Friday, September 30, 2011

Genetic Variant Linked to Blocked Heart Arteries in Type 2 Diabetics

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified the first genetic variant associated with severity of coronary artery disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Though this variant is not likely the cause of more severe coronary disease, the researchers say, it implicates a gene that could be. Such a gene has promise as a future target for treating coronary artery disease in diabetic patients.

Full article at Washington University in St Louis

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

50 Interesting Facts About Diabetes

There are always lots of things to discover about this disease. As you know, informed means armed.

This article will reveal 50 interesting facts about diabetes mellitus that you might have never heard about.

50 Interesting Facts About Diabetes

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Diabetic Monitoring Systems

As a Diabetic the first thing you learn is the daily tracking of the level of glucose in the blood for proper diabetes management. 

Back in the 70's when the self-test systems were developed, they used a sample of blood which was chemically analyzed by the device. We've come a long way since then, the devices are smaller, more accurate and require less blood.

Currently Diabetics have a Choice of Monitoring Devices:

1. Until recently the most common monitor was a small test strip coated with chemicals to perform the test.  You pricked your finger with a lancet, and the blood drop is put on the strip, then fed into a hand held device. Seconds later there is a readout of the glucose level.

2. The best current devices allow drawing blood from areas other than the finger - Continual pricking can lead to scarring and loss of sensitivity. Another problem with pricking is running out of fingers to use, which leads to more difficulty drawing blood, and yet more discomfort. Talk to your physician about these new patient-friendly monitoring devices.

3. Other monitoring devices use a laser to make a small, painless hole in the skin. A droplet of blood oozes out for smearing onto a test strip, and you feel only a slight tingling sensation in the finger during the test. Needles are eliminated which is more sanitary and safe.

4. Devices that work while you sleep. No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night to prick a finger.  Diabetics can buy a watch that monitors glucose level and alerts the wearer by an alarm if blood sugar levels rise.

5. And still more advanced devices require drawing no blood at all. It senses the glucose level through the skin by use of an infrared beam.

6. Diabetics with hard to manage diabetes have insulin pumps that give a continual drip of insulin 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. - which is a life saver to many whose levels are hard to control. 

7. And just recently the Mayo Clinic has been working on a way to make blood-sugar monitoring easier by using fluid from the eye. I have no more details on this - my doctor mentioned this to me on my last visit.

Pros and Cons of Current Devices:

One of the pros of these new devices is the ability to store results over time which helps compare glucose levels on an ongoing basis.

You can also download results to a PC and graph the data which makes the tracking process even more valuable to you and your physician. When looking for a new monitoring device, shop around and get one that will give what you need for the best monitoring. 

On the con side, most require a blood sample drawn from the body. The discomfort and sometime inconvenience that many experience cause diabetics to only use them once per day, rather than the recommended three times daily.

Sometimes you can get inaccurate readings if they're not calibrated and maintained properly. They need to be cleaned from time to time, in order to prevent old blood and chemicals from contaminating the device and throwing off the readings.

Cheers to technology helping those with Diabetes monitor this disease

C. Thompkins
Diabetic, Senior & Black

Monday, September 26, 2011

Asthma Tied to Poorer Diabetes Control in Kids

Kids with diabetes may have a higher-than-average rate of asthma, and those with both conditions seem to have a tougher time keeping their blood sugar under control, a study out Monday suggests.

Researchers found that among 2,000 3- to 21-year-olds with diabetes, 11 percent had asthma -- higher than the roughly 9 percent rate among children and young adults in the U.S.

Asthma tied to poorer diabetes control in kids | Reuters

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lack Of Sleep Causes Diabetes Risk

An article by the American Diabetes Association in Diabetes Care links lack of sleep to higher blood sugar levels and thus possible type 2 diabetes risk.

Researchers say they are uncertain whether lack of adequate sleep causes changes in the regulation of blood sugar, the body's sensitivity to insulin, or if insulin secretion is reduced, however the results clearly showed higher blood sugar levels are present in individuals who have not had a full night's rest.

Lack Of Sleep Causes Diabetes Risk

12 Hot Mobile Medical Apps

Mobile medicine is everywhere!

There's the iPhone app that lets you cut away images of muscle layers to see what lies beneath, an e-health record system for the iPad, and a smartphone-based blood pressure monitor.

Here are a dozen innovative ones - 12 Hot Mobile Medical Apps -- InformationWeek:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Diabetes Doubles Alzheimer's Risk

People with diabetes are at increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke at an early age, but that's not the only worry.

Diabetes appears to dramatically increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia later in life, according to a new study conducted in Japan.

In the study, which included more than 1,000 men and women over age 60, researchers found that people with diabetes were twice as likely as the other study participants to develop Alzheimer's disease within 15 years. They were also 1.75 times more likely to develop dementia of any kind.

Diabetes doubles Alzheimer's risk -

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Medicaid Vital to Protecting Health for Millions of Americans

Many Americans battle such medical conditions as cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease, and stroke, but those individuals who rely on Medicaid for their drugs and treatment will face extraordinary health challenges if Congress cuts funding for that program.

"Diabetes has a disproportionate impact on the Medicaid population because Medicaid provides important health coverage to people facing elevated health risks. Children and adults eligible for this valuable program are more likely to be in poor health and thus require the services Medicaid provides to a greater extent than individuals with private insurance," said Gina Gavlak, RN, BSN, Vice Chair of the National Advocacy Committee, American Diabetes Association. "Cuts to Medicaid funding would be harmful to the millions of children, pregnant women, and adults with diabetes who rely on the program to manage their disease and avoid dangerous and costly diabetes complications such as blindness, amputations and kidney dialysis."

Read Full Article at - Medicaid Vital to Protecting Health for Millions of Americans

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lilly Invests $30 Million For Non-Communicable Diseases

Eli Lilly and Company has announced a $30 million commitment over five years to fight the rising burden of non-communicable diseases in developing nations including India.

The first phase of The Lilly NCD partnership will focus on improving diabetes care in targeted communities in Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa. The partnership will focus on diabetes and, over time, cancer – two core business areas in which Lilly has deep expertise.

Pharmabiz :: Lilly to invest $30 mn to address non-communicable diseases in countries including India:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blue Monument Challenge - World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day - 50 days to go til Nov 14, 2011

The 2011 edition of the Blue Monument Challenge, one of the main campaign initiatives aimed at attracting the general public's attention to the global diabetes epidemic, continues to gather momentum.

Here are the latest monuments and buildings around the world that have confirmed that they will be lighting in blue in November:
  • Arco de la Calzada, Guanajuato A.C., Ciudad de León, Mexico
  • Century Tower, Florida, USA
  • Havering Town Hall, Romford, Essex, UK
  • Jet d'Eau, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Manas Statue, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • La Techada, Capilla del Monte, Argentina
  • Soldiers and  Sailors Monument, Indianapolis, USA
  • Texas Diabetes Institute, San Antonio, Texas, USA
This year the International Diabetes Federation is encouraging blue lighting's to be associated with the promotion of the International Diabetes Federation's International Charter for the Rights and Responsibilities of People with Diabetes - a landmark document aimed at stopping all discrimination that people living with diabetes currently face.

If you succeed in confirming a blue lighting, make sure to send all the details to A full list of confirmed lighting's will shortly be available on

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Getting the Word out About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second-most commonly diagnosed cancer affecting men, with about 241,000 men estimated to be diagnosed in the United States each year. Another 33,720 men will die from the disease, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society.

Getting the word out about prostate cancer

African-Americans Get Higher Blood Pressure Sooner

African-Americans who have slightly elevated blood pressure and don't do anything to change their lifestyle are more likely to have high blood pressure one year earlier than whites with pre-hypertension, according to a study published Monday.

Blood pressure numbers between 120-139 systolic (upper number) or 80-89 diastolic (lower number) are considered pre-hypertension. High blood pressure is defined as 140/90 mm Hg and greater.

Previous studies have shown that blacks have higher rates of high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), heart disease and stroke compared to whites. This new study says African-Americans with pre-hypertension are more likely to progress to having high blood pressure compared to whites in the same situation, suggesting the need for earlier interventions among black patients to potentially eliminate the disparities between races for hypertension.

African-Americans get higher blood pressure sooner – The Chart - Blogs:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Long You Are Overweight Affects Diabetes Risk

Being obese might increase the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, but the true risk factors may lie in how much overweight someone is and how long they've been that way.

Much like figuring how numbers of cigarettes smoked and years of smoking relate to lung cancer risk, researchers set out to see how degree and length of obesity factored into the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

They looked at data on 8,157 teens and young adults who were 14 to 21 years old at the start of a national study. Participants self-reported their height and weight and diabetes condition from 1981 to 2006.

Excess BMI (body mass index)-years - which researchers likened to smoking-pack years - were calculated by determining to what degree people were over a certain body mass index, and for how long. A BMI of 25, considered overweight, was used as a reference.

Monday, September 12, 2011

UN to Plot Strategy against Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease

Later this month (9/19-20), the U.N. hosts the High-level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

The goal is to find strategies to reduce the number of avoidable deaths from chronic disease.

However, some observers say big industry is trying to influence policy and derail the meeting.

READ MORE: UN to Plot Strategy against Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease

Hospital Workers Outspend Others on Medical

Hospital employees spend 10% more on healthcare, consume more medical services, and are generally sicker than the rest of the U.S. workforce, according to a study released on Monday.

The cost difference was even greater when dependents were taken into account, with healthcare costs 13% higher, including medical care and prescription drugs.

Hospital workers outspend others on medical care -

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blood Sugar 101: What They Don't Tell You About Diabetes

Based on the award winning web site, this book explains what peer-reviewed research published in top medical journals has to say about:

  • What is a normal blood sugar?
  • How does diabetes develop?
  • What really causes diabetes?
  • What blood sugar levels cause complications?
  • Must you deteriorate?
  • What diet is right for you?
  • How can you make that diet work?
  • What medications are safe?
  • What supplements lower blood sugar?

Written in clear and understandable language, this book provides all the tools needed to understand how blood sugar works and achieve blood sugar health.

Blood Sugar 101: What They Don't Tell You About Diabetes:

Motivate Those Newly Diagnosed with Diabetes

"Simple Inspirations," a new contest, sponsored by Bayer HealthCare, challenges people living with diabetes to motivate newly diagnosed patients by sharing their most inspirational thoughts about living with the disease.

The goal of the contest is to enrich the lives of everyone who has diabetes - regardless of how long they've been diagnosed - and to demonstrate that people with diabetes can live a full and engaged life by effectively managing their condition.

One grand prize winner will meet international singing sensation Nick Jonas at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Los Angeles Walk to Cure Diabetes. The winner will also appear in a video with Nick to be launched on November 14, 2011 -- World Diabetes Day. No purchase is necessary or required to claim a prize.

Nick Jonas and Bayer HealthCare Announce "Simple Inspirations" Contest to Motivate and Support Those Newly Diagnosed with Diabetes

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Minority Organ Donations Insufficient to Meet Transplant Need

Minorities only account for only 25% of all organ donors, which reduces the likelihood of a match 

Minorities make up about half of all people on transplant waiting lists, according to National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program, a Washington-based education and advocacy group.

"In minority communities, there is a high risk of diabetes, hypertension and certain genetic disorders that often cause people to need transplants. But there is strong resistance to being an organ donor -  for a number of reasons," said Lisa Upsher, program director of the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, or CORE, which will sponsor a conference on Sept. 15 about minority transplants.

Read more: Minority organ donations insufficient to meet transplant need - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Black Barbershop Outreach Program - Men's Health

The Diabetic Amputation Prevention Foundation launched The Black Barbershop Outreach Program in December 2007 to address the at-risk African American male population throughout the country for cardiovascular disease. During the program volunteers have measured blood pressures and screened for diabetes in over 38 cities across the country

Black owned barbershops represent a cultural institution that regularly attracts large numbers of black men and provides an environment of trust and an avenue to disseminate health education information.

Black Barbershop Outreach Program | Men's Health

Sugar Consumption

It's no surprise to any of us that over half of Americans consume so many sugary drinks on any given day

Half of all Americans aged 2 and older consume sugary drinks on any given day and at least 25% of Americans drink the caloric equivalent of more than one can of soda a day, according to a new report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Consumption of sugar drinks in the United States has increased over the past 30 years among both children and adults," wrote the report's authors, led by Cynthia Ogden of CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

Most people drink their sugary beverages - defined as fruit drinks, sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks and sweetened bottled waters - in their own home and purchase them in stores. About 36% of sugar drinks are consumed in restaurants and fast food establishments. Children drink only 2% of these beverages in schools or day care centers.

Perhaps our problem with sugar consumption results from reading articles like this - Eating Chocolate is Good for the Heart 

As a "Diabetic" this picture is making me crave chocolate - and while this is NOT good for my sugar levels, it must be good for my heart - at least according to the article -

A recent finding, that is sure to delight many of us with a sweet tooth, claims that high levels of chocolate consumption may be associated with a 33% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease.

While other factors are much more important for a healthy heart, such as exercise and proper dieting, this finding gives a nice reprieve to chocoholics.

Boosting Diabetic Care Through Electronic Medical Records

New research suggests that using electronic medical records instead of paper files could greatly improve care for diabetic patients by boosting communication.
Converting to electronic records may seem like a slam dunk when it comes to patient care. Proponents say they make it easier for doctors to communicate with patients and with one another.

The records are also supposed to cut down on medical errors by doing things like providing warnings about medication allergies.

The Obama Administration is so confident that a move to e-records will improve care and cut costs that it made the shift a key part of health care reform efforts.

Still, doctors seem slow to adopt the technology:
A HealthDay/Harris Interactive Poll conducted a year ago found that fewer than 1 in 10 adults used email to communicate with their physician.

Continue reading at USNews Health

Monday, September 5, 2011

Diabetic woman pleads not guilty in fatal crash

 Letting your blood sugar get  too low can harm you and others

 A 71-year old woman accused of crashing into a bus stop in City Heights, killing a young mother and injuring her boyfriend and their 4-year-old son, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to gross vehicular manslaughter.

Prosecutors contend that she suffers from diabetes, experienced a bout of extremely low blood sugar and lost control of the vehicle she was driving

 View this article

Obesity Ranks Low on List Parents Think Warrant Medical Attention

Parents need help connecting the dots between having an overweight child and what their future health consequences may be . . .

A new survey released today by Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City shows more parents would find it "very important" to seek medical care for a child with diabetes symptoms (81%), asthma (80%) or a learning disability (74%) - BUT only 54% of parents feel the same approach is needed for a child who is overweight.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dentists Can Identify People with Undiagnosed Diabetes

Periodontal disease is an early complication of diabetes, and about 70 percent of U.S. adults see a dentist at least once a year

The study unveiled that a simple algorithm composed of two dental parameters, (which are the number of missing teeth and percentage of deep periodontal pockets) was "effective in identifying patients with unrecognized pre-diabetes or diabetes."

Dentists Can Identify People with Undiagnosed Diabetes

Study: Too Much Salt Can Bring on Dementia

How much is too much salt? 

According to government health guidelines, if you're age 51+ or you are African American, have kidney issues or you're diabetic, you should have no more than a half teaspoon -- or 1500 mg -- of salt each day.

That applies to about half our population. If you're in the other half your limit is supposed to be 2300 mg of salt per day, or about one teaspoon.

Too much salt and too little exercise is hard on the heart, but the new research suggests it can be hard on the brain, too. A three-year study of more than 1,200 people has linked a salty diet and sedentary lifestyle to cognitive decline in old age.

Read Study: Too Much Salt Can Bring on Dementia

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Type 2 Diabetes Patients Face Cancer Risk

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the condition, which occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin.

An 11-year study of almost 1300 people with type 2 diabetes found for the first time that both men and women with the condition faced an increased risk for all types of cancer.

However the finding that most alarmed researchers was that men aged 55 to 84 with type 2 diabetes were nearly twice as likely to develop bowel cancer as their healthy peers.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Diabetics Monitor Blood Sugar Through Sweat

Norwegian researchers have developed a new test that checks a person's sweat to monitor blood sugar levels!

The sweat meter can be attached to a smartphone. The phone can then alert patients when their blood sugar is getting low.

Find out more . . .