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