Before discovering insulin, diabetes was like a death sentence. The younger people with diabetes would die in a year or two, while the older ones would live a few years but eventually die.
After discovering insulin in 1921, it was found in the 40s and 50s that the life expectancy of people with diabetes increased significantly.
The younger people who would die in a year or two were found surviving 40 to 50 years. Older people with diabetes also lived a long life. But within a few decades of the discovery, people living on insulin were diagnosed with multiple other complicacies; for example, some got issues with their kidneys, eyes, etc.
The insulins used in the first stage were sourced from animals – either cows or pork. These insulins were somewhat different from the inbuilt insulins in human bodies. Those insulins, as a result, had some counterproductive effects, such as, improper application would cause allergy, reduce too much sugars and cause hypoglycemia.
In the next stage, insulins were developed following the inbuilt human insulin model in a laboratory. Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk developed an Insulin called Human insulin. This was not made from human bodies as it might sound.
Instead, it was developed in laboratory-based on scientifically analysing human bodies.
This insulin reduced complications a lot, but it was not perfect as it would also reduce sugar significantly and cause hypoglycemia.
Finally, in the 80s came Analogue insulin. This insulin got people rid of the older complications such as obesity, and other issues, significantly. This insulin has been used ever since. But the challenge with this Insulin is the price. Analogue Insulin is costlier than other Insulin, such as the Human insulin.
Consequently, people like that of our country cannot afford this, although this insulin is far better and highly recommended for use. Since most of our people take the Human insulin, we often see cases of hypoglycemia.
Now the question is, can we reduce the two to four times injection per day (in extreme cases) that it takes now? Scientists are working on this. Work is going on to see if a weekly dose is possible, or insulin in the format of a tablet, or as an inhaler.
We can hope that when science further progresses, the fear will go away – people will be able to take inhalers or tablets at ease.
Besides, in the case of type 1 diabetes (younger people/kids), transplantation treatment as a cure is being explored. A few transplantations have been conducted already. This is still in the research stage though.