Saturday, 31 July 2010

Novel Approach to Treat Diabetes

Novel Approach to Treat Diabetes

A single stimulatory molecule, along with other regulatory proteins, could play a role in encouraging or thwarting insulin-producing beta cell replication, which in turn could treat diabetes, according to a study.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that a stimulatory molecule could sustain human insulin-producing beta cell replication for at least four weeks in a mouse model of diabetes.

They also found several cocktails of molecules that drive human beta cells to replicate, as well as important differences between mouse and human beta cells that could influence how these approaches are best used to treat diabetes, which is caused by insufficient insulin production leading to abnormal blood sugar levels.

“Our team was the first to show that adult human beta cells can be induced to proliferate or grow at substantial rates, which no one thought possible before. Now our effort has been to unravel these regulatory pathways to find the most effective strategy that will allow us to treat - and perhaps cure - diabetes by making new insulin-producing cells,” said senior author Dr. Andrew F. Stewart, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Pitt School of Medicine.

In a series of experiments, lead author Dr. Nathalie M. Fiaschi-Taesch, and the team discovered that combining elevated amounts of the regulatory molecules cdk4 or cdk6 with a variety of D-cyclin proteins, particularly cyclin D3, stimulates human beta cell replication in test tubes.

“We didn’t expect cyclin D3 to ramp up beta cell replication so strongly when it was used with either cdk4 or cdk6. There was no known role for cyclin D3 in human beta cell physiology,” said Dr. Fiaschi-Taesch.

Cyclin D2 is present in and essential for rodent beta cell replication and function, but the team showed that molecule is barely detectable in human cells, and beta cell replication could be sustained for at least four weeks in a model in which mice were transplanted with human beta cells engineered to overproduce cdk6.

Blood sugar normalized in the diabetic mice transplanted with surprisingly small numbers of human beta cells, indicating that the cells functioned properly to produce needed insulin.

Mice don’t appear to make cdk6 naturally, but they do have cdk4 and cyclins D1 and D2, so standard rodent studies of beta replication might have led scientists to pursue the wrong molecules in their quest to stimulate human beta cell replication, noted Stewart.

The researchers continue to explore many other regulatory proteins that could play a role in encouraging or thwarting beta cell replication.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Wireless Sensor Watches Blood Sugar for Diabetics

Wireless Sensor Watches Blood Sugar for Diabetics

Researchers have developed an implantable sensor that measures blood sugar continuously and transmits the information without wires -- a milestone, they said, in diabetes treatment.

The device worked in one pig for more than a year and in another for nearly 10 months with no trouble, they reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

It takes the diabetes field a step closer to development of an "artificial pancreas" -- a device that can replace natural functions to control how the body handles blood sugar.

And it would be handy for people who need to check blood sugar daily, such as patients with type 2 diabetes, the team at the University of California San Diego and nearby privately held GlySens Inc wrote.

"You can run the device for a year or more with it constantly working, and recording glucose quite satisfactorily," bioengineering professor David Gough, who led the study, said in a statement.

"We hope to begin the first human trial in a few months," Gough added in a telephone interview.

He said his team has been testing such experimental devices in pigs for 31 years.

Medical device makers have been working to develop a so-called artificial pancreas to deliver insulin to patients with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys its own ability to make insulin and thus to properly break down sugar.

Even with treatment, eventually blood vessels and organs get damaged and patients can lose vision, organs and limbs. An estimated 3 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in childhood or in young adults.


Gough's team said their device could also work for people with type 2 diabetes, which is far more common and becoming worse. An estimated 180 million people globally have diabetes.

The implant used in the pig study is about 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) in diameter, and 5/8 inch (12.70 cm) thick. "We hope to make it smaller in the future," Gough said.

It transmits 10 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters).

The device uses a sensor that detects oxygen in the tissue where it is implanted to measure glucose. "The present artificial pancreases use needle-like sensors or wire-like sensors," Gough said. "This device is likely to be more appealing to people with diabetes. There is nothing protruding from the body."

To inject insulin or use an insulin pump, patients need input on blood glucose levels. Too little insulin and patients get damage from hyperglycemia, or too much blood sugar.

Too much insulin and hypoglycemia -- dangerously low blood sugar -- can send patients into a coma.

Gough foresees ways to have the glucose monitor send its signals to cell phones.

"There are parents with diabetic children who spend their nights worrying that their child in a nearby bedroom may go into nocturnal hypoglycemia," he said. An implanted sensor could wake a parent if the child's glucose levels dropped to a dangerous level.

Text Messages Push Diabetics to Record Blood-Sugar Levels

Text Messages Push Diabetics to Record Blood-Sugar Levels

WASHINGTON – What if my blood sugar's too high today? Is it time for my blood pressure pill? With nagging text messages or more customized two-way interactions, researchers are trying to use cellphones to help fight chronic diseases.

"I call it medical minutes," says Dr. Richard Katz of George Washington University Hospital in the nation's capital. He's testing whether inner-city diabetics, an especially hard-to-treat population, might better control their blood sugar, and thus save Medicaid dollars, by tracking their disease using Internet-connected cellphones, provided with reduced monthly rates as long as they regularly comply.

Consider Tyrone Harvey, 43, who learned he had diabetes seven years ago after getting so sick he was hospitalized for a week. He has struggled to lower his blood sugar ever since. In May, through a study Katz began with Howard University Hospital's diabetes clinic, Harvey received a Web-based personal health record that he clicks onto with his cellphone to record daily blood sugar measurements.

If Harvey enters a reading higher or lower than preset danger thresholds, a text automatically pings a warning, telling him what to do. At checkups, doctors will use the personal health record, created by Indiana-based, to track his fluctations and decide what steps to advise.

"Hopefully, you're paying more attention to your numbers, too," says Howard's Dr. Gail Nunlee-Bland, whose clinic uses an electronic health record that can automatically link to NoMoreClipboard's consumer version and update it with things like medication changes.

The trend is called mobile health or, to use tech-speak, mHealth. If you're a savvy smart phone user, you've probably seen lots of apps that claim to help your health or fitness goals, using your phone like a pedometer or an alarm clock to signal when it's time to take your medicine.

Katz and other researchers are scientifically testing whether personalized cellphone-based programs can link patients' care with their doctors' efforts in ways that might provide lasting health improvement.

"Mobile phones provide that opportunity for persons to get the feedback they need when they need it," says Charlene Quinn, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland medical school, who is testing a rival cellphone diabetes system from Welldoc Inc.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Tips for Managing Diabetes

Tips for Managing Diabetes

By the year 2025, it is estimated that approximately 380 million individuals worldwide will be affected by type 2 diabetes, according to the Archives of Internal Medicine.

With this world-wide exposure, the chances that you, a family member or someone you know will be affected by type 2 diabetes are considerable.

Therefore, it behooves all of us to understand at least a little about this disease and how we can reduce the likelihood that it will bring misery to us and our families.


Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. Insulin is a hormone that comes from the pancreas, a gland located just behind the stomach. When you eat, the pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. As insulin circulates, it acts like a key in unlocking microscopic doors that allow sugar to enter your cells. Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. As your blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.

Glucose, or sugar, is a main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues. Glucose comes from two major sources: the food you eat and your liver. After intestinal digestion and absorption, sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. Normally, sugar then enters cells with the help of insulin.

Type 1 diabetes, in which the body produces little or no insulin, is one of the most common chronic diseases in children. This type of diabetes tends to run in families and usually peaks around puberty.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in the United States and accounts for at least 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases, according to some estimates. In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells simply ignore the insulin.

Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adults over the age of 40 and is most common among adults over age 55. Although typically thought of as "adult onset," public health findings indicate that type 2 diabetes is an increasing problem for both children/teens and adults today. Why? More Americans are putting themselves at risk for type 2 diabetes primarily because of the growing problem of obesity. Lifestyle changes account for much of this increase. Increased consumption of soft drinks, eating larger portions of food and decreased levels of physical activity often are cited.


People ages 45 years or older who have one or more of the following characteristics are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes:

* Being more than 20 percent above ideal body weight or having a body mass index of 27 or higher;

* Having an immediate family member, including a mother, father, brother, or sister, with diabetes;

* Being African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic American, or Pacific Islander American;

* Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (lbs.) or having diabetes during pregnancy;

* Having blood pressure above 140/90.

* Having abnormal blood lipid levels, such as high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, cholesterol less than 35 mg, or triglycerides greater than 250 mg.

A diabetes prevention study, originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2001, is still relevant as it established several important findings:

* It was the first major clinical trial of Americans at high risk for type 2 diabetes to show that lifestyle changes in diet and exercise and losing a little weight can prevent or delay the disease. Participants who made lifestyle changes reduced their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

* The lifestyle intervention was effective for participants of all ages and all ethnic groups.

The study also indicated that patients who lost 5 percent of their body weight lowered their diabetes risk by about 61 percent. In addition, every 3 kilograms (approximately 6.6 pounds) decrease in weight resulted in doubling health benefits.


Preventing diabetes and the complications brought on by diabetes can be a lifelong battle.

Adhering to a diabetes treatment plan takes round-the-clock efforts and commitment. But such diabetes care can reduce your risk of serious complications. The Mayo Clinic encourages the following ten steps in diabetes care to enable you to enjoy a healthy life.

* Commit to managing your diabetes. Learn all you can about diabetes. Make healthy eating habits and physical activity part of your daily routine. Maintain a healthy weight. Regularly monitor your blood sugar level and follow your doctor's instructions for keeping your blood sugar level within your target range.

* Quit smoking.If you smoke or use other types of tobacco, quit. Smoking increases your risk of various diabetes complications, including heart attack, stroke, nerve damage and kidney disease. In fact, smokers who have diabetes are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than are nonsmokers who have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

* Control your blood pressure and cholesterol. Like diabetes, high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels. High cholesterol is a concern, too, since the damage is often worse and more rapid when you have diabetes. When these conditions team up, they can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening conditions. Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly play important roles in controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol.

* Schedule yearly physicals and regular eye exams. Your regular diabetes checkups are not intended to replace yearly physicals or routine eye exams. During the physical, your doctor will look for any diabetes-related complications -- including signs of kidney damage, nerve damage and heart disease -- as well as screen for other medical problems. In addition, your eye care specialist will check for signs of retinal damage, cataracts and glaucoma.

* Keep all vaccines up to date. High blood sugar can often weaken your immune system, which makes routine vaccines more important than ever. A yearly flu vaccine can help you stay healthy during flu season, as well as prevent serious complications from the flu. Sometimes the pneumonia vaccine requires only one shot. If you have diabetes complications or you're age 65 or older, you may need a five-year booster shot. Lastly, stay up to date with your tetanus shot and its 10-year boosters and ask your doctor about the hepatitis B vaccine. Depending on the circumstances, your doctor may recommend other vaccines as well.

* Maintain good dental health. Diabetes may leave you susceptible to gum infections. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss your teeth at least once a day. Schedule dental exams at least twice a year. Consult your dentist immediately if your gums bleed or look red or swollen.

* Pay close attention to your feet and maintain good foot care. High blood sugar can damage the nerves in your feet and reduce blood flow to your feet. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can lead to serious infections. Check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness or swelling. Consult your doctor if you have a sore or other foot problem that doesn't heal within a few days.

* Take a daily aspirin. Aspirin helps to reduce the blood's ability to clot. Taking a daily aspirin can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, which are major concerns if you suffer from diabetes. In fact, daily aspirin therapy is recommended for most people who have diabetes. But be sure and ask your doctor about daily aspirin therapy, including which strength of aspirin would be best.

* If you drink alcohol, do so responsibly. Alcohol can cause low blood sugar, depending on how much you drink and if you eat at the same time. If you choose to drink, do so only in moderation.

* Control your stress levels. If you're stressed, it's easy to overlook your usual diabetes care routine. The hormones your body may produce in response to prolonged stress may prevent insulin from working properly, which only makes matters worse. Take control and set limits. Prioritize your tasks. Learn relaxation techniques. Another great tip - get plenty of rest and sleep.


Poor blood flow to the feet or nerve damage in the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections. Severe damage might require toe, foot or even leg amputation. It is also important to take good care of your feet by following these tips:

* Inspect your feet daily. Check your feet for blisters, cuts, sores, redness or swelling once a day. Even a single blister can lead to an infection that won't heal.

* Wash your feet daily. Wash your feet in lukewarm water once a day. Dry them gently, especially between the toes.

* Don't go barefoot. Protect your feet with comfortable socks and shoes, even indoors. Make sure new shoes fit well. Wear socks made of fibers that pull (wick) sweat away from your skin, such as cotton and special acrylic fibers -- not nylon. Avoid those with tight elastic bands that reduce circulation or that are thick or bulky. Bulky socks often fit poorly, and a poor fit can irritate your skin.

* Practice good foot care. Trim your nails straight across. If you have any nail problems or poor feeling in your feet, consult your doctor immediately.


Several recent studies report new evidence that drinking coffee may help prevent diabetes and that caffeine may be the ingredient largely responsible for this effect.

According to a new study in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, drinking coffee -- and lots of it -- may help prevent Type 2 Diabetes.

It's due to the caffeine, claim the scientists from Nagoya University in Japan.

Their findings, among the first animal studies to demonstrate this apparent link, appear in the June issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Fumihiko Horio, Ph.D. Department of Applied Molecular Bioscience at Nagoya University, and colleagues from Nagoya University note that past studies have suggested that regular coffee drinking may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The scientists gave either water or coffee to a group of laboratory mice commonly used to study diabetes. They found that coffee consumption prevented the development of high blood sugar and also improved insulin sensitivity in the mice, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes. Coffee also caused several other beneficial changes in fatty liver, which is a disorder where fat builds up in liver cells, primarily in obese people. Additional lab studies showed that caffeine may be "one of the most effective anti-diabetic compounds in coffee," according to the scientists.

Another study published in the December 2009 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine reports that individuals who drink more coffee (regular or decaffeinated) or tea appear to have a lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

By the year 2025, approximately 380 million individuals worldwide will be affected by Type 2 Diabetes, according to background information in the article.

"Despite considerable research attention, the role of specific dietary and lifestyle factors remains uncertain, although obesity and physical inactivity have consistently been reported to raise the risk of diabetes," the authors write.

Rachel Huxley of The George Institute for International Health at the University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues identified 18 studies involving 457,922 participants and assessing the association between coffee consumption and diabetes risk published between 1966 and 2009. When the authors combined and analyzed the data, they found that each additional cup of coffee consumed in a day was associated with a 7 percent reduction in the excess risk of diabetes. Individuals who drank three to four cups per day had an approximately 25 percent lower risk than those who drank between zero and two cups per day.

In addition, in the studies that assessed decaffeinated coffee consumption, those who drank more than three to four cups per day had about a one-third lower risk of diabetes than those who drank none. Those who drank more than three to four cups of tea had a one-fifth lower risk than those who drank no tea.

"That the apparent protective effect of tea and coffee consumption appears to be independent of a number of potential confounding variables raises the possibility of direct biological effects," the authors write.

Remember, diabetes care is within your control. If you're willing to do your part, diabetes won't prevent you from enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin

Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin


Type 2 diabetes affects approximately 8 percent of adults in the United States. Some risk factors — elevated plasma glucose concentrations in the fasting state and after an oral glucose load, overweight, and a sedentary lifestyle — are potentially reversible. We hypothesized that modifying these factors with a lifestyle-intervention program or the administration of metformin would prevent or delay the development of diabetes.


We randomly assigned 3234 nondiabetic persons with elevated fasting and post-load plasma glucose concentrations to placebo, metformin (850 mg twice daily), or a lifestyle-modification program with the goals of at least a 7 percent weight loss and at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. The mean age of the participants was 51 years, and the mean body-mass index (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) was 34.0; 68 percent were women, and 45 percent were members of minority groups.


The average follow-up was 2.8 years. The incidence of diabetes was 11.0, 7.8, and 4.8 cases per 100 person-years in the placebo, metformin, and lifestyle groups, respectively. The lifestyle intervention reduced the incidence by 58 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 48 to 66 percent) and metformin by 31 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 17 to 43 percent), as compared with placebo; the lifestyle intervention was significantly more effective than metformin. To prevent one case of diabetes during a period of three years, 6.9 persons would have to participate in the lifestyle-intervention program, and 13.9 would have to receive metformin.


Lifestyle changes and treatment with metformin both reduced the incidence of diabetes in persons at high risk. The lifestyle intervention was more effective than metformin.

New Therapies Slow Vision Loss in Diabetics

New Therapies Slow Vision Loss in Diabetics

Researchers have found two new treatments that could slow the progression of vision loss in high-risk adults with type 2 diabetes. The vision loss, called diabetic retinopathy, is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina. In diabetics with retinopathy, the blood vessels can leak and causing the retina to swell. Abnormal new blood vessels can also develop which causes vision loss.
In the largest study of its kind to date, trial investigators followed 2,865 type 2 diabetics. Just under 50 percent of patients had mild retinopathy at the start of the trial. Over a four-year period, researchers took retinal photographs that recorded any changes in the blood vessels and the progression of retinopathy.

"Many people with diabetes have microvascular problems, which can result in problems with the kidneys and amputation of toes and feet, and the only place that you can directly observe the microvasculature is in the back of the eyes," said Walter Ambrosius, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and principal investigator of the ACCORD Eye Study. "What we have seen in the eyes is potentially an indicator of what is happening in other parts of the body."

Patients in the study were given three types of treatments. Therapy to control and normalize their blood sugar, treatments to control blood pressure and bring it within normal levels and a combination of lipid and fenofibrate therapy. Fenofibrates are cholesterol-lowering drugs that lower triglycerides-fat stored in the body–and raise HDL levels, also known as good cholesterol.

They found both the intensive blood sugar control and the combination therapy decreased the progression of vision loss by one-third. The third treatment, statin therapy plus a placebo had no effect.

"Previous clinical trials have shown the beneficial effects of intensive blood sugar control on slowing the progression of diabetic retinopathy in people with type 1 diabetes or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes," said Paul Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health. "The ACCORD Eye Study expands these findings to a larger population of adults who had type 2 diabetes for an average of 10 years, and demonstrates that the eye benefits from the reduction of glucose below previously established levels."

But researchers said there was one safety concern. Patients in the intensive blood sugar control arm of the study had a higher risk of severe low blood sugar and death. The National Eye Institute says doctors need to consider these risks when discussing a treatment plan with their patients.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Bone 'Turnover' Link to Diabetes

Bone 'Turnover' Link to Diabetes

The skeleton has a key role in regulating blood sugar and may be the underlying cause of diabetes in some people, say US researchers.

A study in mice found that the breakdown of old bone to make way for new bone growth also helps to keep a healthy level of glucose in the blood.

A hormone called osteocalcin seems to be the link, it showed.

The Columbia team, writing in Cell, say the findings may lead to better drugs to help control Type 2 diabetes.

Study leader Dr Gerard Karsenty, from Columbia University Medical Center, had already done work showing osteocalcin, which is released by bone, can regulate glucose levels.

It switches on the production of insulin in the pancreas which in turn improves the ability of other cells to take in glucose from the blood.

But in the latest study, he found that osteocalcin only works when bone is being broken down during its natural turnover.

Further tests on osteocalcin and glucose levels in a small group of patients with a genetic defect in their bone turnover supported the initial findings in mice.

'Important implications'

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the condition and is caused when the body no longer properly responds to insulin leading to out of control blood sugar.

The results suggest that for some people, diabetes may be triggered by changes in the skeleton.

Also drugs designed to stimulate this link between bone and insulin may lead to better treatments for type 2 diabetes, he adds.

One important consequence of the finding is that bone-strengthening drugs used in conditions such as osteoporosis may interfere with this process and cause problems with blood sugar.

"This research has important implications for both diabetes and osteoporosis patients," he said.

"First, this research shows that osteocalcin is involved in diabetes onset

"Secondly, bone may become a new target in the treatment of type 2 diabetes as it appears to contribute strongly to glucose intolerance

"And finally, osteocalcin could become a treatment for type 2 diabetes."

Dr Victoria King, head of research at Diabetes UK, said: "The research is interesting and this area of investigation could open up the possibility of more targets for drugs to treat or prevent type 2 diabetes."

But she warned the research was in the very early stages.

"What we do know at this stage is that lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet and being more physically active can help to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and can also help people diagnosed with the condition to manage it more effectively."

Friday, 23 July 2010

Learning to Cope With Diabetes

Learning to Cope With Diabetes

There are three different types of diabetes that are very common today. Diabetes effects millions of people around the world and it can be a life threatening disease if it is not properly treated or treated in time. Many people may not even know that they have diabetes. That is why it is so important to talk to your doctor about your family history and get regular checkups with your doctor.

Getting the right medications for your health conditions is very important. With the right medicines and a good exercise program, along with a good diet, you should be able to take care of yourself with only some limitations. You can lead a very normal life if you have diabetes. Of course you do have to take the right care of it.

Some people are choosing to only try natural remedies, which can benefit your diabetes symptoms almost as well as a prescribed medicine, but others may not have a choice but to have insulin injections, sometimes as often as six times per day. Listening to your health care physician is vital after being diagnosed with diabetes. He will be able to assist you on what types of medicines that you will need. He will also talk to you more about which kind of exercise program you will need to start on. And, of course, your diet which is vital to maintain.

After being diagnosed with diabetes you will have to monitor your blood sugar levels every single day. Your doctor might even ask you to keep a journal on these daily readings so that he will have the ability to view them upon your follow up visits. This will keep him informed on your progress and allow him to make any slight adjustments that may be needed to your medications. He will be able to determine by these daily readings if your medications,diet and exercise program are helping you as much as they should be. If not, then he will know what needs to be done from there. It is important to keep up with this kind of information for him so you will have the proper treatments.

Different Types of Diabetes

There are three different types of diabetes that are very common today.

Type1 Type2 Gestational

When a woman becomes pregnant she will find that during the last trimester of her pregnancy her doctor will be checking her for what is called gestational diabetes. Usually if a woman is diagnosed with this type of diabetes during pregnancy, after giving birth, their glucose levels will go back to normal. The risk of diabetes is still there, up to 10 years after delivery or if she has a family history of diabetes. If a woman develops this type of diabetes during her pregnancy, her child will be at higher risk of becoming diabetic sometime throughout their life.

The most common type of diabetes is Type 2 diabetes. This is the kind of diabetes where the patient is not dependent on insulin shots. Being overweight has a lot to do with someone getting this type of diabetes, however, that is not the only thing to blame for it. With some people it may be genetic while with others it is caused by a high blood pressure level. Becoming physically active can help when treating this type of diabetes, along with a proper diet and medicine that your doctor will prescribe. He can give you an exercise program to follow along with the right kinds of food you should be eating. Number one rule is-follow your doctors orders fully.

The other kind of diabetes is Type 1 diabetes. This type is usually caused by pure genetics or your diet. This type of diabetes means that you are insulin dependent. Depending on the severity of this type of diabetes will determine how many shots you will need each and every day. As with the other types of diabetes it is vital that you put yourself on a regular exercise program along with a proper diet. Always get regular check ups with your family doctor. The patients pancreas is not producing any amount of insulin at all and that is the reason it is called autoimmune diabetes. If not treated properly and promptly, this can be the most dangerous one of all.

Enjoying Sweets With Your Diabetes

Many people believe that people with diabetes can not, in any way, have the enjoyments of indulging occasionally or ever, in getting to eat sweets. Those of you who are suffering with diabetes, if you do not already know, will be very happy to hear that you can in fact enjoy those sweet pleasures once in awhile. It is all about moderation, not just for people suffering from diabetes, but for everyone. The problem with any foods that are bad for us, is that so many of us eat entirely too much.

Studies have shown that people with diabetes that do enjoy the occasional sweets do have to worry about their blood sugars rising a little bit too quickly, but that also happens with any kinds of fatty carbohydrate foods that a diabetic might eat. I am not telling all diabetics to go out and get sweets anytime they please but just that if you choose to, if you crave it, if you feel like you need it, go for it, just do not over indulge yourself too much ok. It is important to keep your blood sugar in check at all times when you have diabetes.

If you do decide you want sweets one evening, just plan for the occasion, eat less carbohydrates throughout the day to give your body a fair shot at a tasty treat. Just remember to watch your portions. If you are creating your own special sweets then perhaps you could consider substituting the real sugar for one of the new substitues . That is very helpful when trying to watch your weight and also keeping an eye on your blood sugar levels. Having diabetes does not mean that you are going to suffer from now on with cravings that you can not ever satisfy.

Drinking Coffee For Diabetes

Now for the really good news for coffee drinkers. It has been discovered that drinking caffeine coffee actually reduces your risks of becoming a diabetic and it also helps in the many types of treatments for people who have type 2 diabetes. Many people may not be aware of this, so you should all consider doing a little research on the ways that coffee can actually help your health and talk it over with your family doctor. Several studies have been done on whether or not this is really accurate and the results are overwhelming in the ways that coffee can actually help your health. Usually women have more of a resistance to insulin than men do, so women may benefit from this knowledge more than anyone else. The fact of the matter is that with these studies, they have actually found that the risks for diabetes is going down somewhat with the increase of coffee consumption. Many people might be really happy with these findings because drinking coffee is something that many people all around the world enjoy, usually on an everyday basis.

If you are suffering from type 2 diabetes, drinking coffee several times a day will help with your insulin secretion because of the effects coffee has on your gastrointestinal hormones throughout your body. You can lower your glucose absorption rate and lessen your chances of futher complications by having a cup of coffee daily. Not only does your consumption of caffeine coffees help reduce your risks of diabetes and helps in treating some diabetes, it will also help in controlling a woman’s cholesterol levels.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Diabetes and Heat Related Problems

Diabetes and Heat Related Problems

Past research indicates that people with diabetes have an increased number of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths due to heat illness during hot weather. Researchers point out several possible reasons for this trend.

Heat Related Problems for Diabetics

The presentation "Diabetes in the Desert: What Do Patients Know About the Heat?" was offered at The Endocrine Society's 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Researchers from Mayo Clinic in Arizona, collaborating with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service, analyzed 152 surveys from diabetic patients in Phoenix, Arizona. Researchers concluded that diabetics in hot climates need to be aware off how heat affects their disease, according to lead researcher Adrienne Nassar, MD, third-year medical resident at Mayo Clinic.

"People with diabetes have an impaired ability to sweat, which predisposes them to heat-related illness, as do uncontrolled, high blood sugars," Nassar said. "Many patients surveyed had suboptimal glycemic control during the summer, possibly increasing their risk of dehydration."

One in five survey respondents reported that they do not take precautions until temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. "Heat illness can take place at 80 to 90 degrees when you factor in the heat index," Nassar said.

About fifty percent of patients could define heat index, which is a combination of air temperature and humidity. The danger with high humidity is that it slows the evaporation of perspiration, interferring with the body's ability to cool itself.

Hot Weather and Diabetes Medications

While the body struggles to maintain balance, heat can also interfere with the performance of diabetes medications and supplies. "Oral medications as well as insulin have a therapeutic temperature range above which they lose efficacy," Nassar said. The drug insert provides information regarding proper storage temperatures.

While 73 percent of participants in the study acknowledged that they had received information about the harmful effects of heat on insulin, only 39 percent recalled information regarding the adverse effects of heat on oral diabetes medications, 41 percent knew about the effects of heat on glucose meters, and 38 percent recalled the effects on glucose test strips.

Among those who know that heat is harmful to their medications and glucose-testing supplies, 37 percent chose to leave them at home to avoid the risk of heat exposure. But that creates added risk.

"If they are unable to check their blood sugars while they are away from home, that's unsafe," Nassar said.

"Increasingly more people with diabetes are living in places characterized by hot weather. Patient education focusing on diabetes management in hot climates is needed," she said.

Diabetes, Hot Weather, and Age-Related Risks

According to a review in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), describing the effect of heat on human physiology and factors for increased risk of heat stress, people over age 60 with chronic illnesses fall in the high-ris category.

Laboratory-based physiologic studies were reported, indicating that in older individuals, the ability to detect heat is reduced. Also the physiological response to heat allowing adequate blood distribution and sweating to cool the body is slower. Older individuals also demonstrate delayed response to thirst and they take longer to recover from dehydration.

Management of Diabetes and Heat Related Risks

Education for persons with diabetes is necessary so these individuals are aware of specific risks. Impaired ability to cool the body, along with adverse effects on medicine and supplies cause problems in hot climates. People over age 60 may be at the greatest risk.

Shot May Reverse Type 1 Diabetes

Shot May Reverse Type 1 Diabetes

BOSTON - Medical researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are currently testing if a long-used vaccine – a simple shot or series of shots over time -- could reverse Type 1 diabetes, News Center 5's Bianca de la Garza reported Sunday. Ben Rosenthal has lived with diabetes since his diagnosis at just 13 months. By the age of 5, he needed five to 10 shots of insulin a day to control his blood sugar."When the kids brought in birthday cake, I couldn't have it," he said.

Rosenthal never knew when a diabetic shock would set in. "You, like, go to sleep and wake up in the hospital. It's really scary."

He now uses an insulin pump, instead of shots, to control his diabetes. That switch has made managing his disease easier, but Dr. Denise Faustman wants something even better for her diabetic patients.

"Permanent disease reversal," she said.

Faustman said she thinks a vaccine called bacillus Calmette-Guerin, or BGC for short, could reverse type one diabetes in humans. The vaccine has been around for 80 years, used safely to treat tuberculosis and bladder infections.

The BGC vaccine costs about $15 per dose. Faustman's research showed that the shot got rid of type one diabetes in mice.

"We got rid of bad white blood cells, and the pancreas regenerates so they self-healed," she said.

About a dozen diabetes sufferers have been coming to Mass. General to get the BCG vaccine for about 2 1/2 years.

The side effects are minor. Patients have reported some inflammation at the shot site and, occasionally, a slight fever.

"The question is, can we use this old-fashioned, cheap drug and find out the right dosing to decrease the bad white blood cells so the pancreas can kick in?" Faustman said.

According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, as many as 3 million Americans live with Type 1 diabetes. Forty children are newly diagnosed each day in the United States alone. Type 1 is less common than Type 2, or adult-onset diabetes, which is largely caused by poor diet and a lack of exercise.

Faustman concedes that if her research is ultimately proven effective, there are some who stand to lose. She estimates that type 1 diabetes care in the U.S. alone is a $15-17 billion per year industry.

Rosenthal hopes for a possible breakthrough that he's been waiting for his whole life."

I would relax. I would just live my life live normally, [it would be] really peaceful for me. It would be amazing," he said.

Monday, 19 July 2010

How To Delay Or Avoid Type 2 Diabetes

How To Delay Or Avoid Type 2 Diabetes

How To Delay Or Avoid Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease caused by the inability of the body to properly produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body convert food to energy. In type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin at all. This type of diabetes is usually diagnosed during childhood. In type 2 diabetes the body does not produce enough insulin or it produces insulin which is ineffective in regulating the body’s blood sugar levels. This type of diabetes is usually diagnosed later in life and is commonly called adult onset diabetes.

Diabetes is an important health concern because incidence of the disease worldwide is increasing. It is also associated with other health risks and is expensive to treat and control. Also, diabetes is a major cause of death worldwide.

The number of cases of diabetes is increasing around the world. The incidence of diabetes in 1995 numbered about 135 million worldwide, about 4.0% of the population. Diabetes affected 170 million people in 2000 and is projected to affect about 300 million people by 2025, about 5.4% of the population. India, China, and the United States have the largest number of cases.

In a recent year direct medical expenses in the United States for diabetes totaled billion, up from billion five years earlier, according to the American Diabetes Association. Another billion was spent on permanent disability expenses. Care for diabetes represents about 11% of the total health care expenditures in the United States. In 1997 annual health care costs for a person with diabetes averaged ,071 and increased to ,243 by 2002. That annual rate is more than 5 times greater than the average annual health care costs for a person without diabetes. Also diabetes accounted for an annual loss of about 88 million disability days.

The mortality rate for people with diabetes runs about 5.2% of all deaths according to the World Health Organization. In 2000 about 2.9 million deaths worldwide were caused by diabetes. In another 4.5 million deaths diabetes was a contributing factor.

The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented from ever developing. Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they nearly always develop the condition known as “pre-diabetes.” This condition occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Studies have shown that people with a pre-diabetic condition can control the condition with lifestyle changes or with medicine. With reasonable treatment they can greatly increase their chances that they will never develop diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association created a publication called, “The Prevention or Delay of Type 2 Diabetes.” The following are some of the findings and recommendations from the ADA.

About 41 million Americans have the pre-diabetic condition. There are two tests commonly used by physicians to determine whether a person has pre-diabetes. One test is called the fasting plasma glucose test, or FPG, and the other is called the oral glucose tolerance test, or OGTT. Both tests have a normal range and a diabetic range. The range in between indicates the pre-diabetic condition.

The FPG test is more convenient to patients, less expensive, and easier to administer than the OGTT test. On the other hand the OGTT will detect more cases of glucose intolerance and undiagnosed diabetes than the FTP test. Either test should be repeated in 3 year intervals.

Once a diabetic or pre-diabetic condition has been diagnosed, a person has two choices of treatment. One strategy is to use lifestyle modifications such as a change in diet and an increase in physical activity, and the other strategy is to use glucose-lowering drugs that have been approved for treating diabetes. Studies indicate that the drug therapy is about half as effective as the diet and exercise therapy in delaying the onset of diabetes. Lifestyle changes have been proven effective as a way to prevent type 2 diabetes from developing from the pre-diabetic condition. Diet and exercise, in many cases, are able to return the blood glucose levels to the normal range.

Lifestyle changes include a combination of losing 5% to 10% of body weight, reducing total fat calorie intake, reducing saturated fat calorie intake, increasing fiber intake, and exercising at least 150 minutes per week. One study, called the Diabetes Prevention Program study, showed that a treatment using the combination of 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity and a 5% to 10% reduction in body weight resulted in a 58% reduction in the incidence of diabetes.

The type of physical activity recommended by the ADA includes aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises. The goal of the aerobic exercise is to increase heart rate, raise the breathing rate, and exercise the muscles. The goal is to exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week. The 30 minutes can be split into 10 minute intervals. This type of activity includes brisk walking or running, dancing, swimming or water aerobics, skating, tennis, bike riding, gardening, and house cleaning. Strength training, performed several times a week, helps to build more muscle, making everyday chores easier, and helps to burn more calories, even at rest. Flexibility exercise, simple stretching, helps to keep joints flexible and helps to reduce chances for injury during other activities.

Dietary changes are an important part of a pre-diabetes treatment. A body mass index test (BMI) can be administered and calculated easily. A BMI test result that is greater than 25 means that a person is above their ideal weight and a person with a BMI result greater than 30 is considered obese. The goal in the first instance is to decrease body weight by 5% and in the second instance by up to 10%. It is recommended that a person consult a physician who can help to develop a dietary plan that will achieve the desired weight loss.

The effects of type 2 diabetes are expensive and dangerous to one’s health. Fortunately, diabetes can be delayed or prevented by adopting a reasonable program of diet, weight control, and exercise.

Natural Diabetes Treatment - New Hope

Natural Diabetes Treatment - New Hope

Diabetes is the No. 6 leading causes of deaths in the United States, according to 2001 data from the United States National Center for Health Statistics.

Types 1 and 2 are diseases in which your body loses its ability to use or produce insulin, a hormone vital in controlling blood sugar levels. A high blood sugar level, or hyperglycemia, is a potentially fatal condition that requires immediate attention. The University of Michigan Health System lists these warning signs that your blood sugar may be getting too high:

1.- Blurred vision.

2.- Dry mouth.

3.- Excessive thirst.

4.- Increased urination.

5.- Fatigue.

Diabetes treatments aim at preventing hyperglycemia and also the damage it can cause to internal organs. Most diabetes treatments, especially the less “heavy-duty” natural ones, are also useful at preventing diabetes amongst those considered at high risk.

More and more people today are looking for a natural remedy for diabetes that can at least supplement conventional treatment and hopefully lessen the need for pharmaceuticals. This is understandable, as diabetes is a lifetime condition with no cure. Therefore a diabetes treatment that is natural, and prevents the need for insulin regular shots, is always sought after. There has been research done into a number of naturally occurring supplements and one in particular, alpha lipoic acid has shown promise as a natural diabetes treatment.

Introducing Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

ALA is of the most potent and active antioxidants known. Known, that is, to scientists. It is little known as a supplement, yet it is an incredibly versatile molecule. The body actually makes enough alpha lipoic acid to perform some basic metabolic functions. However, it only acts as an antioxidant, and an effective treatment for diabetes, when it is above the body’s threshold of what it requires for these basic functions. The only way to get an excess is, of course, to take supplements – but will it work as a diabetes treatment if you do?

Well, a recent study done by a medical center in Russia, in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, found that ALA, or alpha lipoic acid, reduced the frequency and severity of diabetes symptoms. The March 2003 issue of the magazine Diabetes Care published the findings about diabetes treatment with ALA. What was surprising was how quickly the body responded to ALA’s use. Here are the other findings:

1.- There were no marked side effects

2.- There was a great improvement in the damage to the nerves caused by the condition

3.- There was a noticeable lessening of pain

4.- There was a 5.7 total score improvement in those who took ALA as a diabetes treatment. Those who took a placebo were recorded as having an improvement of just 1.8.

This naturally occurring compound may just be the diabetes treatment needed to stop the escalating numbers of diabetes patients, and diabetes fatalities, all over the world. It is an effective antioxidant and has been found to prevent vitamin E and vitamin C deficiency. Besides diabetes treatment, studies have shown that it could be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

One Shot Solution for Diabetes Soon

One Shot Solution for Diabetes Soon

There may be a new hope for India’s more than 40 million diabetics, many of whom have to inject themselves with insulin a number of times during the in order to manage their disease. A team of Indian researchers have created a form of insulin that they say lasts for up to 120 days in rats and mice, with only a single injection.

If successful in humans, a single insulin injection could last for several days.

“People are afraid of pricking themselves and this leads to problems of patient compliance,” Avadhesha Surolia, acting director of the Delhi-based National Institute of Immunology and one of the researchers, told HT.

“Since insulin is still the best treatment for diabetes, we set out to create a form of insulin that provides a controlled release.”

Although the researchers focused on type 1 diabetes, in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing mechanism, it could also work for type 2, the form known as ‘adult onset’.

The research took three years, and the findings are scheduled to appear sometime this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences. The findings have already been licensed to an American company, which will test the new form of insulin in humans.

The number of people affected with diabetes is predicted to rise sharply in the coming years. Research has shown that

Indians are more prone to develop diabetes thanks to a high-fat diet and a tendency to gain weight in the abdomen.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Flintshire Coma Husband Speaks of Diabetes Risk

Flintshire Coma Husband Speaks of Diabetes Risk

A husband whose wife suffered severe brain damage after slipping into a diabetic coma is urging greater awareness of the disease.

Pete Williams's wife Margaret, 53, of Shotton, Flintshire, suffered a hypoglycaemic attack (low blood sugar) last Christmas Day.

"I didn't realise that people with type 2 diabetes could have 'hypos'," said Mr Williams, 50.

Diabetes UK Cymru said attacks can be treated quickly with carbohydrates.

Mr Williams, a former factory worker and mobile DJ who also has type 2 diabetes, explained that his wife was diagnosed with diabetes 18 months ago.

"Her blood glucose levels were very stable and she was managing it well," he said.

However just before Christmas she had begun to feel unwell and weak. She was prescribed antibiotics for an infection and had not eaten properly for a few days.

"That night we were up until 2am talking and she opened her first Christmas presents," said Mr Williams.

"I got up at 8.30am to walk our dogs and I thought she was sleeping it off, as that's what she always did when she was ill and she never got up before 11am.

"But by the afternoon I realised she hadn't moved and I tried to rouse her but got no response."

Mr Williams said he phoned for an ambulance and when paramedics arrived they discovered Mrs Williams' blood glucose level reading was low enough to be classed as a 'hypo' - a hypoglycaemic attack.

After being rushed to hospital, he was told his wife had brain damage and swelling to the brain.

"When she was taken into hospital the damage was already done," he said.

"I didn't think she would survive but she did."

Signs of improvement

Now living in a care home, Margaret is having physiotherapy and receiving aural and visual stimulation to aid her recovery.

"She has shown slow but steady signs of improvement," said Mr Williams.

"She has increased awareness and occasionally she has little moments of lucidity."

Diabetes UK said signs of hypos include feeling hungry, trembling or shakiness, sweating, anxiety or irritability, going pale, fast pulse or palpitations, tingling of the lips and blurred vision.

Signs of a more severe hypo include difficulty in concentrating, vagueness or confusion and irrational behaviour.

The group said anyone with diabetes who notices a hypo warning should quickly take a quick-acting carbohydrate such as a non-diet drink, three or more glucose tablets, five sweets such as jelly babies or a glass of fruit juice.

Dai Williams, national director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: "What happened to Margaret is tragic but it is, thankfully, a very rare complication.

"It is an important reminder that people on certain medication for Type 2 diabetes can have hypos which, when identified early, can be treated very quickly with a quick-acting carbohydrate as long as the person is conscious."

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Gestational Diabetes Can Have Lasting Effects

Gestational Diabetes Can Have Lasting Effects

Gestational diabetes affects 200,000 pregnant women in the United States each year.

New research in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that the more severe the case, the higher the risk of developing adult diabetes.

Joanne Gelsthorpe was seven months pregnant when she was diagnosed gestational diabetes.

"I lost my sweet tooth during pregnancy, and so at that point, I didn't think I was at any risk," she said.

But she took a three-hour glucose challenge test that showed her blood sugar had spiked.

The condition generally goes away after a woman gives birth, but a study of 185,000 expectant moms suggest those who get gestational diabetes are at higher risk of developing diabetes later in life.

“A woman who is being treated with medication for her gestational diabetes, she's at an eight-fold higher risk of developing diabetes within 10 years,” said Dr. Spyros Mezitis of New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital.

Pregnant women can help cut their risks of developing adult diabetes.

“A woman with gestational diabetes needs to be very careful with her lifestyle after delivering her baby, which means a woman has to watch her weight," Mezitis said. "She has to be eating well, avoiding the sweets, and she has to be exercising."

Gelsthorpe said she has already made big changes to her diet.

“Anything white I had to cut out of my diet, white potatoes, white bread, white sugar, anything processed, I knew all that had to go,” she said.

Children born to mothers with gestational diabetes tend to be larger and suffer from jaundice. So eating right is not just critical for keeping mom healthy, but also for baby.

A Diabetes Breakthrough From India

A Diabetes Breakthrough From India

New Delhi: A team of Indian scientists has discovered a novel form of insulin that could drastically reduce the suffering diabetics face in controlling their blood sugar.

For the diabetics, daily painful pinpricks to inject doses of insulin is a routine affair, now in a new discovery scientists claim a single shot of insulin could help keep sugar levels under control for more than a month. Today the effect of each insulin injection lasts at best for a day.

India is considered the diabetes capital of the world, with as many as 50 million people suffering from this chronic disease, so any new discovery is welcomed with open arms.

The team spent two million rupees and took two years to come with this novel solution. These scientists have already patented the technology, commercialized it and the new insulin could well become a big money spinner in times to come, feels the man who discovered this new form of insulin.

"It is a multi-million dollar technology transfer agreement with royalties once the product goes to the market and if I am not wrong it is one of the biggest scientific innovations to have come from a government owned research laboratory," said Professor Avadhesha Surolia, Director, National Immunology Institute, New Delhi.

The researchers treated natural human insulin at varying temperatures and chemical conditions and one such special formulation does the magic. In experiments done on rats, mice and rabbits the team could control the sugar levels like of these diabetic rats simply by giving an injection once every three months.

Imagine having to do away with multiple injections everyday to control the sugar problem. The simplicity of the discovery and its huge potential has attracted immediate attention.

"Both conceptually and for clinical practice it is an exciting discovery because it uses natural chemically unchanged insulin and clinically it is useful because it provides ease for patients by reducing the number of pin pricks," said Dr Ambrish Mithal, Diabetologist and president, Endocrine Society of India.

It is not often that new drug is discovered in India, but its use in humans could still be many years away.

The new insulin molecule discovered by Indians in India could become a blockbuster drug in times to come as it holds a lot of promise, currently being tested on animals like on rats, it will soon undergo human trials and then it may become available as drug for the treatment of diabetes.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

New Technique to Relax Diabetes Patients

New Technique to Relax Diabetes Patients


Soon, insulin-dependent diabetic patients may be able to lead a more relaxed life, without having to constantly monitor their glucose levels and frequently take insulin shots.A team of scientists at the National Institute of Immunology here, led by its Director Avadhesha Surolia, has developed a technique by which it may be possible for patients to take a shot of insulin just once every four to five months.

Speaking to The Hindu, Dr. Surolia said that trials with mice and rabbit models had shown that a single dose was enough to maintain a basal level of insulin in their system for more than 120 days.

Interestingly, the team has been able to achieve this without the use of any chemical additives or a device such as a pump or a patch. Their technique primarily involved getting individual molecules of insulin to come together and form multi-molecular or supra-molecular assemblies.

Dr. Surolia, who is also a professor at the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science's Molecular Biophysics Unit, said the team has basically used the principles of protein folding to harness the inherent aggregative property of insulin molecules to generate a form that exhibited a controlled and sustained release of the molecules over prolonged periods.

“The just above basal level of human insulin released in a sustained manner has been found to be effective in not only controlling the upsurge in the level of blood glucose after meals, but also in preventing the dreaded early morning hypoglycaemia, which is caused by low glucose levels.”

The technology has been transferred to a U.S.-based company for further development including clinical trials. The new agent could be available in the market in about six years after all the trials and other formalities are completed, he said.

The tests on mice and rabbits were conducted using bovine and recombinant human insulin. A single dose using bovine insulin was able to give coverage for over 120 days while that with recombinant human insulin sustained over 140 days.

Noting that some of the combinations of insulin analogues that are currently used have been linked to an increased cancer risk, Dr. Surolia said the new agent bypassed this problem. Also, it did not lead to the activation of enzymes that destroy insulin.

A major issue with diabetes management with the current practice of multiple injections in a day was the fear of pricking oneself every now and then. Many a time, this led to the patient not adhering to the treatment in toto, resulting in complications such as diabetic cardiopathy, cataract and nephropathy.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Diabetes Complications ? Know Before it Grabs You

Diabetes Complications ? Know Before it Grabs You

Diabetes is a growing concern around the world and currently developing as one of the major threats for human health with an explosive increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes worldwide. Approximately 29 million Americans age 20 or older have diabetes. But almost one-third even don’t know that they have the disease and are at risk for vision loss, kidney failure and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes complications don’t just appear from one moment to the next. It is a process that accumulates itself after years of body decay. In order to combat this future state, the best way to do it is proper diet, exercises and regular blood sugar check ups.

Diabetes can damage many of the body systems leading to such serious medical complications as heart disease (heart attack, stroke) blindness (due to retinopathy) kidney damage, impotence in men, amputations from gangrene and or from damage to nerves (neuropathy).

Another major complication of diabetes is foot gangrene. It is typically caused by a combination of limb ischemia (tissue death) as the result of arterial occlusive disease, most commonly atherosclerosis, injury and poor healing, usually combined with a superimposed infection.

Ways to Prevent Diabetes Complications

To prevent diabetes complications, you need to take care of your diet first. If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, very likely your health, obesity level, and normal diet are not very good. Most adults diagnosed with diabetes have a very common history of eating too many harmful foods and having a very poor diet practices.

You need to take proper care of every bit of food that you put in your mouth. You need to ask yourself if that food is going to provide your body the nourishment it needs or deplete your body of its needs. You will need to follow a diet for diabetics. A good diabetic diet is a diet that is good for anyone who wants to nourish the body and have plenty of energy whether or not they have diabetes.

Regular exercises and yoga are also important part of avoiding diabetes complications. Exercise is just as important as a good diabetes diet in preventing or reversing complications of diabetes. It is also important to consider your food intake, along with your activity and its effect on your insulin.

Researches have shows that people that are having trouble keeping diabetes control often are lacking in daily exercise. On the other hand, diabetics who exercise regularly have little trouble when it comes to balancing their insulin intake and their food.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Diabetics Obesity Surgery

Diabetics Obesity Surgery

Stomach stapling for the not-so-fat? If you have diabetes and are battling a mid-size bulge it might just help.

For years, doctors have noted that obese people who undergo bariatric surgery - stomach stapling and the like - often experience a reversal of their diabetes. Many achieve normal blood sugar and are able to ditch their medications.

Could diabetes sufferers who aren't obese, just a bit overweight, benefit as well?

It's a big issue. According to the American Diabetes Association, 24 million Americans have the disease. The cost of treatment and lost work is $175 billion.

But doctors who want to try expanding the reach of bariatric surgery are swimming against the tide. That's because if you want to get your stomach stapled, you have to meet some pretty strict criteria.

Federal guidelines say surgery candidates must be morbidly obese with a body mass index over 40, or a BMI over 35 plus a weight-related medical problem like diabetes or high blood pressure. Insurers use the cutoffs in deciding whether to pay for the procedure.

Yet Dr. Philip Schauer of the Cleveland Clinic is among those pushing the BMI envelope to see if bariatric surgery can make diabetes go away in people who are overweight, but not fat enough (according to the guidelines), for surgery.

He's recruiting 150 overweight and obese Type 2 diabetics with BMIs between 27 and 43 for a study. Some will have surgery and their progress will be compared to those who manage their diabetes with medicine. The goal is to see which group can achieve complete remission.

Smaller studies have already hinted that stomach stapling and gastric banding - in which an adjustable ring is placed over the top of the stomach to create a small pouch- may work in diabetics who aren't so fat.

Why does it work at all?

Doctors don't exactly know, but there is some evidence that it may not all be due to weight loss. Diabetes happens when the body can't regulate blood sugar, and some researchers think that the rerouting of the digestive tract after the operation affects the gut hormones involved in blood sugar control.

Still, some experts question whether achieving normal blood sugar justifies it.

Gastric bypass is major surgery - accompanied by all the possible complications. It's also very expensive if you're not officially obese. And after the surgery, patients must make major lifestyle changes.

The American Diabetes Association said there's not enough evidence to generally recommend surgery for diabetics with a BMI lower than 35 outside of an experiment.

On the other hand, diabetes medication is also expensive. According to the American Diabetes Association, patients spend on average $11,744 a year on meds and treatment. And for some, side effects to the meds are awful.

It seems that no matter what, when it comes to being overweight with diabetes, you may have to pick your poison.

Friday, 9 July 2010

The Facts About Diabetes -America's 7th Leading Killer

The Facts About Diabetes -America's 7th Leading Killer

BROOKSVILLE - Diabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can lead to serious complications and premature death, but people with diabetes can take steps to manage the disease and lower the risk of complications.

23.6 million Americans have diabetes — 7.8 percent of the U.S. population. Of these, 5.7 million do not know they have the disease.

Each year, about 1.6 million people ages 20 or older are diagnosed with diabetes.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has risen from 1.5 million in 1958 to 17.9 million in 2007, an increase of epidemic proportions.

It is estimated that 57 million adults aged 20 and older have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Studies have shown that by losing weight and increasing physical activity people can prevent or delay pre-diabetes from progressing to diabetes.

Type 1 (previously called insulin-dependent or juvenile-onset) diabetes accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Type 2 (previously called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset) diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents

Racial Breakdown

Non-Hispanic Whites represent 14.9 million; 9.8 percent of all non-Hispanic whites aged 20 and older have diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes.

African Americans represent 3.7 million; 14.7 percent of all non-Hispanic blacks aged 20 and older have diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes.

Non-Hispanic blacks are about 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites aged 20 and older.

Hispanics/Latinos represent 10.4 percent of Hispanics/Latinos ages 20 or older have diagnosed diabetes. Among Hispanics/Latinos, diabetes prevalence rates are 8.2 percent for Cubans, 11.9 percent for Mexican Americans, and 12.6 percent for Puerto Ricans.

American Indians and Alaska Natives represent about 16.5 percent aged 20 years and older who are served by the Indian Health Service have diagnosed diabetes. Diabetes rates vary -- among Alaska Native adults (6.0%) to American Indians in southern Arizona (29.3%).

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders represent 7.5 percent who are diagnosed with diabetes. However, prevalence data for diabetes among Pacific Islanders is limited.

Complications caused by Diabetes

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes — about 68 percent die of heart disease or stroke.

The overall risk for death among people with diabetes is about double that of people without diabetes.

Diabetes can lead to serious complications, such as blindness, kidney damage, cardiovascular disease, and lower-limb amputations, but people with diabetes can lower the occurrence of these and other diabetes complications by controlling blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood lipids.

Many people with type 2 diabetes can manage their blood glucose by following a healthy meal plan and exercise program, losing excess weight, and taking oral medication. Some people with type 2 diabetes may also need insulin to manage their blood glucose.

The Legacy Effect

The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) was a groundbreaking study in people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes that ended in 1997. This study established that blood glucose control could reduce the risk of microvascular complications (eye disease, kidney disease, and the neuropathy that can lead to limb amputation) in type 2 diabetes. Unlike patients with diabetes of longer duration, in these patients, there was no increase in CVD related deaths during the early treatment period.

Ten years later, the UKPDS Follow-Up Study found participants in the intervention group who achieved blood glucose control as close to normal as possible during the original UKPDS had a lower risk of heart attack than those in the control group who had less well-controlled blood glucose. The intervention group also showed continued risk reduction in microvascular disease.

This "legacy effect" indicates that the benefits of blood glucose control that is as close to normal as possible in the early years after diagnosis can lead to a lasting impact on health risks over a long period of time.

Furthermore, a 27% reduction in the risk of heart attacks was seen in those who were overweight and managed their diabetes with blood glucose goals as close to normal as possible when using the common drug, metformin.

This "legacy effect" underscores the importance of early detection of diabetes. If diabetes is diagnosed, working toward early blood glucose control as close to normal as possible can result in long term benefits.

Total health care and related costs for the treatment of diabetes run about $174 billion annually.

Of this total, direct medical costs (e.g., hospitalizations, medical care, and treatment supplies) account for about $116 billion.

The other $58 billion covers indirect costs such as disability payments, time lost from work, and premature death.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Blood Pressure and Diabetes: How Low Should You Go?

Blood Pressure and Diabetes: How Low Should You Go?

July 6, 2010 -- Tight control of high blood pressure, recommended for those with diabetes by national guidelines, gives no better results than moderate control, according to a new study.

''The guidelines suggest you want diabetics to have [systolic pressure] under 130," says researcher Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff, PharmD, associate professor of pharmacy and medicine at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

But in her study, those who kept their systolic pressures moderately controlled -- at 130 to 139 -- did as well as those who controlled it more tightly. Systolic pressure is the upper of the two blood pressure numbers, representing the maximum pressure exerted when the heart contracts.

She compared ranges of blood pressure control on the effect on death, heart attack, and stroke during the follow-up. "There was no difference comparing those with tight control or usual control," she tells WebMD,'' which is contrary to what the guidelines would suggest."

''The message is: we need to get diabetic patients' systolic blood pressure to less than 140, particularly when they have heart disease, but working to get it to less than 130 does not appear to add any additional benefit with regard to the risk of death, stroke, or heart attack," Cooper-DeHoff says.

Tight Control of Blood Pressure vs. Moderate Control

For this study, Cooper-DeHoff and colleagues looked at a subgroup of 6,400 participants of a large study, called INVEST (International Verapamil SR-Trandolapril Study). It included more than 22,000 participants from 14 countries who were at least 50 years old and had high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

Study participants enrolled in the study from 1997 to 2000 and were followed through March 2003, with follow-up for U.S. participants extended through August 2008.

For this analysis, the researchers focused only on the 6,400 who also had diabetes at the study start.

INVEST compared two blood pressure lowering approaches, with participants given either a calcium antagonist medication first or a beta-blocker medication, followed by more drugs if needed to lower pressure.

Next, the researchers categorized the 6,400 participants into three groups:

  • 35.2% had tight control, with systolic pressure maintained at below 130.
  • 30.8% had moderate or usual control, with pressures from 130 to under 140.
  • 34% had uncontrolled, with pressures above 140.

Moderate Control of Blood Pressure Wins Out

During the follow-up, researchers looked to see which of the groups categorized by the amount of control were more likely to die from any cause or to have a heart attack or a stroke.

Little difference was found between the tight control and moderate control groups. Of the 6,400:

  • 12.7% who had tight control died or had a heart attack or stroke.
  • 12.6% of those with moderate control did.
  • 19.8% of those with uncontrolled blood pressure did.

During the extended follow-up period, the risk of death from any cause was actually higher in the tight control group, 22.8%, vs. those in the moderate control group, 21.8%.

Cooper-DeHoff cautions that the results can't be generalized to those who have diabetes but not coronary artery disease.

Even though the guidelines recommending lower blood pressures in those with diabetes have been in place for nearly 20 years, she writes, ''there is a paucity of evidence supporting this recommendation, particularly for lower systolic blood pressure."

Cooper-DeHoff reports receiving research funds from Abbott Laboratories, which makes blood-pressure-lowering drugs.

Second Opinion

''This is good news all the way around," says P.K. Shah, MD, a cardiologist and director of the division of cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, who reviewed the study findings for WebMD.

The take-home message for those like the participants, he says, is that moderate blood pressure control is a reasonable range to shoot for. "This is saying moderate control of blood pressure is effective."

Other research finds that those with naturally low blood pressure are at reduced risk for problems such as heart attack and stroke, Shah says. "But drug-induced lowering [of blood pressure] is not the same as natural low blood pressure," he says, explaining that blood pressure lowering by drugs does not mimic all the good effects of having naturally low pressure.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

12 New Type 2 Diabetes Genes Uncovered

12 New Type 2 Diabetes Genes Uncovered

According to a health report published by, a research has revealed twelve new type 2 diabetes genes. The study was conducted by a consortium of researchers along with the scientists from Edinburgh University and it revealed some important genes related to the type 2 diabetes.

The research has made the researchers think that the findings will now tread the path for new diabetes treatments. The working cells in the body that produce insulin have the involvement of these new genes. With this research, the number of genes linked to type-2 diabetes has reached 38.

According to, the genes that have been found out also have some other variants that raise the risk of coronary heart disease and prostate cancer. The researchers at Oxford University were leading the research. DNA samples of more than 8,000 diabetic people were compared with 40,000 other samples by the researchers from countries like UK, USA, Canada and Europe.

According to Dr Jim Wilson, of Edinburgh University: “One very interesting finding is that the diabetes susceptibility genes also contain variants that increase the risk of unrelated diseases, including skin and prostate cancer, coronary heart disease and high cholesterol.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Can You Have a Healthy Pregnancy With Diabetes?

Can You Have a Healthy Pregnancy With Diabetes?

Having a healthy pregnancy with diabetes can really be a dream with many, but it is possible and the purpose of this article is to establish the claim. Pregnancy period, otherwise known as gestational period, covers the growth of baby in the uterus from fertilization until birth. It also includes the conception and formulation of a plan or idea in the mind about the pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is defined as that discovered when you are pregnant. Getting pregnant by ignoring the gestational diabetes signs implies many additional increased risks like miscarriage, stillbirth and birth defects with your baby. However, if you pay constant care before conception, you can avoid many risks. Normal pregnancy can reduce insulin sensitivity because of diabetogenic effects of placental hormones. This effect is maximal in the late second and third trimesters.

There are many cases of women with pre-acquired diabetes. With such condition, the mother should be cautious against diabetic complications that may arise when she gets pregnant. This will reduce the risk of birth defects for babies. Also it will be safe for you if you are decided to control your pre-acquired diabetes as First Aid action before you get pregnant. With this awareness, you can prevent serious birth defects in the brain and spinal cord. Nowadays, most women of child bearing age can realistically expect motherhood for healthy children with intensive glycemic control.

Bad effects of pregnancy with diabetes: Being pregnant and diabetic can create problems to the mother and fetus. If you ignore the control of blood glucose in general, it may lead to menstrual problems and difficulty in conceiving. If you are pregnant, that condition itself worsens your diabetic control and causes certain complications to develop in your body. Maternal diabetes is also hazardous for the fetus with increased risk and major congenital malformations.

Plan yourself for healthy pregnancy: To prevent abortion and congenital malformations of diabetic mothers, awareness program and proper education should begin before conception. There are no specific contraceptive methods, but you can have treatment for your gestational diabetes. Whenever you achieve a stable sugar control, the contraception can be discounted and hence, you are safe to get pregnant. Gestational diabetes risks for the mother and the baby should be avoided at any cost. For this simple reason, you need not go a long way worrying with anxiety for healthy pregnancy.

Tips to have healthy pregnancy with diabetes:

Careful blood glucose monitoring and proper treatment in advance can ensure you a healthy baby when you conceive.
If you are taking oral medications, you need a switch over to insulin before and after pregnancy.
If you are already a declared diabetic, you need to consult your doctor and plan accordingly for healthy pregnancy.
Careful planning and preconception care alone can allow the diabetic woman to have a problem free and healthy pregnancy.
Having gestational diabetes diet plan with multivitamin and folic acid can ensure you a healthy pregnancy.

Type 2 Diabetes—Time to Change Approach

Type 2 Diabetes—Time to Change Approach

Four Articles add precision to cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes, or describe new strategies in pharmacological pathways, dosing, and delivery. More studies will be published online during the meeting to coincide with a Lancet/ADA symposium. They will consider the treatment of women with diabetes during pregnancy, therapeutic comparisons in type 2 diabetes, and further results from the ACCORD study. Two Seminars examine diabetes mechanisms and epidemiology. In their totality, these publications represent great progress in the understanding of diabetes and the ability to lower concentrations of blood glucose. But there is a glaring absence: no research on lifestyle interventions to prevent or reverse diabetes. In this respect, medicine might be winning the battle of glucose control, but is losing the war against diabetes.

Since 2000, the number of people with diabetes has more than doubled to 285 million. An increasing majority, over 200 million people, live in low-income and middle-income countries where few will benefit from the advances in today's issue. In developed countries, the link between diabetes and social disadvantage can also preclude access to advanced treatment. But, even if care was widely accessible, increasing evidence suggests that glucocentric treatment might not result in better overall outcomes. Clearly, different strategies are needed to reach a wider population and deliver better results.

Because type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% of diabetes, is largely rooted in reversible social and lifestyle factors, a medical approach alone is unlikely to be the solution. Moreover, medicalisation disempowers individuals and excludes communities, schools, and urban planners who have the potential to reduce diabetes incidence. Following the example of Andrew Renehan and colleagues' Comment in The Lancet today, health professionals who care for people with diabetes have an enormous opportunity to build collaborations with different agencies that seek similar outcomes. A collective approach provides predisposed individuals with better protection from the environmental hazard of decreased opportunities for physical exercise and the abundance of energy-dense food.

To lessen the burden of diabetes requires a substantial change in diet and routine, such as that advocated by Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign. Her approach involves three components: nutrition, activity, and children. Too many Americans, and others, consume a diet of excessive solid fats and added sugar. To help Americans make better choices more easily, the US Department of Agriculture released updated dietary guidelines on June 15 that aim to shift consumption towards more plant-based foods. By contrast, on the same day in Brussels (and amid intense lobbying by multinational food corporations), the European Parliament rejected plans to aid consumers by labelling food with a health traffic-light system. Physical activity is as important as diet, and like a healthy diet has systemic benefits beyond weight control. Creating opportunities for physical activity within the built environment is the greatest—and most urgent—challenge, because of large migrations from rural areas to urban centres in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Urban recreation must be readily accessible, affordable, and include safe areas for youngsters, whose requirement for exercise is greater than that of adults. The focus on youth in a disorder that is age-related might seem paradoxical; but the age of diabetes onset is falling and it is in young people that diet and exercise habits are formed. It is also at a young age that the seeds of diabetes are sown—one in three children over the age of 2 years in the USA is overweight and one in six adolescents is obese. For those who are obese in childhood, type 2 diabetes in adolescence and premature mortality in later life are more common.

Diabetes need not be an inevitable consequence of urbanisation or social inequity, nor should future generations be condemned to perpetuate diabetogenic lifestyles. The fact that type 2 diabetes, a largely preventable disorder, has reached epidemic proportion is a public health humiliation. A strong, integrated, and imaginative response is required, in which the limits of drug treatment and the opportunities of civil society are recognised. The ADA meeting offers world leaders in diabetes an opportunity to reflect on the above challenges and initiate debate on a more inclusive and effective strategy to control diabetes.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Weight Gain Info and New Genes Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

Weight Gain Info and New Genes Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

With all major illnesses, it is helpful to have a spokesperson to bring the reality of disease into focus. Bret Michaels has been an important educational force.

Keeping up with news of diabetes is important for both informational and practical purposes.

Here are two recent stories:

From the Weight Channel: "Gaining weight after age 50 can increase the risk of developing diabetes, a new study suggests.

"Researchers from the University of Washington followed a group of more than 4,000 seniors age 65 and older for over 12 years to determine the impact of weight gain and obesity on diabetes risk in the elderly. Of the participants,339 new cases of diabetes were identified during the follow-up.

"The heaviest study participants were two to six times more likely to develop diabetes when compared to participants of a normal weight. The likelihood of diabetes was five times greater for those who were considered obese at age 50 and gained more than 20 pounds prior to entering the study compared to those who were a normal weight and did not gain weight."

Here is some good news about diabetes from the BBC

"Twelve new genes linked with type 2 diabetes have been found in a study into the differences in people's DNA and their risk of having the condition. A consortium including Edinburgh University scientists have identified "important clues to the biological basis of type 2 diabetes".

"It is hoped the findings will lead to better ways of treating the condition.The genes tend to be involved in working cells producing insulin, which controls levels of glucose in blood. The 12 new genes brings the total number linked with type 2 diabetes to 38."

Friday, 2 July 2010

Controlling Blood Sugar May Prevent Eye Problems in Diabetes Patients

Controlling Blood Sugar May Prevent Eye Problems in Diabetes Patients

Keeping blood sugar close to normal and taking drugs to hold down blood levels of cholesterol and other fats can help people with diabetes avoid the potentially blinding eye disease retinopathy, researchers report.

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Until now, it hadn’t been clear whether strict control of blood sugar and fats, or lipids, could still deter retinopathy in patients who had been diabetic for as long as a decade.

“The question was whether the horse was out of the barn for this group,” says study coauthor Emily Chew, an ophthalmologist at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Md. It turns out, she says, “that you can reduce the risk of retinopathy in these patients.”

Years of high blood sugar can damage blood vessels in the retina, leading to diabetic retinopathy. This results in the buildup of fluid and other deposits in the eye, which can lead to blindness if not treated.

The new study, published online June 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved patients who had lived with type 2 diabetes for roughly 10 years. The study is actually two parts of a large ongoing trial in the United States and Canada. In both parts, patients had no history of eye disease at the outset. All underwent a standard eye exam at the start of the trial and again after four years.

In one analysis, Chew and her colleagues randomly assigned 2,856 people to undertake either an aggressive effort to lower their blood sugar levels or a standard course of blood sugar control that was less stringent. Those in the group that aggressively reduced blood sugar were 33 percent less likely than the others to have developed retinopathy at the four-year point — 7.3 percent compared with 10.4 percent.

In the other analysis, the researchers randomly assigned 1,593 of the study participants to get the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin plus either a placebo or a drug called fenofibrate that lowers lipids such as triglycerides. These patients had higher than normal levels of triglycerides at the start. After four years, those getting the drug combination were 40 percent less likely to develop retinopathy than were those getting only the statin — 6.5 percent versus 10.2 percent.

An intervention to lower blood pressure in some of the volunteers showed no effect on retinopathy development.

The beneficial effects of statins in lowering cardiovascular risk in people with diabetes have been shown in the past, says Amod Gupta, an ophthalmologist at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India. “This study on progression of retinopathy would provide an additional motivation for diabetic patients to control their lipid levels and prevent sight-threatening retinopathy which, for some diabetics, is just around the corner.”

Diabetic retinopathy is highly treatable with steroid injections to stop swelling, laser surgery to cauterize leaky blood vessels and with other surgery to remove excess fluid from the eye. While these interventions can maintain vision in most patients, none cures the underlying biological process by which retinopathy develops.

Retinopathy often occurs with, or precedes, diabetes-related complications of the kidney, nervous system and blood vessels, says physician Barbara Klein of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. Writing in the same NEJM issue, she says the report therefore “has great importance, particularly because of the increasing prevalence of diabetes related to aging of the population and also the increasing prevalence at younger ages, which is likely to be related to obesity.”

Meanwhile, roughly half of diabetes patients don’t get eye exams as often as they should, which is annually, Chew says. “We need to do a better job educating our patients,” she says.