Irish scientists are spurring the development of diabetes therapies that can be painfully injected every day.
A new RTE documentary called Bittersweet demonstrates that Professor David Brayden of Clustral and a team at UCD's veterinary hospital are conducting laboratory tests to use insulin as a pill.
Professor Brayden said the major increase in diabetes in Ireland over the past decade is mainly due to left-sided diets.
"The increase in diabetes is likely to be ten times as high as in the past decade," said Brayden, co-principal investigator at UCD Advanced Drug Delivery.
"The majority will be type 2 diabetics, and diabetes actually comes from lifestyle habits, eating the wrong food at the wrong time and not doing enough exercise."
He warned of an expected increase in chronic diseases among young people with increasing rates of obesity.
"Children are expected to become obese by age 20. Obesity is a fairly strict definition.
"The association between obesity and type 2 diabetes is so strong that it puts more pressure on the system.
"When we were young, we played all summer, but now we do not actually participate in front of our kids unless we exercise all the time in front of our PCs and mobile phones.
"As part of the effort to encourage the lifestyle choices of children and adults, we need to believe that we should provide children with the right food for our childhood," he added.
Documentary – Some of the joint programs of NUI Galway's Medical Device Research Center and the Galway Film Center program will be broadcast on Wednesday World Diabetes Day.
Typical treatments for type 1 diabetes include daily injections, while type 2 treatment focuses on delaying disease through exercise overeating with patients who initially move to the needle.
Professor David Brayden of CicroRAM and UCD's Veterinary Hospital team are working to make oral insulin. Because I believe it is much more open for patients to take tablets than to inject them.
"We know that patients prefer injections and other routes because inhaled insulin has been achieved.
"If type 2 diabetics get an early insulin shot, the results are actually better for the patient.
"But there is a tendency for these patients to be delayed because it is a big psychological leap to say they will be shot for life.
"Even though we can have tablets for meal times for fast acting insulin, it will be a significant accomplishment and ultimately avoid injections where it can provide long term insulin refinements."
He said using nanotechnology on capsule tablets or putting drugs in small particles means that they can bypass other organs by placing them directly on the barrier.
"Patients will usually be given a subcutaneous injection of insulin, which means that they will get high-density insulin, which does not require organs outside the liver, the intended target.
"This will later lead to side effects such as weight gain and other undesirable events.
"We do not perform clinical trials, but clinicians and pharmaceutical companies can use formulations.
"You have to take the test in people with diabetes," he said.
Professor Derek O "Keeffe, a consultant at Galway University Hospital and NUI Galway, is demonstrating the silent burden of chronic disease for young patients and their families, Dr. Bittersweet said.
"The role of the clinician is to help patients get the best out of their lives by empowering them to travel and using the latest innovations to manage their health."
Suvi Coffey of Dublin's infant mother, Rosie, said in a documentary that type 1 diabetes will not affect her life, Rosie's life.
"Her life will generally be the same as any child of her age, and as she continues, I think she will be stronger and a little more resilient, she is an amazing, incredible, strong girl."
The bittersweet – diabetic injury aired on RTÉ 1 at 11:10 on Wednesday, November 14.