Monday, 28 February 2011

What’s the Best Test for Children’s Diabetes?

What’s the Best Test for Children’s Diabetes?

A simple blood test that measures long-term glucose levels -- the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test -- may not be the best way to diagnose diabetes in adolescents.

The HbA1c screening test is easier to perform than the fasting plasma glucose test, which requires fasting for eight hours. But the new study, which appears in the Journal of Pediatrics, shows that the HbA1c test is less sensitive in diagnosing diabetes and prediabetes in children than in adults.

“My worry is that we could miss cases of diabetes,” says study researcher Joyce Lee, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at University of Michigan’s Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. “The HbA1c test just doesn’t perform as well in kids as it does in adults.”Lee says this test can be useful as an adjunct to other diabetes tests.

“You don’t want to rely on just this test to diagnose a child with diabetes,” she says. If a child is overweight and obese and has two of four risk factors for diabetes, they should be screened in some other way beside HbA1c.”

Risk factors include family history of diabetes, maternal history of gestational diabetes, belonging to certain ethnic groups (Native Americans, African-Americans, or Asians/South Pacific Islanders), or any signs of insulin resistance such as polycystic ovary syndrome, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol levels.

Comparing Diabetes Screening Tests

In the new study, researchers compared HbA1c screening results with those seen on fasting glucose tests among 1,156 obese and overweight adolescents aged 12 to 18. They compared these readings with those of 6,751 adults aged 19 to 79.

According to the American Diabetic Association guidelines, diabetes is diagnosed when an HbA1c level is 6.5% or more; prediabetes is diagnosed when an HbA1C level is between 6% and 6.4% on two separate tests. Prediabetes is marked by higher than normal glucose levels that places a person at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Using these cut-offs, the fasting test caught significantly more adolescents with diabetes and prediabetes than the HbA1c test, the study showed. The HbA1c was much more sensitive among adults than adolescents.

The researchers also compared results in a subset of 267 adolescents and 1,476 adults who had two-hour plasma glucose measurements, in which blood glucose is measured exactly two hours after you have a sweet drink. The two-hour test was also more sensitive than the HbA1c test in adolescents.

“Most of the studies that were done to validate the HbA1c were done in adults,” Lee says. There are hormonal differences in children that may affect its ability to diagnose diabetes, she says. “There is also an age-dependent rise in HbA1c over time, so we many need a lower threshold.”

Gerald Bernstein, MD, director of the diabetes management program at the Friedman Diabetes Institute of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, agrees that the HbA1c test results can be misleading in children. He says that changing hormone levels in boys and girls may skew the results.

“There is a lot of data that needs to be accumulated and validated in the technical sense to be able to use this test as reliable diagnostic criteria," he says.

“If your child is at risk for diabetes, I would not be happy with just this test unless it was high,” he says. “If it was high, you escape the ambiguousness seen in the new study.”

Glucose tolerance is still the gold standard, he says.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Coconut Sugar Good For Diabetics ?

Coconut Sugar Good For Diabetics?

A new type of coconut sugar has hit Guam's shelves and it's known to have greater health benefits for diabetics than cane sugar.

During a check presentation to the Diabetes Association of Guam at Meskla for $2,867.23. Pacific Rim Brokers President Pete Sgro says his company is backing a product called "Benevita Cocosugar". Sgro says he brought back samples to Guam from the Philippines and received good feedback from diabetics and non diabetics alike. In fact, some patients that tested the product over a long period of time reported a decrease in their use of insulin. Sgro is now working with the Diabetes

Association of Guam to see if there is a trend. While he wants to improve the lifestyles of the over 40 thousand diabetics on Guam, Sgro also explains some of the health benefits of this “cocosugar.”

“With coconut sugar, it doesn't store the sugar in your body” said Sgro. “So obviously, it has some health benefits not just for diabetics. But with respect to obesity, if you eat a lot of cane sugar, you're going to get fat storage. If you use one with low Glycemic Index which coconut sugar is...then you don't have that storage.”

Sgro adds this sugar has more nutrients than cane sugar and lowers Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol.

Aside from donating the product to the association for the first 30 days, Sgro adds his company is committing and contributing $10 thousand dollars to host a regional diabetes workshop in April.

“We are flying presenters from the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute” remarked Sgro. “The director of the institute will be flying into Guam in April, together with 3 diabetes instructors. We're not going to limit it to professionals on Guam. We're also going to extend invitations to representatives from the outer island because diabetes is in chronic levels as well over there.”

Sgro mentions the U.S. Department of Agriculture has certified "Benevita Cocosugar" as organic. The product can be found at all Payless Supermarkets for now.

However, Benevita has offered Sgro's company to be their exclusive representative for the entire west coast of the United States.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Does Coffee Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes?

Does Coffee Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes?

Folks who need that morning cup of coffee to get going may be protecting themselves from type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests. UCLA researchers wrote in the journal Diabetes last month that drinking four cups of coffee a day reduced women's chance of developing type 2 by a bit less than half. What's more, the scientists point to a specific reason why all that java has a beneficial effect: a protein known as sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Scientists have suspected for some time that SHBG was connected to diabetes development.

What about those coffee jitters? Folks hoping to cut their risk through this method may have to endure them. (Who knows? They may learn to love them.)

"Consumption of decaffeinated coffee was not significantly associated with SHBG levels, nor diabetes risk," said the study's lead author, Atsushi Goto of the University of California, Los Angeles. "So you probably have to go for the octane."

This isn't the first study looking at diabetes and coffee consumption. Past work has produced conflicting results, so you may want to weigh the data before mainlining Starbucks.

An Archives of Internal Medicine paper from 2006 showed that women who drank decaffeinated coffee had the most protection from type 2 diabetes (they were 22 percent less likely to develop it). Those who drank the regular stuff also received some protection, the earlier study said, but not as much.

Other studies have cast doubt on coffee itself, suggesting that the beverage makes it harder for the body to break down sugar.

The UCLA study looked at 359 postmenopausal women with new cases of type 2 diabetes and compared them with 359 women who didn't have the disease but were otherwise similar. In addition to the researchers from UCLA, scientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School contributed to the study.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Americans May face Diabetes Outburst By 2020

Americans May face Diabetes Outburst By 2020

Diabetes has become the most serious health problem of America. United Health Group has predicted that 52% of Americans may get diabetic or pre-diabetic by 2020. The percentage is more than two time higher than the amount of diabetes cases registered in 2010.

People of America have not started taking this problem seriously. It is still considered as a big health problem despite all the rapid improvements in science and technology. Experts claims that the reason behind this health hazard is extremely poor lifestyle adopted by the majority of population.

Diabetes is a metabolic condition which arises when the blood sugar level increases abnormally. The high level of sugar disturbs the normal functioning of multiple organs. Diabetes is mainly of two types, diabetes type I and diabetes type II. The deficiency of insulin results in diabetes type I and decreased sensitivity to insulin leads to diabetes type II.

Nearly 95% of the diabetes cases are of type II diabetes whereas diabetes type I is a rare disorder.

In the Last year, $194 billion were spent on diabetes-related care alone. This amount accounts for 7% of total US healthcare costs. According to the United Health Group the amount is expected to rise to $500 billion in 2020 which means a total of $3.4 trillion over the next ten years.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Knowledge Necessary to Deal With Diabetes

Knowledge Necessary to Deal With Diabetes

Being educated about diabetes is important for everyone affected by the disease — especially the parents of young diabetics, said Laurence Martin, a pediatrician and pediatric endocrinologist at Regional Hospital

Type 1 diabetes affects 1 in 500 children and is a lifelong condition with no cure, he said. Type 2 diabetes, which used to be seen only in adults, started to occur in children about 15 years ago, and the numbers are growing, he said.

"It used to be unusual to see. But now we see it on a regular basis," he said. "Type 2 is maybe even increasing to become more common than Type 1, which is very much self-inflicted. It runs in families; it's inherited. It's related to obesity."

Education for adults currently is offered at Regional. Jessica Strickland, a clinical dietitian, leads a monthly class on diabetes for adults. The one-day class includes a complimentary lunch, which is used as an educational tool, and complimentary lab work. The class includes a dietitian, a registered nurse, a clinical pharmacist, a physical therapist/wound care specialist and a medical resident, Strickland said.

"Each one speaks to their area of diabetes care and management," she said. "There is no fee for the class. This is a service Regional provides to the community."

Strickland encourages each person to bring a support person, and she said the class is for any adult with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 — or adult-onset diabetes — may be increasing to become more common than Type 1, Martin said. He has Type 2 patients as young as 5 years old, he said.

"It's not so much about a shortage of insulin, but about too much person," he said. "It's about insulin resistance. The body develops insulin resistance, so the body develops more to keep up and the person gains weight. With proper diet, exercise and weight control, you can make Type 2 go away."

Sometimes patients can use pills, but some become so overweight that they have to have insulin shots, he said.

Most parents, when they find out about Type 1 diabetes, feel the news is sudden, Martin said.

"It develops quickly," he said. "Parents are distressed and troubled. A major lifestyle change is involved. Type 2 sneaks up, and it can be there a while and you not know."

Many adults have Type 2 and may not know it. Martin said 20 to 30 million Americans don't know they have Type 2 diabetes.

"It's all about diet, exercise and what I call 'screen time,'" he said. "The TV screen, the computer screen, the iPhone screen. As we become more sedentary, this becomes more a problem. Type 2 is socioeconomic — it's really expensive to eat healthy."

Parents and adult diabetics should look at food labels and be aware of free calories, Martin said. He often warns parents about juices because some have a lot of sugar.

People with diabetes and those in danger of becoming diabetic should stay active.

"A muscle at work doesn't need insulin, so the less insulin needed, the less weight gained," he said.

It's important to be informed about diabetes, especially in children, Martin said.

"This has long-term impacts on a child's health and on your long-term health," he said. "Complications to diabetes can affect the eyes, kidneys, nerves; with Type 2, you add in cardiac disease and harm to the feet."

If the disease starts at age 30, complications develop 20 or 30 years later. If the disease develops at age 5, complications come when a child is relatively young, Martin said.

"This has an impact on generations," he said. "This is one of the most expensive diseases nationally. We spend a huge amount of health care money on diabetes. If we bring down the burden on individuals and society, everyone will benefit."

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Checkout Affects on Muscles Due to Diabetes

Checkout Affects on Muscles Due to Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus affected patients can increase contracture of limbs and digits due to soft tissue congealing in these areas. Such trouble can be the cause of homicide of the muscle from disuse.

This disease raises atherosclerosis that damages the movement of numerous tissues inside the body. This time the muscles of the limb are disturbed and blood flow decreases, which can lead to cramp and become a painful movement of tissues (peripheral vascular disease turns into claudicating). In those conditions where the position is the most horrible such as an increment of disease can lead to death of the restricted areas of muscle. Patient will get the indication as local pain in the involved area. For clear picture of effects of muscle blood testing can do for muscle enzymes. This available test is known as CPK. If the diabetes is affecting the heart muscle such as atherosclerosis than this can lead to heart attack as well.

It is the kind of disease, which can damage nerves, which supply the blood to feed and hands. It can also lead to insufficient nerve supply, which can again damage other muscles as well. Those people who are affected with longstanding diabetes mellitus can get big pain, and muscle twitching, besides muscle slaying around the shoulders and hips. This problem is known as diabetic muscle degeneration or amyotrophy.

However, a different type of diabetes is having dissimilar difficulties and having a muscle problem in all types is not necessary. Muscle power is sealed adequately to let for modest physical activity, and it can be treated in the proper way under professional expert’s supervision. Their supervision will help the diabetes patients to free the muscles from any kind of strains happened because of diabetes.

While talking about different troubles of muscles, there are 32 various causes that affect due to diabetes. Some of the known causes are Addison’s disease, Angina, Atherosclerosis, Bell’s palsy, Cardiovascular Disease, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cerebrovascular Conditions, Depressive disorders, Eclampsia, Flu – Febrile convulsions, Frozen Shoulder, Heart block, Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome, etc. Many other causes are there that can happen due to diabetes disease so it’s important for a patient to control the sugar level and do some regular exercise to maintain their muscles.

The most common cause of diabetes is frozen shoulders and that is also a fact that people infected with diabetes will not get the complete rid of this disease once they get affected. Those who feel having a frozen shoulders problem should start taking magnesium in their diet.

There are diabetes monitor and methods to control this disease so that muscles affects also can be reduced. However, patient has to contact the experts to learn the procedure of some physical activities for muscles.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Evolution Caused Genetic Variation That May Affect Diabetes

Evolution Caused Genetic Variation That May Affect Diabetes

Stanford University researchers have identified genetic variations in a hormone involved in the secretion of insulin-a molecule that regulates blood sugar levels-that occur more frequently in some human populations than others.

People with the 'new' variants, which are thought to have first occurred 2,000 to 12,000 years ago, have higher fasting levels of blood glucose than those with the more traditional, or ancestral, form of the gene.

High blood glucose levels are associated with the development of diabetes, which occurs when the body is unable to produce or respond properly to insulin.

The finding may help scientists better understand the subtle changes in human metabolism, or "energy balance regulation," that occurred as our species shifted from being primarily hunter-gatherers to a more agriculturally based society.

It may also help clinicians identify individuals likely to develop diabetes, and direct the development of new therapies for diabetes and obesity.

"These studies are fascinating because it shows how much the selection process has affected human energy-balance regulation in just a few thousand years and how complex it could be for the future practice of personalized medicine," said Sheau Yu 'Teddy' Hsu, senior author of the study.

Hsu and his colleagues at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan and Texas A and M University first identified 207 genetic regions that have been associated with diabetes or obesity.

They then looked to see which of these had increased in prevalence in the time since humans began to move out of Africa about 60,000 years ago. They identified 59 genetic regions of particular interest, and homed in on those that occurred in at least 30 percent of people in the HapMap project - a worldwide survey of genetic differences among populations.

The research has been published in the journal Diabetes.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

How To Incorporate Your Diabetes Monitor Into Your Life

How To Incorporate Your Diabetes Monitor Into Your Life

For most diabetics, the fact that they are living with diabetes starts to hit them when they get their diabetes meter out from the box. Commonplace in any home-based blood glucose monitoring regimen, diabetes monitors or blood glucose meters are key to determining the concentrations of glucose in the blood, which in turn is essential in formulating the proper treatment, diet and exercise for managing diabetes.

If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, incorporating your diabetes monitor into your daily routine may be difficult and uncomfortable. Testing your blood sugar with your blood glucose monitor during specific periods of the day, for example, can be quite a challenge especially when at work or travelling. Thankfully, modern blood glucose monitors are quite small: The Johnson & Johnson One Touch Ultra Mini meter, for example, is just four inches long and one and a half inches wide. Modern meters also only require small amounts of blood to calculate results in seconds, making it easier to find time and a place to check for blood sugar.

If you are going to test your blood glucose outside of the house, testing in a bathroom or kitchen is the ideal place to do so in terms of hygiene and privacy. Make sure that all the necessary testing equipment including the diabetes monitor, lancets test strips are placed in a stable surface, and dispose of used test strips and lancets after the test.

If you are a Type 1 diabetic that requires regular doses of insulin, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you test at least three times a day. The testing should be done before or and after meals, when performing exercise or rigorous physical activity, and before going to sleep. For people with Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, testing is not as strict. Type 2 diabetics who control their diabetes through diet or oral medications may not even require regular testing at all. However, regardless of whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes you should still undertake periodic A1C testing, which shows your average blood glucose level over the past three months.

The type of diabetes monitor you are going to use for blood glucose monitoring might be an issue for you as well. If you have special requirements, such as a visual impairment or the need to track down blood glucose readings over time, your choices may be limited to just a few models. Price may also be a factor, although the blood glucose meter price has significantly gone down over the years. Nowadays you can purchase a blood glucose monitor from $80 to as low as $20. Some manufacturers even give away their diabetes monitors for free or are at a discounted rate. If you are covered by Medicaid, Medicare or other type of health insurance, your coverage may also include the purchase of a diabetes monitor and other diabetic testing supplies.

Once you have purchased a diabetes monitor, you should then calibrate it for first use with new test strips. Unless you are already familiar with calibrating meters, it is recommended that you bring your new meter along during your clinic visit and have it checked and calibrated by your doctor or a technician. You should also ask your doctor if you can use your meter alongside a laboratory blood test so that you will be able to determine whether the accuracy of your diabetes monitor closely matches that of laboratory-grade testing equipment.

Finally, most people have problems dealing with the pain and discomfort of taking blood samples for testing. Purchasing a lancing device often helps lessen the pain, as they draw and retract within seconds and allow you to set the depth of penetration of the lancet. You can also try taking blood samples on the forearm, which is less sensitive than the fingertip, though you should check first whether your meter supports alternative testing sites.

Living with a diabetes monitor can be quite inconvenient, but it is necessary in order to maintain good health and prevent the onset of severe side effects caused by diabetes. And if you want to learn more about living with diabetes as well as tips on finding free and diabetes monitors, insulin pump supplies and other diabetic supplies

Friday, 4 February 2011

Newcastle Scientists Aiming to Create Diabetes Device

Newcastle Scientists Aiming to Create Diabetes Device

SCIENTISTS from Newcastle and Oxford are collaborating to create devices which will make the process of diagnosing and monitoring Type 1 and 2 diabetes a less painful experience for those being tested.

Oxford Medical Diagnostics is developing products which give a reading of the levels of acetone in breath when blown into, creating an alternative to the traditional diabetes testing method of pricking a finger and analysing the blood.

A device designed for use by GPs and other medical professionals is expected to hit the market in the next six to eight months after finishing clinical trials, while a more affordable handheld device for home monitoring could be available within a couple of years.

Oxford Medical Diagnostics was formed in 2008, but the current set-up is the result of a merger between Oxford Medical Diagnostics, experts in Broadband Cavity Enhanced Absorption Scectroscopy from Oxford University and North East handheld breath-testing start-up EV (Medical Screening).

EV (Medical Screening) was set up in 2008 and specialised in the development of Plasma Emission Spectroscopy to analyse compounds in human breath. It was set up by former IBM director and current OMD chairman John Jack, and founders included Northumbria University’s Tim Moor and University of Newcastle emeritus professor of physics Albert Crowe.

OMD chairman John Jack said: “In 40 years of international business this is without doubt one of the most exciting business opportunities with which I have been associated.”

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Diabetes Spreading Fast in US

Diabetes Spreading Fast in US

The number of Americans with diabetes have increased to nearly 26 million as more people are developing the disease and many who have it are living longer, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

An estimated 79 million adults in the United States have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes raises a person's risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

In a study published last year, CDC projected that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue.

In 2008, about 23.6 million people in the United States had diabetes and 57 million adults were classified as prediabetes, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control.

Diabetes affects 8.3 percent of Americans of all ages, and 11.3 percent of adults aged 20 and older, according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet for 2011. About 27 percent of those with diabetes - 7 million Americans - do not know they have the disease. Prediabetes affects 35 percent of adults aged 20 and older.

Diabetes, which is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. It is marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can cause serious health complications such as heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, kidney failure, blindness and amputations of feet and legs. Diabetes costs $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical expenses.

"These distressing numbers show how important it is to prevent type 2 diabetes and to help those who have diabetes manage the disease to prevent serious complications such as kidney failure and blindness," said Ann Albright, director of CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation. "We know that a structured lifestyle program that includes losing weight and increasing physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes."