diabetes.

JDRF is the leading organization in the world that focuses exclusively on fighting type-1 diabetes. Among its various scientific studies, JDRF sponsors comprehensive beta cell replacement research.

Grouped into clusters of tissue called islets, beta cells are responsible for producing insulin in the pancreas. By replacing these cells in diabetic patients, researchers are working toward a future in which insulin shots will no longer be necessary.

Beta cell islet transplants have yet to achieve widespread popularity because not enough islets are currently available and transplant recipients must take powerful drugs that weaken the immune system. However, encapsulated beta cell replacement therapies have the potential to overcome both these obstacles.