Friday, 31 December 2010

Seasonal Treats Can Raise Diabetes Risk

Seasonal Treats Can Raise Diabetes Risk

EXTRA calories over the festive season could lead to more people across Teesside developing Type 2 diabetes, experts have warned.

Santa and thousands of others should take it easy on the mince pies and mulled wine according to Diabetes UK, to avoid weight gain and an increased risk of developing the disease.

The charity revealed there are about 121,700 people diagnosed with diabetes in the North-east and an estimated 40,000 who have Type 2 diabetes do not know it.

To reduce your risk of developing it, Diabetes UK recommends a healthy balanced diet that is low in fat, salt and sugar and being physically active. Eating too many calorific treats such as Christmas cake, mince pies and mulled wine can leave us all struggling to buckle our belts in the New Year - as well as leading to complications caused by diabetes.

Linda Wood, regional manager for Diabetes UK Northern and Yorkshire, pictured, said: “Christmas is a time of good festive cheer and we certainly don’t want people to deprive themselves and hamper the fun, but it is important for people to enjoy the festive treats as part of a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.”

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Pollution Can Cause Obesity and Diabetes`

Pollution Can Cause Obesity and Diabetes

London: New research at Ohio State University in the US has revealed that childhood exposure to common air pollutants increases the risk of obesity and developing diabetes.

Exposure to microscopic pollutants from car exhausts and burning fossil fuels can lead to weight gain in youngsters brought up in cities, say researchers, reports the Daily Express.

They also discovered that the pollutants cause increased insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

The results are based on tests on mice and the pollution levels they were exposed to matched the levels found in urban areas.

One group of baby mice was exposed to microscopic pollution particles and another breathed filtered air.

Their ages matched toddlers to late adolescent humans and mice from both groups were fed a normal diet or a high-fat diet.

All the animals on a high-fat diet gained extra weight but the mice on a normal diet who were exposed to the atmospheric pollutants for six hours a day over 10 weeks saw elevated levels of blood sugar.

They also had higher levels of insulin resistance, as well having higher levels of fat both around their abdomen and internal organs. Mice on a high-fat diet who breathed in the airborne toxins did not gain any more weight than their counterparts on a high-fat diet, who were breathing fresh air.

But mice exposed to pollutants while on a normal diet did have increasing levels of body fat, suggesting that exposure to pollutants was enough to trigger weigh gain.

The study was led by Dr Qinghua Sun, the university's associate professor of environmental health sciences.

Blood Samples Give Clue to How Key Diabetes Drug Works

Blood Samples Give Clue to How Key Diabetes Drug Works

BLOOD samples from people in Tayside have helped researchers learn more about a drug used to save the lives of diabetes sufferers.

Metformin has been used by millions of people with diabetes for more than 50 years, but scientists have never uncovered how it works.

Now, in a study using donated blood samples, scientists have discovered that a gene known as ATM can affect how the drug works.

The drug protects against heart disease, as well as eye and kidney disease, in people with type 2 diabetes – the most common form of the condition, which affects the amount of insulin the body can make.

Dr Ewan Pearson and Professor Colin Palmer, from the Biomedical Research Institute at Dundee University, used information from patients with diabetes and linked it to donated blood samples from 20,000 people in Tayside.

They were able to see how well metformin worked in nearly 3,000 people and discovered that ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated) altered how well people respond to the drug.

Dr Pearson said: “We were expecting to find genes involved in blood-sugar regulation, so the finding that ATM is involved in metformin response was totally unexpected.

“Although ATM has been widely studied by cancer scientists, no one previously thought it had a role in how this commonly-used diabetes drug worked. Our finding, therefore, draws together mechanisms that protect against cancer and lower blood sugar, suggesting a new area for diabetes drug development.”


Prof Palmer added: “This is an important development in defining how individuals may respond differently to diabetes drugs, but further work is required before we have enough information to be able to reliably use genetic testing in the clinic to guide treatment of common forms of type 2 diabetes.”

The Wellcome Trust and Diabetes UK jointly funded the research and have now provided Dr Pearson with money to continue the study.

Dr Iain Frame, research director at Diabetes UK, said: “The benefits for people with type 2 diabetes may not be immediate but any research that increases our knowledge of how effectively drugs work in different individuals is hugely important.”

Monday, 27 December 2010

Carbohydrates and Diabetes

Carbohydrates and Diabetes

As you may well know, carbohydrates have taken a beating in the last few decades. There are people that refuse to touch them, and some that are very careful about the types that they eat. If you want to know how to deal with carbohydrates and diabetes, you probably already know that carbs can be a problem with those with your disease because they are often the culprits when high blood sugar spikes occur. You can not go without eating any carbs, as that is dangerous to the body. Instead, you have to learn about the right types of carbs. Some are very good for you and necessary for good health.

Doctors will tell you that worrying about carbohydrates and diabetes goes hand in hand. Blood sugar will shoot up when carbs high on the glycemic index are ingested, causing complications with diabetes that can have serious consequences. Some people think that they have to give up carbs altogether, which is a huge misconception. Items with pure can sugar or high fructose corn syrup are out, for the most part, but those are not the only carbs out there. Those are the ones, however, that can do the most damage. You can find sugar free candy and dessert options, but those should not be used very often either. They are a great treat when you just have to have something sweet, though.

Pastas, white breads, and white rice are also problematic when thinking about carbohydrates and diabetes. The carbs in these foods convert to sugars very quickly and they cause the same problems as ingesting pure sugar. These should be avoided and replaced with whole grain breads, brown rices, and and whole grain pastas. You can also buy brands of pasta like Dreamfield, which do not digest like regular pasta but taste just as good. These block the bad carbs, giving you as few as 5 per serving as apposed to 40-50 with regular pasta.

White potatoes can also be a problem with carbohydrates and diabetes, but some people can eat them sparingly. There are great recipes out there that can replace them, like steamed and mashed cauliflower, which many claim is just as good, if not better, than white potatoes. There are some fruits that are higher on the glycemic index than others, and those too should be eaten only occasionally. Other fruits, on the other hand, are low and are great for those with diabetes. Most vegetables are good, but a few can be problematic.

There are many changes to your diet and your exercise routine when you think about diabetes. Though the changes you have to go through can be hard, you can live a full life with diabetes. All it takes is some time to understand what good and bad carbs are, and what you have to do to keep your blood sugar on an even keel and at a good number. You may even have to take some medications, but many that can control their diet find they can leave the meds behind. If you are still confused about carbohydrates and diabetes, talk to a nutritionist about a diet plan that will work for you and your health.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Cherries May Help Fight Diabetes

Cherries May Help Fight Diabetes

Michigan State University researchers have reported that chemicals found in cherries may help fight diabetes.
The researchers, writing in the Jan. 5 issue of the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, said a group of naturally occurring chemicals found in abundance in cherries could help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Lab tests using animal pancreatic cells showed the chemicals, called anthocyanins, increased insulin production by 50 percent. Anthocyanins are a class of plant pigments responsible for the color of many fruits, including cherries.
Anthocyanins also are potent antioxidants -- chemicals increasingly associated with a variety of health benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancer.

The researchers said the compounds show promise for both prevention of type 2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, the most common type, and for helping control glucose levels in those who already have diabetes.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Common Dairy Foods May Cut Diabetes Risk

Common Dairy Foods May Cut Diabetes Risk

Scientists have discovered a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 Diabetes.

The compound, trans-palmitoleic acid, is a fatty acid found in milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. It is not produced by the body and so only comes from the diet.

Investigators at the Harvard School of Public Health and collaborators from other institutions explain that trans-palmitoleic acid may underlie epidemiological evidence in recent years that diets rich in dairy foods are linked to lower risk of type 2 Diabetes and related metabolic abnormalities.

The HSPH researchers examined 3,736 participants in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-funded Cardiovascular Health Study, who have been followed for 20 years in an observational study to evaluate risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in older adults.

Metabolic risk factors such as blood glucose and insulin levels, and also levels of circulating blood fatty acids, including trans-palmitoleic acid, were measured using stored blood samples in 1992, and participants were followed for development of type 2 Diabetes.

During follow-up, individuals with higher circulating levels of trans-palmitoleic acid had a much lower risk of developing Diabetes compared to individuals in the lowest quintile.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Traditional Foods Key to Fighting Diabetes

Traditional Foods Key to Fighting Diabetes

The statistics are not good - 24,000 or 11.2 percent of Navajos have diabetes. For many individuals, the diagnosis means endless visits to the doctor and lots of medication.

"The sad thing is that (the incidence of new cases) is still growing," said Ray Baldwin Louis, public information officer for the Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Project.

"In our traditional way of life, the main diet was vegetables, which were homegrown," Louis said. "We didn't eat mutton all that much."

But the arrival of commodity foods - government-issued cans of beef, chicken, Spam-like luncheon meat and cheese - marked the end of good eating habits, he said.

Louis said that for the last eight weeks, classes were held to teach staff of the special diabetes project about research by Dr. Neal Barnard that has shown that diabetes can be controlled, and even reversed, with an easy-to-follow plant-based diet.

Speaking Monday at a free seminar at the Navajo Nation Museum, Barnard, a popular figure on public television, said that by sticking to a few basic principles and making simple lifestyle adjustments, people can enjoy a surprising degree of control over diabetes.

"It's really true that before Europeans came to America, there was no lard or fry bread," Barnard said. "Plant products like beans, corn and squash were much more available. Government programs haven't been helpful and today fast food is seductive.

"Diabetes comes in very rapidly and is dangerous," he said.

However, contrary to popular opinion, sugar is not the culprit.

"Glucose is not the enemy, it's the gasoline that powers your body," he said. "Fat from foods get inside cells - greasy food passes grease into the cells. The fat stops glucose from working.

"If we can stop eating fat, it comes out of the cells," he said. "As the amount of fat drops, your cells become more and more sensitive to insulin, allowing your blood sugar to come down."

The plan provided by Barnard includes choosing foods that are vegan (free of all animal products), low fat and have a low glycemic index.

"This means no meat, fish, dairy products or eggs - not even a little bit," he said. "The idea is to clean the animal fat, animal protein and cholesterol out of your diet.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Low Salt Helps Diabetes Patients

Low Salt Helps Diabetes Patients

People with diabetes can rapidly reduce blood pressure and their risk of developing kidney disease if they restrict their intake of salt, new analysis has suggested.

Cutting salt intake by just 2g a day has the same effect on blood pressure as hypertension medication, according to the Cochrane Collaboration Renal Group, which looked at 13 studies.

The reduction in salt saw systolic blood pressure fall by an average 7mmHG and diastolic blood pressure by 3mmHG after one week.

Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes experienced similar effects. The blood pressure of type 1 patients dropped by 7.1/3.1mmHG and type 2 patients saw a fall of 6.9/2.9mmHG.

The findings present a strong case to say that people with diabetes should keep to a diet low in salt, according to the researchers, who are based at St George’s Hospital Medical School and Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

The study authors said: “These findings, in conjunction with other evidence relating salt intake to BP and albuminuria in hypertensive and normotensive people, make a strong case to reduce salt intake in diabetes, as is recommended for the general population in public health guidelines, to less than 5-6g/day.”

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Threat to Diabetes Transplants

Threat to Diabetes Transplants

A WORLD-leading transplant program pioneered by Melbourne scientists is in jeopardy unless Federal funding continues.

The lives of 14 type 1 diabetics have been saved or improved through the experimental islet transplants performed by the St Vincent's Institute.

Commonwealth backing for the groundbreaking research has run out and the program will wind up in June if gap finance is not provided.

The institute hopes to attract backing from a new State Government program in mid-2012, but yesterday made a plea to Prime Minister Julia Gillard to provide to survival cash.

After hearing from three women already saved by the transplants Ms Gillard was in no doubt about the importance and success of the St Vincent's research, but the Government is yet to commit to financing.

Under the experimental treatment islet cells are removed from organ donors and transplanted in type 1 diabetics to enable their pancreas to produce insulin.

Fighting for the transplant program's future is the institute's foundation chairwoman, Susan Alberti. She lost her only child, Danielle, to type 1 diabetes and "bought" a lunch with Ms Gillard for $85,000 at a charity auction, which turned into a lunch for about 170 people yesterday.

To make her plea even harder to refuse, Ms Alberti donated $500,000 to the cause.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Millions May Not Know They Have Prediabetes

Millions May Not Know They Have Prediabetes

Since the mid-1990s, John Sammon has been trying to change his lifestyle.

Eating healthier food. Exercising more. Seeing a doctor regularly.

And in the end, it was those doctor visits that led to a diagnosis of prediabetes, a medical issue that millions of Americans do not even know they have.

The 68-year-old Dunmore resident underwent double bypass surgery in 1994 and his doctor, Anthony Perry, M.D., ordered blood tests every three months to monitor the effect medications were having on his body.

About 18 months ago, Dr. Perry noticed that Mr. Sammon's blood-sugar levels were higher than normal. Like many prediabetics, he had no symptoms that his blood-sugar was abnormal. And even after the diagnosis, Mr. Sammon said he detected almost no changes in the way he felt.

"I didn't think it was serious; that if I made some changes, it would go away," Mr. Sammon said about the prediabetes diagnosis. "But it didn't work out like that."

Even with immediate treatment, coupled with the healthy habits Mr. Sammon was working on, he soon developed Type 2 diabetes.

About 57 million Americans suffer from prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And with few symptoms, many do not know they have it, said Susan Vrablic, coordinator of the diabetes program at Pocono Medical Center.

"Most people find out through routine blood work," Ms. Vrablic said. "It's largely a silent condition."

Prediabetics will have a fasting blood sugar between 100 and 126 milligrams of glucose per deciliter, or mg/dL, of blood, Dr. Perry said. Less than 100 mg/dL is considered normal and more than 126 mg/dL is considered diabetic, he added.

Left unchecked, prediabetes will often develop into diabetes, experts say.

About 23.6 million Americans had diabetes in 2007, according to the CDC. Of that, about 5.7 million were undiagnosed diabetics. In 2008, about 8.8 percent of Pennsylvanians 18 and older had been diagnosed with diabetes, slightly higher than the national average of 8.3 percent.

In Pennsylvania, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2007, according to the state Department of Health. The disease can lead to nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.

This fall, a CDC report predicted the number of diabetes cases in the country could triple in the next 40 years, in part because obesity is also on the rise. Annually, diabetes costs the country about $174 billion, CDC reports said.

A blood test and a hemoglobin A1C test, which provides an average of someone's blood sugar levels over a six- to 12-week period, is normally used to diagnose prediabetes, Dr. Perry said.

Once diagnosed, people with prediabetes have a good chance of staving off diabetes - or even avoiding developing it all together - by making lifestyle changes, experts say.

Topping the list is starting an exercise program, Ms. Vrablic said. New research shows that people with diabetes or prediabetes should strive for about 150 minutes of exercise a week, or about 30 minutes a day, five days a week, according to a study published in this month's issues of Diabetes Care and Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Dr. Perry said losing weight and choosing healthier foods will also help to control or even stave off diabetes.

But the problem, both Dr. Perry and Ms. Vrablic said, is convincing prediabetes and diabetes patients to make changes to their lifestyle.

"If we knew how to motivate patients, we could reduce the incidence of diabetes," Dr. Perry said, adding that doctors historically "have had remarkably little success at getting people to lose weight."

After his diagnosis, Mr. Sammon was put on medication to help control his diabetes and spends about an hour at the gym three times a week, walking on the treadmill with other people struggling with heart trouble and other medical issues. He meets regularly with a nutritionist and a nurse practitioner at Dr. Perry's diabetes clinic, which is connected to Mercy Hospital in Scranton.

"What I'm doing is keeping active, because it helps my mindset," he said. "I have lost some weight between the diet and the exercise."

Contact the writer: enissley@timesshamrock.comRisk factors

With few symptoms, millions of Americans are not aware they have prediabetes or diabetes, doctors say.

Most people are diagnosed after a test that measures fasting blood-sugar levels, taken after a patient has not eaten anything for at least eight hours. But the problem, some experts say, is that many people do not get regular screenings. Left undiagnosed, diabetes can lead to complications, including blindness, kidney failure, amputation and nerve damage.

Anthony Perry, M.D., said there are certain types of people who are more at risk to develop prediabetes or diabetes. Certain ethnic groups have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Other risk factors include:

- A family history of diabetes, especially if a parent or a sibling has been diagnosed.

- Being overweight, defined as having a body-mass index greater than 25.

- Low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides.

- High blood pressure

Monday, 6 December 2010

Air Pollution Linked to Diabetes

Air Pollution Linked to Diabetes

Air pollution exposure early in life is linked to belly fat and insulin resistance in mice even if they ate a normal diet, U.S. researchers say.

Lead author Qinghua Sun of Ohio State University says exposure levels for the animals subjected to polluted air resemble the fine-particulate pollution that can be found in U.S. urban areas.

Sun and colleagues fed the mice either a normal diet or a high-fat diet and exposed them to either filtered air or air containing at least seven times more fine particulates than the ambient air in Columbus, Ohio.

After exposing the mice to polluted or filtered air for 10 weeks, researchers analyzed the mice for risk factors associated with obesity and insulin resistance -- the hallmark of type 2 diabetes, Sun says.

The researchers say the mice on the high-fat diet gained much more weight than those on the normal diet, but mice exposed to polluted air and eating the normal diet had more significant elevations in glucose in the blood than the normal-diet mice that breathed clean air.

The mice exposed to pollution also showed more signs of insulin resistance -- when the presence of insulin does not initiate the transfer of glucose from the blood into the tissues, where it is used for energy.

The findings are published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Smoking Too Common Among Young Diabetes Patients

Smoking Too Common Among Young Diabetes Patients

Smoking rates are high among young people with diabetes, and many teens and young adults with the condition report never being asked about their smoking habits or advised by their doctors to stop, according to a new federally supported study.

Diabetes and smoking are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The national study looked at the presence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease among young people who had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes and whether they smoked.

Smoking Habits Start Early

Researchers led by Kristi Reynolds, PhD, MPH, an investigator from Kaiser Permanente, found that teenagers who had type 1 diabetes and smoked were more likely to be physically inactive and have higher triglycerides for cardiovascular disease, both risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Among their other findings:

  • Tobacco use increased with age. Among the study group with type 1 diabetes, smoking prevalence was 2.7% among those aged 10 to 14; 17.1% among those aged 15 to 19; and 34% of those aged 20 and older.
  • Tobacco use also steadily increased with age among those with type 2 diabetes and prevalence was 5.5% among those aged 10 to 14; 16.4% among those aged 15 to 19; and 40.3% among those aged 20 and older.
  • Ten percent of youths with type 1 diabetes and 15.7% of those with type 2 diabetes were using some form of tobacco at the time of the study.
  • Among the group with type 1 diabetes, 30.4% of 10- to 14-year-olds, 68.3% of 15- to 19-year-olds, and 84.7% of young adults 20 and older reported being asked by their health care provider whether they smoked or used tobacco products.
  • Among the group with type 2 diabetes, 47.2% of 10- to 14-year-olds, 51.8% of 15- to 19-year-olds, and 57.4% of young adults 20 and older reported being asked about tobacco use.
  • Overall, smoking among young diabetes patients was more common among those living in households with family annual incomes of $50,000 or less.
  • Smoking was more common among Native Americans and least common among Asian-Pacific Islanders.
  • Past and current smokers who had type 1 diabetes had significantly poorer cardiometabolic profiles -- such as higher triglycerides and blood pressure -- than diabetes patients who were nonsmokers.

The results are published in the December issue of Journal of Pediatrics, andare based on 3,466 children and young adults aged 10 to 22 who had diabetes who participated in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study. Participants provided blood samples and had their blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels measured. They were also interviewed about their lifestyle habits, such as smoking or exercising. The research was funded by the CDC and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases.

The authors note that 90% of adult smokers say they started smoking before age 18, indicating that adolescence and early adulthood may be a prime time to intervene and instill healthier lifestyle habits.

Reynolds and her team state that their research included a large, racially, socioeconomically diverse study population.

“Smoking is an avoidable risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease,” Reynolds and her team write. “Youth with diabetes, regardless of type, should be targeted for aggressive smoking prevention and cessation programs.”

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Start Young to Reduce Diabetes Risk

Start Young to Reduce Diabetes Risk

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic and life-altering diseases in children and adolescents. It is estimated that 151,000 children and adolescents have diabetes and that about 2 million adolescents age 12-19 have pre-diabetes. In the past, when diabetes struck a child, it was presumed to be Type 1, however, Type 2 diabetes is occurring children and adolescents with increasing frequency. Diabetes is not just a problem of children; it is estimated that in the next 25 to 40 years the occurrence of diabetes in all Americans will double or triple.

Although Type 1 and Type 2 are both forms of diabetes, they have very different pathological origins. Type 1 diabetes - previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or juvenile-onset diabetes - develops when the immune system destroys the body's ability to produce insulin and regulate blood sugar levels. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin to control their blood-sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes typically strikes in children and young adults. Unfortunately, Type 2 diabetes, which was previously called adult-onset diabetes, is occurring in young people at alarmingly high rates.

While Type 1 diabetes is thought to be an auto-immune disease, the increase in incidence of Type 2 diabetes is related to increasing rates of obesity and low levels of physical activity. Children and adolescents diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are generally between 10 and 19 years old, obese, have a strong family history for Type 2 diabetes, and have insulin resistance. Having a parent with Type 2 diabetes increases a child's risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 50 percent. Both genetics and the family's activity and eating environment most likely contribute to this increased risk.

Often a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood-glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to officially be classified as diabetes. The steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes also reduce the risk for pre-diabetes.

The warning signs of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are similar. A child or adolescent with Type 2 diabetes may experience excessive thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss with stable or even increased intake of food, blurred vision, slow healing sores or frequent infections and feeling tired. Another commonly seen sign of pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes is the development of acanthosis nigricans. Acanthosis nigricans is a condition where individuals have patches of thick, dark skin that feels almost like velvet on their neck or under their arms. Acanthosis nigricans does not develop in children with Type 1 diabetes. Although these are the common symptoms, some children and teens will not notice any of these warning signs and will be diagnosed during a routine checkup.

While there are no preventative measures that can be taken to reduce a child's risk of getting Type 1 diabetes, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Being overweight is a primary risk factor for Type 2 diabetes in children. The more fatty tissue a child has, the more resistant his or her cells become to insulin. The good news is that many children who have pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes can improve their risk profile and blood sugar levels simply by losing excessive weight. Another risk factor for Type 2 diabetes is inactivity. The less active a child is, the greater his or her risk. Physical activity helps control weight, uses glucose as energy, and makes the body's cells more responsive to insulin. While family history, race and gender are also risk factors, proper diet and exercise can have a huge impact on reducing one's likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes can be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages when symptoms may not be as noticeable. However, it is crucial that it be taken serious at any age. The condition can affect nearly every major organ in a child's body, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Maintaining good glucose control can dramatically reduce the risk of these complications.

Children or teens whose parents suspect they may have pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes should see their primary care physician for an evaluation. If a child is found to have pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, families should seek the guidance and care of a diabetes team that includes an endocrinologist and certified diabetes educators specializing in pediatrics. And it is important to remember that the first step in treating Type 2 diabetes is taking the appropriate steps in weight management, diet and exercise to attempt to prevent it.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Diabetics' Blood Sugar Reduced With Exercise Programme

Diabetics' Blood Sugar Reduced With Exercise Programme

Combining aerobics and weight training is the best exercise regime for diabetics to help lower their blood sugar, a US study has found.

Researchers randomised 262 sedentary men and women with type 2 diabetes and HbA1C levels of 6.5 per cent or higher to either no exercise, an aerobic exercise programme, resistance training or a combination of both exercises for nine months.

The authors said: “A combination of aerobic and resistance training compared with the non-exercise control group improved HbA1C levels.

“This was not achieved by aerobic or resistance training alone.”

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

Having diabetes shouldn't stop you from enjoying holiday celebrations and travel. With some planning and a little work, you can stay healthy on the road and at holiday gatherings with friends and family.

Preparation is the key to managing diabetes during holiday travel and festivities. Know what you'll be eating, how to enjoy a few traditional favorites while sticking with a healthy meal plan, and how to pack necessary supplies for a trip, and you're all set to celebrate!

Feasts and Parties

Before you go, take these steps to make sure you stick to your healthy meal plan.
  • Eat a healthy snack to avoid overeating at the party.
  • Ask what food will be served, so you can see how it fits into your meal plan.
  • Bring a nutritious snack or dish for yourself and others.

You don't have to give up all of your holiday favorites if you make healthy choices and limit portion sizes. At a party or holiday gathering, follow these tips to avoid overeating and to choose healthy foods.

  • If you're at a buffet, fix your plate and move to another room away from the food, if possible.
  • Choose smaller portions.
  • Choose low-calorie drinks such as sparkling water, unsweetened tea or diet beverages. If you select an alcoholic beverage, limit it to one drink a day for women, two for men, and drink only with a meal.
  • Watch out for heavy holiday favorites such as hams coated with a honey glaze, turkey swimming in gravy and side dishes loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese or mayonnaise. Instead, choose turkey without gravy and trim off the skin, or other lean meats.
  • Look for side dishes and vegetables that are light on butter, dressing and other extra fats and sugars, such as marshmallows or fried vegetable toppings.
  • Watch the salt. Some holiday favorites are made with prepared foods high in sodium. Choose fresh or frozen vegetables that are low in sodium.
  • Select fruit instead of pies, cakes and other desserts high in fat, cholesterol and sugar.
  • Focus on friends, family and activities instead of food. Take a walk after a meal, or join in the dancing at a party.

Traveling for the Holidays

Leaving home to visit friends and family means changing routines. Make sure you remember to take care of your diabetes while traveling. Check blood glucose (sugar) more often than usual, because a changing schedule can affect levels.

Remember Your Medication

  • Pack twice the amount of diabetes supplies you expect to need, in case of travel delays.
  • Keep snacks, glucose gel, or tablets with you in case your blood glucose drops.
  • Make sure you keep your medical insurance card and emergency phone numbers handy, including your doctor's name and phone number.
  • Carry medical identification that says you have diabetes.
  • Keep time zone changes in mind so you'll know when to take medication.
  • If you use insulin, make sure you also pack a glucagon emergency kit.
  • Keep your insulin cool by packing it in an insulated bag with refrigerated gel packs.

On the Road and in the Air

  • Get an influenza vaccination before traveling, unless your medical provider instructs otherwise. Get the flu shot, not the nasal spray.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water. Try to avoid contact with sick people.
  • Reduce your risk for blood clots by moving around every hour or two.
  • Pack a small cooler of foods that may be difficult to find while traveling, such as fresh fruit, sliced raw vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
  • Bring a few bottles of water instead of sweetened soda or juice.
  • Pack dried fruit, nuts, and seeds as snacks. Since these foods can be high in calories, measure out small portions (¼ cup) in advance.
  • If you're flying and do not want to walk through the metal detector with your insulin pump, tell a security officer that you are wearing an insulin pump and ask them to visually inspect the pump and do a full-body pat-down.
  • Place all diabetes supplies in carry-on luggage. Keep medications and snacks at your seat for easy access. Don't store them in overhead bins.
  • Have all syringes and insulin delivery systems (including vials of insulin) clearly marked with the pharmaceutical preprinted label that identifies the medications. Keep it in the original pharmacy labeled packaging.
  • If a meal will be served during your flight, call ahead for a diabetic, low fat, or low cholesterol meal. Wait until your food is about to be served before you take your insulin.
  • If the airline doesn't offer a meal, bring a nutritious meal yourself. Make sure to pack snacks in case of flight delays.
  • When drawing up your dose of insulin, don't inject air into the bottle (the air on your plane will probably be pressurized).
  • Stick with your routine for staying active. Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Diabetes Epidemic Will Hit Half of U.S. by 2020

Diabetes Epidemic Will Hit Half of U.S. by 2020

More than half of all Americans may develop diabetes or prediabetes by 2020, unless prevention strategies aimed at weight loss and increased physical activity are widely implemented, according to a new analysis.

These efforts could in theory also save about $250 billion in health care costs in the next 10 years, suggests the analysis published by UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, a specialized center within UnitedHealth that focuses on health care reform issues.

“We need a sense of urgency. There is a lot of money and human suffering at stake,”says Deneen Vojta, MD, senior vice president of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization, which is based in Minneapolis. “The good news is that we know what works, and if we work together in a concerted national way, we can win.”

Weight Loss and Exercise

For example, programs such as the UnitedHealth Group Diabetes Prevention Program, which is done in conjunction with the Y, can help make a dent in this burgeoning epidemic. This program is based on the U.S. Diabetes Prevention Program, which shows that modest weight loss through dietary changes and increased physical activity could prevent prediabetes from progressing to diabetes.

Prediabetes refers to blood sugar (glucose) levels between 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Ideal fasting blood levels should be less than 100 mg/dL.

Now, Vojta says, “If I do diagnose you with prediabetes, I can say that there is a program in your community that can add years to your life.”

"As stunning as these projections are, there is hope that we can slow and reverse this epidemic with proven interventions,”says Tom Beauregard,an executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group and the executive director of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.

Early Diabetes Diagnosis

Diagnosing diabetes or prediabetes earlier is a key part of the prevention strategy, Beauregard says. As it stands now, a majority of people with prediabetes and many with diabetes do not even know they have it, he says.

“On a technical level, we can identify prediabetes and diabetes and we have proven evidence-based intervention,” he says. “What it comes down to is well-organized public awareness campaigns and incentives, and we need to reimburse community-based prevention programs.”

Once people are diagnosed, efforts are needed to help improve management of diabetes by boosting adherence with medications, the new report suggests. Improved adherence will stave off diabetes-related complications. This will also help curb costs because the cost of caring for a person with diabetes increases exponentially in the presence of complications.

Leonid Poretsky, MD, director of the Friedman Diabetes Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, thinks it is time for all insurers to cover the costs of diabetes prevention programs.

“Prevention of diabetes means weight reduction, including nutrition counseling and exercise, and most payers don’t cover these,” he says.

“These are often covered once you have diabetes, but it is much better to prevent it from occurring in the first place,” he says. “Insurers need to cover screens for diabetes and prevention treatments widely for the entire population, not just certain programs in certain communities.”

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Medicine Alone Can't Control Diabetes

'Medicine Alone Can't Control Diabetes

Landmark Group vice-president Renuka Jagtiani joined hundreds of Bangaloreans who hit the road to spread awareness about diabetes. She is one of the key organizers of The Times of India and Lifestyle `Beat Diabetes' walkathon and has organized similar walkathons in West Asia as well. Renuka shared her ideas about why Landmark Group chose to focus on the issue. Excerpts from an interview:

Do you think walking can control diabetes?

Yes it can. We have checked with doctors and realized that medicine alone cannot control it. One has to exercise regularly. Simple activities like walking and swimming help keep metabolism rate high and control diabetes.

Why did you choose diabetes for your corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign?

Both India and West Asia have very high incidence of diabetics. India, with 70 million affected, is the diabetes capital of the world.

How was your campaign in West Asia?

In Dubai, where we organized the event for the second time this year, around 7,000 people took part, many of whom were children. Cricketer Wasim Akram, a diabetic himself, also participated. We want more kids to walk. I am thrilled to see so many Bangaloreans taking part in the walkathon.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Facebook to Help Fight Diabetes in Latinos

Facebook to Help Fight Diabetes in Latinos

A Facebook application to help educate Latinos about the risks of diabetes launched this month on the popular social networking website.

HealthSeeker Explorando tu Salud, Paso a Paso is a Facebook application that aims to help the almost 10 million Latinos who use the site by providing lifestyle and nutritional tips to help manage and prevent diabetes.

Latinos are twice as likely to have diabetes as their non-Latino counterparts, and approximately 10 percent of Latinos are reported to have diabetes, reports.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Learn the Basics of Diabetes Care

Learn the Basics of Diabetes Care

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Described in simple terms, diabetes is a chronic disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. It is a lifelong condition that has no cure.

There are three basic classifications of the disease: Gestational diabetes, Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms vary with the classification. Generally, high blood levels of glucose can cause several problems including blurred vision, excessive thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, hunger and weight loss.

However, because Type 2 diabetes develops slowly, some people with high blood sugar experience few if any symptoms.

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include fatigue, increased thirst, increased urination, nausea, vomiting and weight loss despite an increase in appetite.

People with Type 1 diabetes often develop symp-toms over a short period of time. Unfortunately, the condition is often diagnosed in an emergency.

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include blurred vision, fatigue, increased appetite, increased thirst and increased urination.

Immediate goals are to treat diabetic ketoacidosis and high blood glucose levels. Because the onset of Type 1 diabetes is sudden and the symptoms severe, people who are diagnosed in an emergency are likely to go to the hospital.

Long-term treatment goals are reducing the symp-toms and to prevent diabetes-related complications such as amputation of limbs, blindness, heart disease and kidney failure, all of which can have deadly consequences.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to keep you alive. To do that requires careful and regular self-testing of blood glucose levels, education, exercise, foot care, meal planning, controlling weight and medication or use of insulin.

Remember, there is no cure for diabetes. Treatment is the only option. Learning these skills will help prevent the need for emergency care: how to recognize and treat high blood sugar, what to eat and when, how to take insulin or oral medication, how to test for and record blood glucose, how to adjust insulin or food intake, and changing exercise and eating habits.

Knowing the fundamentals of care, understanding how the disease can cause long-term health problems and learning new and improved ways to treat the dis-ease as new methods are developed are the best ways to control and minimize diabetes and its impact on your life.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

China Spends RMB 173.4 Billion (US$25 Billion) A Year On Diabetes Treatment

China Spends RMB 173.4 Billion (US$25 Billion) A Year On Diabetes Treatment

Marking World Diabetes Day on November 14, the Chinese Diabetes Society of the Chinese Medical Association, and the International Diabetes Federation launched the findings of a new study revealing the social and economic impact of diabetes in China.

The study, conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and Chinese Diabetes Society (CDS), is a follow-up to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that China had twice as many people with diabetes than previously estimated (92.4 million adults).

Key Findings Of IDF-CDS Study

Approximately 5,000 people were interviewed between January 2008 and August 2010 in 12 sites for this nationally representative study. Early results from data based on 1,920 responses from 5 sites reveal the following key findings:

1) CDS and IDF estimate that 13% of total medical expenditures in China are directly caused by diabetes: RMB 173.4 billion or US$25 billion. People with diabetes in China report 3 to 4 times more in-patient care, out-patient visits, and emergency room visits than people without diabetes of the same age and sex.

2) These numbers will increase rapidly over the next 10 to 20 years when approximately 50 million Chinese with undiagnosed diabetes enter medical care, and when they and the 50 million Chinese with diagnosed diabetes start developing preventable diabetes complications such as stroke, blindness and kidney disease.

3) Health expenditures for people in China who have had diabetes for 10 or more years are 460% higher than for people who have had diabetes for 1 to 2 years.

4) Urban Chinese with diabetes are so far well-protected from the financial impact of diabetes that often causes destitution in countries without health insurance systems. 89% of people with diabetes in the 5 Chinese cities studied had health insurance. Only 11% of their total household income was spent on medical care. However, they spend 9 times more than people of the same age and sex without diabetes. Persons who have had diabetes for more than 10 years spent 22% of their current household income for healthcare.

5) Diabetes prevalence is skyrocketing in China. People are getting diabetes at a younger age. However, China has a window of opportunity to prevent an epidemic of serious diabetes complications, which will increase spending dramatically. Currently, fewer than 5% of Chinese people with diabetes have experienced stroke, heart attack and heart failure. Less than 5% report kidney disease, eye surgery, or problems with their feet or legs. Half the people interviewed use glucose-lowering drugs but few use anti-hypertensives (16%), statins (1%), or aspirin (13%) which are inexpensive and highly effective and can together lower the risk of complications by 50% or more.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Millions of People Live with Diabetes

Millions of People Live with Diabetes

More than 300 million people live with diabetes around the world. Within a generation, that number is expected to reach half a billion. 8.5% of European adults have diabetes. This is no small number, especially considering an estimated 630,000 Europeans died from diabetes and its complications in 2010.

On the occasion of the World Diabetes Day 2010, Chris J Delicata, Chairman of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), European Region, stated that “more than €85 billion will be spent on treating diabetes and its complications in Europe this year. This is spent to treat this life-long condition and the serious complications associated with it. It’s a huge cost for the global health budget but inevitable in the circumstances”.

Starting today, people from all corners of the world are uniting together for 3 days of celebration to put diabetes firmly in the public spotlight. World Diabetes Day is the best opportunity there is to draw attention to the silent killer that is diabetes. Celebrated every year on November 14, World Diabetes Day was initiated in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes poses to the global community.

“World Diabetes Day is a great opportunity to unite and increase understanding and awareness of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). With better awareness, people may understand the risks associated with diabetes and take control immediately before it is too late,” Mr Delicata said.

IDF’s Chief Executive Officer, Ann Keeling said that the world is finally waking up to the threat of diabetes and other NCDs. The UN General Assembly voted unanimously to hold a UN High Level Summit on NCDs in September 2011.

“The UN Summit will bring heads of state, government representatives, NGOs and public health experts together to discuss the global threat and commit to the global response required for diabetes and other NCDs,” she said.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Know Your Diabetes Numbers

Know Your Diabetes Numbers

November 14 is celebrated as World Diabetes Day. Diabetes affects more than 220 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation, and this figure is likely to double by 2030 without intervention. We need to know our numbers to prevent type-2 diabetes:

35 and being a woman

The evidence shows that abdominal fat increases our risk for type-2 diabetes and a simple marker for women a waist size of 35 inches or more. Belly fat goes deep into organs and around organs. These fat cells are dangerous, as they produce hormones and other substances that affect our health.

Fat around the middle can make us insulin-resistant, leading to type-2 diabetes. Insulin is important in the utilisation of blood glucose. In insulin resistance, the cells of the muscles, liver and fats are not as responsive as they should be to insulin. More insulin is produced, as the pancreas tries to keep up, but without the desired effect. Type-2 diabetes is the end result of insulin resistance.

40 and being a man

Men also have a number to monitor. If their waist is 40 inches or more they are at increased risk for type-2 diabetes.

The Diabetes Prevention Program, a major multicentre clinical research published in 2002, shows that people at risk for type-2 diabetes can reduce their risk by increasing physical activity and consuming a healthy, low-calorie diet to reduce body fat. In the study, risk was reduced between 58 and 71 per cent in participants older than 60 years old. Though reducing one's weight is challenging, a consistent effort can yield results. Make manageable changes and stick with them.

Increase whole foods and reduce highly processed foods which are often high in fats, sugars or sodium and low in fibre. Have smaller portions, especially of high-calorie foods. Have set meal times and avoid hunger which leads to bingeing. Drink water most times instead of juices and drinks, and have a glass or two of water before meals; this can reduce your food intake. Having a large fresh salad before your meals can also reduce the space for large portions of high-calorie foods.

Take 5,000 steps

Consistency and adequacy are important in helping you burn calories as you increase physical activity. Many people are sedentary because of our modern lifestyle. Activities should be structured. One useful tool when starting to increase activity is a pedometer that counts your steps. The number of 5,000 steps is the one to beat; fewer steps per day are considered sedentary.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Fat Tissue Inflammation Linked to Diabetes

Fat Tissue Inflammation Linked to Diabetes

Fat tissue cells that cause inflammation may be what links diabetes with obesity, researchers in Australia have said.

The discovery - made at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne - may allow for more effective anti-inflammatory treatments to prevent resistance to insulin.

The scientists say for the first time they have found evidence that fat tissue macrophages in humans create cytokines that prevent cells from responding to insulin.

One researcher, professor Len Harrison, said: “We have shown that insulin resistance in human obesity is closely related to the presence of inflammatory cells in fat tissue - in particular a population of macrophage cells.”

Monday, 8 November 2010

Talk To Raise Awareness On Diabetes

Talk To Raise Awareness On Diabetes

In a bid to raise public awareness on diabetes, the number three killer disease in Brunei, a talk was held by the Diabetic Support Group of the Suri Seri Begawan Hospital yesterday. Saadiah Hj Mohadi, the nursing officer at the Physician Clinic, who was also the speaker, said that it was imperative for the public to understand the symptoms of diabetes and what were the risks posed by the illness.

"People need to know what are the causes of diabetes, and we also want them to understand what to do if they have diabetes," she said.

According to the nursing officer, hypertension and diabetes are like sisters, and very frequently come hand-in-hand.

"People who have hypertension are more prone to getting diabetes, and likewise, diabetes patients are also at risk of having hypertension."

Saadiah also said that families with a history of diabetes must also be extra careful, likewise with people suffering from obesity.

Asked what should diabetes patients do to alleviate the symptoms caused by diabetes, the nursing officer said that while diabetes was incurable, the patients were encouraged to follow a strict diabetic diet to help reduce the effects of diabetes.

"All these are being done in order to delay the complications, which can be really harmful for the patients," she said.

There are many complications that diabetes patients may suffer from, including heart problems, blindness, kidney damage, nerve damage, and even amputation.

The hospital recently conducted two such operations (amputation) on diabetic patients.

The aim of the talk was to educate the public of the harmful effects that diabetes can cause, and that the best way to prevent the illness is to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Lower Your Diabetes Risk

Lower Your Diabetes Risk

Are you aware that unwanted weight is just about the number one risk factor for type 2 diabetes?

Yes, additional circumstances, for instance genes and aging do play a role in type 2 diabetes. But a major international Obesity Task Force estimated in 2002 that 60 percent of diabetes cases around the globe were due to weight gain, and in Western nations it was nearer to 90 percent.

If you are obese or overweight, you are 90 times as more likely to develop diabetes as somebody who isn't, as outlined by a review of medical literature published in 2003 by University of Kentucky as well as other

In accordance with Gerald Bernstein, MD, director of the diabetes management program in the Gerald J. Friedman Diabetes Institute at Beth Israel Clinic in Nyc, fat cells which go close to your belly work to close
the action of insulin, that is essential to lower the blood sugar.

Insulin normally triggers the liver to take up extra blood glucose and store the energy for future use. But when the liver is submerged in fat tissue, insulin can't get the liver to react.

As a result, blood glucose levels can accumulate in the bloodstream, where it might damage organs all over your body. But even a relatively moderate quantity of weight reduction and exercise can shield you from diabetes.

Routine workout makes cells more responsive to insulin, so they absorb more blood sugar. Exercise also improves your cholesterol and lowers blood pressure level.

All three factors are crucial. Individuals with either prediabetes or diabetes have a much greater risk of heart attack and stroke than other folks in the population and controlling the 3 can lower that risk.

Inside a 2002 study, people with prediabetes reduced their risk of diabetes by 58 percent after slimming down, eating better, and exercising 150 minutes weekly in comparison with people who did not.

One common goal is by using a pedometer and target walking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.

Exercise helps in case you don't slim down. But if you undertake, you've got added protection against the disease. You should not lose a lot of weight to learn.

In accordance with Nadine Uplinger, RD, a certified diabetes educator and director of the Gutman Diabetes Institute in the Albert Einstein Health-care Network in Philadelphia, Losing approximately 7 percent of
one's weight prevents or delay diabetes.

And also you? What you will be waiting for? Begin to eat healthy and exercise from today!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Don't Wait for Diabetes to Strike

Don't Wait for Diabetes to Strike

As Canadians' waistlines continue to grow, so does the number of nationwide diabetics.

Here in Haldimand and across the country, diabetes statistics are staggering. Each hour of every day, more than 20 Canadians discover they have the disease, and today's sedentary lifestyle has contributed to what's being called a pandemic by health professionals: more than nine million Canadians -or nearly one in four people -are diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes.

In Haldimand and Norfolk counties, 33 per cent of residents have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 27 or greater, which is significantly higher than the Ontario average of 28 per cent, according to H-N Diabetes Program Coordinator Cindy Gekiere. She added that a normal BMI ranges from 20 to 25.

The Haldimand-Norfolk Diabetes Program is working to fight this globally spreading disease.

Next week, Dr. David Kennedy, MD, a Diabetes Program Advisor, will address the widespread health issue by hosting a free presentation, entitled, "Diabetes: The Weight is on You!"

Dr. Kennedy will explain effective ways to manage your weight with diabetes -whether you need to shed or add pounds -and present diabetes products and services that can help manage the disease.

All Haldimand and Norfolk residents are welcome to view the presentation's exhibits from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Dunnville Christian School, located at 37 Robinson Road, and attend all or part of the informative event, which lasts from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Statistics-Health Canada 2010 states that 59.2 per cent of men and 43.9 per cent of women are currently obese, with the number continuing to rise every year.

The good news is that the trend toward developing the disease can be easily reversed. Since obesity dramatically increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the chances of getting it drop by a whopping 50 per cent for patients if they simply get active, lose weight, and introduce healthier foods into their daily diets.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity and Diabetes

More than seventeen million Americans suffer from diabetes. This accounts for nearly 6.2 percent of the total population. In addition, nearly six million are not aware of the presence of the disease.

Diabetes is of two kinds. Both types are a result of malfunction of the hormone insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes occurs predominantly in childhood or adolescence. It results in elevated levels of blood glucose.

Nearly 90% of all cases of diabetes are Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs after age forty. However, it is increasingly becoming common for children and adolescents to suffer from this type of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes has an intricate link to obesity and lack of exercise. In this form of diabetes, the body does produce insulin but cannot utilize it in an effective way. Initially, there may be a rise in insulin levels to counter high blood sugar. However, over time the body fails to produce enough insulin, leading to complications. This directly leads to high blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar for long periods of time can cause heart ailments, strokes, blindness, failure of the kidneys, amputation of the feet, and complications in pregnancy.

The sheer number is intimidating: nearly 200,000 individuals die because of diabetes every year.
Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity and type 2 diabetes go hand in hand. Obese individuals are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes in comparison with individuals who have a normal weight. Obesity reduces the body’s ability to utilize insulin effectively, which can cause high blood sugar levels. Nearly 90 percent of individuals having type 2 diabetes are obese. The number of cases of diabetes has increased threefold since the 1990s. The trend is only going to rise. The trend can be directly traced to higher incidence of obesity and being overweight.

Prevention of Diabetes

It can be very pleasing to hear that type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Slight alteration to lifestyle and weight loss in the range of 5 to 10 percent can go a long way in the prevention of this disease. Lifestyle modifications include changes to diet and physical exercise. Walking for 150 minutes over a period of one week will reduce your weight and the chances of obesity. This can cut the risk of diabetes by nearly 40 to 60 percent.

Individuals already suffering from diabetes

Eat wisely to prevent high levels of blood sugar. Exercise regularly. Reduce levels of stress and make certain lifestyle changes. Weight loss, even of a few pounds, can go a long way in prevention of diabetes. This would also reduce the need for medication. Proper nutrition can also help to a great extent.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Diabetes Tests Crucial for Seniors

Diabetes Tests Crucial for Seniors

Undiagnosed epidemic

The diabetes epidemic in the U.S. is huge, especially among older adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 12 million seniors, age 60 and older … roughly 23 percent of people in this age group … have diabetes, but nearly half of them don't know it. The danger of undiagnosed diabetes is that, left untreated, it increases the risk of heart disease and stroke and can escalate into kidney failure, blindness, loss of limbs and death.

Who's vulnerable?

There are a variety of factors that can put you at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, including:

Family history: The more relatives you have with the disease, the higher your risk.

Weight: Being overweight with a body mass index of 25 or more. See to calculate your BMI. The heavier you are, the greater your risk. Also, having excess fat around your waist, rather than around the hips and thighs increases your risk.

Age: Your risk increases as you get older, especially after age 45.

Blood pressure: High blood pressure of 140/90 or higher.

Cholesterol: Having low HDL (good) cholesterol under 35 mg/dL or high triglycerides over 250 mg/dL.

Race: Hispanic, Asian, African-Ameicans or Native Americans are more vulnerable.


The tricky thing about diabetes is that the symptoms (fatigue, increased hunger, excessive thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, slow-healing cuts or sores, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet) usually seem harmless, and often don't appear for years, until significant damage to the blood vessels already has occurred.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Keeping Diabetes in Check

Keeping Diabetes in Check

Diet and exercise. Diet and exercise. It's a drumbeat most middle-aged and older patients hear from their doctors every year. But for those with Type 2 diabetes, these basic lifestyle factors can play a key role in controlling the disorder and preventing serious complications such as blindness, nerve disorders and kidney failure.

People with Type 2 diabetes aren't able to respond properly to insulin, an essential hormone that helps transfer sugar from the bloodstream to cells, where it is used for energy. When patients become insulin resistant, blood sugar can build up to dangerous levels. The biggest risk factors for the disease are genetic predisposition and being overweight. More than 23 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, and an additional 57 million are at risk of developing it, according to the American Diabetes Assn.

With consistent blood sugar control and careful attention to cholesterol and blood pressure levels, most Type 2 diabetics can keep the disease in check. Large studies confirm the power of healthy habits. Adopting a low-fat, low-calorie diet and regular exercise to trim 5% to 10% of one's body weight is enough to prevent Type 2 diabetes from developing or to bring diabetics' blood sugar, cholesterol and other key markers within healthy limits.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Healthy Dieting To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Healthy Dieting To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

An individual’s risk for diabetes is proven to increase if they are overweight. With obesity reported to be at epidemic levels, the rise in the numbers of people afflicted with the disease of diabetes is increasing rapidly. Eating larger portions at most meals and increased consumption of junk food are not helping the picture for improvement in the spread of obesity. And the rate of growth of children with diabetes has already passed the alarming stage. Any parent or adult with young people in your family should be concerned. Diabetes increases the nation’s mortality rate as one of the top five contributing caused. Awareness is the first step in making a change.

Among those that suffer from Type 2 diabetes almost 40% have high blood pressure, which is another condition that is believed to be exacerbated by excess weight. Being overweight might also lead to a condition known as insulin resistance in which the body no longer responds to the insulin that is needed to assist the body in using sugar and glucose as fuel on a cellular level.

Medical researchers have developed a list of things individuals can do to help lower their risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Most importantly, the list starts out with dropping excess weight and starting a plan of action focusing on health an fitness. The health part, especially in light of Type 2 diabetes, would involve things like making yourself a shopping list of fresh fruits and vegetables that are tasty and in plentiful supply so you won’t run out. And if you have kids, you’d definitely want to include their needs on your list as well. You’ll learn this is especially important because of the rising number of children as young as 10 to 12 years of age who have become victims of Type 2 diabetes, primarily due to being significantly overweight! There has never been a time in history where healthy eating has been as important as it is in today’s fast food immersed world of quick meals without the benefit of nutritionally vital foods on the menu!

Losing weight is always a challenge for most us us and it is not looked at as a game, nor is it fun. But if you don’t move forward with some type of healthy eating and fitness plan for yourself and your family, your definition of the word ‘challenge’ may soon change rather dramatically. You may not be aware that the World Organization of Health has declared that obesity is at the epidemic stage worldwide and has been for at least 10 to 12 years! And children from 10 to 15 years of age are contracting Type 2 diabetes because of their serious state of obesity, namely being 15 to 20 pounds heavier than their healthy weight threshold. So, while losing weight may present a personal challenge, however, once diabetes enters your life, no more formidable challenge could be present. They say that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Why not check with your doctor and take some preventative steps now.

The best defense against rapid weight gain is to search for activities that you can easily add to your daily schedule. You’ll want something that challenges your lax and un-stretched muscles, however, you’ll definitely not want to over do it. Many individuals look to sports like golf and shuffleboard or table tennis to help them keep active. Actually any low stress and low impact activity can help keep control of your weight and it just helps you feel better.

There’s a school of thought that says your freedom of choice is the best of all possible freedoms. However, the freedom of choices is the first loss when an individual becomes a diabetic. Diabetes demands a very strict diet that eliminates sugars and starches and many of the so-called comforts that are all too popular these days. This means that you absolutely must follow your dietary restrictions. Learn to live within those limits in order to live and enjoy life to the fullest you can. The focus on living a healthy lifestyle is one that many subscribe to, however, they miss taking care of all the actions that make it possible to truly live a healthy lifestyle, most often because they don’t watch their diet.

Friday, 29 October 2010

November is American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month

In the United States, there are many health care concerns that we must face collectively, and we would be wise to pool our knowledge and resources when waging the necessary battles. Diabetes is one such disease that commands the attention of the nation, regardless of sex, race, financial status or age. As November is American Diabetes Month, there is no better time than the present to reflect upon our need to address this disease together.

Diabetes is typically divided into two separate “types.” Type 1 is a chronic disease where the body’s immune system destroys insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often include weight loss, polyuria and polydipsia, the metabolic response to insulin deficiency. Type 1 can also increase the risk of ketoacidosis, a complex disease resulting from various genetic and/or environmental factors. Unfortunately, the incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes is on the rise, starting as early as infancy.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common, accounting for over 90% of cases. Often called non-insulin dependent diabetes, it is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia, as the body either does not make enough insulin or cannot adequately process the insulin made. It may lead to a shortened life expectancy as it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, peripheral neuropathy, renal disease, blindness and amputation.

At the present rate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that as many as one in three Americans could develop diabetes by 2050 unless a significant dent is made in our nation’s obesity epidemic. “The numbers are alarming,” says Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of the CDC’s division of diabetes translation.

“We really need to focus more attention and effort on prevention,” says Albright. “People are living longer, and we are identifying diabetes earlier in course of the diseases and improving outcomes for those that have the disease. The major negative is the new cases of type 2 diabetes, and that is why prevention is so important. If we don’t work on prevention, these gains will be undermined.”

But recognizing the warning signs is only half the battle. Doctors and hospitals must also work with patients to help them understand and manage the disease on a daily basis. Comprehending the ways in which diabetes assimilates itself into an individual’s life is a critical component in fighting the disease, as is teaching patients to cope with the lifestyle and intellectual challenges the situation demands. Psychological health concerns are more common in people with diabetes than the general population, yet it is the individuals themselves who must ultimately bear the burden of choosing how well they manage their condition, and health care professionals must be mindful of this dynamic.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Obesity & Diabetes Increasing at Alarming Tate in UK

Obesity & Diabetes Increasing at Alarming Rate in UK

As per the recent study report released by the charity Diabetes UK, number of people suffering from obesity and diabetes are increasing at an alarming rate in the country.

The report reveals that nearly ten percent people in the country are obese while five percent of the total population is being treated for diabetes.

Surveyors also noted that there’s a strong link between type 2 diabetes and obesity and approximately 90 percent (2.5 million) of people suffering from diabetes in UK are suffering from the type 2 condition.

While commenting on study findings, Diabetes UK's director of care, information and advocacy, Simon O'Neill called the findings of the report “shocking” and “serious.”

"Once again we see a shocking rise in diabetes and obesity rates in the UK. Many, but not all, people develop type 2 diabetes because they are overweight or obese so we must keep up the mantra of five fruit and veg a day, encourage daily physical activity and warn of the potentially devastating consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle,” said O'Neill.

He added that "Failure to act now means a bleak future of spiraling NHS costs and worsening public health."

Other worrisome findings
Diabetes UK, who collected the figures from GP practices, also revealed that since last year 150000 new cases of diabetes have been registered, which is six percent rise in obesity levels in the country.

Over 2.8 million people over the age of 17 years are being treated for type 2 diabetes and about 1.1 million people are at the risk of suffering from diabetes without even being aware of it.

The obesity rate in people over 16 suffering obesity has also risen to over 5.5 million.

Timely action needed
Medical experts believe that the figures are not just shocking but are worrisome and timely government intervention is needed to successfully combat the situation.

Lack of proper treatment on time puts people with diabetes at the risk of blindness, losing limbs, and an early death, experts say.

As per Tam Fry, charity's honorary chairman as well spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, findings are troublesome because these days these lifestyle related conditions are hitting young generation.

"These figures confirm how appalling the levels of diabetes and obesity are in this country, and they would be even worse if they included children.

"Unfortunately we can expect levels to go up even if in some parts of the country obesity may be being brought under control. The fat are just getting fatter and suffering the consequences of excess weight," said Fry.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Diabetes to Affect as Many as 1 in 3 Americans by 2050

Diabetes To Affect as Many as 1 in 3 Americans by 2050

The future of diabetes in America looks bleak, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report out today, with cases projected to double, even triple, by 2050.

According to the report, one in 10 U.S. adults have diabetes now. The prevalence is expected to rise sharply over the next 40 years with as many as one in three having the disease, primarily type 2 diabetes, according to the report, published in the journal Population Health Metrics.

"There are some positive reasons why we see prevalence going up. People are living longer with diabetes due to good control of blood sugar and diabetes medications, and we're also diagnosing people earlier now," says Ann Albright, director of the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation.

A more diverse America — including growing populations of minority groups such as African Americans and Hispanics, who are more at risk for the disease — factors into the increase as well, Albright says. But an increasing number of overweight Americans also is fueling the stark predictions for diabetes, which should be taken seriously, Albright says.

Diabetes is the No. 1 reason for adult blindness, kidney failure and limb amputation, and it's a large contributor to heart attacks and strokes, she says. "It's also now linked to a form of dementia, some forms of cancer and some forms of lung disease. Diabetes impacts so many systems in the body," Albright says.

Programs and policies to prevent obesity and diabetes need to be put in place at every level, says Duke University Medical Center endocrinologist Susan Spratt, who says schools are a good place to start. Healthful food options in schools and daily physical education classes should be a priority, she says.

"Vending machines should not sell sugar soda or candy bars. School fundraisers should not revolve around unhealthy food," says Spratt, who adds that cities need to be pedestrian-friendly, bike-friendly and safe.

A price will be paid if the projections go unheeded, experts say. The CDC estimates the current cost of diabetes at $174 billion annually — $116 billion of which is in direct medical costs.

Previous research has suggested that the financial burden may easily double in the next 20 years, says David Kendall, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association.

"The financial burden is potentially a very, very troublesome one," Kendall says.

"There's a dual message here: prevention where it's feasible, and critical and early intervention for those already diagnosed," he says.

Monday, 25 October 2010

We Must Address the Cause of Diabetes

We Must Address the Cause of Diabetes

By all means, improve access to medications for those already living with the disease. By all means, improve access to treatment for complications. By all means, make quality food available to those living on starch to quiet their hunger.

But if we don't address what exactly is at the heart of this epidemic, this is all just damage control. We will continue to spend billions while rates of diabetes go up.

Type 2 diabetes is a manifestation of metabolic syndrome associated with our modern government-recommended, high-carbohydrate, grain-based diet.

It is an almost completely unnecessary disease.

Sharply restricting carbohydrate intake can normalize insulin production and insulin resistance, and with a little persistence most often fully reverse metabolic syndrome and remove the need for medication in Type 2 diabetics.

The science on this is abundant; it's no secret. Despite that, officials continue to recommend the low-fat, low-protein, high-carbohydrate diets that keep metabolic syndrome going.

And sadly, even if we were to officially recommend the kind of diet that can reverse Type 2 diabetes, I'm fairly certain that many of us would still prefer a pill or an injection over saying goodbye to our pastas and muffins and breads and cereals.

They've become so much a part of what we expect to eat daily, so convenient and available and affordable -- and so satisfying and addictive -- that a switch to the diet of our ancestors is too much a stretch for most.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Management of Type 2 Diabetes With ACTOS

Management of Type 2 Diabetes With ACTOS

For those suffering from type 2 diabetes, can manage their insulin levels effectively with Actos. In type 2 diabetes, the body is very much insensitive to insulin. This results in increase in circulating glucose leading to hyperglycemia.

Pioglitazone hydrochloride is marketed as Actos and has its main action on decreasing the insulin insensitivity. It improves the glucose management of the body and also reduces the circulating insulin levels.

Actos is used as mono-therapy for patients with an average daily dose between 15 mg to 30 mg, depending on his/her requirement. Patients who do not respond adequately can be increased up to maximum of 45 mg once a day. Combination with Sulfonylurea, Metformin or Insulin is initiated when mono-therapy does not give the expected response.

One thing that should never be forgotten about Actos is, it pertains to Type 2 diabetics and is not recommended for juvenile diabetics, or type 1 cases, and in diabetic ketoacedosis. Patients with liver disorders and heart problems, and even pregnant women should keep their doctors well informed before starting any drug.

Actos is usually prescribed as once a day dose, with or without food. But, you need to remember, a complete treatment requires addition of exercise and diet into your routine. Regular check up and monitoring of your sugar levels for adjustment of dose is necessary. Besides, stick to your schedule, and if you miss your dose do not double the next, else, you could drop your sugar level and find yourself sunk in hypoglycemia (headache, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, palpitation and sweating and sometimes even fainting and coma). Keep a dose of sugar, like a candy or biscuit in your bag, to avoid such conditions. Fasting, untimely food habits, alcohol, and over exercise are some of the conditions you should avoid if you are diabetic.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Even Well-Controlled Diabetes May Present Post-Surgery Risk

Even Well-Controlled Diabetes May Present Post-Surgery Risk

People with diabetes who had normal blood sugar levels before non-heart surgery had a higher risk of death in the year following surgery compared to people without diabetes, researchers have found.

And, patients who hadn't been diagnosed with diabetes but had high blood sugar readings before surgery had a higher risk of death in the year after a surgical procedure compared to people with lower blood sugar readings, they noted.

"When we looked at blood sugar levels and the likelihood of complications after surgery, we didn't see a significant difference between diabetics and non-diabetics. But, when we looked at the long-term outcomes, we found significant differences between diabetics and non-diabetics," said Dr. Basem Abdelmalak, director of anesthesia for bronchoscopic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Findings from the study were scheduled to be presented Monday at the Anesthesiology 2010 meeting in San Diego.

The researchers collected information from one preoperative blood test to assess fasting blood sugar levels before 61,536 non-cardiac surgeries. Abdelmalak said the surgeries were varied, and included all surgeries that weren't related to the heart.

From this large sample, about 16 percent of the surgical patients had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

The average age of the patient population overall was 57, according to Abdelmalak. The average age of the non-diabetic patient was 56, and the diabetic group was slightly older, with an average age of 63, he said.

The researchers compared the one preoperative blood sugar reading to short- and long-term postoperative complications and death.

The investigators found that people with diabetes had between an 8 percent and 11 percent risk of dying in the year following surgery. But those with lower blood sugar levels before surgery -- in the range of about 60 milligrams to 90 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), according to Abdelmalak -- had a risk of death between 10 percent and 18 percent.

In people without diabetes, another interesting relationship emerged. Those with a blood sugar level of more than 200 mg/dL had more than an 11 percent risk of death in the year after surgery compared to just 3 percent to 5 percent for non-diabetics with lower blood sugar levels.

Abdelmalak said that one reason the non-diabetics with high blood sugar levels had an increased risk of death might be because they have undiagnosed diabetes. Diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, can go unrecognized for long periods, but at the same time is still causing damage to the body. So, these people may have already been at a higher risk from complications related to undiagnosed diabetes.

As for the finding that people with a low blood sugar level are more likely to die in the year after surgery, Abdelmalak hypothesized that the body may get used to living with higher blood sugar levels -- in essence, resetting the body's metabolism. If you then try to maintain "normal" blood sugar levels, these may then be too low for you.

"We are still looking for the best way to give advice for managing diabetes during surgery. We're hoping that this study will stimulate further research, and that hopefully, we'll reach agreement on what is the better, or even optimal level of blood glucose," said Abdelmalak.

"We have abundant data that achieving good blood sugars without causing hypoglycemia has many benefits that are still worth striving for," explained Dr. Richard Bergenstal, president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association.

"Initially, it seemed that the lower the blood sugars could be recommended for everybody. But, now it looks as if we might need to individualize target blood sugars. However, we are still trying to sort out what are the right targets for which patients," said Bergenstal.

In the meantime, both experts suggested that people who haven't been diagnosed with diabetes, but who have high blood sugar levels before surgery, may need to be followed more closely after surgery since they have a higher risk of death. And, the same holds true for people with diabetes who have lower blood sugar levels.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Diabetes Software – High Tech Diabetes Management Solutions

Diabetes Software – High Tech Diabetes Management Solutions

A key aspect to successfully living with diabetes is self management and diabetes software has made tracking everything to do with diabetes much simpler.

Diabetes management software helps with monitoring glucose level blood test results, tracking food intake and medication doses. Reports can by emailed to or downloaded by your medical practitioner, direct from the program, allowing them to review graphs and charts that give an instant snapshot of your condition.

With the introduction of smartphones and other handheld electronic devices the use of diabetes software does not mean diabetics need access to a computer. Diabetics can track insulin doses, keep a food and carb log , an exercise log, and record glucose meter readings quickly and easily when on the move using nothing more than their mobile phone. Many diabetes software packages contain a database of useful diabetes related information and data so everything the diabetic needs is instantly available.

Diabetic software systems have been developed in recognition of the fact that successful self management of the disease is the key to minimising complications.

Some programs offer the facility to store your tracking information online with some even offering free electronic logbook facilities.

Whether you choose to use any type of diabetes software will depend on your comfort with the use of technology, your budget and your willingness to contribute to the management of your condition. It will be worth consulting with your doctor to see if he or she has any experience of using any of the various applications and programs now offered by companies such as Bayer. It would make sense to consider using the diabetes management software that is already familiar to your doctor in order that maximum benefit can be extracted from your investment.

Anything that makes the process of self managing blood sugar levels and controlling diabetes is to be applauded and encouraged. It is no coincidence that the lowest rates of complications in diabetes are enjoyed by those who are conscientious about monitoring and controlling glucose. Diabetes software can simplify the whole record keeping process and give instant information when things go wrong. Imagine how much easier it would be for a medical practitioner treating you if he had access to your diabetes logbook if you are taken ill. Not the log book you leave at home and try to remember to update, but the log you keep on your iphone – the device that never leaves your side. Do you think this might speed up diagnosis and enable you to be offered the right treatment more quickly?

Love it or hate it, technology is here to stay and with health conditions such as diabetes, where the condition can worsen suddenly and dangerously, having up to the moment records of everything you have done to manage your condition can only improve your prognosis.

Before investing in diabetes software consider your personal requirements and comfort levels. Do you want software that works on a smartphone or Palm Pilot or similar device? Do you want to keep the data on a home computer or somewhere in the ‘cloud’ (this is a newer term to describe information that is stored on web servers owned by software providers). Do you want to be able to transmit reports to your doctor or perhaps print things off you can send or even allow your diabetes clinic access to your logs online? By being clear about what you want to achieve you’ll be able to select the most appropriate diabetes software for you and your condition.