Irish scientists are working on the breakthrough of diabetes tablets that can spare their patients daily from painful injections.
A new documentary called Ritt, which appears in Bittersweet, introduces Professor David Braden and his team at the UCD Veterinary Hospital, which performs laboratory tests to make insulin available in the pill.
Professor Breiden said there has been a sharp increase in diabetes in Ireland over the past decade, mainly due to an inactive western diet.
"The increase in diabetes is probably ten times over the past decade," said Prof. Breiden, senior research associate at UCD.
"Most of these are going to be type 2 diabetes, because diabetes really comes from the lifestyle, eating the wrong foods at the wrong time and not taking enough exercise."
He warned of the expected increase in chronic diseases among young people with an increase in obesity rates.
He said: "They predict that up to a third or half of our children are going to end up obese when they arrive in their twenties. Obesity is a pretty strict definition.
"The link between obesity and type 2 diabetes is very strong, so we know it puts more stress on the system.
"When I was a kid, we would go out to run all summer but now children are facing computers and their phones all the time unless they do organized sports they do not really take part.
"Therefore there is an effort to promote the lifestyle of children and adults because they need to believe in giving the children the right food at a very early age."
The documentary – part of a joint program from the Galway Center for Medical Devices Research and the Galway Film Program – will be broadcast on Wednesday on World Diabetes Day.
A typical treatment for type 1 diabetes involves daily injections, while the initial treatment with type 2 focuses on the inhibition of disease through physical activity and diet with patients who later switch to needles.
Professor David Braden, his team at the UCD Veterinary Hospital, is working on making oral insulin, since he believes patients are much more receptive to tablet use than to inject themselves.
"We know that insulin infinity has been achieved, we know patients prefer other pathways besides injection.
"If type 2 diabetics entered insulin earlier in the disease, the results are better for the patient.
"But these patients tend to delay because it's a huge psychological leap to say I'm going to be on injections for the rest of my life.
"Even if we could get a tablet for insulin dinners and a quick game, it would be quite a feat and then the ultimate would be to try to avoid injections altogether where we can give tablets for insulin and insulin."
The use of nano technology or the introduction of drugs into tiny particles in the capsule tablet means that they can be inserted directly into the abdominal wall and bypass the other organs.
He said: "Patients will usually take subcutaneous injections of insulin which means that organs outside the liver, its intended target, will receive a high concentration of insulin that they do not need.
"This will lead to side effects such as weight gain and other unwanted events later in life.
He added: "We do not carry clinical trials, but formulation can be used by doctors and pharmaceutical companies.
"The idea is that they will continue to test them in patients with diabetes."
Professor Derek O'Keefe, consultant to doctors, University Hospital of Galway University and NUI Galway, said Mr Bittersweet shows the inert cargo of chronic illness to young patients and their families.
He said: "As a clinician, my job is to help patients on this journey and empower them to manage their medical condition by harnessing the latest innovations to enable them to live their best lives."
Sobi Coppi, Deblin's mother, a toddler, Rosie, tells the documentary that she will not allow Type 1 diabetes to affect her daughter, Rosie's life.
"Her life in general will be like any child of her age, and the longer she continues, the stronger and more flexible she is.
MR – Revised – The rise of diabetes will be broadcast at RT 1 on Wednesday, November 14 at 11.10.