Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Circulator Boot Prevents Diabetes Related Amputation

Doctors at Mayo Clinic are using a special boot to help prevent amputations and save limbs . . .

Many people with diabetes are at risk of developing wounds on their feet that just won't heal. They're also at risk of getting hardened arteries in their legs, a condition that can be very painful. These issues are what cause some diabetics and some people with peripheral arterial disease to need amputations.

Source: EmaxHealth

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pre-Diabetes Can Be Turned Around by Exercise

Another good article at - Charles

People diagnosed with pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance) can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by losing just 5 to 7% of their body weight and exercising regularly, according to a clinical study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Go to to read entire article - and find more great links
Diet and Exercise Can Turn Pre-Diabetes Around

Fruits and Vegetables on a Budget

Anyone who's been to a grocery store lately knows about soaring prices.

Can we eat healthy when good food costs so much?

Eating 3 to 5 cups a day has long been recommended to reduce the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, and development of type 2 diabetes. The health benefits are well documented, and so you may not need to be sold on why you should eat more produce.

Read full article Fruits and Vegetables on a Budget - Cutting the Cost of Heart-Healthy Produce - By Debra Manzella, R.N.,

Diabetes On Rise Says CDC

Diabetes Cases Increase 15% in 2 Years . . .

Federal health officials sounded an alarm Tuesday about the staggering rise of diabetes in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control said a record 24-million Americans – eight percent of the population - now have diabetes.

That's an increase of three million over the course of three years; 25% of people over the age of 60 are affected.

The study also shows that 57 million more people are pre-diabetic, which means they are at risk of the disease.

“We've been busy right along,” says Dr. Steven Zygmot with Joslin Diabetes Center. The center sees only about 10 percent to 15 percent of Central New York diabetics.

Read full story at

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wide Disparities in Health Care by Race and Region

Race and place of residence can have a staggering impact on the course and quality of the medical treatment a patient receives.

According to new research showing that blacks with diabetes or vascular disease are nearly five times more likely than whites to have a leg amputated, and that women in Mississippi are far less likely to have mammograms than those in Maine.

The study, by researchers at Dartmouth, examined Medicare claims for evidence of racial and geographic disparities, and found that on a variety of quality indices, blacks typically were less likely to receive recommended care than whites within a given region.

But the most striking disparities were found from place to place.

For instance, the widest racial gaps in mammogram rates within a state were with a difference of 12% points between the white rate and the black rate. The statistics were for women ages 65 to 69 who received screening in 2004 or 2005 in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and California.

In all but two states, black diabetics were less likely than whites to receive annual hemoglobin testing. But blacks - 66% were far less likely to be screened than those in Massachusetts and Colorado.

Disparities in the rate of leg amputations were particularly stark. The rate for blacks was about 6 per 1,000. The rates for whites in three Southern states were much lower, about 1.3 per 1,000.

Such variations may be partly explained by regional differences in education and poverty levels, but researchers increasingly believe that variations in medical practice and spending also are factors.

In health care, it’s not only who you are that matters - it’s also where you live.

The study was commissioned by the nation’s largest health-related philanthropy, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which recently announced a three-year, $300 million initiative intended to narrow health care disparities across lines of race and geography. Officials said it would be the largest effort to improve health care quality ever undertaken by a charity in the United States

Dr. John R. Lumpkin, senior vice president of the foundation, said that more than a third of the $300 million would be spent to hire national experts to help regional coalitions tailor their quality improvement plans. The remainder of the money will be devoted to research, evaluation and the promotion of quality standards.

The areas selected for the grants are Cincinnati; Cleveland; Detroit; Humboldt County, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; Maine; Memphis; Minnesota; Seattle; south central Pennsylvania; western Michigan; western New York; Willamette Valley in Oregon; and Wisconsin.

The foundation’s endowment, now about $10 billion, was financed originally from the wealth of its namesake, who died in 1968 after building Johnson & Johnson into one of the world’s largest sellers of health and medical products.

The group has been a major force in curbing tobacco use, and has more recently turned its attention to obesity, announcing a five-year, $500 million effort on that front last year.

Source: Latinos for National Health Insurance

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Diabetes Management Challenges For Seniors

Not only is the risk for Type 2 diabetes more common as people get older, but physical, financial and medical issues are often compounded as people age.

Not enough insurance coverage, co-existing medical problems, difficulties with transportation, lack of social support, being unable to be physically active, poor nutrition; all these can come into play when elderly patients are diagnosed with diabetes.

1. Diagnosis Can Be More Difficult

Diagnosing diabetes becomes more difficult when there are already underlying symptoms of other common conditions that frequently occur with aging. Older people may not pay attention to symptoms of chronic thirst and frequent urination, instead just chalking them up to old age.

Problems such as blurred vision may be masked if cataracts or other age-related eye diseases are also concurrent. Fatigue and weakness in the extremities may also be overlooked as just a natural process of aging. Not only is the risk for Type 2 diabetes more common as people get older, but physical, financial and medical issues are often compounded as people age.

2. Complications Are More Likely

If diabetes is not diagnosed for a long period of time, the incidence of complications is higher due to the longterm damage of high blood sugar. If other medical problems are also occuring at the same time, these complications may not even be noticed until they become serious and life threatening.

* blindness

* kidney failure with resultant dialysis

* peripheral vascular disease and impaired circulation with threat of amputation

* cardiovascular disease

3. Affordable Health Care

Seniors might not be able to afford the extra expense of doctor visits, nutritionists, extra medications and supplies needed to keep diabetes under control. Very often private insurance is too expensive. There are options available to seniors for medical coverage, including Medicare Plan D which can help pay for prescriptions if you qualify for Medicare, state programs such as EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) and State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Programs(SHIP).

4. Transportation To and From Appointments

No longer being able to drive can be a big concern. It's hard to get to doctor's appointments, pharmacies, nutritionists and other health related destinations when there's no available transportation. Sometimes physical limitations prevent seniors from taking advantage of public transportation. Community-sponsored senior transportation may be offered at small to no charge. Local government offices or senior community centers can direct you to these services.

5. Adequate Nutrition

Sometimes a fixed income means trying to cut costs and live as economically as possible. Eating healthy can be expensive and difficult to accomplish. Nutritionally balanced meals are sometimes offered in area senior centers or through senior services agencies in the community. The Meals on Wheels program will deliver a healthy meal right to the door. Ask your doctor or nutritionist about low-cost food programs that are available in the area.

6. Getting Enough Exercise

Physical activity is beneficial for all seniors but especially for seniors with diabetes. Exercise can help keep blood sugar in control. Limited mobility can interfere with getting enough exercise. Local gyms and community centers can offer exercise programs specifically designed for older adults, such as the Silver Sneakers program. Local hospitals may also be able to recommend senior fitness programs in your area. Always check with your physician before starting any exercise program.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Juvenile Diabetes Club Aid's Kids

The founder of a diabetes club said children with the disease need someone to talk to about their concerns.

The bad thing is I have low blood sugar and can’t eat much. The good thing is I have new friends,” said Eric Gutierrez, a third-grader at Taft Elementary School.

I learned to be healthy with a lot of sleep and exercise and to take care of myself,” said Faith Nardone, a Taft fifth-grader.

The two were talking about their membership in the Taft Elementary Diabetes Club, an education and support group created this year by Annie Hunter, a fourth-grade teacher with 27 years of service in the district and a diabetic herself.

Hunter said the idea for creating a club for children came to her after she witnessed an elementary school girl having her blood sugar tested in the office of school nurse Jill Zinger.

Hunter recalled that she told Zinger that some sort of club or support group should be created to provide assistance to children with juvenile diabetes. It was Zinger, she said, who suggested that she take up the cause herself.

The more she thought about it, the better the idea sounded, Hunter said, adding that she wrote up a club proposal and presented it to Michael Schubert, Taft’s principal.

I thought it was fantastic,” Schubert said, noting that much of the club’s focus is on nutrition and eating right to control the disease.

The school contacted the parents of children at Taft known to have been diagnosed with diabetes and asked for permission for their children to join the club.

The National Diabetes Education Program estimates there are 177,000 people under the age of 20 in the United States who have diabetes.

I wanted to offer support to the children who have diabetes,” Hunter said. The club gives them someone to share their concerns with, she said, explaining that sometimes their classmates just don’t understand why they can’t eat a cookie or a cupcake.

I’m a diabetic. I am learning more about taking care of myself from the children than they are learning from me,” Hunter said, explaining that the club members are very knowledgeable about the disease and what dietary limitations they must impose on themselves.

Their parents are on top of things in terms of keeping their children informed, she said.

The club, which meets every two weeks, has five pupil members. In addition to Eric and Faith, Skylar Barcley, a second-grader, and sisters Tanesha Bryant, a first-grader, and Ta’Andrea Bowers, a fourth-grader, are members.

Tanesha has diabetes but Ta’Andrea doesn’t. She joined the club out of support for her younger sister and her teachers say she keeps a careful watch over her sibling.

Read entire article at

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Diabetic Celebrity Health: Halle Berry

One in 20 women, such as Oscar winner Halle Berry, have diabetes during pregnancy. But once diagnosed it can be managed.

A condition known -- not surprisingly -- as gestational diabetes.

As the baby grows in the womb, hormonal changes can result in higher blood-sugar levels in the mother. The hormones in question are produced by the placenta - via which the mother delivers nutrients to her growing child.

The bigger the placenta grows over the course of the pregnancy, the more hormones it releases - and the greater the chances of diabetes.

Normally, the upsurge in hormones is countered by the pancreas, the organ that supplies the body with insulin.

Gestational diabetes occurs when the organ struggles to produce the required amount of insulin.

There are also indications that it is more prevalent among the overweight -- though given her regulation Hollywood figure, Berry hardly had cause to worry on that front.

However, in up to 50% of cases, there is no discernible cause of the condition. In the unborn child, gestational diabetes can lead to birth defects.

The most common complication is called macrosomnia, by which babies are born oversized. This happens because the foetus produces excess insulin to absorb the large levels of glucose it is receiving from the mother.

That, in turn, serves as a growth trigger resulting in newborns with larger than normal heads and shoulders, which increase the chance of an injury during childbirth.

No less worrying is evidence that pre-existing diabetes among mothers - most commonly linked to obesity -is on the rise. A US survey found recently that the number of woman with diabetes during pregnancy doubled in the past seven years.

Pre-existing diabetes poses a threat to both mother and child: the risk of miscarriage and still-birth climbs sharply and there is a possibility the infant will be born with birth defects.

However, once it has been diagnosed, gestational diabetes can be managed during pregnancy.

The mother will probably be advised to limit the amount of glucose in her system by adopting a low-sugar diet. Exercise has also been shown to help.

Should neither of these produce the desired result, doctors will recommend insulin injections, to bring down blood-sugar levels.

Should the pregnancy otherwise go smoothly, the long- term effects of gestational diabetes are minimal. The mother's blood-sugar levels will, in most cases, revert to their pre-existing levels shortly after childbirth.


Independent - IE

New Type-2 Diabetic Treatment Being Tested

SUFFERERS from type-2 diabetes soon may be treating their ailment by chewing gum.

A Toronto company says it is testing a chewing gum containing the glucose-controlling drug metformin which is presently prescribed in tablets for many type-2 diabetes patients, but is unpopular because of gastrointestinal side-effects, bitter taste and the size of the pills.

The side-effects were especially off-putting to the increasing number of children diagnosed with type-2, according to the Generex Biotechnology Corporation of Toronto, Canada.

The chewing-gum product, called MetControl, would be given to 36 volunteer patients to test its speed and efficacy compared with that of immediate-release metformin pills.

It believed that delivery of metformin in good-tasting chewing gum would make it more acceptable to these patients and thereby increase adherence with diabetes therapy.

Generex Biotechnology's flagship product is an oral insulin taken through the inner lining of the mouth instead of by injection.

Oral-lyn, had been accepted in Ecuador and India and was being trialled in other countries including the United States, Canada and Russia.,23599,23717864-1702,00.html

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

African American and Diabetes Facts

Compared to the general population, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes:

* 3.2 million or 13.3% of all African Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes.
* African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes as non Hispanic whites.
* Twenty-five percent of African Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have diabetes.
* One in four African American women over 55 years of age has diabetes.

Diabetes Complications:
Diabetes is associated with an increased risk for a number of serious, sometimes life-threatening complications and certain populations experience an even greater threat.

Good diabetes management can help reduce your risk. However many people are not even aware that they have diabetes until they develop one of its complications.

Blindness: African Americans are almost 50% as likely to develop diabetic retinopathy as non-Hispanic whites.

Kidney Disease: African Americans are 2.6 to 5.6 times as likely to suffer from kidney disease with more than 4,000 new cases of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) each year.

Amputations: African Americans are 2.7 times as likely to suffer from lower-limb amputations. Amputation rates are 1.4 to 2.7 times higher in men than women with diabetes.

Heart Disease and Stroke: Heart disease and stroke account for about 65% of deaths in people with diabetes. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes.

The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher and the risk of death from stroke is 2.8 times higher among people with diabetes.

Deaths from heart disease in men with diabetes have decreased by only 13 percent compared to a 36 percent decrease in men without diabetes.

Women with diabetes, deaths from heart disease have increased 23 percent over the past 30 years compared to a 27 percent decrease in women without diabetes.

Diabetic neuropathy is a serious complication of diabetes that affects millions of people every day. Nerves damaged by diabetic neuropathy can cause stinging or burning sensations, tingling, pain, numbness or weakness in the hands and feet.

Diabetic neuropathy puts you at risk for foot injury, infection, even amputation.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bitter Melon Produces Sweet Results for Diabetes

More studies into Type 2 diabetes. Many of my friends have Type 2, and we trade info back and forth - and we often confused and overwhelmed with all the info coming out on the subject of Diabetes in general - along with new treatments - Charles

Scientists have uncovered the therapeutic properties of bitter melon, a vegetable and traditional Chinese medicine, that make it a powerful treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

Teams from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica pulped roughly a tonne of fresh bitter melon and extracted four very promising bioactive components.

These four compounds all appear to activate the enzyme AMPK, a protein well known for regulating fuel metabolism and enabling glucose uptake. The results are published in the International Chemistry & Biology Journal.

People with Type 2 diabetes have an impaired ability to convert the sugar in their blood into energy in their muscles. This is partly because they don’t produce enough insulin, and partly because their fat and muscle cells don’t use insulin effectively, a phenomenon known as ‘insulin resistance’.

Exercise activates AMPK in muscle, which in turn mediates the movement of glucose transporters to the cell surface, a very important step in the uptake of glucose from the circulation into tissues in the body. This is a major reason that exercise is recommended as part of the normal treatment program for someone with Type 2 diabetes.

The four compounds isolated in bitter melon perform a very similar action to that of exercise, in that they activate AMPK.


Angelina Jolie diagnosed with gestational diabetes

Actress Angelina Jolie has been suffering from a form of diabetes that hits pregnant women, according to reports.

Jolie, who is expecting twins, has reportedly contracted gestational diabetes.

She found out about a month ago. She has been seeing a nutritionist.

The actress has been nauseous and her legs are so swollen that she has to wear bigger shoes.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Silent Disease Diabets Often Goes Undiagnosed For 5-10 Years

Diabetes Symptoms and Care

It is estimated that nearly one third of Type 2 diabetes cases are unaware that they have the disease, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH.) In 2006, more than 140,000 undiagnosed Marylanders joined the ranks of 334,000 others who knew they had the disease.

Many people will not notice anything wrong, but symptoms that may signal diabetes include unusual hunger, excessive thirst, constant urination and unintended weight loss.

Risk factors can include being overweight or obese, not being physically active, high blood pressure and a family history of the disease.

Women who are pregnant or those who have a baby that weighs more than nine pounds at birth are also at risk. The disease is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Often described as a silent disease, diabetes means your blood sugar is too high. When this happens, it can harm your eyes, nerves, kidneys and heart. It can lead to amputations. And, your risk of acquiring the disease goes up as you age, gain weight or fail to stay active.

Yet there are steps you can take to delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Measures include losing weight if you are overweight, staying active most days of the week and eating low fat meals that include vegetables, fruits and whole grain foods.

It is important that a person with diabetes manage his or her own care every day with a team of professionals including a primary provider, dietitian, diabetes educator and in some cases, the pharmacist.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Risk Factors and Race in Alzheimer’s

There are several risk factors that we look for when we weigh an individual’s chances for getting Alzheimer’s.

There is that pesky gene (APOe-E4) that shows up in most Alzheimer’s, but not all, but we have come to believe that, while genes play a major role, there are several genes at play, not one, and other factors are equally important.

Head injury is one of those risk factors. You won’t like it but it is true: people who play a lot of soccer have a significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s due to heading the ball and other collisions on the field. Boxers develop a form of dementia that is named for their sport, dementia pugilistica. Any head injury increases the likelihood of future Alzheimer’s Disease.

One whole segment of our population is more likely to get Alzheimer’s: African-Americans. This isn’t as big a puzzle as you might think. There isn’t — as far as we know now — a gene carried in African-Americans that makes them more likely candidates for Alzheimer’s; at least, not directly. Then why are they much more likely to get the disease? Culture and politics rear their ugly heads at this point.

African-Americans have made great strides forward in recent decades; no question. However, as a group, they are still less likely to have access to good health care (especially preventative care) and as a whole they tend to have less income. Because their funds are limited, they are likely to eat more fat and starch in their diet and that leads to obesity.

Obesity is a huge risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease. I have heard snide remarks made about African-Americans by white people who judged them by their size and then — always out of earshot of the individual, of course — wondering aloud how they could afford to eat that much food if they were poor. I’ve heard comments made about what they purchased with food stamps, etc. that didn’t just border on unChristian and slanderous, they leapt the border into sinfulness.

Say it with me: fat is cheap. Go look at the dollar menu at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Burger King. Rent "Super Size Me" by Morgan Spurlock. When funds are limited and preventative health care information is limited, people go to fat and starch. Compare the price of five pounds of potatoes versus five pounds of steak. Now, compare five pounds of hamburger with five pounds of steak. Now, compare five pounds of chitterlings with five pounds of hamburger. Have we made our point? There are cultural issues at stake here, too. Some African-American micro-cultures will not accept what they see as a white, yuppie diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Some of them consider obesity to be a sign of beauty and strength ("Baby Got Back" anyone?).

But even if they wanted to eat better, that takes money and it takes time. There are many, many areas in our country where a black woman would have to catch two buses and travel for an hour to get to a store that sold fresh fruit and vegetables but there are three McDonald’s within six blocks of her apartment. Stores want to locate where people have extra money; they don’t want to build in a poor section of town, especially if that area is high crime.

Primarily because of weight, there is far more diabetes among African-Americans than there is in the white population (by ratio, not raw numbers). There may be a genetic predisposition towards both obesity and diabetes but that link is unproven at present.

, along with obesity, are two of the largest risk factors for Alzheimer’s Disease. Put those two together and you almost always get the third highest risk factor: lack of exercise. With weight comes pain on the joints and pressure on the heart and lungs making most exercise difficult and painful. So…rheumatoid arthritis shows up and we find the biggest bogey-man of all in Alzheimer’s — inflammation.

By the year 2030, we expect 6.9 million African-Americans to enter the highest risk years for Alzheimer’s (65-85). With their high rates of diabetes, obesity, poor diets, and lack of exercise, we expect a higher percentage of them to need long term care than whites or Asians There are no figures on Hispanic populations.

Churches should play a role in discussing how to be good stewards of our money, bodies, diet, and time. I think churches from outside African-American communities should make solid, meaningful relationships with leaders inside those communities and offer help, guidance, funds, education… all in Jesus’ name. It would prevent countless thousands of tragedies if we could help our brothers and sisters avoid Alzheimer’s.

Randy Jackson Promotes Diabetes Awareness

Randy Jackson, music industry veteran and TV personality, is holding a casting call for people living with type 2 diabetes.

Jackson has partnered with the American Heart Association to speak on behalf of The Heart of DiabetesTM, a national campaign to help those living with type 2 diabetes manage the disease and learn about its connection to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Approximately 21 million Americans have diabetes; and according to estimates, two-thirds of them will die of CVD, such as heart attack or stroke.

“When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I thought, ‘Wow, I have a serious disease,’” Jackson said. “I’ve learned that people can live well, with proper management of this disease, and that hearing stories about how others manage type 2 diabetes helps me.

I am encouraging people to share their stories as part of The Heart of Diabetes campaign. I hope this campaign will help others who live with type 2 diabetes lead happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.”

Jackson shares more of his story about living with type 2 diabetes and provides information about how to successfully manage it.

The campaign calls upon those who either have, or know someone who has, type 2 diabetes to share their tips and inspirational stories on the campaign’s Web site, Three people with type 2 diabetes, whose stories are inspiring to others, will be selected and invited to appear in a public service announcement with Jackson.

Jackson stated that he has also worked closely with my doctor to stick to a treatment plan, including learning about healthy food choices and exercise routines - "I’ve learned things that have helped me manage the disease and worked with the American Heart Association to develop tips to help others lead a healthier life.”

Tips available on include:

* Keep active and maintain a healthy body weight. Even 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week can help prevent diabetes, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, maintain a healthy body weight and minimize risk of cardiovascular disease.

* Normalize your numbers. Schedule regular visits with your doctor to help monitor your blood sugar and manage your diabetes. It has been shown that you can reduce cardiovascular disease by improving your blood sugar control and controlling other risk factors. Learn to keep track of your critical health numbers, including blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight and blood sugar.

* Opt for a healthy lifestyle. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and reduce intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars. Also, if you smoke, opt to quit – smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

* Work with your doctor. People living with type 2 diabetes often need multiple approaches to treatment to control the disease and its associated risks. If you live with type 2 diabetes, it is important to talk with your doctor, describe your symptoms and be persistent until you find treatment options and lifestyle changes that work for you.

“If you have type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing the disease, work with your doctor to create a game plan for monitoring your critical health numbers including blood sugar, cholesterol, body weight and blood pressure.

Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. These diseases, America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim over 870,000 lives a year.

Source: My fox Orlando


Monday, March 3, 2008

Cutting Caffeine May Help Control Diabetes

Daily consumption of caffeine in coffee, tea or soft drinks increases blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes and may undermine efforts to control their disease.

Researchers used new technology that measured participants' glucose (sugar) levels on a constant basis throughout the day.

Dr. James Lane, a psychologist at Duke and the lead author of the study, says it represents the first time researchers have been able to track the impact of caffeine consumption as patients go about their normal, everyday lives.

Eliminating caffeine from the diet might be a good way to manage blood sugar levels.

New Clue on Brain Problems and Diabetes

Stress Hormone May Affect Memory in People With Diabetes

Too much of a stress-related hormone may be at the root of memory and other common brain-related diabetes complications.

A new study shows the release of the stress hormone corticosterone is tied to the development of memory or learning problems in rats with diabetes. But normalizing the levels of this hormone may restore normal brain function.

Researchers say many organs are adversely affected by diabetes, including the brain, which undergoes changes that may increase the risk of cognitive decline, such as loss of memory and difficulty concentrating.

Until now the reasons behind this decline have been unclear, but these results suggest that diabetes may trigger the release of excessive levels of corticosterone.

Targeting Diabetes Complications

In the study, published in Nature Neuroscience, researchers evaluated the effects of altering the levels of corticosterone on cognitive function in rats with diabetes.

They found increases in the stress hormone caused a drop in brain cell regeneration and a decline in memory formation in the rats. But normalizing the levels of the stress hormone reversed many of these negative effects and restored relatively normal brain function, regardless of changes in insulin production.

Although these results are only preliminary, researchers say they could lead to new treatments to help ease this common diabetes complication.


Saturday, March 1, 2008



Soul singer ANGIE STONE is urging African-Americans to get tested for diabetes - because it is one of the most serious health challenges facing the black community.

The 47-year-old, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes eight years ago, has teamed up with Eli Lilly + Co. on the F.A.C.E. (Fearless African-Americans Connected and Empowered) Diabetes Campaign to advocate screenings for the disease, which affects more than 3 million African-Americans in the U.S.

She insists it is vital people get the symptoms diagnosed early before it is too late. She says, "Eight years ago, I was diagnosed with diabetes after I started experiencing a few common symptoms associated with high blood sugar - including frequent urination and excessive thirst. I couldn't stop going to the bathroom, and no matter how much water I drank, I couldn't get enough.

Despite having a family history of the disease, my diagnosis came as a shock because I didn't think I was a candidate for diabetes.
Even after I was diagnosed and my doctor prescribed medication, I didn't truly take the disease as seriously as I should have. I was in denial about my condition and the importance of taking my medication, changing my diet and getting more exercise." - Ilkley,England,UK

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Diabetes - The Inherited Risks

The causes of diabetes are complicated and only partially comprehended. And complicating the picture even farther is the reality that there are multiple types, all with their own risk factors.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the two basic across-the-board diagnosis with some 97% or more of cases in the U.S. Both Types 1 and 2 result from a combination of environmental and hereditary influences.

Of those, Type 2 diabetes is by far the more common, and represents approximately 90% of diabetics.

Obesity is considered to be a leading contributor to Type 2 diabetes. Being overweight makes a good prototype since it's a combining of hereditary background and life-style choices. Although the preferred diet and the measure of physical exercise one decides to take on are life-style choices, it's still factual that a few individuals gain or drop weight a lot easier than others.

But on that point there are more factors to developing diabetes -

Unfortunately many pregnant women discover they have developed a particular type of diabetes as a consequence of pregnancy. A history of diabetes during pregnancy contributes greatly to the chance of developing diabetes after giving birth. Roughly 40% of women who acquire diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) will later on develop Type 2 diabetes. That generally comes about within 5-10 years after giving birth. Those who give birth to heavier babies experience a bigger risk.

Glucose intolerance is an additional hereditary element. Because Type 2 diabetes results not by underproduction of insulin (as in Type 1) but by insufficient use of it, it should not be surprising that glucose intolerance is a contributive circumstance. That glucose intolerance should exist is baffling enough, because it is a major source of the body's energy. But hereditary anomalies bring about some strange situations.

Ethnicity plays a part in whether or not a person will develop Type 2 diabetes, although the reasons are not fully understood. Even after adapting for life-style, Aboriginals, Africans, Latin Americans and some Asians are at higher risk. The profile varies between 1.5-2 times the relative incidence among Caucasians, reported to one broad Canadian study. Curiously, though, the risk of Type 1 diabetes is a great deal higher among Caucasians than any other race.

High blood pressure increases the likelihood, too. That once again is part of life-style (mainly, dieting and exercising) choice but it's a strong genetical aspect also. On that point, there's a strong correlation that those with high blood pressure could also develop diabetes. Likewise, high cholesterol levels step-up the risk. Over 40% of those with diabetes have got higher than normal levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Family medical history is in all likelihood the biggest hereditary risk factor for diabetes.

A person with a parent or sibling who has Type 1 diabetes has a risk 10-20 times higher than average. For a newborn infant with a parent who has Type 1 diabetes the likelihood is 1 in 25, or 4% if the mother gives birth earlier than age 25. Past the age of 25, the risk is 1%, almost the equivalent as the general population. The likelihood rises over again to almost 10% if either parent contracted diabetes earlier than age 11.

The hereditary risk factors of contracting diabetes are still an active area of research. Luckily, while in generations ago there was nothing one could do to influence these factors, but advanced genetic treatments hold out hope of changing even these odds with diabetes.

Charles Thompkins
Diabetic, Black and Senior

Webmasters are free to use this article, however no wording or links can be changed. Thanking you in advance! CT

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Perils and Pitfalls of Eating Out

Valentine’s Day was earlier this month. How many of you enjoyed a romantic dinner with a loved one, perhaps dining on shrimp scampi, filet mignon, or fettuccine Alfredo?

You probably consumed at least 2,000 calories, including that molten chocolate lava cake washed down with a chocolate martini.

Dining out isn't just limited to special occasions and holidays. Eating out has become an everyday occurrence, often thanks to people's busy schedules and lack of time (and desire) to prepare a healthy meal at home.

The National Restaurant Association has some interesting statistics on their Web site. For example, on a typical day in 2007, sales in restaurants averaged $1.5 billion. And the average household spent about $2,600 on meals away from home in 2005.

Eating out presents many challenges, especially for people who happen to have diabetes. Portions tend to be large, and food is often laden with fat and salt. And woe to the person who frequents fast-food restaurants.

Eating out can wreak havoc on your blood glucose and cholesterol levels, along with your waistline. One solution is, of course, to limit how often you eat out.

* Get off to a good start. There's some evidence that eating a bowl of soup (broth-based, not creamy-style) can help you eat less of your entrée. Or order a salad (without cheese and bacon bits) to help fill you up.

* A plate piled high with food is a recipe for disaster. (Not to mention that the plate itself is probably larger than the ones you have at home!) Eat half of your meal and take the other half home. Or check if the restaurant offers smaller or half-portions. Sharing your meal (or dessert) with your dining partner is another option.

* Ask, ask, ask! To cut down on some of the carbohydrate at your meal, see if you can substitute a vegetable for the potato or rice. (This is an especially good thing to do if you've already eaten a roll or two.) Request that dressings, sauces, and gravies be served on the side. Ask if the chef can cook your entrée without butter and use olive oil instead.

* Opt for salads, plain hamburgers, grilled chicken, or wraps. Skip the fries or at least order a small serving. Check out the nutrition data for foods in places that you frequent to help you make better choices.

* Let your glucose be your guide. Checking your blood glucose levels before and 2–3 hours after a meal can give you a good sense of how that meal balanced out with your insulin or diabetes pills. If your blood glucose is higher than your target after a restaurant meal, think about what you can do differently next time, such as making better choices, eating less, and/or taking more diabetes medicine.

Read Complete Article: The Perils and Pitfalls of Eating Out

New Clue on Brain Problems and Diabetes

Too much of a stress-related hormone may be at the root of memory and other common brain-related diabetes complications.

A new study shows the release of the stress hormone corticosterone is tied to the development of memory or learning problems in rats with diabetes. But normalizing the levels of this hormone may restore normal brain function.

Researchers say many organs are adversely affected by diabetes, including the brain, which undergoes changes that may increase the risk of cognitive decline, such as loss of memory and difficulty concentrating.

Until now the reasons behind this decline have been unclear, but these results suggest that diabetes may trigger the release of excessive levels of corticosterone.

In the study, published in Nature Neuroscience, researchers evaluated the effects of altering the levels of corticosterone on cognitive function in rats with diabetes.

Increases in the stress hormone caused a drop in brain cell regeneration and a decline in memory formation in the rats.

Normalizing the levels of the stress hormone reversed many of these negative effects and restored relatively normal brain function, regardless of changes in insulin production.

These results are only preliminary, researchers say they could lead to new treatments to help ease this common diabetes complication.

Scource: WebMD

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Can a Seaweed Wrap Help Beat Diabetes?

Seaweed could hold the secret to curing diabetes. An ingredient extracted from it is being wrapped around insulin-producing cells taken from pigs and injected into patients' bodies.

The jelly-like substance, called alginate, effectively hides the pig cells from the immune system, so it does not destroy them once they are injected.

This allows the animal cells to carry on producing insulin, potentially banishing the need for patients to inject themselves with the hormone up to four times a day.

It's a wrap: Alginate from seaweed is wrapped round insulin-producing cells taken from pigs and injected into patients' bodies. Some sufferers have been 'cured'

Harvesting insulin-producing islet cells from healthy donors and injecting them into the patient's liver, where they start to make insulin.

This involves the harvesting of islet cells, from a healthy donor pancreas and injecting them into patients who cannot produce their own insulin.

The huge quantity of cells needed, around 300,000 per patient, means up to four matching donors have to be found for just one transplant.

An alternative could be the use of so called xenotransplants using organs or cells from animals, such as pigs on humans.

Insulin-producing pig cells are a close match for human ones and are in plentiful supply. But they still get picked up by the body's defense system as a foreign invader.

Now experts at San Diego-based firm MicroIslet Inc have developed the seaweed coating as a potential solution.

Alginate is already widely used in areas such as wound dressings because the body seems to recognize it as friendly rather than foreign.

Millions of pig cells are coated in it before being injected into the abdomen. Once inside the body, they continue to release insulin and there is no need for a anti-rejection drugs.

Mexican researchers are exploring a similar technique where the cells harvested from baby piglets are buried in the body.

The cells are encased in a metal tube that allows insulin to escape, but does not allow immune system cells to get in and destroy the pig tissue.

Scientists behind the experiments claim a number of children have already been cured of their diabetes using this technique.

This research may have huge potential. A major limiting factor in the use of either a whole pancreas or islet cell transplant is the lack of available donor organs.

Transplants of any kind mean a life-time of anti-rejection drugs, however there are serious ethical issues around xenotransplants

Daily Mall-UK

Want to Stop Diabetes? Start Exercising

At least 10 million overweight Americans could sharply cut their risk of developing diabetes by making relatively simple lifestyle changes in their diets and exercise routines.

The Diabetes Prevention Program is the first large study to show that losing weight and exercising can effectively delay diabetes in a wide range of overweight men and women who are just a step away from having full-blown diabetes.

While previous research has shown that diet and exercise can help control blood sugar levels in people who already have the disease -- and thus reduce some complications -- this study demonstrates that lifestyle changes can actually prevent diabetes in nearly 60 percent of those who are poised to develop the disease.

An estimated 16 million people in the United States have diabetes, a chronic disease of the pancreas that causes blood sugar levels to soar. Once largely limited to older adults, type 2 diabetes rates have tripled in the past 30 years, mostly because of the upsurge of obesity.

Diabetes strikes 800,000 people annually and is being diagnosed more frequently in younger individuals.

Minorities are at particular risk: Compared with whites, blacks have a 60 percent higher rate of developing diabetes and Hispanics have a 90 percent increased risk.

The disease costs an estimated $100 billion annually to treat in the United States; and with no proven way to prevent it, public health officials have become increasingly concerned about the future costs of the disease in an aging and increasingly overweight population.

Type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes is the most common form of the disease, accounting for 95 percent of cases in the United States. It is the leading cause of kidney failure, limb amputations and new blindness in adults. It also contributes to heart disease and stroke -- two of the major killers in the United States.

Until now, doctors believed that changes in diet and exercise might help reduce the risk of developing diabetes, but they had little scientific evidence to back up that thinking. Critics often pointed to the dismal failure of most people to lose weight and keep it off.

As little as a 5 percent weight loss -- that's about 10 pounds for most people in the study -- can reduce the risk of diabetes by 58 percent. That is truly remarkable.

During the three-year study, the participants in the lifestyle group reduced their risk of developing diabetes by a striking 58 percent. Among those 60 and older, the reduction in risk was even greater: 71 percent.

Participants in the lifestyle group met weekly, one-on-one, with a counselor for nearly six months. They received intensive instruction on diet and exercise, which was followed by group meetings on grocery shopping. The participants limited their food intake to 1,200 to 1,800 calories a day. They also exercised at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, mostly by walking briskly.

On average, those who received the lifestyle counseling lost 7 percent of their body weight -- about 15 pounds -- and kept most of it off for the duration of the three-year study. Only about 5 percent of these participants developed diabetes each year -- half the rate of the control group.

Scource: Mercola

Monday, February 18, 2008

Diabetes and Depression Can Be a Fatal Mix

Diabetes and Depression proves to be a fatal mix in the recent shooting at an Illinois college . . .

The Illinois college shooter had diabetes, his father said, and the police said the man halted his medication. Type 2 diabetes and depression can be a fatal mix.

Patients whose type 2 diabetes was accompanied by minor or major depression had higher mortality rates, compared to patients with type 2 diabetes alone, over the three-year period of a recent study in Washington state.

Depression is common among people who have type 2 diabetes. This high prevalence can have unfortunate repercussions.

Dr. Wayne Katon, professor and vice chair of the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, led the recent study. He is a noted researcher on the associations between depression, aging, and chronic diseases, and on the medical costs and personal toll from untreated or inadequately treated depression.

People with depression and diabetes were also more likely to have three or more heart disease risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle, compared to people with diabetes alone.

Depression may increase complications, not only because of poor self-care, but possibly through the brain chemistry and nervous system abnormalities that accompany depression, the researchers noted.

Patients with diabetes and major depression were significantly younger, less likely to be married, and more likely to be female than were diabetes patient without depression. They were also more likely to smoke, to be sedentary, to have obesity, and to have been treated with insulin.

Compared to diabetes patients with minor depression, those with major depression were more likely to be younger, female, and unemployed.

Source: Toronto Daily News

Diabetes Induced Dry Skin

This was interesting because having Diabetes, I am a victim of dry skin - Charles

As a diabetic, if your blood glucose is high, your body loses fluid, hastening the dry skin process.

Dry skin can become itchy and can crack, causing you to scratch; breaks in the skin allow germs to enter and thus cause infection. If your blood glucose is elevated, it feeds the germs and makes these infections worse.

Nerve damage can decrease the amount you sweat and decreased sweating can lead to dry skin. Additionally, diabetics with nerve damage in the legs and feet have difficulty feeling pain, heat, or cold in the extremities, a condition called diabetic neuropathy, that can lead to a large sore or infection.

Poor blood flow, another very serious condition of diabetes also known as peripheral vascular disease, happens when not enough blood flows to the legs and feet, slowing the healing process to sores or infections. Smoking when you have diabetes makes blood flow problems much worse.

These harsh diabetic conditions can create havoc in the skin and feet. Using a quality shielding lotion will bond with the skin’s outer layer, protecting it from losing moisture in the first place, and moisture from the air to the skin through the use of special high-quality humectant moisturisers.

Additionally, shielding lotions help to keep irritants away from the deeper layers of skin, and do not wash off with soap or exposure to chemicals, allowing the skin to heal itself.

The following tips can help you stay on top of your skin care during the harsher winter months:

• Keep your diabetes well managed; people with high glucose levels tend to have dry skin and less ability to fend off harmful bacteria, thus increasing the risk of infection.

• Keep the skin clean and dry and use talcum powder in areas where skin touches the skin, such as armpits and groin.

• Avoid very hot baths and showers and if your skin is dry, do not use bubble baths. Moisturising soaps may help and always use a shielding lotion to encourage your skin to retain moisture. Do not put lotions between the toes as the extra moisture there can encourage fungus to grow.

• Try to prevent dry skin; scratching dry or itchy skin can open it up and allow infection to set in. Moisturise your skin with a shielding lotion to prevent chapping, especially in cold or windy weather.

• Treat cuts immediately; wash minor cuts with soap and water, do not use alcohol, mercurochrome antiseptic or iodine to clean the skin because they are too harsh. Only use an antibiotic cream or ointment if your doctor advises it, cover minor cuts with sterile gauze and see a doctor if you get a major cut, burn, or infection.

• During cold, dry months keep your home more humid. Bathe less during this weather, if possible.

• Use mild shampoos. Do not use feminine hygiene sprays.

• See a dermatologist (skin doctor) about any skin problems if you are not able to solve them yourself.

• Take good care of your feet. Check them every day for sores and cuts. Wear broad, flat shoes that fit well. Check your shoes for foreign objects before putting them on.

Source - Tenerife News

Kiss A Pig For Diabetes

Fast Facts

Why Kiss A Pig?

In the 1920s, scientists discovered that the pig pancreas could be used to make insulin, a hormone needed to regulate blood sugar. In a healthy person, the pancreas produces insulin. In a diabetic, that function is missing or impaired.

Commerical insulin is now made from human genes, but diabetes educators still remember its humble beginings. The ADA Kiss A Pig Gala celebrates that history.

That's the message from candidates in the annual Kiss A Pig Campaign, said Allison Hickey, director of the American Diabetes Association in Northwest Arkansas.

The 14 candidates are vying to raise the most money before the Feb. 23 Kiss A Pig Gala ends at midnight. The winner in each of two categories will get to kiss a pig - symbolizing the important role swine have played in developing commercial insulin to treat diabetes.

For more info visit the American Diabetes Association site

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What We're Reading: Inspired by Diabetes Contest

Stopped by the The Diabetes Self Management Blog , and read their posting on the contest that was supposed to end last month - but the date has been extended . . . Charles

Inspired by Diabetes is a global campaign sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

The Creative Expressions Competition "seeks expressions of the challenges and triumphs of the diabetes journey through art, essay, poetry, photography and music" and donates money to help provide diabetes care for children in developing nations.

The contest is open to people from different countries and of different age groups.

To learn more and download a submission form, visit

Ayurvedic Medicine and Herbal Therapy for Diabetes

Ayurveda considers diabetes a kapha disorder of low agni (digestive fire) and offers a variety of treatments, including the following that can be undertaken with the guidance of a qualified practitioner:

Take turmeric daily to control blood sugar (you can take it alone or in combination with ground bay leaf and aloe vera gel); follow a pacifying diet by avoiding too many sweets; and participate in a supervised pancha kanna program.

Consult your doctor before starting a new regimen; diabetes must be carefully monitored.

Bodywork and Somatic Practices

Friday, February 15, 2008

Potential For Diabetes Cure

A new treatment for type 1 diabetes could help to cure sufferers of the condition.

The pioneering technique involves the transplant of insulin-producing cells into the livers of diabetes patients which help to produce insulin.

It is being piloted at six centers in the UK, including King's College Hospital, which are being given almost $19 million of funding from the government to help with the treatment.

The treatment has already been used to reduce the risks of blood sugar attacks which can induce a coma in type 1 diabetes sufferers.

It is hoped that the technique will eventually be developed into a complete cure.

Commenting on the treatment, professor Stephanie Amiel, a diabetes expert at King's College Hospital, said: "Allowing this facility and the other centers to continue to offer this life-changing treatment will have enormous benefit for those patients who are suitable for islet transplantation in its present form.

"It will also allow the UK to develop the technique to be suitable for more people with type 1 diabetes and may, in time, lead to a 'cure'

Source: Looking Good, Feeling Great

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dogs May be a Diabetic's Best Friend

I was just getting ready to retire for the evening, and ran across this interesting article in the Chicago Tribune . . . Charles

Irish researchers hope to prove that a dog's keen sense of smell gives it the ability to watch over the blood-sugar levels of diabetics.

Canines already lead the blind, alert the deaf and help physically disabled people with daily tasks.

Researchers at Queen's University in Belfast are taking the "helpful companion" idea a step further by gathering evidence that could verify that dogs can reliably detect dangerous blood-sugar level drops in diabetics.

At least two organizations in the United States already train dogs to detect low glucose levels. But exactly what the canines notice when a person experiences a blood-sugar low is still a mystery, according to Dogs for Diabetics, in Concord, California. The organization is working with a forensic laboratory to identify a possible odor.

Diabetic Beverage, GlucaSafe, Receives Clinical Trial Results

Sweet Success' Revolutionary Diabetic-Friendly Beverage, GlucaSafe, Receives Complete Results for Its Clinical Trial

SAN ANTONIO, Feb 12, 2008 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX)
Sweet Success Enterprises, the maker of GlucaSafe(tm) which supports healthy glucose levels announced today that its revolutionary beverage, GlucaSafe(tm), a tea and pomegranate based beverage with two grams of sugar and fifteen calories receives its complete results for its clinical trial on diabetes.

The trial determined healthy glucose levels and long-term blood sugar control as evidenced by Hgb A1C measurements.

Read complete news release

ADA Updates Diabetes Care Standards

The American Diabetes Association, or ADA, recently released its "Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes -- 2008" position statement; the updated standards and supporting materials are available as a supplement to the January issue of Diabetes Care.

The ADA now recommends that physicians consider screening adults of any age who are overweight or obese and have one or more additional risk factors for diabetes; the organization also recommends screening all overweight or obese patients beginning at age 45, even if they have no additional risk factors. The ADA classifies this as a "B" recommendation, which means it is supported by evidence from well-conducted cohort studies or from well-conducted case-control studies.

For all overweight and obese patients, the guidelines recommend repeat screening at intervals of no more than three years. This is a grade "E" recommendation, which means that it is based on expert consensus or clinical experience.

The guidelines also recommend screening women who have had gestational diabetes mellitus for diabetes; this testing should take place six to 12 weeks postpartum and should be followed up with subsequent screening for the development of diabetes or prediabetes (grade E recommendation).

To prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes, the ADA recommends counseling patients about losing weight and increasing their physical activity.

For very high-risk patients who are obese and younger that 60, the guidelines recommend that physicians consider prescribing metformin, in addition to lifestyle counseling (grade E recommendation).

They also recommend monitoring any patients who exhibit signs of prediabetes every year (grade E recommendation).

To read more of the new ADA recommendations, go to the American Academy of Family Physicians site

Diabetes Kitbags Launch in the United States with New Website

Desang kitbags now available in the US from

Desang sells kitbags for people with diabetes – estimated at more than 2 million people in the UK today, but 20 million people in the US.

The kitbags keep everything in one place, making living with the condition just that little bit easier.

Resembling a Filofax, these are properly designed carry cases where people with diabetes can keep their equipment at home or abroad making the chore of looking after your diabetes a little bit easier.

Desang sells kitbags for people with diabetes – estimated at more than 2 million people in the UK today, but 20 million people in the US.

Desang kitbags come in three models and a variety of colours and finishes. The Classic model contains everything required to monitor and administer type 1 diabetes, or type 2 diabetes treated by insulin.

The Slim model is ideal for those who only use one insulin during the day. The Roll-up is the ‘whopper’ and is great for long trips, pump users, or for those who just seem to have a lot of stuff to carry around to manage their diabetes.

Feedback has shown the kitbags to be very popular for travel in particular. New models are available in luxury leather and microfibre.

Source: Newswire PR Release

What You Need to Know About Diabetes and Heart Disease

February is designated as American Heart Month, to raise awareness about preventing heart disease.

People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease than the rest of the population. How does diabetes affect your heart? Why?

Read full article at - Heart Disease and Diabetes

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dentists Learning to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

The National Diabetes Education Program has created a brochure in a PDF format that will assist dental professionals in learning how they can help prevent Type 2 diabetes.

You will need Adobe Reader in order to view the document -

PPOD Dental Brochure

Preventing Diabetes in African-Americans - New Resource

A new diabetes prevention resource designed to encourage and help faith–based and community organizations get actively involved in deterring preventable diabetes among African–Americans was released by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a joint venture of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health.

The new interactive educational kit, Power to Prevent: A Family Lifestyle Approach to Diabetes Prevention, provides hands–on instruction and guidance in making behavior changes that can help prevent diabetes.

Too many African–Americans have, or will get, diabetes,” said Ann Albright, PhD., director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.

Fortunately, many people and families can take steps to prevent that from happening. It′s often difficult to change or adopt new behaviors, but this new resource gives many examples of things that most people can do that will help them avoid a very serious life–long disease. This program also helps faith–based and community organizations which are very important to many African–American families provide the support that can make a difference in helping people take on new nutrition and exercise habits.”

The Power to Prevent program includes 12 interactive group sessions that provide hands–on instruction in ways to prevent diabetes, and shows how families and individuals can change their daily habits so that they get more physical activity, make healthy food choices and better control their food serving sizes. The sessions are designed to be led by various members of the faith–based or community organization, such as a recreation director.

We know that churches, faith–based organizations and community groups can be very effective in helping people learn about diabetes, and in helping take steps that can prevent diabetes for most people,” said Albright. “That’s why we created this new tool. We need faith and community–based organizations to be actively involved in diabetes prevention among their members, and with this easy–to–use program, they can do that effectively.”

Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States; and the prevalence rate more than doubled among African–Americans from 1980 to 2005, from 3.3 to 6.8.

It is estimated that, among Americans aged 20 and older, more than 20 million have diabetes, of which more than 3 million are African–Americans. After taking into consideration the age differences in the various populations, non–Hispanics blacks are 1.8 times as likely to have diabetes as non–Hispanics whites.

The CDC Division of Diabetes Translation, through the NDEP (co–sponsored by the NIH), provides diabetes education to improve the treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, promote early diagnosis, and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

While the design and appearance of Power to Prevent is specifically directed toward African–Americans because of the increasing prevalence in this group, the basic content can be useful and relevant to all populations.

To download or order a free single printed copy of Power to Prevent go to

For general information about diabetes, please visit

Source: CDC Press Release - Jan 6, 2008

Fire Victim Leaves Millions To Diabetes Fund

When a house fire last year killed 88-year-old Helene Whitlock Alley and her husband, a professor emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy, she was remembered primarily as an unassuming retiree and a devoted wife.

Now, Alley is being remembered because of something else: a $7.3 million posthumous donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the largest bequest in the nonprofit organization's history.

The bequest's size stunned the foundation, which had known Alley as a dedicated "hundred-dollar donor," said Alan Berkowitz, the group's national director of planned giving.

Instead, he said, she turned out to be the "millionaire next door," a term taken from the title of a best-selling book about people who quietly accumulate large sums of money without attracting notice.

Finish reading the story at Washington

Surprising New Diabetes Data

There is a critical question in medicine today: How useful are the widely accepted measures of health?

The most common examples are blood pressure, so-called bad cholesterol, and blood sugar in diabetics. The expectation is that lowering these metrics will result in fewer heart attacks and other bad things, and bring longer life. As a result, there is a relentless push to lower the numbers, to make them "better."

But these measures are only surrogates for disease. And in many cases, the connection between "better" numbers and better health is tenuous. In the case of cholesterol, many people won't see a health benefit from lower numbers (BusinessWeek, 1/17/08).

Now comes yet another sobering reminder that lowering a surrogate marker doesn't necessarily bring better health. On Feb. 6, the National Institutes of Health announced it was halting a key trial for diabetes.

Continue Reading Article at Business Week

Another article on same subject
Diabetes Patients Deaths Stunts Study - CBS News

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Diabetes Drug And Conflicts of Interest

Last May, a controversial paper in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported that a popular diabetes drug—rosiglitazone, sold under the brand name Avandia—substantially hikes a user's risk of heart attack.

But according to an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, Avandia's maker, the Philadelphia-based GlaxoSmithKline, knew about the study before it was published.

The company was in possession of a leaked copy, courtesy of a scientist that NEJM had recruited for a peer review of the paper.

Read more at Science News Online

Diabetes Costs More than Wars, and Katrina

Uncontrolled diabetes wreaks havoc on the body, often leading to kidney failure, blindness and death. A new study shows that the nation's unchecked diabetes epidemic exacts a heavy financial toll as well: $174 billion a year.

That's about as much as the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism combined. It's more than the $150 billion in damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The incidence of diabetes has ballooned - 1 million new cases a reported each year - as more Americans become overweight or obese, according to the study, released by the American Diabetes Association.

The cost of diabetes, in direct medical care and lost productivity, has swelled 32% since 2002, the report shows.

Diabetes killed more than 284,000 Americans last year, and costs the nation nearly as much as cancer, whose costs in 2006 totaled $206.3 billion, although cancer kills twice as many people, according to the American Cancer Society.

Read full article in the Indianapolis Star

Can Testosterone Cure/Treat Diabetes in Men?

Testosterone: A simple, inexpensive, and bio-identical pharmaceutical drug created 70 years ago will gain universal popularity now that it as been proven to improve, arrest and potentially reverse adult onset diabetes in men.

Ten years of experience and scientific research are referenced in Dr. Lichten's 'Textbook of Bio-Identical Hormones' published in 2007.

As Dr. Lichten states, "Most of my patients have thrown away their expensive oral medications and reduced their insulin usage by 50%." (

Source: PR Web News Release - Testosterone Can Cure/Treat Diabetes in Men; The U.S. Can Save $50 Billion and Men Can Reverse Diabetes

Mountain Climbing With Type 1 Diabetes

Will Cross has skied to the North and South poles and scaled the highest peaks on seven continents, including Mount Everest.

But he isn't your average adventurer. The 40-year-old Highland Park man must overcome risks other explorers don't even have to consider - Mr. Cross has type 1 diabetes.

That means journeying to Earth's most extreme locations while controlling a disease requiring regular doses of insulin, a steady diet and tightly controlled blood-glucose levels. The biggest challenges are avoiding low blood sugar and preventing the insulin from freezing.

But the educator, motivator and father of six has proved that people with diabetes can achieve whatever goals they so choose, as long as they control the disease.

Read full story - Mountain climbs make a molehill of diabetes

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Whole Grain Foods Might Reduce Diabetes Risk, But Evidence Weak

Many have touted whole grain foods as a way to prevent type 2 diabetes, and a new review finds a reduction in risk for people who consume a diet high in unrefined grains.

However, the authors caution that more research is necessary before scientists can confirm a causal relationship.

Refined cereal food products remove the nutrient- and fiber-rich bran and germ of the grain, leaving only the starchy inner parts.

A decrease in consumption of whole grain cereals over the last decade, occurring at the same time as an increase in type 2 diabetes, has lead to the theory that there is a connection between the two.

Read full article at Medical News Today

Diabetic Girls Skip Insulin to Lose Weight

Insulin-dependent girls know the dark secret that keeps off weight despite the deadly consequences

A dirty little secret is shared by many young women with Type 1 diabetes – when they skip their insulin, they lose weight.

This is dangerous and potentially life-threatening behaviour, experts in the field warn, but one that is hard to quash in a world obsessed with body image.

Psychiatrist Patricia Colton, who works in the eating disorders clinic at Toronto General Hospital, has had one diabetic patient in her twenties go blind, and another the same age suffer renal failure, as a result of avoiding their medication.

Doctors started guessing females were deliberately skipping their insulin as a weight control measure in the late '80s, Colton says, and notes that recent studies have revealed it is widespread, affecting approximately a third of diabetic young women.

Though Colton was concerned media coverage of the issue might spark copy-cat behaviour, it has become so widespread "it is too late to keep it a secret. They are wiping out 80 years of progress in diabetic medicine," says Colton, adding that the initial effects are nausea, depression and exhaustion but get more serious over time.

"It is extreme behaviour but it is tied into the mindset of our culture. They are under pressure to put a high premium on their weight, to believe that their success is based on looks."

Read Entire Article at The Star

Diabetes Study Favors Surgery to Treat Obese

Weight-loss surgery works much better than standard medical therapy as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes in obese people, the first study to compare the two approaches has found.

The study, of 60 patients, showed that 73 percent of those who had surgery had complete remissions of diabetes, meaning all signs of the disease went away. By contrast, the remission rate was only 13 percent in those given conventional treatment, which included intensive counseling on diet and exercise for weight loss, and, when needed, diabetes medicines like insulin, metformin and other drugs.

In the study, the surgery worked better because patients who had it lost much more weight than the medically treated group did — 20.7 percent versus 1.7 percent of their body weight, on average. Type 2 diabetes is usually brought on by obesity, and patients can often lessen the severity of the disease, or even get rid of it entirely, by losing about 10 percent of their body weight. Though many people can lose that much weight, few can keep it off without surgery. (Type 1 diabetes, a much less common form of the disease, involves the immune system and is not linked to obesity.)

But the new results probably do not apply to all patients with Type 2 diabetes, because the people in the study had fairly mild cases with a recent onset; all had received the diagnosis within the previous two years. In people who have more severe and longstanding diabetes, the disease may no longer be reversible, no matter how much weight is lost.

The operation used in the study, adjustable gastric banding, is performed through small slits and loops a band around the top of the stomach to cinch it into a small pouch so that people eat less and yet feel full. Other weight-loss operations are more extreme and involve cutting or stapling the stomach and rearranging the small intestine. Of the 205,000 weight-loss operations performed in the United States last year, 25 percent to 30 percent used the gastric banding.

Remission of Type 2 diabetes after weight-loss surgery is not a new finding; doctors have known about it for years. But the new research is the first effort to find out scientifically how it measures up against medical treatment in similar groups of patients with the disease.

The study reflects a growing interest among researchers in using surgery specifically to treat Type 2 diabetes, even in people who are not as obese as those who typically undergo operations to lose weight. The new thrust is in some sense a measure of desperation, as the United States and the world face increasing rates of the disease and its devastating complications, which can include heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure and amputation. To many doctors, the time is ripe for studying surgery as a potential cure for diabetes, and also as way to understand the disease better and develop better drugs to treat it.

Medical societies in the United States and abroad that once called their specialty bariatric surgery, a term that refers to weight loss, have started adding the word “metabolic” to their titles to emphasize the new focus on diabetes.

“I think diabetes surgery will become common within the next few years,” said Dr. John Dixon, the lead author of the study and an obesity researcher at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where the research was conducted.

The study and an editorial about it are being published Wednesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The editorial, by doctors not involved in the study, said, “The insights already beginning to be gained by studying surgical interventions for diabetes may be the most profound since the discovery of insulin.”

A researcher who is not a surgeon and was not part of the research, Dr. Rudolph L. Leibel, co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center, said the study was important because it showed that a minimally invasive type of surgery could reverse diabetes.

“At this point,” Dr. Leibel said, “maybe we should be more accepting or responsive to the idea of surgical intervention for reducing or prevention of diabetes and its complications.”

But at the same time, he said, caution was in order, because the study lasted only two years and it would be essential to find out how these patients fared over time.

About 19 million people in the United States have Type 2 diabetes, and another 54 million are “prediabetic,” meaning they have abnormalities in their blood sugar that increase their risk for the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death by disease in this country, killing about 73,000 people a year. The number of cases in the United States is growing by about 8 percent a year, according to the association. Though treatable, the disease is not curable, and it is often poorly controlled.

The 60 people in the study had an average age of 47 and were assigned at random to have either surgery or medical care. All were obese, with a body mass index, or B.M.I., of 30 to 40. A B.M.I. over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese. (A person who is 5 feet 6 inches tall with a B.M.I. of 25 would weigh 155 pounds; with a B.M.I. of 30, 186 pounds; a B.M.I. of 35, 216 pounds; and a B.M.I. of 40, 247 pounds.)

Based on guidelines created by the National Institutes of Health in 1991, weight-loss surgery is generally only recommended for people whose B.M.I. is 40 or more, unless they also have Type 2 diabetes, in which case a B.M.I. of 35 is the cutoff. In this study, 13 people, or 22 percent, had a B.M.I. under 35.

Medicare covers weight-loss surgery according to the institutes’ rules, but many private insurers refuse to cover the surgery at all, said Dr. Philip Schauer, director of the bariatric and metabolic institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He said his center had to turn away three or four patients for every one accepted because insurers would not pay.

On average in the United States, banding costs $17,000 and the other bariatric operations $25,000.

Dr. Schauer said that the B.M.I. cutoffs did not make sense medically and that the study “blows away this arbitrary barrier.” He said that the cutoffs should be lowered, so that a patient with diabetes and a B.M.I. of 34.9 would not be considered ineligible, as is now the case.

Dr. Francesco Rubino, director of the metabolic surgery program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, also said that the criteria for the surgery should be changed so that it could be offered to diabetes patients early enough to reverse the disease.

Dr. Rubino and other researchers said that weight-loss operations that rearranged the small intestine had faster and more powerful effects on diabetes than did the banding, because the other operations changed the levels of certain gut hormones that greatly improve the body’s ability to control blood sugar, weight and lipid levels in the bloodstream. These operations, and the hormones responsible, have become the focus of intense research.

Dr. Dixon has received research grants and speakers’ fees from the company that makes the gastric bands, Allergan Health, and the company paid for the study through a grant to the university. But his report said the company had no influence on the design of the study, the data or their report.

The editorial writers said they had accepted travel grants from Allergan and other companies to attend a conference on diabetes surgery in Rome.

Source: New York Times - Diabetes Study Favors Surgery to Treat Obese