Friday, 23 December 2011

Are You Suffering From Diabetes?

Are You Suffering From Diabetes?

People who consider that they are at danger of diabetes should be on the look out for the warning signs. So, who ought to be looking for the signs of diabetes? Well, everybody to be honest, but especially those who have a family history of the disease.

People who have a family tradition of diabetes are the most at danger, but next come the obese and especially those chunky people who do not exercise.

The less exercise, the more chance. After those, it is hard to guess who may develop it.

Some think that food additives might also be to blame. If this is true, then those who eat junk food, canned food and pre-cooked meals, including sweets are also at a higher danger. This would make sense, because not all the people getting diabetes have a family history of it or are overweight.

And plenty of people are becoming diabetic nowadays. Lots more than ever before. It is a fact that there are more desk jobs than ever before as well and so more fat people and if heredity is a prime factor then one diabetic could produce several more, but the additives idea may be a factor as well.

There are three forms of diabetes, namely:

Type I: also called juvenile diabetes, because kids get it or are born with it.

Type II: also known as onset diabetes, because people develop it later in life.

Gestational Diabetes: pregnant women frequently develop this in the third term of their pregnancy. It is only recognized as a an illness in the USA, because it frequently goes away soon after the baby is born.

The indications of all types of diabetes are comparable, but here is a slightly more detailed list:

Type I: you do not really have to look out for this because most children get plenty of medical care at school, but otherwise look out for incessant thirst, the urgent requirement to urinate as a consequence of that and sudden weight loss.

Type II: as the illness takes a hold, sight may suffer; sight might blur and cataracts might develop. Cuts and sores might take longer to heal. There might be frequent yeast infections, thirstiness and consequential frequent urination.

The urine might smell sweet or look 'thicker'. There may be tingling or even pain in the feet and hands because of poor circulation.

Gestational Diabetes: like Type II, to which it may lead if left untreated.

If you become aware of any of the above symptoms in yourself or a friend, you have to have clinical tests carried out instantly, because the longer you leave it, the worse it gets. It will not merely get better on its own - never, ever. It is not like a cold or food poisoning

The check ups are not hard on the patient, but they may be lengthy and will involve giving some blood, although how much relies on the check ups. When giving blood, the patient may be required to fast for 8-12 hours.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Shift work Increases Diabetes in Women

Shift Work Increases Diabetes in Women

Women who worked a rotating night shift had an increased risk of type 2 diabetes that was not completely explained by an increase in body mass index (BMI), according to results of a prospective study of women who were enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Studies. Nurses who had 1 to 10 years of night shift work saw a 5% excess risk for type 2 diabetes compared to women who did minimal to no night shift work. That risk climbed to 40% after a decade of shift work, according to Frank Hu, MD, PhD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard School of Medicine in Boston, and colleagues.

Excess risk rocketed to almost 60% for those who had put in 20 years or more, the group reported. Other studies have suggested that rotating night shift work is associated with an increased risk for obesity and metabolic syndrome, both of which are conditions related to type 2 diabetes, they wrote.

Hu’s group examined the relationship between the duration of rotating night shift work and the risk of type 2 diabetes in U.S. women who participated in Nurses’ Health Studies (NHS) I and II. They also looked at whether greater weight gain was linked to duration of shift work.

Collectively, NHS I and II enrolled nearly 240,000 women. For this study, the women who completed the NHS questionnaire in 1988 or 1989 served as the baseline for this particular study. Participants were excluded if they had diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or cancer at baseline. Follow-up took place at 18 to 20 years.

Rotating night shifts were defined as working at least three nights a month in addition to days and evenings in that same month. The control group consisted of women who did not report a history of rotating night shift work. In both cohorts, women who spent more years in night shift work were older, more likely to have a higher BMI, and be smokers.

In a secondary analysis, they found that night shift work was also associated with an elevated risk for obesity and excessive weight gain during the follow-up period. They suggested that, beyond BMI, a reason for the link between shift work and type 2 diabetes may be “chronic misalignment between the endogenous circadian timing system and the behavior cycles.” This misalignment has been pegged as a reason for metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, including increases in glucose and insulin, they wrote.

In an accompanying commentary, Mika Kivimäki, PhD, from University College London, and colleagues said the study “probably represents the most accurate estimate of shift work-type 2 diabetes association available to date, suggesting this effect is comparable in size to that of work stress in coronary heart disease and larger than the effect of work stress on type 2 diabetes.”

They suggested that in an increasingly “24/7″ society, efforts need to be made to prevent type 2 diabetes among shift workers by promoting healthy lifestyle and weight control. Also, prediabetic and diabetic employees need to be identified early and treated accordingly.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Diabetes Tips for the Holidays

Diabetes Tips for the Holidays

For those living with diabetes, the holidays may feel like one long forbidden buffet line. According to SSM St. Clare Health Center, in Fenton, traditional foods filled with rich, carbohydrate-laden ingredients are common. Parties and family get-togethers can disrupt carefully timed eating schedules, and travel during the holidays can mean missed meals, increased stress and less-than-optimum food choices.

Abbie Luegger, R.N. and certified diabetes educator for SSM, shares some key strategies for diabetics during the holidays with this Q&A.

Q: What are some key strategies for the holidays and eating?

A: Plan ahead for holiday meals. Decide whether you need to pack a snack if the meal is going to be later than you normally eat. Consider foods you might be tempted to eat, and create a plan on how you will stick to correct amount and portions of carbohydrates.

Q: What are some tasty, alternative foods for diabetics?

A: Tasty alternatives for diabetics might be substituting Splenda for sugar in recipes. Try recipes that use spices instead of high fat or sugar for flavor. Instead of apple pie (about 3 carb choices), have baked apples with sugar or sugar substitute (1 ½ -2 carb choices). Instead of cheesecake with strawberries (1 ½ carbs), try having 3 strawberries stuffed with cheesecake stuffing, along with a few graham cracker crumbs and a few chocolate chips sprinkled on top (1-1 ½ carbs and can be made lower in fat and calories).

Q: For those traveling, especially by air, do you have any recommendations on ways to cope both with eating and injections?

A: Work with your doctor on timing injections properly for time changes. Bring along snacks to travel with in case your flight is delayed. Carry fast-acting carbohydrates to treat low blood glucose and a glucagon kit, if needed.

Q: If one does miss a meal or gets off schedule, what are some strategies for getting back on track?

A: Missing a meal can be dangerous when on injections or some types of oral diabetes medications. Try grabbing a drink or snack while waiting on a meal. Prepare ahead of time to prevent missed meals. Planning is key to diabetes management and control.

Q: Can you talk specifically about parents of juvenile diabetes, and what strategies they can use to make eating and traveling for the holidays fun for the kids?

A: Allowing type 1 diabetics to enjoy the holidays and allowing for snacks and treats is important, especially for kids. Allowing children to eat some cookies or favorite foods is fine, as long as they are sticking within carbohydrate allotments. Make sure to bring enough insulin, testing supplies and syringes and an extra back up of insulin and insulin pumps.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Amelia Lily's Diabetes Fear

Amelia Lily's Diabetes Fear

'The X Factor' star Amelia Lily fears diabetes could leave her blind, and has to inject insulin four times a day to counteract it.

'The X Factor' star Amelia Lily fears diabetes could leave her blind.

The 17-year-old singer was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes - a condition whereby sufferers have low blood sugar levels - aged three and has to inject herself with insulin daily.

She told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: "I need four injections a day and I've had it for 14 years now.

"It's just become a daily routine but I still need to be careful.

"It is serious and I could end up going blind if I have too many high blood sugars."

Amelia - who was sent home by mentor Kelly Rowland after the first live final, but voted back into the competition last week after Frankie Cocozza was axed - also has to adjust the amount she takes to counteract the adrenalin rush of appearing on the programme, which could potentially send her into a diabetes-induced coma.

She said: "I used to have fits when I was younger. I have to be careful with my bloods and adrenalin uses a lot of energy, so I need to decrease my insulin before I perform. It's hard to get the balance right but I always decrease my insulin just before performing to be safe."

Amelia performed Aretha Franklin's 'Think' on last night's (19.11.11) show, and admitted she has been nervous about coming back to the show aftermissing five weeks of live finals.

She added: "I'm feeling the pressure now because I've gone from not being in the show any more to being the favourite to win.

"It's hard to handle, there's a lot of stress and pressure.

"And you have your doubts but I'm a strong person and you have to be to be inthe music industry."

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Fountain Goes Blue to Eradicate Diabetes

Fountain Goes Blue to Eradicate Diabetes

From New York's Empire State Building to Paris's Eiffel Tower, landmarks around the world — including here in Columbia — were turned blue Monday in recognition of World Diabetes Day.

That's why at noon Monday, representatives and supporters of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Palmetto Chapter poured bottles of food coloring into both of Five Points' fountains, transforming their waters a bright blue.

Though the event did not include a fundraising component, Dana Bruce, the Palmetto Chapter's executive director, said she hoped it would help raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes.

"Many people don't understand that it's an autoimmune disease — that no one did anything to get this disease; it's the body attacking itself," she said. "We thought this was a great way to raise awareness — a bright blue color, something simple that we could do as a group...that will last all day long."

Juvenile diabetes, she said, is an increasingly visible disease, as nearly all Columbia schools have a student who has been diagnosed, and awareness efforts are on the rise.

But for the families and friends who are affected, it has a profound impact on daily life.

Greta McMahon came with her 10-year-old daughter Morgan, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 3.

"It changes your whole way of life," she said. "Everything you buy for your family to eat or drink, everything she puts in her mouth has to be monitored."
Ruskin Foster, a third-year economics student, echoed that sentiment and explained how diabetes has impacted him.

"It literally has changed my life completely. I was diagnosed at 8 years old; I hardly remember the life without diabetes," he said. "There's nothing worse than feeling that you're helpless against the disease. That's what most people don't understand — that I'm going to wake up every morning for the rest of my life with it."

The disease impacts him every day, from weekday meals to weekend parties.
"You can't do what most people here do," he said. "I can't live the party life that everyone else lives because I have to worry every morning about waking up with something...I can't go out and drink a handle because I might not wake up."

Even eating on campus can become a tricky struggle.

"Really, you have to do all the research on your own," Foster said. "They don't have books sitting around telling you how many carbs are in [a meal]; they don't really go for diabetic-friendly food because they have to satisfy so many people."

As a result, he said, he and other diabetics often have to fend for themselves and look out for each other.

Once, that meant borrowing insulin from another diabetic in Athens, Ga.; mostly, though, it means Foster wants to spread awareness for the disease so he and other diabetics can get support and help if they need it.

"If you ever meet a diabetic, ask them what it's like. Get their perspective," he said. "The more people are aware, the better the disease is going to be treated and the closer we're going to get to a cure."

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Pregnant with Type 1 Diabetes

Pregnant with Type 1 Diabetes

Welcome to the second trimester! By now, many type 1s are experiencing fewer hypoglycemic episodes, and insulin resistance is just beginning to rear its head. You're on the other side of the miscarriage worry hump and getting settled into the pregnancy routine. Congratulations! Take a few minutes each day to celebrate your successes and pat your stomach with a smile, knowing you are doing the best you can to give your growing child everything she needs.

You probably have a large support network built by now and are often leaning on those with experience and insight, or just some kind words, to get you through these stressful days. If you haven't already spoken about your concerns and announced your successes to a diabetes online community, I suggest you do so now. Many women on social network sites have already been through pregnancy with diabetes, are muddling their way through it now, or are trying to jump on the bandwagon. I found enormous amounts of support there and couldn't have made it through my pregnancy without it.

After the first trimester was over, around week 15, I switched from NPH back to Levemir, feeling confident that my baby's major organ development was completed. My stresses with NPH during the first trimester nearly cost us both our lives numerous times. I felt it was less of a risk to simply switch back to Levemir than to battle the insulin shocks I dealt with in the first weeks. Research and speak with your doctors to decide if this is an option for you.

Around week 20, most women with diabetes are experiencing insulin resistance. My doctors explained that the placenta gives off hormones that lead to insulin resistance. As your pregnancy progresses, the placenta gives off more and more of these hormones, making your resistance steadily increase. By the third trimester, most women with diabetes are injecting four times the amount of insulin they were taking pre-pregnancy.

If this is just beginning for you, remember: Insulin is not your enemy. It is a tool to keep your body "normal," so take as much as you need to take. Do not starve yourself in order to limit your insulin needs. You and your baby need carbohydrates and calories to keep your body functioning and to keep hers growing. If you have to take a few more units at each meal, don't stress. Your body will return to normal after baby comes.

My insulin resistance began around week 20, after which I began increasing my basals by five units every two days to keep my levels down. By the end of pregnancy, it was normal for me to take 30 units of Apidra at each meal. I was also taking 135 units of Levemir twice per day, compared to before pregnancy, when I took only 35 to 45 units of Levemir twice per day. It was a huge increase, but my baby is six weeks old now, and I'm back down to 8 to 10 units of Apidra per meal and 45 units of Levemir twice per day.

Around week 20, I started taking 500 milligrams of metformin in the mornings to combat my insulin resistance and dawn phenomenon. This may be an option for you. Work with your doctors and discuss the risks of taking this prescription to decide if it's the right choice.

There are a lot of stresses in day-to-day life while pregnant. Add in being an insulin-dependent woman with diabetes, and your days will sometimes go by in a numeric blur. The key is to remember what you're working toward and the fact that this will pass. It takes hard work and determination to check your glucose readings ten times per day, take 20 or more injections per day (or corrections on the insulin pump), measure all of your food intake, and worry over your baby's progress. But in a few more months you will be returned to your diabetes norm while holding that sweet baby in your arms.

Take pride in what you've accomplished so far. It is not easy being pregnant, and it is no small feat to be diabetic. What you've achieved so far is amazing. Stay on top of things and manage your glucose ranges, but remember to celebrate every small success. If she understood, your baby would be dancing inside of you, celebrating too.

Friday, 21 October 2011

BPA Again Tied to Diabetes Risk

BPA Again Tied to Diabetes Risk

Adding to the mixed bag of research on bisphenol A and diabetes, a new study suggests that people with higher urinary levels of the controversial chemical do have a higher risk of diabetes.

Bisphenol A -- better known as BPA -- is a so-called endocrine disruptor, which means it may affect normal hormone activity in the body.

It's also all around us. BPA has been used for decades to make hard plastic containers, as well as linings for metal food and drink cans. Research suggests that most people have some amount of BPA in their blood, including about 95 percent of Americans.

Recent animal studies have hinted that the chemical could play a role in certain cancers, heart disease and abnormal brain development in children. But BPA's true effects in humans remain unknown.

Two large studies have found a link between higher BPA levels and higher heart disease risk. And a 2008 study found that of Americans in a government health survey, those with higher BPA levels showed a higher diabetes risk.

None of that, however, proves cause-and-effect. And a recent study of Chinese adults found no link between BPA levels and diabetes risk.

This latest study is based on data from a federal health study done between 2003 and 2008. Researchers found that of nearly 4,000 U.S. adults involved, those with the highest urinary BPA levels were more likely to have diabetes.

Just under 12 percent of all study participants had diabetes, based on blood sugar tests. And the odds of having the disease rose as urinary BPA increased.

Of people with the highest levels (more than 4.2 nanograms per milliliter, ng/mL), almost 13 percent had diabetes, versus 8 percent of adults with the lowest BPA levels (less than 1.1 ng/mL)

For comparison, the typical urinary BPA level among Americans has stood at about 2 ng/mL in recent years.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, do not prove that BPA is responsible for the higher diabetes risk.

"Since BPA measurements as well as diabetes diagnosis were conducted at the same time, we cannot say for sure that BPA exposure preceded diabetes development," lead researcher Dr. Anoop Shankar, of the West Virginia University School of Medicine, said in an email.

The researchers did account for a number of other factors in diabetes risk -- like body weight, age and race. And the BPA-diabetes link still held; people with the highest levels had a 68 percent greater risk of diabetes than those with the lowest levels.

But what's needed, according to Shankar, are long-term studies that start with diabetes-free adults, measure their BPA levels, then see who develops diabetes over time.

Shankar said he and his colleagues are planning such a study.

Exactly how BPA might promote diabetes is unclear. Lab research suggests that BPA can act like a hormone in the body and, in animals at least, promote weight gain.

In this study, Shankar's team found that BPA levels were related to diabetes risk in both heavy and normal-weight people. But there may be pathways other than weight gain, according to Shankar.

BPA may, for instance, promote body-wide inflammation, which is linked to diabetes and a range of other chronic diseases. Again, though, that's based on animal research.

In general, experts say that people who are concerned about BPA can try cutting down on canned foods and avoiding food containers made of polycarbonate plastics -- especially for reheating food, since high heat may transfer small amounts of BPA into food.

Polycarbonate plastics are usually marked with the recycling code "7."

Due to the controversy over BPA, the major manufacturers of infant bottles and feeding cups in the U.S. have stopped using the chemical.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Men Appear to be at Higher Risk for Diabetes

Men Appear to be at Higher Risk for Diabetes

According to a new study, men who put on excess weight are putting themselves at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The research found that men do not need to put on as much weight as women in order to develop type 2 diabetes. The research was carried out by a team from the University of Glasgow, who said this may explain why in many parts of the world, diabetes rates are higher among males.

"Previous research has indicated that middle-aged men are at a higher risk of developing diabetes than women and one possible explanation is that men have to gain less weight than women to develop the condition.

“In other words, men appear to be at higher risk for diabetes," explained lead researcher, Prof Naveed Sattar, of the University of Glasgow.

The study looked at almost 52,000 men and over 43,000 whom all had diabetes, and measurements, such as height and weight, were recorded. Factors such as smoking and age were also taken into account.

The study found that men were more likely to develop the disease if their BMI (body mass index) was 31.8 while for women it was 33.6. "The results from this research confirm our hypothesis that men have to gain less weight to develop diabetes," Prof Sattar explained.

The researchers believe this may be down to how fat is distributed around the body. According to Irish Health, men tend to carry more visceral or intra-abdominal fat, which is located deep under the muscle tissue in the abdomen and is considered a more dangerous type of fat. Women on the other hand tend to carry more ‘safe' subcutaneous fat.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Diabetes at Crisis Levels in Ireland

Diabetes at Crisis Levels in Ireland

ONE IN three Irish people has a family member with diabetes, according to new research.

The figures have been described as a “national crisis” by Prof Séamus Sreenan, consultant endocrinologist and medical director of the Diabetes Federation of Ireland.

“We have been saying it for years, but these figures really bring the message home – diabetes is everywhere in Ireland,” he said.

“It’s in urban and rural communities, in rich areas and less well-off areas.”

One in five people has a family member with type 2 diabetes – which is preventable – and 77 per cent of Irish people know somebody with the disease.

The figures are based on a representative sample of more than 700 people carried out by market research company Behaviour and Attitudes on behalf of the Diabetes Federation of Ireland and the healthcare company Sanofi.

The research has been published to coincide with changes to the HbA1C clinical measurements for diabetes which come into effect from January 1st, 2012.

The Know Your Numbers! campaign aims to help people with diabetes minimise their risk of developing a complication relating to the condition.

The campaign is supported by the HSE and the Irish Pharmacy Union.

Currently, the HbA1C test measures the amount of glucose in the blood and monitors how well diabetes has been controlled in the previous two to three months.

HbA1C is the name given to a chemical reaction that causes glucose to stick to the haemoglobin in the red blood cells.

The new unit measurements for reporting HbA1C will prevent any mix-up between glucose and HbA1C results.

Obesity is one of the most common causes of diabetes, and losing weight can be one of the most cost-efficient ways of preventing it.

Other risk factors include not getting enough exercise and being over 45 years of age.

Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease and strokes, kidney trouble and also lower limb amputation in some cases.

Prof Sreenan said it takes an average of 12 years between the onset of type 2 diabetes and its diagnosis, by which time it is often too late for many sufferers.

Type 2 diabetes has been described as a ticking timebomb across the developed world as people live longer and obesity continues to increase.

It is estimated that there are 180,000 people in Ireland with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

That figure is expected to rise to 233,000 by 2020.

It is believed that 146,000 people in Ireland have undetected pre-diabetes and will have type 2 diabetes within five years unless they take action.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

UAE is in Midst of Diabetes Explosion

UAE is in Midst of Diabetes Explosion

Diabetes is projected to affect a quarter of the UAE population by 2015 and the medical costs due to diabetes and pre-diabetes are projected to rise to an annual Dhs5.14 billion by 2020, reveals an expert.

Diabetes forms the greatest health threat in the UAE today. The cost of living with diabetes in the UAE stood at Dhs2.41 billion in 2010, according to a study released during the World Health Care Congress, says Jan Felton, managing director of Modern Pharmaceutical Company.

“The vast majority of cases in the Emirates is diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by lifestyle factors like poor diet and lack of exercise. Genetically, Emiratis are predisposed to diabetes and are prone to getting the disease more than other nationalities,” he adds.

The economic boom has changed the lifestyle from a nomadic to a highly modernised lifestyle over the past 35 years and this has exacerbated the tendency of getting this condition.

Understanding the need for education, awareness and support to bring about lifestyle change, an alliance of six healthcare establishments have set up “Decide,” a first-of-its-kind concrete and collective effort to stem incidence of the disease in the UAE.

The initiative recognises a better education and greater awareness of the condition to achieve successful prevention and management of diabetes, says Jan Felton, an advocate of the non-profit initiative to fight the disease through increased awareness.

Decide aims to educate and provide with support to help patients and healthcare professionals diagnose, treat and manage the symptoms of diabetes. “The problem is not diagnosis or even how to treat diabetes, it is educating the patients, and most importantly helping them decide to do the right thing and to live life to the full with diabetes,” he indicated.

“The alliance, by pooling their resources together, will be able to reach out to a greater number of people with greater voice to have behavioural change for managing diabetes,” adds Felton.

Decide conveys the “Live life to the full with diabetes” message through an all-round strategy of providing support not only to diabetics and their immediate carers, but also to professional healthcare practitioners such as doctors, dieticians and health authorities.

This holistic approach is further supported by a web-portal,, which will not only disseminate up-to-date information but also act as a platform and forum for diabetes.

“A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary choices contribute to the increasing concern about the country’s health, as diabetes is a serious and lifelong condition, which if not managed properly may lead to adverse health outcomes and serious complications,” explains Felton.

“Influencing change in behaviour would not only greatly reduce the increasing number of diabetics, but also the incidence of health complications and life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular and renal failure,” he concludes.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

When It Comes to Diabetes, Knowledge Truly Is Power

When It Comes to Diabetes, Knowledge Truly Is Power

When people are diagnosed with diabetes, things can seem pretty overwhelming. In a short time, they have to absorb a daunting amount of information and start making significant decisions about the way they live their lives.

For many people, their diabetes diagnosis is the first time they've heard words like hypoglycemia, neuropathy, and microalbuminuria-or even blood glucose. Despite their unfamiliarity with such terms, they are expected to quickly grasp the information, change ingrained eating and exercise habits, learn how to monitor blood glucose levels, and remember how and when to take medications.

Yet another concept with which patients may be unfamiliar is the field of diabetes education. Many nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and others are certified as diabetes educators, with specific training in teaching people how to manage their condition. Diabetes education is a proven, effective way to help people avoid some of the serious complications that may arise.

Diabetes is a complex disease that requires daily self-management. Most of that work takes place outside of the physician's office-in the daily lives of the patients. So it's necessary for patients to learn healthy behaviors and make them part of their everyday lifestyle. But how do they do this?

Diabetes educators focus on seven key areas of diabetes self-management, developed by the American Association of Diabetes Educators and called the AADE7 Self-Care BehaviorsTM. It's important for patients to understand and set goals for improvement in each of the following areas:

Healthy Eating - Learning to make healthy food choices by paying attention to nutritional content and portion sizes
Being Active - Recognizing the importance of physical activity and making a plan to start moving today
Monitoring - Learning to check, record, and understand blood glucose levels and other numbers important to diabetes self-care
Taking Medication - Remembering to take medications as prescribed and understanding how they affect the body and diabetes management
Problem Solving - Gaining skills to identify problems or obstacles to self-care behaviors and learning how to solve them
Reducing Risks - Understanding the potential complications associated with diabetes and taking steps to prevent developing them
Healthy Coping - Developing healthy ways of dealing with challenges and difficult situations related to diabetes

Patients and diabetes educators can work together to create a plan for approaching these self-care behaviors and implementing them in the patient's life.

For someone who is newly diagnosed, Medicare and most private insurance companies cover 10 hours of diabetes self-management training. Every year after that, patients are entitled to two hours of diabetes self-management training. AADE recommends that patients ask their doctors for a referral to a diabetes educator.

Lifetime Dose of Excess Weight Tied to Diabetes Risk |

Lifetime Dose of Excess Weight Tied to Diabetes Risk

Obesity is a known risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. But it hasn’t been clear whether the “dose” of obesity—how much excess weight a person has, and for how long—affects the risk of diabetes.

A new University of Michigan Health System study of about 8,000 adolescents and young adults shows the degree and duration of carrying extra pounds are important risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

“Our study finds that the relationship between weight and type 2 diabetes is similar to the relationship between smoking and the risk of lung cancer,” says study lead author Joyce Lee, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatric endocrinologist at U-M’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “The amount of excess weight that you carry, and the number of years for which you carry it, dramatically increase your risk of diabetes.”

The study appears online ahead of print in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine.

“We know that, due to the childhood obesity epidemic, younger generations of Americans are becoming heavier much earlier in life, and are carrying the extra weight for longer periods over their lifetimes,” says Lee. “When you add the findings from this study, rates of diabetes in the United States may rise even higher than previously predicted.”

Researchers found that a measure of degree and duration of excess weight (based on the number of years body mass index, a calculation of weight and height, of 25 or higher) was a better predictor of diabetes risk than a single measurement of excess weight. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight and over 30 is considered obese.

Lee and colleagues also found that black and Hispanic compared with white individuals had a higher risk for diabetes, for a same amount of excess weight over time.

For example, individuals with a BMI of 35 (10 points higher than healthy weight) for 10 years would be considered to have 100 years of excess BMI. Hispanics in this group were twice as likely to develop diabetes compared to whites, while blacks in this group had one-and-a-half-times greater risk than whites.

Based on the latest findings, Lee suggests obesity prevention and treatment efforts should focus on adolescents and young adults, especially racial minorities.

In addition, she believes that measuring and following BMI and the cumulative “dose” of excess BMI may be helpful for clinicians and patients in understanding risk of diabetes in the future.

Evidence from other research indicates that BMI increases with age, and children who are obese are more likely to become obese adults.

Obesity is a well-known contributor to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, disability and premature death.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

How Important is Activity with Diabetes?

How Important is Activity with Diabetes?

Recently, I attended a diabetic support group and the speaker talked about activity. Although, she advocated activity for every person she said it was critical for the person with diabetes. She presented us with an analogy that really stuck with me.

She told us to imagine that our clenched fist represented our muscles. When we eat carbohydrates and it breaks down to sugar it cannot penetrate the muscles when they were like the closed fist. So, the sugar stays in the blood stream causing the blood sugar to rise. However, when we move our bodies and walk or do some other kind of exercise the fist (muscles) opens up and sugar can get into the muscles. Not only does that keep the blood sugar at an acceptable level, but provides energy for us. What a deal!

Now, that was a simple explanation but it makes sense to me. I am trying to make sure that I have activity every day. She also said that our activity was equally important to our daily food intake. We will write that down and be careful with that, but then do no activity. She encouraged us to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. That can be broken up into ten or fifteen minute intervals if needed. But get up and get moving. Your muscles will be glad you did, but so will your blood sugar!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Red Meat, Processed Meat Linked to Diabetes Risk

Red Meat, Processed Meat Linked to Diabetes Risk

Red meat, particularly processed red meats like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, may increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The more processed or unprocessed red meat a person eats, the greater the risk, according to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Type 2 diabetes is linked with obesity. It occurs when they body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or the cells do not use insulin properly. Insulin helps the body use glucose or blood sugar for energy. When blood sugar remains elevated with diabetes, complications such as heart disease, blindness, and nerve and kidney damage can occur.

In the study, participants who ate one 3.5-ounce serving of non-processed red meat a day, such as steak or hamburger, were almost 20% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Those who ate half of this amount of processed meat, such as two slices of bacon or one hot dog, had a 51% increased risk for developing diabetes.

“The amount is not huge, but the risk is pretty high,” says Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “Regular consumption of red meat, especially processed, is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. The findings are important given the rising epidemic of diabetes and the increasing consumption of red meat.”

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

'Sausage Skin' to Beat Diabetes

'Sausage skin' to Beat Diabetes

Scientists have developed a sleeve implant that looks like a giant sausage skin to beat diabetes .

The 2ft-long device, developed as an incision-less alternative to a type of weight-loss surgery known as a duodenal switch, can reverse the disease within weeks, reports the Daily Mail .

The 2ft-long device, developed as an incision-less alternative to a type of weight-loss surgery known as a duodenal switch, can reverse the disease within weeks, reports the Daily Mail .

The duodenum is the name for the first 10 to 12in of the small intestine, which attaches to the stomach.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

6 Great Exercises for People With Diabetes

6 Great Exercises for People With Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are approximately 25 million children and adults who are diagnosed with diabetes. And just last year, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed. Diabetes is a serious disease, which requires daily monitoring, a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise.

Exercise is an important factor in maintaining overall good health for everyone, especially for individuals with diabetes. Studies show as few as 39 percent of people with type 2 diabetes participate in regular physical activity, compared with 58 percent of other Americans. The fact is that exercise can help increase insulin action and keep blood sugars in check. Regular exercise can help to lose weight, and improve balance; and this is important because many people with type 2 diabetes are at risk for obesity and for falls.

Listed below are six great exercises for people with diabetes.

Walking done at a pace to raise the heart rate is an aerobic exercise, and studies show beneficial effects when people with diabetes participate in aerobic activities at least three days a week for a total of 150 minutes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends people not go more than two consecutive days without an aerobic exercise session.

Tai Chi is ideal for people with diabetes because it provides fitness and stress reduction in one. Tai chi also improves balance and may reduce nerve damage, a common diabetic complication, although the latter benefit remains unproven.

Weight Training builds muscle mass, important for those with type 2 diabetes. If you lose muscle mass, you have a lot harder time maintaining your blood sugar. Plan for resistance exercise or weight training at least twice a week as part of your diabetic management plan — three is ideal, but always schedule a rest day between weight workouts (other exercise is fine on those days).

Yoga can help lower body fat, fight insulin resistance, and improve nerve function — all important when you have type 2 diabetes. Like tai chi, yoga is also a great diabetic stress reducer. When stress levels go higher, so do your blood sugar levels. One of the advantages of yoga as an exercise is that you can do it as often as you like.

Swimming is ideal for people with type 2 diabetes — doesn’t put pressure on joints. Swimming also is easier on your feet than other forms of exercise. Very often diabetes reduces blood flow to the small blood vessels of your extremities and you can lose sensation in your feet as a result. People with diabetes must avoid foot injuries, even minor cuts or blisters; because they are prone to infection (a good idea is water shoes).

Stationary Bike is ideal for people with diabetes because you can do it inside, no matter the weather, and you don’t have to worry about falling or having a flat and being a long way from home. Bicycling improves blood flow to your legs — a great benefit for people with diabetes — and burns lots of calories to keep your weight at healthy levels.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

In Pregnancy, Diabetes-Obesity Combo a Major Red Flag

In Pregnancy, Diabetes-Obesity Combo a Major Red Flag

Type 2 diabetes and obesity in pregnancy is a daunting duo, according to new research published this month in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine. The study shows that both conditions independently contribute to higher risks, opening the door to a wide range of pregnancy, delivery and newborn complications.

Study authors say the findings are important because obesity and type 2 diabetes are skyrocketing in women of childbearing age. A study in The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that between 2007 and 2008 the prevalence of obesity among adult women in the United States was more than 35 percent. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that approximately 11 percent of women above the age of 20 had diabetes in 2010.

Loralei Thornburg, M.D., senior study author and a high-risk pregnancy expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center, emphasizes that the research is needed now more than ever. “We’ve never seen the degree of obesity and type 2 diabetes in women that we are seeing right now, because for a very long time diabetes was a disease of an older population, so we rarely dealt with it in prenatal care. We hope this new knowledge will help physicians better understand and care for this rapidly expanding group of high-risk women.”

While numerous studies have established that obesity, in the absence of diabetes, is associated with problems in pregnancy – preterm birth, birth trauma, blood loss and a prolonged hospital stay, to name a few – less is known about type 2 diabetes and what causes difficulties when the two conditions coexist. Researchers from Rochester wanted to determine if obesity alone accounts for the increased risks in this “dual-diagnosis” group, or if diabetes plays a role as well.

To determine the influence of obesity and type 2 diabetes when the conditions coexist in pregnancy, Thornburg and lead study author Kristin Knight, M.D., used clinical records and the hospital’s birth certificate database to identify 213 pairs of women who delivered babies at the Medical Center between 2000 and 2008. Each pair included a diabetic and a non-diabetic patient with approximately the same pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). The majority of women in the study were overweight, obese or morbidly obese.

“We matched the pairs pound for pound, because if obesity was the main problem, we’d see similar outcomes between women, whether they had diabetes or not. But if we saw different outcomes between pairs, we’d know the diabetes was impacting outcomes as well,” said Thornburg.

Using mathematical models and controlling for outside factors, such as age and tobacco use, researchers found that the patients with type 2 diabetes had overall worse pregnancy, delivery and newborn outcomes than their BMI-matched counterparts. Specifically, diabetic patients had higher rates of preeclampsia, cesarean delivery, shoulder dystocia, preterm delivery, large for gestational age infant, fetal anomaly and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.

“Women and their physicians need to be aware that each condition on its own increases risk in pregnancy, so when they coexist the situation is even more worrisome,” said Knight, a maternal fetal medicine fellow at Rochester. “Pregnancy is a time of great change, and fortunately many women are very open to making modifications during this period in their life. Anything a woman can do to improve her condition, from controlling blood sugar and exercising, to eating nutritious foods and maintaining an optimal weight, will help her deliver a healthier baby.”

Knight originally focused her research on the effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes on pregnancy. In a previous study, she found that women with type 2 diabetes, most of whom were also obese, had poorer outcomes. Consequently, her research turned to obese, type 2 diabetics and their experiences in pregnancy.

“If a woman enters pregnancy obese, but hasn’t developed type 2 diabetes, she is in a better place than if she had both,” concluded Thornburg.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Mum Sheds 66kg to Beat Diabetes

Mum Sheds 66kg to Beat Diabetes

AS ROCKHAMPTON'S Sandra Beutel watered her red begonia, she was reminded of the 30kg weight-loss milestone she'd reached on her huge journey of losing more than 66kg.

“Every 10 kilos I would lose, I would treat myself to a gift of some sort,” the 41-year-old said.

One gift to myself was a plant and every time I went to water it I could say that I lost 30kg to get this.”

Her two-year fitness transformation took the mother-of-three from 140kg to her goal of 74kg – a weight she hasn't been since her early teens – which she reached yesterday.

“After having my twins, I was around the 100kg mark, which is when I started to gain more weight,” Sandra said.

But after having her third child four years ago, Sandra was given the ultimatum that would eventually decide her fate.

“I had gestational diabetes and my doctor said I either had to start taking medication or lose weight, and I opted to lose weight,” Sandra said.

Sandra turned to Weight Watchers to start dropping the kilos, and has now been nominated for the group's annual Healthy Life Awards after losing 46% of her body weight.

“I am able to do a whole lot more than I ever have done before,” she said.

“My children are able to put their arms around me without any trouble at all, and my son loves that I am able to go bike riding with him.”

Sandra said it was getting so bad she had to inject herself with insulin and take naps during the day.

“Now I don't have to do that anymore, I feel so much more energised and able to do so much throughout the day.”

Weight Watchers will have an open day at their Canning St office on August 27 at 9.30am, where Sandra and other successful members from the Rockhampton area will speak to anyone interested in joining from the community.

Sandra will also be the Rockhampton Weight Watchers ambassador for the month of August as part of the open day.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Study Links Diabetes, Heart Disease to TV Viewing

Study Links Diabetes, Heart Disease to TV Viewing

PARENTS who are less concerned about the number of hours their children and wards spent watching TV programmes and movies should note this, a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) ,published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has revealed that prolonged TV viewing is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and premature death.

According to a senior research author and Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at HSPH, Frank Hu, the message is simple, "cutting back on TV watching can significantly reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and premature mortality,"

"We should not only promote increasing physical activity levels but also reduce sedentary behaviours, especially prolonged TV watching," he added.

Hu and the first author of the study Anders Grontved, a doctoral student and visiting researcher in the HSPH Department of Nutrition, conducted a meta-analysis, a systematic assessment of all published studies from 1970 to 2011 that linked TV viewing with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.

Eight large prospective cohort studies from the United States, Europe, and Australia met the researchers" criteria and were included in the meta-analysis.

The results showed that more than two hours of TV viewing per day increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and more than three hours of daily viewing increased risk of premature death.

"Sedentary lifestyle, especially prolonged TV watching, is clearly an important and modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease," Grøntved added.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Pollutants Linked to Diabetes in New Study

Pollutants Linked to Diabetes in New Study

People with higher levels of pesticides and other pollutants in their blood may be more likely to get type 2 diabetes, suggests a new study of elderly Swedes.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that these chemicals might drive changes in the body that lead to diabetes, researchers say, although they don't prove that one causes the other.
Taken together, the data suggest that there is more to the blood sugar disease than eating too much and not getting enough exercise, said Dr. David Carpenter, head of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany in New York.
The pollutants, including pesticides and poly-chlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are largely found in meat and fatty fish. Some of them, including PCBs — once used in paint, plastics, and for electrical equipment manufacturing — are heavily regulated and no longer used in many countries.
However, "the exposure to these chemicals in the general population still occurs because they have widely contaminated our food chain," study researcher Dr. Duk-Hee Lee, of Kyungpook National University in Daegu, South Korea, told Reuters Health in an email.
In the current study, Lee and colleagues sought to follow up on previous findings that had linked these chemicals with type 2 diabetes.
They recruited a group of 725 diabetes-free elderly adults in Sweden and took blood samples to measure their levels of the pollutants. Then, the researchers followed them for the next five years.
Thirty-six of the study participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes over that time. When Lee's team accounted for other diabetes risks such as weight, exercise, and smoking, people who had high levels of PCBs were up to nine times more likely to get diabetes than those with very low pollutant levels in their blood.
The link was smaller for some pesticides, while others weren't linked to diabetes at all, according to the findings, which are published in the journal Diabetes Care.
The authors note that the number of new diabetes cases was low, and the findings can't prove that PCBs or other pollutants cause diabetes.
But research suggesting that's the case is piling up, said Carpenter, who was not involved in the new study.
More than eight percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health — most of them type 2 diabetes.
Many studies have linked type 2 diabetes to overweight, lack of exercise and high blood pressure. In the new study, a big waistline was also a diabetes risk factor.
The authors speculate that long-term exposure to environmental pollutants could affect cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
It would make sense that heavier people are more at risk of diabetes, Carpenter added, because they're also probably eating more fatty meat and fish high in these chemicals — and they have more fat themselves where these chemicals are stored.
While researchers try to clear up just which pollutants may be linked to diabetes and how, strategies for preventing diabetes don't change much, Carpenter said.
"I think the message isn't really so different as it was when we thought diabetes was only a lifestyle disease," he said. "It is important to reduce your consumption of animal fat," and to be aware of how much fatty fish you're eating.
Lee added that eating more vegetables and other plant-based foods, as well as exercising, can help the body get rid of these pollutants.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Cost of Diabetes in Australia Soars

Cost of Diabetes in Australia Soars

The cost of diabetes to Australia is alarming.. that's been borne out by two separate reports last week.

The number of Australian children with Type 1 diabetes is already high by international standards, but the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates the number will have jumped by a further ten percent in the five years to 2013.

The findings come amid calls for annual kidney screening tests to pick up the early signs of kidney disease helping those with Type 2, or adult-onset diabetes.

Experts say the screening would be at least as cost-effective as breast cancer screening has proven to be.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Schools Failing Diabetes Pupils

Schools Failing Diabetes Pupils

Northern Ireland's education department is failing the needs of diabetic pupils who need regular insulin injections, the charity Diabetes UK has said.

While some primary school teachers have agreed to give pupils lunchtime insulin injections, others are refusing.

The teachers said that, according to the guidance received from the department, it is the responsibility of parents and not the schools.

The department said it was working with education boards to resolve the issue.

SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt is a member of the Assembly education committee.

He has a seven-year-old daughter who suffers from type one diabetes.

'Out of date'

Mr McDevitt said new guidelines were needed for the school-time treatment of diabetic children.

"The guidelines that the department have are totally out of date.

"They are basically making it impossible, except by voluntary agreement, for children to receive their lunchtime insulin injections while at school.

"This is, basically, undermining some children's right to an education."

Diabetes UK spokesperson Florence Findlay White said each diabetic child had a care plan that was implemented by specialist nurses.

"We would like to see every school which has a child with diabetes have somebody in that school who has the knowledge and the understanding and training to be able to supervise and administer insulin, if that's what's necessary, and to know how to look after that child if their blood sugar is too high or too low."

The minister of education was not available for comment, but in a statement the department said: "Training is offered to all school principals to help them meet the needs of children with medication needs.

"However, there is no legal duty that requires school staff to administer medication. This is a voluntary role."

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Type 2 Diabetes on the Rise in Children

Type 2 Diabetes on the Rise in Children

Just a few years ago type two diabetes was referred to as adult onset because it mainly affected older people. But that has changed.

Unfortunately we're seeing more and more children develop type two diabetes. The reason? Lifestyle.

According to the director of Bay County's diabetes center, Jo Colville, "We are a heavy population. Florida is one of the heaviest. And weight tends to trigger diabetes, especially type two diabetes in individuals and so we're seeing an increase number of those."

With 25 percent of the population projected to have diabetes by the year 2050, Colville says we need to fight the problem now.

"Super sized industry that has taken over America in terms of eating habits you know it's got to get back to the old tried and true; eating specific portions and that will definitely help control blood sugars, prevent obesity and get us to be a healthier nation."

But watching what you eat isn't the only concern.

Colville says, "Exercise plays an important part as well and that too is something we don't do as much as we did back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and so that's contributing to the obesity and contributing to the diabetes."

According to Colville, a great place to start is with our kids.

"Especially PE in school that is something that probably needs to come back in order to improve children's health since we're seeing so many children with type two diabetes and obesity; that's a huge issue and I hope that educational leaders will consider that in the future."

Being diagnosed with diabetes is shocking enough. Now, some patients are learning they suffer from two different types of diabetes at the same time. It's being called type 3 diabetes, a new and dangerous condition that has health officials concerned.

Diabetes 3 means the brain is no longer secreting enough insulin and in turn the brain's cells will deteriorate. As the brain cells stop working, the brain's receptors also decline in function. Some believe Alzheimer's is actually diabetes type 3.

Monday, 30 May 2011

How To Control Type 2 Diabetes In Three Steps

How To Control Type 2 Diabetes In Three Steps

Mainstream medicine still claims that there is no cure for diabetes. However, many people are curing this debilitating condition every day.

This article explains how it is possible and outlines three action steps that you can take to prevent or even reverse type 2 diabetes naturally.

In diabetes, glucose builds up in the bloodstream because it's having trouble getting into the cells where it belongs. As a result, it may damage blood vessels of your organs such as kidneys and heart.

But why is that? Glucose uses insulin to open channels in the cell's outer membrane so that it can pass through. The problem is that during diabetes insulin is no longer able to open up the cell.

Suddenly, you may start experiencing unusual thirst, extreme hunger, fatigue, blurred vision and other symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The following three steps will allow you to control diabetes more effectively:

  • Improve your diet. Stop eating all refined sugars, processed foods and dairy products. Start consuming fresh whole foods high in fiber. These dietary modifications will help you balance your blood sugar, reduce inflammation and turn on all the right gene messages that are necessary for controlling diabetes.
  • Keep off the excess weight. Most people with diabetes are overweight or obese. Exercise can help with weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity. It's simple - regular physical activity is a powerful way to reduce blood sugar and reduce your risk of complications. Talk to your health care provider about what kind of exercise is appropriate for you. Even a 30 minute walk a day can have a huge impact on controlling type 2 diabetes.
  • Embrace the power of herbs. Diabetes symptoms can be controlled with many herbal remedies. More specifically, scientific research is now shedding more light on healing properties of various plants that either control blood sugar (bilberry, salt bush) or treat the side effects of diabetes (ginkgo biloba).

It's important to realize that high blood sugar is only a symptom - not the cause of diabetes. The real problem is a diet high in carbohydrates and processed foods together with an unhealthy lifestyle. This is why you won't find the answer to your condition in a pill bottle.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Diabetes Doesn't Slow Charlie Kimball

Diabetes Doesn't Slow Charlie Kimball

Diagnosed four years ago with Type I diabetes that sidelined him for a year, Kimball is attempting to become the IndyCar Series' first licensed driver with the disease to race in the Indianapolis 500. Extensive research on the disease (including whether others have raced with it) convinced the rookie he wouldn't be affected as long as he followed precautions including glucose-monitoring mechanisms in his No. 83 Dallara/Honda.

Not only has it provided a full-season ride with Chip Ganassi Racing, but an insulin technology sponsor and platform to speak on.

"People who may aspire to be driver, when they're diagnosed, see that door as being closed, and I aim to prove otherwise," said Kimball, 26. "Because you're diagnosed doesn't mean you can't chase your dream and live your passion.

"The modern insulins, blood sugar testing, the monitor I wear, the understanding of the physiology and the science behind diabetes and good glucose control and management means I have better tools than ever before to race cars professionally. All the new technologies in the last 10, 20, years not only have made this possible, I can continue to compete. I want to prove that I'm a racing driver, and diabetes is part of who I am."

Wednesday's misty conditions canceled practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, denying the English-born Californian a chance to gain laps in his Honda, supported by Levemir and Novolog FlexPen, which delivers insulin. His steering wheel features a glucose monitor while the dash features a blood-sugar gauge that his physician and pit crew can access as well. A hydration bladder feeds him orange juice or sugar water.

His car number is an ode to the year that Ganassi, who has won three Indy 500s as an owner including last year, finished a career-best eighth as a driver at the Brickyard. Finally, Kimball's father, Gordon, worked for McLaren, Benetton and Ferrari and helped build engines that won at Indy in the 1980s.

Though weather has slowed Kimball's oval introduction at Indy — he passed last weekend's Rookie Orientation Program — his road course background has helped his IndyCar get off to a solid start. A 10th-place run at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala., highlighted that early-season stretch on road and street courses, and he stands 21st in points, 110 behind leader Will Power.

He enters Indy with the benefit of two title-winning teammates that have won the Greatest Spectacle in Racing — Scott Dixon and defending champion Dario Franchitti— as well as Graham Rahal, son of 1986 winner Bobby Rahal and the series' youngest race winner. That has him confident of earning one of 24 spots in Saturday's qualifying.

"I looked for precedents, and that gave me an indication that I'd be able to do this," said Kimball, who deferred entrance to Stanford to pursue his dream. "For a while my racing was self-centric, but now I'm doing this to make a difference and have an impact."

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Fasting Cuts Risk for Heart Disease and Diabetes

Fasting Cuts Risk for Heart Disease and Diabetes

Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center's Heart Institute in Utah have found that regular fasting cuts the risk of both heart disease and diabetes. The study comes from Utah because the state's large number of Mormon residents are asked to fast at least once a month. For many of them, not eating at all has real, long-lasting health benefits.

"Utahns and LDS [Latter Day Saints] people have a lower risk of cardiac mortality. Even today, despite the fact that smoking rates have declined in most states, and quite considerably in some states, the Utah rate of cardiac death is much lower than in most states," said Dr. Benjamin Horne, one of the team of researchers at the institute.

How does it work? Basically, fasting allows the body to burn fat as fuel, Horne said, and that reduces its overall number of fat cells. Fewer fat cells mean lower cholesterol, increased insulin sensitivity, and a lower risk of diabetes.

Researchers first looked at fasting back in 2007. That initial round of work suggested that it cut the risk of heart disease. Their new findings show that it can improve other measures of heart health and overall wellness, such as weight, blood sugar, and triglycerides.

Utah, with its sizable Mormon population, was the perfect place for the study, Horne said. While other religions include fasting, they don't make a habit of it. "Most of the world's population doesn't fast on a regular basis," he said.

Doctors involved in the study want to continue examining the benefits of fasting, a topic that hasn't been studied in depth. They plan on using a grant from the Deseret Foundation-a nonprofit connected to the institute-to continue their work, concentrating on how fasting might help those already managing heart disease and diabetes.

Interested in trying out fasting for yourself? Horne recommends that you look before you leap. Some people simply shouldn't fast for health reasons. "People have to be careful," he said. "If there is some interest, they ought to talk to their physician first."

The Intermountain Medical Center scientists presented their findings at the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans in April.