Monday, 31 May 2010

Potential Cure For Diabetes Within Sight

Potential Cure For Diabetes Within Sight

A potential new cure for diabetes is within sight, based on advances in cell therapy, thanks to the work of Tel Aviv University researchers.

Diabetes is a debilitating condition that afflicts eight percent of Americans and can lead to blindness, kidney failure, strokes and heart disease. Shimon Efrat of Tel Aviv Universitys Sackler Faculty of Medicine has developed a way to cultivate cells derived from insulin-producing beta cells from human tissue in the lab.

It may be possible to implant these new healthy cells into patients with type 1 diabetes. If successful, this method, which artificially replicates the insulin cells people need, could ensure that fewer people will die while waiting for a life-saving pancreas and kidney. Efrats research paves the way for new and alternative forms of treatment in cases in which organ transplantation is not an option. And one day, the procedure may become as simple as a blood transfusion. Type 1 diabetes, the most severe form of the condition, emerges in childhood or early adulthood, when the bodys immune system stops working properly and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Air Quality Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Air Quality Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk

While it's been known that traffic-related air pollution can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, a new study shows that it may also contribute to instances of type 2 diabetes in women.

The study, published online and soon to be seen in the print version of Environment Health Perspectives, a publication affiliated with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, looked at German women living in highly polluted industrial areas and in rural regions with less pollution. The researchers followed 1,775 women who were aged 54 or 55 when the study began in 1985. Between 1990 and 2006, 187 study participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Living within 300 feet of busy roadways more than doubled the diabetes risk.

The women with the highest levels of C3c, a blood protein marker associated with diabetes and inflammation in the body, had an increased risk for type 2 diabetes during the 16-year follow-up period. It is unknown exactly how C3c affects diabetes. It's speculated that immune cells in the airways may react with pollutants, setting off a chronic inflammatory response which may make individuals more susceptible to diabetes.

"I agree that environmental pollution contributes to inflammation in the body," says Dr. Rashmi Gulati, of Patients Medical in New York City. "I would say that the primary factor in type 2 diabetes is poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. Breathing heavily polluted air certainly doesn't help."

Dr. David J. Ores, a general practitioner in Manhattan, wonders if the German women in the study who developed diabetes lived near a highway and ate a lot of meat and animal fat.

"I would like to see the same study with Japanese people or other cultures," he says. "Obviously, breathing in poisonous gases your whole entire life will not be good for you."

Study leader Wolfgang Rathmann says that although the research was done on women, there is no reason to assume air pollutants would not have the same effect on men.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and is sometimes referred to as adult-onset diabetes; however the condition does sometimes affect overweight or obese children. With type 2 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or cells ignore insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When glucose builds up in the blood, complications can occur including glaucoma and cataracts, numbness in the feet, skin infections, heart disease and hypertension.

Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, while many more are unaware that they are at risk. The disease is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and the elderly. According to the American Diabetes Association, 7.8 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the US.

Although it's not realistic for everyone to move away from high-traffic areas, there are some things city dwellers can do to reduce the risk of diabetes from traffic-related air pollution.

"Get a HEPA air filter if you live near a highway or in an area that has poor quality air. Take frequent trips away from the city to the ocean or the country to get some fresh air. These things will help with respiratory health and heavy metals absorbed from air pollution," says Gulati.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Common Diabetes Drug Linked to Vitamin Deficiency

Common Diabetes Drug Linked to Vitamin Deficiency

Patients treated over long periods with metformin, a common drug for diabetes, are at risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency which is also likely to get worse over time, according to a study published Friday.

Dutch scientists who carried out the study said the findings suggest that regular checking of vitamin B-12 levels during long-term metformin treatment should be "strongly considered" to try to prevent deficiency and its effects.

Vitamin B12 is essential to maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. It is found in meat, dairy products, eggs, fish, shellfish and fortified breakfast cereals, and it also can be taken as a supplement.

Coen Stehouwer of Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, whose study was published in the British Medical Journal, said symptoms of B12 deficiency include fatigue, mental changes, anemia and nerve damage known as neuropathy.

All these symptoms can easily be misdiagnosed as being due to diabetes and its complications, or to aging, he said, but checking B12 levels could help doctors to assess the real cause and treat it if it was found to be B12 deficiency.

"Our data provide a strong case for routine assessment of vitamin B12 levels during long term treatment with metformin," Stehouwer wrote.

An estimated 246 million people around the world have diabetes and rates are expected to rise along with the number of people who are overweight or obese. Most sufferers have type 2 diabetes, the kind linked with poor diet and lack of exercise.

Stehouwer's team studied 390 patients with type 2 diabetes, giving metformin to 196 of them three times a day for more than four years, and a placebo, or dummy pill, to the other 194.

They found that people who had taken the metformin had a 19 percent reduction in their vitamin B12 levels compared with people who had taken a placebo, who had almost no B12 change.

The reduced levels of vitamin B12 in the metformin group also persisted and became more apparent over time, they said.

"Our study shows that it is reasonable to assume harm will eventually occur in some patients with metformin-induced low vitamin B12 levels," Stehouwer wrote.

In a comment on the study, Josep Vidal-Alaball, a specialist in primary care and public health at Heath Park in Cardiff, Wales, said assessments should be carried out to see if giving patients advice on B12 in their diets would solve the problem.

"If it does not, a trial of screening for vitamin B-12 deficiency in patients taking metformin would be needed," he wrote.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Drinking Alcohol Can Lower Chance of Diabetes

Drinking Alcohol Can Lower Chance of Diabetes

The 10-year study of 35,000 adults, carried out by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment and Dutch medical and scientific centers, focused on Type 2 diabetes, The 10-year study of 35,000 adults, carried out by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment and Dutch medical and scientific centers, focused on Type 2 diabetes, Results showed that people who consumed alcohol moderately and met at least three of four conditions of a healthy lifestyle, had 40 percent less chance of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who abstained from alcohol completely.

Following adults between the ages of 20 and 70, the study defined moderate alcohol consumption as a maximum of one glass per day for women and two glasses per day for men.

The four conditions of a healthy lifestyle were defined as obesity prevention, adequate exercise, not smoking and a balanced diet.

"The results of the investigation show that moderate alcohol consumption can play a part in a health lifestyle to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2," scientific research group TNO, which helped carry out the analysis, said in a statement.

Type 2 diabetes, which is often caused by obesity, is the most common form of the disease that occurs when blood sugar levels are abnormally high, and affects more than 180 million adults worldwide.

This form of diabetes, which currently requires daily treatment, can lead to cardiovascular diseases, stroke, blindness, amputations and kidney failure if not controlled.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Diabetic Exchange Diet

It goes without saying that the importance of good fresh food and a regular exercise routine can not be overstressed when it comes to diabetics or indeed anyone looking to maintain as healthy a lifestyle as possible.

As a diabetic you may or may not be aware of something called a diabetic exchange diet.

Essentially this is a diet put forward by your doctor or health care provider that basically is designed to control both your weight and levels of sugar and cholesterol in your blood.

Normally there will be three meals and one to three snacks daily with the foods you can eat divided into six basic groups. Each group contains various different foods together with an exact portion size. With this you can decide what you want from each group knowing that the portion size, whatever, the food will be what is right for you.

Many people on a diabetic exchange diet will frequently take supplements to ensure all their nutritional requirements are being fulfilled.

Normal Glucose Levels

If you are a regular visitor or reader of this blog there is a strong possibility that you suffer from diabetes or a family member or friend suffers from the condition.

I do my best and will continue to post on a daily basis items of news or reports that I come across which I feel are relevant to the condition or that offer products which whilst not offering a cure for diabetes may ease the condition somewhat.

Obviously one the most important daily routines of a diabetic is ensuring that blood sugar levels are maintained at normal levels.

It is likely that your doctor or health care provider will provide an active role in the ways you achieve this and there advice is of paramount importance.

That said there are products available that can assist diabetics and non sufferers by optimizing the management of your blood chemistry and in doing so maintain normal glucose levels.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Side Effects

As sufferers of diabetes will be aware there are many things that you can do to ease your condition apart from relying purely on medication provided by your doctor or health care provider.

One of the main ways to improve your condition or indeed to prevent the onset of disease is to ensure that you maintain a regime of exercise and proper diet.

By this I mean that it is important to take regular daily exercise, which needn't be strenuous but should at the same time make you aware that you have in fact exercised ! This exercise needn't be a demanding session in the gym and can take the form of a brisk walk of a mile or so. If you've got dogs all the better !

Additionally proper diet is important for all individuals - not just diabetics.

Try and make certain that you eat regular meals, the suggestion is three meals daily with maybe a couple of snacks if you get peckish. Make certain that you have a good mix of fresh fruit and vegetables and a small to reasonable portion daily of carbohydrates.

If you are concerned that you may be missing out on your bodies nutritional requirements you can always take daily vitamins or supplements for diabetes that will ensure that you receive all the goodness you require.

Many of these supplements for diabetes will include alpha lipoic acid.

Some people express concern over possible alpha lipoic acid side effects but research has proven that the benefits far outweigh the possible negatives and this really should not be an issue to concern yourself with.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

How to Recognize Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

How to Recognize Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

The chronic condition associated with the way the body metabolizes glucose (sugar) is called diabetes. When the disease surfaces in adults or involves non-insulin dependency, this form of the condition is known as type 2 diabetes. Although type 2 diabetes is often preventable, an increasing amount of people is developing diabetes symptom and signs, as a result of a growing obesity problem throughout the United States.

Type 2 diabetes is resistant to the effects of insulin, which plays an important role in the regulation of sugar absorption within the body. Others produce some insulin, but not enough to sustain a desirable glucose level. When left untreated, the outcome of type 2 diabetes can threaten your life. That is why it is vital to know what a diabetes symptom is and how to effectively manage or prevent the condition. While some people are able to control their type 2 diabetes with a balanced diet and routine exercise, others require medication or insulin therapy to reach acceptable levels of blood sugar.

When Left Untreated

With type 2 diabetes, there are both short-term and long-term complications that influence the overall health of a diabetic. Some people will ignore an early diabetes symptom, especially when they feel fine for most of the time. Silently, the condition attacks major organs, such as the heart, nerves, eyes, and kidneys. Short-term complications associated with type 2 diabetes include hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), increased ketones in urine, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and dizziness. When ignored, a patient may suffer seizures or lose consciousness and enter into a coma.

Long-term type 2 diabetes complications sometimes causes disability and in the worst cases รข€“ death. A few common examples include heart and blood vessel disease, neuropathy (nerve damage), nephropathy (kidney damage), eye damage (blindness), foot damage, poor blood flow, skin and mouth concerns (bacterial infections), osteoporosis (low bone density), and Alzheimer's disease.

What is a Common Diabetes Symptom?

While the first sign of a type 2 diabetes symptom seems undisruptive at first, these signs may plague your health and body for many years without the clear indication that you are suffering a serious medical condition. Some of the common type 2 diabetes symptoms include:

Increase in Thirst: As excessive amounts of sugar accumulate in the bloodstream, fluid is pulled from the tissues, often leaving a patient thirsty.

Frequent Urination: As a type 2 diabetic becomes increasingly thirsty, they may drink more than usual, which causes them to urinate more frequently.

Increased Appetite: When type 2 diabetes causes a deficit in insulin (which is responsible for moving sugar into the cell), the organs and muscles in the body lose energy. This process causes an intense hunger to surface, which may continue even after a meal is eaten.

Weight Loss: Type 2 diabetics are known to lose weight, even if they have increased the amount of food they eat on a regular basis. This diabetes symptom is caused when energy sugar supplies are so low that muscle tissues and fat storage shrinks.

Fatigue: When the cells lack a reasonable amount of sugar, an individual may become tired and cranky.

Vision Problems: Type 2 diabetes may cause a blurring of the vision when blood sugar levels are too high and the fluid pulled from tissues affects the lenses of the eyes. Some victims are also unable to effectively focus as a result.

Infections and Slow-Healing Wounds: The ability to heal and combat infections is affected with type 2 diabetes. In women, they may suffer an increase in the number of bladder and vaginal infections.

Keep in mind that just because you may exhibit one or more of these diabetes symptoms does not automatically mean you have diabetes. But if the symptoms persist, it may be worth the effort to check with your doctor.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Type 2 Diabetes Increases Risk of 24 Cancers

Type 2 Diabetes Increases Risk of 24 Cancers

Kari Hemminki of DKFZ collaborated with colleagues in Sweden and the United States to carry out the largest study ever on cancer risks of people with type 2 diabetes.

The study included 125,126 Swedish citizens who had been hospitalized due to problems associated with type 2 diabetes.

The epidemiologists compared the cancer incidence in these patients with that of the general population in Sweden.

The scale of the study also made it possible, for the first time, to quantify correlations between diabetes and less common types of cancer.

The researchers discovered that people with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing 24 of the types of cancer.

The most significant risk elevation was established for pancreatic and liver cell cancers. The rate of these cancers in people with type 2 diabetes is elevated by factor six and 4.25 respectively compared to the general population.

The epidemiologists also found the risk of cancers of the kidneys, thyroid, esophagus, small intestine and nervous system to be more than twice as high.

In addition, the study confirmed an observation suggesting that people with type 2 diabetes have a significantly lower rate of prostate cancer.

This was particularly apparent in diabetes patients with a family history of the disease. The more family members are affected by diabetes, the lower is the personal prostate cancer risk.

"Right now, we can only speculate about the causes. Possibly, a lower level of male sex hormones in diabetics may be among the factors that are responsible for this," said Hemminki.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Diabetes Symptoms and Complications

Diabetes Symptoms and Complications

If you have concerns about diabetes, this article discusses the various diabetes symptoms and complications. This information should help you make better decisions to better manage diabetes and improve your quality of life. Diabetes is not a death sentence and managing or overcoming diabetes requires concerted effort.

A. What is Diabetes?

Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use glucose which is one of the simplest forms of sugar, for energy. The pancreas makes insulin though some of its cells. When food is eaten, the pancreas breaks down the sugars and starches into glucose which is used as fuel by the cells in the body.

For a diabetic with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce any insulin and the diabetic needs daily injections of insulin. This usually starts in childhood.

For a diabetic with Type 2 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or ignores the insulin produced. This is the most common type of diabetes although almost half of the afflicted are unaware of having the disease.

With the lack of insulin production, glucose levels build up in the body and tissue and are excreted by the body through urine thereby leading to a loss of the main source of fuel needed by the body. This loss of glucose leads to diabetes complications.

Another form of diabetes is gestational diabetes experienced by some pregnant women during the third trimester of the pregnancy. This usually resolves itself a few months after childbirth but some of these women will develop Type 2 diabetes later on in life.

B. Symptoms

Early detection of diabetes and proper treatment can usually decrease the chances of developing diabetes related complications.

i. Type 1

a. Frequent need to urinate

b. Excessive thirst

c. Extreme hunger

d. Sudden weight loss that is unusual

e. Tiredness throughout the day and irritability

ii. Type 2

a. Any of the above symptoms

b. Getting infections frequently

c. Sudden changes in eyesight and vision

d. Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal

e. Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

f Very itchy or dry skin

It is important to note that some people with Type 2 diabetes never suffer any symptom which is why it is one of the silent killers. This is why it is important to get tested frequently.

C. Complications

Diabetes increases the risks for many health problems that are frequently very serious. However with the proper treatment and lifestyle changes many can delay or prevent any complications. These are some of the complications;

1. Eye complications: Diabetics have a higher risk of vision problems and blindness. Having regular vision checkups is important to treat any problems that develop quickly.

2. Foot Complications: Foot problems occur mainly due to nerve damage in feet that can lead to loss of feeling in feet. Nerve disease also reduces sensation in feet. Most people with diabetes have artery disease which reduces blood flow to feet which is why most people with diabetes are far more likely to need a foot or leg amputation. It is therefore very important to take good care of feet by wearing the proper shoes and see a doctor immediately when foot problems develop.

3. Various skin conditions may develop and it is important to see a doctor immediately once you notice any skin conditions.

4. Heart disease and stroke: It is important to speak with your doctor to discuss steps to reduce your risk as a diabetic to heart disease and stroke.

5. High blood pressure: Two out of three diabetics have high blood pressure which increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney disease. Have your blood pressure checked frequently.

6. Kidney disease: Having diabetes can cause damage to the kidneys and lead to them failing. Failing kidneys lose their ability to filter out the body’s waste products leading to kidney disease.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan

Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan

Before looking at the ideal diet for this disease it would be helpful for the reader to have some information about what it is.

Controlling this is important for the health of the unborn child, with gestational diabetes whilst it normally lasts only during the course of the pregnancy there is a possibility of it recurring later in life.

Diet Guidelines
Calorie intake, the average pregnant woman needs about 300 extra calories a day to gain enough weight. An extra 10 to 12 grams of protein a day is also needed to help the baby grow normally. 45-60% of the calorie intake should be from carbohydrates, 15 to 25% from protein and 20 to 30% from fat.

Eat at the same time each day whenever possible and never skip meals or snacks and eat about every 2 to 3 hours. Take a snack at bedtime to prevent blood sugar levels being too low overnight. Avoid foods and beverages with added sugar, corn syrup, honey, molasses, maple syrup or jams and jellies. Read the labels of packaged foods to find the grams of carbs each serving has.

High fibre goods include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, cooked dried beans and bran cereals.

Serving Sizes (after its cooked)
Breads and starches, each serving contains 15 grams carbohydrates, most women need 6-10 servings a day.

Most people need 2-4 servings per day, avoid juice or limit it to half cup a day.

Dairy each serving contains 12 grams of carbs, most people need 2-3 servings a day

Vegetables, each serving contains 5 grams carbs, most people need 2-4 servings a day.

Combination foods, each serving contains 15 grams carbs, most people need 1-2 a day

The following protein foods should be included in the diet
Meat or meat substitute, cottage cheese, cooked dried beans, low fat cheese, eggs, fish, poultry, peanut butter
Fats found in such things as nuts, avocado, olives

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Top Diabetes Weight Loss Diet

Top Diabetes Weight Loss Diet

1. Control Diabetes With Food

The Hippocrates quote 'Let food be thy medicine' holds special meaning when discussing diabetes. Medical advise provided to those newly diagnosed with the disease include a variety of prescription medications and a 'low-fat' diet, which is laden with carbohydrates, both of which lead to a proliferation of diabetes and life threatening complications. Diabetes drugs work by forcing sugar into the cells whether needed or not, and don't address the core problem.

Diabetics are particularly sensitive to the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar and a resulting high level of triglycerides. Excess triglycerides circulating in the blood are directly responsible for fat storage in the body, and too many carbohydrates at any given meal will be converted to this fat storage lipid resulting in weight gain.

To prevent and treat diabetes, it's critical to limit carbohydrates from all sources with each meal. Totally eliminate refined carbohydrates from desserts, potatoes and breads. Even fruits and vegetables in large quantities can create blood sugar problems, depending on individual metabolism.

Be sure to include a fat source with each meal, as this helps to regulate the release of sugar into the blood. Lean protein sources from chicken, turkey and pork as well as nuts and seeds have minimal impact on blood glucose and triglyceride levels.

As you remove junk carbohydrate calories from your diet, it becomes easier to monitor total caloric intake to achieve slow and healthy weight loss. Women should target 1,200 calories a day, and men need around 1,500 calories for effective weight loss.

2. Monitor After Meal Blood Sugars

The best way to determine your carbohydrate sensitivity is to test your blood sugar at one and two hour intervals after eating. Strong evidence exits which indicates that it's the post meal blood sugar readings which determine the risk for diabetic complications. It's also important for those wishing to avoid this disease, as it provides a real-time reading of overall blood glucose control. Many people are unaware they may be pre-diabetic, or already have the disease.

Blood sugar readings one hour after a meal should not exceed 140 mg/dl, and no more than 120 mg/dl after two hours. Readings, which are higher, are indicative of metabolic dysfunction, where the cells are bathed in excess sugar for many hours of the day.

This leads to a condition known as Syndrome X, and significantly increases risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. It also raises triglyceride levels, leading to stubborn weight gain as the body works to store excess sugar as fat. Regular blood sugar monitoring to optimal levels will ensure proper metabolic function, improved health and reduced weight.

3. Develop a Resistance Training Exercise Program

Compliment your new diet and blood sugar monitoring plan with regular exercise. The power of physical activity cannot be underestimated, as it helps the muscles to properly utilize blood sugar for energy. When done most days of the week, the body is trained to become metabolically efficient, as sugar and triglycerides are ushered out of the blood quickly after finishing each meal.

Recent studies show that progressive resistance training using weights or power bands in short bursts are the best method of achieving physical health, as it mimics the exercise patterns of our evolutionary ancestors. Be sure to work all major muscle groups at high intensity for one to two minutes and then rest for the same time. Twenty minutes a day is enough for beneficial effects.

Those wishing to prevent or treat diabetes must be disciplined in following this three step plan. Proper diet is the only way to halt the devastating effects excess carbohydrates have on our metabolism, and blood sugar monitoring provides the necessary confirmation that the program is working properly. Resistance exercise assists the body to naturally regulate insulin and blood sugar, the end result being improved health and sustainable weight loss.

Pancreas and Type II Diabetes

Pancreas and Type II Diabetes

Before discussing the subject of what causes type II diabetes, you might want to know how does the pancreas help to maintain sugar in the blood stream.

The pancreas is located deep in the abdomen behind the stomach. It contains thin tubes joining to form a single opening into the intestine that is located just beyond the stomach. The pancreas produces juices, enzymes and insulin.

1. The enzymes digest fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

2. Pancreatic juices combined with juices from the intestines help to do the job of breaking down protein, carbohydrates and fat therefore it plays an important role in maintaining good health.

3. The pancreas also produces insulin, which is important in regulating the amount of sugar or glucose in the blood.

There are 3 different kinds of type II diabetes:

1. If some of the cells in the pancreas die off the pancreas can't produce enough insulin to regulate sugar in the blood stream, then we have type II diabetes that are caused by deficiency of insulin. Today experts still don't know the causes of how pancreas cells die off, but they suspect that excessive alcohol drinking may be the factor. According to surveys, 70% of patients with type II insulin deficiency diabetes were heavy alcohol users.

2. If the pancreas produces enough insulin, but the receptor sites are clogged up by fat and cholesterol causing insulin not being pick up at the cell from receptor sites, we have type II insulin sufficient diabetes. Most cases of type II insulin sufficient diabetes are caused by uncontrolled diet that are high in saturated fat, smoking and excessive alcohol drinking.

3. If the pancreas also produces enough insulin, but allergic responses to certain foods cause resistance of cells to allow insulin to enter blood stream. In other words, if the cells of the muscle and liver resist to take up glucose from the blood causing high concentration of glucose in the blood stream, we have a case of type II insulin resistance diabetes. The foods creating this problem vary from person to person. Most people with type II insulin resistance diabetes seem to be precipitated by overweight, smoking and excessive alcohol drinking. Type II insulin resistant diabetics should have allergy shots in order to find the exact foods causing insulin resistance reactions.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Need for Diabetes Care

The Need for Diabetes Care

It's demanding and it never goes away. For diabetes patients, managing good health is a multi-faceted daily regimen. Testing blood glucose levels, eating the right foods and getting exercise are critical. In fact, our research finds diabetes patients may spend more than three hours per day to take care their health needs.

New treatments are empowering people with diabetes to self manage their condition like never before. Unfortunately, too many health insurance plans in Ohio have not kept pace.

Health plans in Ohio are not required to offer comprehensive diabetes coverage. Ohio is just one of four states that have not passed legislation requiring such coverage. Ohio's fragmented system leaves too many patients with inadequate supplies, equipment and education.

In Washington County and throughout southeastern Ohio, diabetes is especially prevalent. As a family doctor, and a diabetologist at Ohio University, I personally deal with diabetes patients who skip blood glucose tests or go without vital supplies and education.

In Ohio, diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death. About 9 percent of Ohioans have diabetes. In southeast Ohio, the situation is worse. The Ohio University Center for Appalachian and Rural Health Research found that approximately 16 percent of area residents have diabetes.

While I cannot promise a cure for diabetes, because there is none, I can tell you about a potential solution to our state's inconsistent approach to diabetes coverage.

State Senator Jimmy Stewart has the opportunity to support House Bill 81, which requires new health care policies, contracts and plans to provide insurance benefits for equipment, supplies and medication for the diagnosis, treatment and management of diabetes. The bill also enables patients to obtain self-management education.

Legislation like House Bill 81 is already law in 46 other states. Ohio has been trying for 15 years to pass this legislation.

Even though prominent organizations such my colleagues at the Ohio Osteopathic Association, the Cleveland Clinic, the Ohio State Medical Association, the Ohio Pharmacists Association, the Ohio Optometric Association, and many other groups support House Bill 81, a few business interests are opposed.

Concerned with the idea of a "mandate" for comprehensive coverage, some feel House Bill 81 burdens business. It doesn't. In fact, this bill provides the business community and insurance industry with the most flexibility of any diabetes coverage law. For example, it allows a business owner who already provides comprehensive coverage using a pharmacy rider, durable medical equipment policy, or overall pharmaceutical coverage rider, to continue to do so. In addition, the bill provides for "actuarial assurance" that it will not increase overall insurance premiums by more than 1 percent.

As Senator Stewart and his colleagues decide on House Bill 81, I ask them to consider this: opponents to its passage have never once provided data from the 46 other states with this law that show where premiums have risen or otherwise where costs have gone up.

It's time to pass House Bill 81 in Ohio. Too many people have diabetes to ignore the potential good that can come from better access to care.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Why Diabetes and Smoking Don't Mix

Why Diabetes and Smoking Don't Mix

One out of every five people with diabetes smokes cigarettes. Most of them know this habit is unhealthy. Smoking is linked to cancer, heart disease and other health problems. But smoking is even more hazardous to your health if you have diabetes.

The shared heart disease threat

On their own, both diabetes and smoking increase the risk of heart attack and stroke:

  • People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without the disease. Chronic high blood sugar damages the body's blood vessels, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
  • Smoking is linked with heart attack and stroke because it can:
    • Lower HDL or "good" cholesterol levels
    • Raise blood pressure
    • Reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches your organs
    • Cause blood clots to form

Double the danger

People with diabetes who smoke are three times more likely to die of heart disease than those with diabetes who don't smoke. Smoking also ups the odds of other dangerous diabetes complications:

  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney disease
  • Foot problems
  • Diabetic eye disease

Smoking can also raise blood sugar levels and make diabetes harder to control.

Even if you don't have diabetes yet, studies show that smoking cigarettes may help trigger type 2 diabetes. Smoking can cause insulin resistance, a precursor to both type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

It's time to quit

The bottom line is that smoking makes diabetes worse. Quitting smoking is crucial for good blood sugar control. It's never too late to kick the cigarette habit. Even if you've smoked for years, quitting now can greatly improve your health.

Tips for quitting success

Quitting is challenging, but it can be done. People who are successful often combine behavior change techniques with medication, like nicotine replacement therapy, which gradually weans you off nicotine. Try these tips:

  • Pick a quit date and tell all of your friends and family when this date is.
  • Don't go "cold turkey." Ask your doctor about nicotine replacement products, like the patch or gum.
  • Seek counseling. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that smoking cessation counseling should be a part of everyone's diabetes care. Your doctor can suggest a smoking cessation program.
  • Get rid of all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays. Having smoking paraphernalia around can up your chances of relapsing.
  • Write down your reasons for quitting. Carry the list with you at all times. When you get the urge to smoke, read this list.
  • Prepare for cravings. Keep gum or hard sugar-free candy on hand and have them when you want a cigarette. Carry marbles or a small rubber ball with you to play with when you miss having something in your hands.
  • Avoid trigger situations. If you relate certain locations or situations with smoking, steer clear of them for awhile. Try to avoid places where a lot of people are smoking. Spend time in places where smoking is not allowed.
  • Stay busy. Do activities that you can't do while smoking a cigarette. Take a shower or exercise.
  • Get a quit buddy. Ask a friend who smokes to quit along with you.
  • Expect setbacks. Most people make several quit attempts before they finally quit for good. A relapse is normal. Though it's frustrating, it's not a reason to give up.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

5 Reasons Why Type One Diabetes Is Increasing

5 Reasons Why Type One Diabetes Is Increasing

A 2009 study in The Lancet found that new cases of type 1 diabetes in kids could double in the next 10 years. Possible reasons for this dramatic rise include:

  1. Too big too fast. The "accelerator hypothesis" theorizes that children who are bigger and grow more quickly are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes.
  2. Too little sun. The "sunshine hypothesis" comes from data showing that countries situated closer to the equator have lower rates of type 1 diabetes.
  3. Too clean. The "hygiene hypothesis" is the notion that cleanliness -- lack of exposure to certain germs and parasites -- may increase susceptibility to diseases like diabetes.
  4. Too much cow's milk. The "cow's milk hypothesis" states that exposing babies to infant formula containing cow's milk in the first six months of life damages their immune systems, and can trigger autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes.
  5. Too much pollution. The "POP hypothesis" alleges that being exposed to pollutants increases diabetes risk.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Wine May Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Wine May Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Several studies have shown that moderate consumption of wine is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. But is wine the cause, and what specifically in the wine? Two new studies suggest wine does play a role and that chemicals in the grapes may help.

Previous studies have postulated that the lower rate of type 2 diabetes among moderate alcohol drinkers is due to a healthier lifestyle. This is unsurprising since drinkers tend to be more dedicated to exercise than their peers. For one of the studies, slated for publication in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a team of researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands analyzed the issue by looking at data drawn from the Dutch European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-NL), a larger health study of more than 520,000 people in 10 European countries.

The Wageningen team chose data from 35,625 adult subjects who were considered to be lower on the risk scale for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease (the two are closely correlated). Risk-lowering factors included optimal weight, regular exercise of more than 30 minutes per day, not smoking and a healthy diet, according to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) protocols, a regime supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The DASH diet focuses on reducing sodium and eating more grains, fruits and vegetables. Moderate drinking women have no more than a drink per day—1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits, one 5-ounce glass of wine or one 12-ounce beer—while men are allowed up to two.

After analyzing 10 years’ worth of data, including 796 cases of type 2 diabetes, the researchers concluded that the lower rate of the disease among drinkers cannot be explained by a healthier lifestyle alone. Alcohol, in some way, contributed directly to a lower incidence of the disease—drinkers had a roughly 40 percent lower risk compared to abstainers.

While the Dutch study does not explain why alcoholic beverages may lower risk, another study suggests that it may not be the alcohol alone. Research from the University of Michigan finds that eating grapes seems to slow development of high blood pressure and insulin resistance. Both are the leading precursors to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Together, the two create a condition known as metabolic syndrome, which affects 50 million Americans.

In findings presented at the Experimental Biology convention in Anaheim, Calif., the Michigan team found that rats fed powder made from table grapes showed more favorable levels of blood sugar in the blood stream and improved glucose tolerance.

The effect is thought to be due to phytochemicals, which occur naturally in grapes and wine and include tannins, anthocyanins and resveratrol. Rats eating table grapes saw less arterial inflammation and oxidative damage.

"The possible reasoning behind the lessening of metabolic syndrome is that the phytochemicals were active in protecting the heart cells from the damaging effects of metabolic syndrome," said Steven Bolling, a heart surgeon at the university and head of the Cardioprotection Research Laboratory. One caveat—the study was funded in part by the California Table Grape Commission; the researchers declared the commission played no role in the study’s design and subsequent analysis.

Bolling adds that the results may be translatable to humans and suggests following a lifestyle pattern similar to the one found healthiest in the Dutch study. "Although there’s not a particular direct correlation between this study and what humans should do, it’s very interesting to postulate that a diet higher in phytochemical-rich fruits, such as grapes, may benefit humans."

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Gum Disease Treatment May Help Diabetes

Gum Disease Treatment May Help Diabetes

Treating serious gum disease in diabetics can help to lower their blood sugar levels, a new study has found.

Edinburgh University scientists have found reducing gum inflammation in people with diabetes can help minimise complications with the condition.

It is thought when bacteria infect the mouth causing inflammation the chemical changes reduce effectiveness of insulin and raise the levels of blood sugar.

Treatment to reduce inflammation may therefore help reduce blood sugar.

The findings are published as part of the international Cochrane Collaboration.

Dental institute

The team, including researchers from UCL Eastman Dental Institute, Peninsula Dental School and Ottawa University, said their findings highlighted the need for doctors and dentists to work together in the treatment of people with diabetes.

Dr Terry Simpson, honorary research fellow at Edinburgh University's dental institute, who led the study, said: "This research confirms that there may be a link between serious gum disease and diabetes.

"It highlights the role dentists can play in managing the condition, given that gum disease is very treatable.

"By far the most important aspect of diabetes management is the use of insulin, drugs and diet to control blood sugar levels but maintaining good dental health is something patients and healthcare professionals should also recognise.

"Although the benefit in terms of insulin management is small, anything we can do to promote the wellbeing of people with diabetes should be welcomed."

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Diabetes Increases Risk of Abnormal Heart Rhythm

Diabetes Increases Risk of Abnormal Heart Rhythm

This risk gets worse the longer a person has been taking medications for diabetes, while poor blood sugar control also exacerbates risk, Dr. Sascha Dublin of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle and her colleagues found.

Atrial fibrillation is not in and of itself deadly, Dublin noted in an interview with Reuters Health, but it does increase a person's risk of stroke and heart failure.

Studies examining the relationship between diabetes and atrial fibrillation have yielded mixed results, and often didn't take obesity into account. This is important, Dublin noted, because obesity increases both diabetes risk and atrial fibrillation risk. "We felt that the literature really was in a state of uncertainty," Dublin said.

In the current study, Dublin and her team looked at data from Group Health, a large healthcare delivery system, on 1,410 people diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and 2,203 people without the abnormal heart rhythm. Eighteen percent of the people with atrial fibrillation were taking medications for diabetes, compared to 14 percent of the controls. This translated into a 40 percent increased risk of atrial fibrillation for the treated diabetics.

And the more severe a person's diabetes was, the greater their risk of atrial fibrillation. To gauge diabetes severity, the researchers used two measurements: average hemoglobin A1C levels, a standard indicator of blood sugar control over many years; and the amount of time a person had been on medicines for diabetes.

Atrial fibrillation risk rose as people's blood sugar control worsened, the researchers found. While the risk was only about 6 percent greater for people with A1C levels of 7 or less, indicating good long-term blood sugar control, risk was about 50 percent higher for people with AIC levels between 7 and 9, and nearly doubled for people with levels above 9.

Similarly, risk of the abnormal heart rhythm increased with diabetes duration; for every additional year a person had been taking diabetes medications, their risk of atrial fibrillation increased by 3 percent.

Doctors who treat diabetic patients should be aware of their increased atrial fibrillation risk, Dublin said. She pointed out that the condition can be treated effectively, for example with blood-thinning drugs to reduce stroke risk.

And for patients whose symptoms are interfering with their quality of life, for example making them short of breath with exertion, "we can make them feel a lot better by slowing their heart down with commonly used and safe drugs," she added.

Can I Control Diabetes in Pregnancy ?

Can I Control Diabetes in Pregnancy ?

While gestational diabetes usually can’t be prevented, it can be controlled with lifestyle changes, including dietary measures and exercise. Here’s what to do to ensure your baby’s health-and your own.

Gain slowly and steadily. While it’s important to gain enough weight during your pregnancy to sustain your child, gaining too much can make your body even more resistant to insulin than it already is. If you’re at a normal weight when you first get pregnant, expect to gain 25 to 35 pounds. If you’re already heavy at the time you conceive, try to limit weight gain to 15 to 25 pounds. Ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian who will help you meet nutritional needs and avoid excessive weight gain. Do not diet to try to lose weight. Both you and your baby need the proper nutrients in order to be healthy. If you’re underweight, try to gain steadily throughout your pregnancy.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Manage Diabetes through Healthy Food Choices

Manage Diabetes through Healthy Food Choices

After a lifetime of poor nutrition and dietary choices, it may be difficult for diabetics to change to a healthy diet. Many may feel like they simply cannot give up fast foods, junk food, cookies, sugary cakes and ice-cream. Yet, there may be no choice. One of the key factors in controlling type 2 diabetes comes down to reducing simple sugars and unhealthy fats in the diet. After re-training the palate, most agree that healthy foods are filling, deliciously satisfying and increase one's energy levels.

Foods to Avoid and Foods to Include for Diabetics

Refined starches such as white bread, white flour, white pasta and white rice are converted by the body, almost instantly, into simple sugars. Opt for small portions of whole wheat, whole grains and brown rice instead. Corn and potatoes are also a source of simple starches and should be replaced with fibrous vegetables like beans and Jerusalem artichokes.

While eating a variety of healthy, raw vegetables and nuts is good, there are some foods that are especially helpful for diabetics.

Managing Diabetes with Fenugreek

What is fenugreek? It is a plant in the family Fabaceae (legume, pea, bean or pulse family). Fenugreek is used both as an herb (leaves) and as a spice (seeds) and frequently used in curries. Fenugreek seeds contain as much as 50 percent fiber, which is very important for diabetes sufferers.

According to The Herbal Drugstore, by Linda B. White, MD, "Modern research has shown that fenugreek seeds not only lower blood glucose but also reduce insulin levels, total cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL".

It is recommended that individuals limit intake of fenugreek to no more than 100 grams per day.

Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon, is a seasonal vegetable that helps regulate blood sugar levels and keeps body functions operating normally. The bitter gourd is specifically used as a folk medicine for diabetes. Studies prove that it contains a hypoglycemic or insulin-like principle, designated as 'plant-insulin', which has been found highly beneficial in lowering the blood and urine sugar levels.

Beans for Diabetics

Beans are an excellent food choice for diabetics. According to The Green Pharmacy, by James A. Duke, PhD (St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1998 edition) "Many studies demonstrate that eating foods that are high in soluble fiber, notably beans, reduces the rise in blood sugar after meals and delays the drop in blood sugar later on, thus helping to maintain blood sugar at close to desired levels." There are a variety of healthy "meaty" beans to try, such as kidney, lima , black, and green beans.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Diabetes Test Results May Be Deceptive in Black Children

Diabetes Test Results May Be Deceptive in Black Children

Black children with type 1 diabetes score higher than whites with similar blood glucose levels on a critical test, potentially leading their physicians to give them the wrong treatment, a new study says.
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The test "can be deceptive in African-American children with diabetes, misleading their doctors into believing that glucose levels are higher than they really are," research team member Dr. Stuart A. Chalew, professor of pediatrics at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, said in a news release from the school.

If doctors don't take both the test and self-monitored blood sugar levels into account, "they are likely to unintentionally provoke increased episodes of life-threatening hypoglycemia [low blood sugar] in African-American patients," Chalew said.

Chalew and colleagues tracked 276 children with type 1 diabetes for six years at Children's Hospital of New Orleans. The average age was 12.5 years and they had had diabetes for about five years, on average.

Researchers looked at results of the hemoglobin A1c screening test, which is an indicator of blood sugar levels over the previous two or three months. They also tracked blood sugar levels from glucose tests that the participants gave themselves for at least a month.

The researchers found racial disparities in the screening test results. "Besides the risk of over-treating with insulin and provoking hypoglycemia, the data also suggest that there is a need for alternate therapies to reduce diabetes complications other than insulin and other glucose-lowering agents," Chalew said.

Friday, 7 May 2010

How Research Will Conquer Diabetes in the Future

How Research Will Conquer Diabetes in the Future

Today, 1.7 million Canadians have diabetes. But 10 years from now, there will be 3.7 million.

To give you an idea of how fast diabetes is accelerating, in 1980, 30 million people worldwide lived with diabetes. Last year, there were 285 million, and by 2030, about 400 million people will have it. That’s almost as many people as there are living in North America today.

Given this, diabetes forces us to answer some awkward questions: How are we going to manage the billions of new dollars our health-care systems will have to spend to control it? How are the families of diabetics going to manage their anguish at lives cut short because of the effects, such as heart disease? How is India, which now has more diabetics than Canada has people, going to cope with a disease that’s spreading faster than malaria?

We can ask people to change their diet and lifestyle. Some will. Many won’t. But even if everyone did, Type 1 diabetes has little to do with what we eat or how we live, and Type 2 can never be completely controlled by diet and lifestyle.

The answer to this crisis is research, which is why the Harry Rosen Diabetes Chair in Stem Cell Research in the McEwen Centre has been established as part of Toronto’s University Health Network.

From the beginning of human history until 1921, if you were afflicted with diabetes, your life was nasty, brutish and short. Diabetes was a death sentence. Few diabetics lived past the age of 10. Then, two Canadian researchers discovered insulin.

As the noted geneticist Craig Venter once said: “A physician or surgeon in their careers has the opportunity to save at most hundreds or perhaps a few thousand lives. A research doctor has the chance to save millions.” And that’s what Frederick Banting and Charles Best did. That’s what research did to fight diabetes 89 years ago and that’s what research will do to vanquish diabetes in the years to come.

Not only are there more stem cell researchers in Toronto than anywhere else, their work is already changing the direction in broad areas of research into cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, toxicology and spinal cord injuries.

We seem to do things in pairs here: Banting and Best discovered insulin; and James Till and Ernest McCulloch discovered blood-forming stem cells more than 40 years ago at the Ontario Cancer Institute.

Their legacy, as with every medical researcher, lives on in the literally millions of people whose lives will grow longer, happier and richer because of discoveries made today and tomorrow by the Toronto stem cell community.

But there is more to be done. We can also urge our governments to commit much more funding to medical research than they do now. While Canada has a strong innovation agenda, by any measure, the funding to fuel innovation in medical research is drastically small. The world of bio science, including stem cell research, is filled with entrepreneurs, turning scientific discovery not only into cures, but into jobs and companies and new business sectors and entire economies. Our governments simply must invest more in this sector than they’re now doing or, like a diabetic without insulin, it will wither and die.

Fifty years from now, it will be good to look back on the work being done by the groundbreaking scientists of today and think how quaint and uninformed it all was.

That’s the real marker for success in the business of discovery, the fact that the future can be so different and so much better than the present.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Diabetes drug may treat certain cancers

Diabetes drug may treat certain cancers

Scientists have found that a drug commonly prescribed to treat diabetes may also have positive effects for treating certain types of cancer.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati, found that the diabetes drug, metformin, in addition to helping the body make better use of insulin, also suppresses certain enzymes that can lead to cancer.

George Thomas, lead researcher on the study, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he believes the drug could be used specifically to treat tuberous sclerosis, a disease in which tumors form in many organs of the body. The tumors are benign, but lead to an array of other health problems.

Thomas added that the findings were surprising, and may lead to more targeted treatments for the disease.

"You wouldn't think of treating that with metformin," he told the news source.

Tuberous sclerosis can result in skin abnormalities, seizures, and mental retardation, according to the National Institute of Health.

Diabetes Mellitus Information

Diabetes Mellitus Information

Understanding the nature of diabetes mellitus is the first step in fighting this disease. Remember that the more you know about the enemy, the better equipped you are to fight it. To help you fight off diabetes mellitus, here are five very important things that you need to know about the disease.

Types Of Diabetes Mellitus

There are two major types of this disease namely, type 1 and type II. Of the two types of diabetes, type I is usually more serious and life threatening. Approximately 10% of all diabetes patients in the United States have type 1 diabetes. Unlike type II diabetes which is preventable, type 1 diabetes is almost impossible to prevent. Note that in type 1 diabetes or juvenile onset diabetes mellitus, the body mistakenly produces antibodies and inflammatory cells that attack the pancreas and render it incapable of producing enough insulin. Experts believe that the tendency of the body to produce excessive amount of antibodies is genetically inherited. This means that some are predisposed to type 1 diabetes mellitus while others are not. Children whose father or mother have type I diabetes are at risk of contracting the disease.

Aside from genetic predisposition to the disease, exposure to certain viral infection like mumps and coxsackie viruses can trigger the abnormal production of antibodies that attack the pancreas. Studies show that many patients who are suffering from type 1 diabetes have high levels of anti-insulin antibodies, anti-islet cell antibodies and anti-glutamic decarboxylase antibodies. Experts believe that the production of these antibodies may have been triggers by viral infections.

While type I diabetes mellitus is linked to excessive production of antibodies, type II diabetes is often linked to obesity. According to studies, there is a direct relationship between obesity and type II diabetes. For every 20% increase over the ideal body weight, the chances of getting type diabetes II increase by about 200%. Both children and adults who are overweight are at risked of getting type II diabetes mellitus. However, older people tend have higher risk of getting the disease as compared to their younger counterparts. You see, age is a fact when it comes to this disease. According to experts, people who are already in their 40s and older, regardless of their weight, are at risk of suffering from diabetes. People who have family history of diabetes are also at risk of getting the disease especially as they grow older.

Common Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes Mellitus

The common signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus include unusual weight gain or weight loss, fatigue, excessive thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, excessive hunger, feeling of nausea, recurrent vaginal infection in women, frequent yeast infection in men and slow healing sores and cuts. As the patient's condition worsens, he or she may suffer from blurred vision and vomiting.

Untreated diabetes mellitus can be fatal so if is very important to treat the disease as early as possible. Note that people who have diabetes are at risk of suffering from high blood pressure, kidney problems, nerve problems and coronary problems.

Managing The Disease

Living with diabetes can be a bit complicated especially for people who have type I diabetes mellitus. However, with proper medical attention and change in lifestyle, suffers of type I diabetes may still be able to lead normal lives.

On the other hand, people who have type II diabetes have better chances of beating this disease. The first step in managing type II diabetes is to stay within the ideal weight level. Eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise is very important in this case. The combination of good lifestyle and medication will do wonders to people who are suffering from type II diabetes mellitus.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Truth About Diabetes

The Truth About Diabetes

Today, lets dispel some myths regarding diabetes.

Can you get diabetes from someone else?
Eating too much sugar causes diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is mild diabetes
People with diabetes eventually go blind
It’s not safe to drive if you have diabetes
People with diabetes can’t play sport
People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses
People with diabetes can’t eat sweets or chocolate
People with diabetes shouldn’t eat bananas or grapes
People with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods

Now for some serious myth bashing…

Can get diabetes from someone else?
Although we don’t know exactly why some people get diabetes, we know that diabetes is not contagious – You cannot get it from others. There is a chance that a person whose parents or brothers and sisters have diabetes might get diabetes, particularly Type 2 diabetes. But lifestyle factors also play a part.

Eating too much sugar causes diabetes
Eating sugar does not cause diabetes. Diabetes is caused by a combination of inherited and lifestyle factors. However, eating a diet high in fat and sugar can cause you to become overweight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, so if you have a history of diabetes in your family, a healthy diet and regular exercise are recommended to control your weight.

Type 2 diabetes is mild diabetes
There is no such thing as mild or borderline diabetes. All diabetes is equally serious, and if not properly controlled can lead to serious complications.

People with diabetes eventually go blind
Although diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age, research has proved you can reduce your chances of developing diabetes complications – such as damage to your eyes – if you:
• Control your blood pressure and glucose levels
• Keep active
• Maintain your ideal body weight
• Give up smoking

It’s not safe to drive if you have diabetes
Providing you are responsible and have good control of your diabetes, research shows that people with diabetes are no less safe on the roads than anyone else. Nevertheless, the myth that people with diabetes are not safe persists

People with diabetes can’t play sport
Pakistan’s famous all-rounder Wasim Akram has diabetes; many other people with diabetes take part in active sports. People with diabetes are encouraged to exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. Keeping active can help avoid complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease. There may be some considerations to take into account with your diabetes before taking up a new exercise regime – talk to your doctor for more information.

People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses
No. You are no more likely to get a cold or another illness if you’ve got diabetes. However, people with diabetes are advised to get flu vaccinations. This is because any infection interferes with your blood glucose control, putting you at risk of high blood glucose levels and, for those with Type 1 diabetes, an increased risk of ketoacidosis.

People with diabetes can’t eat sweets or chocolate
Sweets and chocolate can be eaten by people with diabetes just like the rest of us, if eaten as part of a healthy diet. Remember that confectionery foods tend to be higher in fat and calories too so for this reason they should be limited especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

People with diabetes shouldn’t eat bananas or grapes
All fruit and vegetables are extremely good for you. Eating more can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, some cancers and some gut problems. You should aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. This also helps to improve the overall balance of the diet. Eating a variety of different fruit and vegetables ensure you get the maximum benefit.

People with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods
Diabetic versions of foods offer no special benefit. They still raise blood glucose levels, contain just as much fat and calories, are usually more expensive and can also have a laxative effect. The healthy diet for people with diabetes is the same as that recommended for everyone – low in fat, salt and sugar, with meals including starchy foods like bread and pasta and plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

How to prevent Diabetes

How to prevent Diabetes

Diabetes is a common life-long condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high as the body cannot use it properly.

This is because the pancreas does not produce any or not enough insulin or the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance).

Insulin helps glucose enter the body’s cells, where it is used for energy.

Glucose comes from digesting carbohydrate from various kinds of food and drink, including starchy foods such as breads, rice and potatoes, fruit, some dairy products, sugar and other sweet foods. Glucose is also produced by the liver.

Symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes

The main symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes include passing urine frequently (especially at night), increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, genital itching or regular episodes of thrush, slow healing of wounds and blurred vision.

Treating diabetes

The main aim of diabetes treatment is to achieve blood glucose, blood pressure and blood fat levels (including cholesterol) within the target ranges agreed by you and your healthcare team.

This, together with a healthy lifestyle, will reduce the risk of developing the long-term complications of diabetes such as heart attack, stroke, amputation, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Supplements Supporting Diabetes

Supplements Supporting Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Diabetes mellitus, often referred to simply as diabetes is a syndrome of disordered metabolism, usually due to a combination of hereditary and environmental causes, resulting in abnormally high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia).

The disease and its treatments can cause many complications as it is often detected when a person suffers a problem that is frequently caused by diabetes, such as a heart attack, stroke, neuropathy, poor wound healing or a foot ulcer, certain eye problems, certain fungal infections, or delivering a baby with macrosomia or hypoglycemia.

Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes was first identified as a disease associated with “sweet urine,” and excessive muscle loss in the ancient world. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic medical condition, meaning that although it can be controlled, it lasts a lifetime.

Type 1 diabetes can affect children or adults but was traditionally termed “juvenile” diabetes because it represents a majority of the diabetes cases in children. This type appears to be triggered by some (mainly viral) infections, or less commonly, by stress or environmental exposure (such as exposure to certain chemicals or drugs). Type 1 diabetics have a genetic predisposition to the disease.

Type 1 diabetes occurs equally among males and females but is more common in whites than in non-whites. Additionally, this type of diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of diagnosed diabetes in the United States. Type 1 diabetes develops most often in children but can occur at any age. Type 1 diabetes may also cause a rapid yet significant weight loss (despite normal or even increased eating) and irreducible fatigue.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. Type 2 diabetes risk can be reduced in many cases by making changes in diet and increasing physical activity. However, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes impede a person’s carefree life.

Type 2 diabetes is more common in older people, especially in people who are overweight, and occurs more often in African Americans, American Indians, some Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander Americans, and Hispanics/Latinos. Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common due to increasing obesity and failure to exercise. This type may go unnoticed for years because visible symptoms are typically mild, non-existent or sporadic, and usually there are no ketoacidotic episodes.

Diabetes insipidus, a rare disorder, is not related to diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes). Diabetes symptoms may include increased thirst and urination, blurred vision, and fatigue. This type also appears to affect the speed of our thought processes as well. Diabetes is a costly disease associated with severe morbidity and premature death that affects millions of Americans.

Diabetes insipidus includes any of several types of polyuria in which the volume of urine exceeds 3 liters per day, causing dehydration and great thirst, as well as sometimes emaciation and great hunger.

Diabetes affects approximately 17 million people (about 8% of the population) in the United States. It is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer.

It is further the primary reason for adult blindness, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), gangrene and amputations. Diabetes is a condition characterized by the inability of the pancreas to produce sufficient levels of insulin to prevent hyperglycemia. Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or sugar levels are too high. Diabetes can also create the need to remove a limb.

Diabetes can be caused by too little insulin, resistance to insulin, or both. The disease can damage blood vessels and nerves and decrease the body’s ability to fight infection. It is the most common condition leading to amputations.

Although this disease cannot be cured, it often can be managed with proper medical care, diet, and regular exercise. Diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death in the US. It is a serious disease, but it is controllable. The good news is that diabetes prevention is proven, possible, and powerful.

Treatment need not significantly impair normal activities if sufficient patient training, awareness, appropriate care, discipline in testing and dosing of insulin is taken.

Treatment for the disease also includes checking blood sugar levels to make sure that the disease is under control. Treatment usually includes eating healthy foods and spreading carbohydrates throughout the day, exercising regularly, checking your blood sugar levels often, and possibly taking medicine.

And most of all this disease shouldn’t take all the fun out of shopping, cooking and dining. Diabetes treatment plans consist of a healthy diet, exercise, medications and sleep.

Diabetes supplements can help you fight the effects of diabetes and help you to keep your blood sugar levels stabilized. Many people find natural diabetic supplements a valuable aid in improving their control of Type 2 Diabetes.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Vitamin D Linked to Diabetes

Vitamin D Linked to Diabetes

New evidence shows that people with higher levels of vitamin D experienced a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University just released its study linking low levels of vitamin D to diabetes in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors of the study concluded that maintaining optimal vitamin D levels in the blood may be a type 2 diabetes prevention strategy.

Other recent research found that vitamin D plays a critical role in activating the body’s immune system against infectious diseases like the flu. Researchers noted that a deficiency in this important vitamin, which actually acts more like a hormone in your body, may result in a greater risk of contracting flu viruses. Additional research has linked low amounts of vitamin D to autoimmune disorders, cancer, depression, diabetes, and heart disease.

Vitamin D also plays essential roles in supporting our energy and balancing our moods. It also helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the health of the thyroid gland-a butterfly gland in the throat that helps maintain a healthy weight, balanced metabolism, and energy levels.

While moderate sunlight exposure is the best source of vitamin D, many people incorrectly think that a small amount of sunshine exposure daily is sufficient to meet their vitamin D requirements. However, after your skin is exposed to sunlight, it takes about 48 hours to convert it into vitamin D. During that time, the sunlight-initiated precursors to vitamin D can be washed off with soap and water.

So, if you scrub your skin with soap in the shower, your body will not convert most of your skin’s sun exposure to vitamin D. I’m not suggesting that you avoid showering after sun exposure rather that you primarily soap the areas that don’t usually see the light of day and wash the newly tanned ones exclusively with water. Avoid excessive sun exposure since there are no health benefits of sunburn.

Some vitamin D deficiency symptoms include: bow legs or “knock knees,” burning in mouth or throat, constipation, dental cavities or cracked teeth, insomnia, joint pains or bone pains, muscle cramps, nearsightedness (myopia-can’t see distances), nervousness, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, frequent colds or flu, and poor bone development.

Vitamin D is also found in fish and fish oils, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and many types of sprouts. People with low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) tend to have difficulty with vitamin D absorption and as a result, may have higher needs for this nutrient.

Most nutrition experts agree that the current RDA of 200 IU is insufficient and that the minimum needs to be raised to 1000 IU, while many health experts recommend supplementation of 2000 to 4000 IU daily. However, you should always consult a qualified health professional before supplementing with vitamin D since excessive amounts can build up in the body creating a potential risk for toxicity and is contraindicated for some health conditions

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Type 2 Diabetes Causes – How Symptoms Can be Managed

Type 2 Diabetes Causes – How Symptoms Can be Managed

Adult Onset Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is often referred to as adult onset diabetes for the simple reason that most Type 2 Diabetes diagnoses occur in the adult years. Unlike Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes is not an autoimmune disease. Rather than destroying the cells that produce insulin, in Type 2 Diabetes, the body shows a resistance to this insulin and the cells ignore the insulin that is produced.

Risk Factors

Like Type 1 Diabetes, there is no known cause for Type 2 Diabetes and there is no known cure. Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic condition, which means that it is a long-term disease that cannot be cured, but that can be managed. Once you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it is important that you begin a plan to successfully manage the symptoms of the disease as quickly as possible in order to avoid or delay other complications and illnesses that can derive from untreated diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes can in people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds. However, there are some groups that are at higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes, such as African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos.

Obesity is one of the many factors that can contribute to the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. While obesity does not cause the disease, the presence of more fatty tissue can cause the cells to become more resistant to the insulin that your body naturally produces.

Inactivity can also make the risk of contracting Type 2 Diabetes higher. Exercise and physical activity helps you to control your weight as well as uses up glucose as energy, which helps to make your cells more sensitive to insulin.

Family history and age can also play an important role in the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. The risk of Type 2 Diabetes increases if you have a parent or sibling who has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. The risk also increases as you age, simply because people tend to get less exercise, lose muscle mass, and gain weight all of which contribute to the cells becoming more resistant to the insulin that your body produces.

Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Prevented?

There are many contributing factors to Type 2 Diabetes. Even if diabetes runs in your family, there are certain lifestyle choices that can help to reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes or to help reduce the risk of other complication and illnesses that can be a result of Type 2 Diabetes.

One of the most important prevention tools is a healthy diet. A healthy diet consists of foods that are low in fat and calories and includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Sweets do not have to be totally avoided, however should be consumed in small quantities and should be a part of a diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Regular exercise is also an important prevention tool. Since obesity is one of the most common risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes, a regular exercise routine combined with a healthy diet not only reduces your risk of obesity and the onset of Type 2 Diabetes symptoms, it also reduces your risk of other illnesses and diseases. Regular exercise also helps to maintain good muscle tone and good blood flow, both of which help your body to function properly and aid in the prevention and recovery of many illnesses and diseases.

While Type 2 Diabetes is a serious and long-term illness, and can result in life-threatening complications, a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes does not have to be a death sentence. Proper education and management of the disease can increase your chance of living a long healthy life and it starts with maintaining a healthy lifestyle as early in life as possible. Type 2 Diabetes is a serious, yet manageable disease. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do in the prevention and management of Type 2 Diabetes.