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Can Diabetes Cause Brain Damage?

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is one of the most common health issues that can occur during pregnancy. It occurs when the mother is first diagnosed with diabetes partway through the pregnancy. The key to minimizing the effects of gestational diabetes is diagnosing it early through the use of an oral glucose tolerance test. If gestational diabetes is not diagnosed properly, it can lead to macrosomia in the baby (abnormally large fetal size), which puts the baby at risk for neonatal hypoglycemia, trauma, and other complications. It can also lead to jaundice, premature birth, birth asphyxia, and reduced uteroplacental perfusion (RUPP), which harms both mother and child by reducing blood flow between baby and mother. Gestational Diabetes and Birth Injury During pregnancy, hormonal changes can make an expectant mother’s cells less responsive to insulin. When a person’s body needs more insulin, the pancreas secretes more. However, pregnant women often experience increased insulin demand during pregnancy, and, as a result, their pancreases cannot keep up with the demand. Ultimately, these pregnant women experience heightened blood glucose levels with resultant gestational diabetes. Currently, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Diabetes Association recommend screening all pregnant women for gestational diabetes. Additionally, ACOG states that women who develop pregnancy-related diabetes should be re-tested 6 to 12 weeks after delivering their babies. However, according to a new study of one million patient records, only about two-thirds of pregnant women undergo screening tests for gestational diabetes. Among the 5% of women who tested positive for gestational diabetes, just 1 in 5 were screened again within 6 months of giving birth, expl Continue reading >>

Diabetes Insipidus Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Diabetes Insipidus Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Home | Critical Care Compendium | Diabetes Insipidus following Traumatic Brain Injury Diabetes Insipidus following Traumatic Brain Injury Diabetes insipidus (DI) results from decreased secretion and action of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) ADH is produced in the hypothalamus and transported to the posterior pituitary gland ADH is released into the circulation in response to thirst, increased plasma osmolarity and hypotension It is a key hormone involved in water regulation and the defence of blood volume In a head injured patient decreased production and secretion of ADH can result from: 1. direct disruption of the hypothalamus or pituitary 2. interruption of the blood supply to these parts of the brain 3. increased ICP or oedema causing herniation of the brain and subsequent compression of the pituitary stalk or gland decreased H2O reabsorption in the collecting ducts of nephron decreased GFR from relaxation of mesanglial cells in glomerulus contraction of intravascular volume (dehydration and hypovolaemia) loss of tone in vascular tree causing hypotension -> decreased Na+ reabsorption, increased K+ loss Continue reading >>

Alcohol Abuse Can Damage The Brain By Decreasing Insulin And Insulin-like Growth Factor Receptors

Alcohol Abuse Can Damage The Brain By Decreasing Insulin And Insulin-like Growth Factor Receptors

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research Too much alcohol can cause permanent brain damage, such as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is largely related to thiamine deficiency. Previous animal studies have shown that alcohol can also cause brain injury and degeneration by inhibiting insulin and insulin-like growth factor. A new study using postmortem human brain tissue has found that chronic alcohol abuse can decrease levels of genes needed for brain cells to respond to insulin/IGF, leading to neurodegeneration similar to that caused by Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Too much alcohol can cause permanent brain damage, such as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is largely related to thiamine deficiency. Previous animal studies have shown that alcohol can also cause brain injury and degeneration by inhibiting insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF). A new study using postmortem human brain tissue has found that chronic alcohol abuse can decrease levels of genes needed for brain cells to respond to insulin/IGF, leading to neurodegeneration similar to that caused by Type 2 diabetes mellitus. "Insulin is one of the most important hormones in the body," said Suzanne de la Monte, professor of pathology/ neuropathology and clinical neuroscience at Rhode Island Hospital and the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. "It has many functions, including regulation of metabolism. Cells throughout the body depend upon insulin just to stay alive and carry out 'ordinary daily functions.' The best known diseases associated with abnormalities in insulin's availability or actions are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes." De la Monte is also the study's corresponding author. During the past several years, she added, there has been growing interest in insulin's effects on brain fu Continue reading >>

What Happens When Your Sugar Drops To A Dangerous Level In Your Body?

What Happens When Your Sugar Drops To A Dangerous Level In Your Body?

Effects of Severe Hypoglycemia Without emergency treatment, prolonged severe hypoglycemia results in permanent brain damage and irreversible cardiac problems, especially if you already have heart disease. Hypoglycemia causes weakness, tremors, rapid heartbeat and dizziness. Serious injuries can result from loss of consciousness while driving or falling down stairs, according to Joslin Diabetes Center. Drug-induced hypoglycemia is often responsible for falls that cause serious injuries in the elderly who take diabetes medications, such as chlorpropamide, reports the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy. Because many health conditions have similar symptoms, do not ignore recurring symptoms of hypoglycemia, whether mild or severe, as they can be a sign of a serious, undiagnosed medical condition. Food, Exercise and Medications Affect Blood-Sugar Levels Too little food, strenuous exercise that burns large amounts of sugar, caffeine or excessive alcohol consumption can cause hypoglycemia. Medications prescribed to treat heart problems or high blood pressure, such as beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme agents, also called ACE inhibitors, may mask symptoms of low blood sugar, reports the University of Michigan Health System. Medications, such as quinolones, antibiotics prescribed to treat urinary tract infections, can cause hypoglycemia, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Diseases That Cause Hypoglycemia Diseases that cause your pancreas, liver, kidneys or other organs to malfunction, or glandular problems, such as underactive thyroid, may also cause a drop in blood-sugar levels. Other causes of hypoglycemia include inherited metabolic abnormalities and autoimmune disorders. Normal Blood Sugar Levels The Joslin Diabetes Center provides th Continue reading >>

Cholesterol Drugs (statins) Linked To Diabetes, Brain Damage & Much More

Cholesterol Drugs (statins) Linked To Diabetes, Brain Damage & Much More

What’s the deal with Cholesterol? Good, bad, both, myth? Perhaps it is a myth, something that’s been made into a problem so pharmaceutical companies can keep raking in the cash? Statins alone generate billions of dollars a year. The important point to take note of is the fact that Statins, drugs designed to lower ones cholesterol, are one of the biggest drugs prescribed to patients, and one of the biggest earners for pharmaceutical companies, which is concerning. Why is it concerning? Because over the years, it’s become more and more difficult for people to trust pharmaceutical companies for several different reasons. Whether it’s about studies that continue to expose the harmful effects of various drugs, or the chief editors of Major Medical journals like Dr. Richard Horton (editor in chief of the Lancet )”blowing the whistle,” so to speak, there is large . (1)(2)(3)(4) Now, a new study recently published in the American Journal of Physiology, states that statins the adverse effects of statins advance the process of aging, and points out that long term use of stats have been associated with several serious adverse health effects including myopathy (skeletal muscle weakness), neurological side effects and an increased risk of diabetes.” The study outlines the negative effect statins have on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and how they also impaired the expression of DNA repair genes which, the authors believe, proved a “novel explanation for their adverse clinical effects.” We know that that the ability of these cells to differentiate isn’t good, and statins reduce that which is why improved plaque stability in patients with cardiovascular disease is seen, but we never hear about the detrimental side effects . These side affects are very worrisome, an Continue reading >>

Embargoed For Release Until 4 Pm Et, August 01, 2011

Embargoed For Release Until 4 Pm Et, August 01, 2011

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 4 P.M. ET, MONDAY, AUGUST 1, 2011 ST. PAUL, Minn. – A new study suggests smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight in middle age may cause brain shrinkage and lead to cognitive problems up to a decade later. The study is published in the August 2, 2011, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “These factors appeared to cause the brain to lose volume, to develop lesions secondary to presumed vascular injury, and also appeared to affect its ability to plan and make decisions as quickly as 10 years later. A different pattern of association was observed for each of the factors,” said study author Charles DeCarli, MD, with the University of California at Davis in Sacramento and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “Our findings provide evidence that identifying these risk factors early in people of middle age could be useful in screening people for at-risk dementia and encouraging people to make changes to their lifestyle before it’s too late.” The study involved 1,352 people without dementia from the Framingham Offspring Study with an average age of 54. Participants had body mass and waist circumference measures taken and were given blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes tests. They also underwent brain MRI scans over the span of a decade, the first starting about seven years after the initial risk factor exam. Participants with stroke and dementia at baseline were excluded, and between the first and last MRI exams, 19 people had a stroke and two developed dementia. The study found that people with high blood pressure developed white matter hyperintensities, or small areas of vascular brain damage, at a faster rate than those with normal blood pressure reading Continue reading >>

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

Long-term Complications Of Diabetes

en espaolComplicaciones a largo plazo de la diabetes Many of the complications of diabetes don't show up until after many years even decades of having the disease. They usually develop silently and gradually over time, so even if people with diabetes aren't having any signs of complications, they may still eventually develop them. Talking or thinking about long-term complications can be scary. And it can be hard for anyone to make changes in how they live today to decrease the risk of health problems that may not show up for decades. But it's important to start now. Managing your diabetes by eating right, getting regular exercise, and taking your medicine as directed by your diabetes health care team is the best way to reduce the risk of developing complications. You may have wondered why doctors talk so much about keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Here's why: Long-term diabetes problems or complications are often linked to higher blood sugar levels over a long period of time. These complications can affect several different parts of the body. But blood sugar control isn't the only thing that determines a person's risk for diabetes complications. Other factors, like genes, can also play a role. Parts of the body that can be most affected by diabetes complications are the: People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing eye problems, including: Cataracts: A cataract is a thickening and clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens is the part of the eye that helps you focus on what you see. Cataracts can make a person's vision blurry or make it hard to see at night. Doctors think that people with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts if they have high blood sugar levels over a long period of time. If cataracts get in the way of seeing properly, a Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Complications

Diabetes: Complications

People with diabetes are at risk for long-term problems affecting the eyes, kidneys, heart, brain, feet, and nerves. The best way to prevent or delay these problems is to control your blood sugar and take good care of yourself. Eyes It is recommended that people with diabetes see an eye doctor every year for a dilated eye exam. Eye problems that can occur with diabetes include: Cataracts: a clouding of the lens of the eyes. Glaucoma: increased pressure in the eye. Retinopathy: eye changes with the retina in the back of the eye. Symptoms of eye problems include Blurred vision. Spots or lines in your vision. Watery eyes. Eye discomfort. Loss of vision. If you have any changes in your vision, call your healthcare provider. Have your urine checked for protein at least once a year. Protein in the urine is a sign of kidney disease. High blood pressure might also lead to kidney disease. Your blood pressure should be checked when you see your healthcare provider. Symptoms of a kidney problem include: Swelling of the hands, feet, and face. Weight gain from edema. Itching and/or drowsiness. (This can occur with end stage kidney disease.) Prompt treatment may slow the changes with kidney disease. All people with diabetes have an increased chance for heart disease and strokes. Heart disease is the major cause of death in people with diabetes. It is important to control other risks such as high blood pressure and high fats (cholesterol), as well as blood sugar. Symptoms of a heart attack include: Feeling faint. Feeling dizzy. Sweating. Chest pain or pressure. Pain in the shoulders, jaw, and left arm. Warning signs of a stroke include: Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, usually on one side of the body. Sudden nausea. Vomiting. Difficulty speaking or understanding w Continue reading >>

Diabetic Encephalopathy

Diabetic Encephalopathy

Diabetic encephalopathy is damage to the brain caused by diabetes. A relatively unknown complication, encephalopathy is becoming more widely recognized as more people are diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic encephalopathy presents itself both mentally and physically. It can induce an altered mental state, cognitive decline, changes in personality, memory lapses, or severe impairment like dementia. The complication can also cause tremors, lack of coordination, and even seizures. Diabetic encephalopathy is largely due to acute hypoglycemia (blood sugar levels are too low) or severe hyperglycemia (blood sugar levels are too high). The condition manifests itself differently between the two major types of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes Encephalopathy in those with type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. According to a 2011 study, those with type 2 diabetes were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s and 1.75 times more likely to develop other forms of dementia than healthy participants. This increased risk could be due to many different factors brought about from type 2 diabetes. It could be caused by the body’s resistance to insulin, which makes it difficult for the brain to break down amyloid, a protein that forms brain plaques. Brain plaques are abnormal clusters of this protein that block cell-to-cell signaling at the synapses—a symptom infamous for contributing to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Type 2 diabetic encephalopathy can also be generated from hyperglycemia or the conditions that commonly accompany type 2 diabetes like high blood pressure, obesity, or high cholesterol. Oxidative stress is another provoker of the complication. This stems from an imbalance between reactive oxyge Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Eyes, Heart, Nerves, Feet, And Kidneys

Diabetes And Your Eyes, Heart, Nerves, Feet, And Kidneys

Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect your eyes, heart, nerves, feet and kidneys. Understanding how diabetes affects your body is important. It can help you follow your treatment plan and stay as healthy as possible. If your diabetes is not well controlled, the sugar level in your blood goes up. This is called “hyperglycemia” (high blood sugar). High blood sugar can cause damage to very small blood vessels in your body. Imagine what happens to sugar when it is left unwrapped overnight. It gets sticky. Now imagine how sugar “sticks” to your small blood vessels and makes it hard for blood to get to your organs. Damage to blood vessels occurs most often in the eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. Let’s look at how this damage happens. Eyes. Having high levels of sugar in your blood for a long time can harm the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. This can result in vision problems or blindness. Heart. High blood sugar may also harm larger blood vessels in your body that supply oxygen to your heart and brain. Fat can build up in the blood vessels as well. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Nerves. Nerves carry important messages between your brain and other parts of your body. Having high levels of sugar in your blood for many years can damage the blood vessels that bring oxygen to some nerves. Damaged nerves may stop sending pain signals. Feet. Diabetes can harm your feet in two ways. First, it can damage your body’s nerves. Nerve damage stops you from feeling pain or other problems in your feet. Another way that diabetes can cause damage to your feet is from poor blood circulation. Poor blood flow makes it hard for a sore or infection to heal. If sores don’t heal and get infected, it can lead to amputation. Kidneys. Think of your kidneys like Continue reading >>

High Blood Pressure And Diabetes Linked To Cognitive Decline

High Blood Pressure And Diabetes Linked To Cognitive Decline

High blood pressure and diabetes have become a national epidemic that contributes to millions of deaths annually. According to the American Heart Association, adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes. Heart diseases and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke. High blood pressure (hypertension) has long been recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. When someone has both hypertension and diabetes—which is a common combination—his or her risk for cardiovascular disease doubles. High Blood Pressure and Diabetes Create a Double Whammy In addition to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke caused by high blood pressure and diabetes, new research has found that these conditions also lead to brain shrinkage and cognitive decline. Two recent studies have discovered that people in middle age are particularly susceptible to the cognitive impacts of high blood pressure and diabetes. A March 2014 study from the Mayo Clinic found that people who develop older age onset diabetes and have high blood pressure in middle age are more likely to have brain cell loss and other damage to the brain. This brain damage resulted in a higher percentage of problems with memory and thinking skills than in people who didn't have diabetes or high blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic study, titled “Association of Type 2 Diabetes with Brain Atrophy and Cognitive Impairment,” was published in the online issue of the journal Neurology. The researchers found that when compared to people who did not have high blood pressure, people who developed Continue reading >>

Thirdhand Smoke Is Real—here’s How It Can Damage Your Brain And Liver

Thirdhand Smoke Is Real—here’s How It Can Damage Your Brain And Liver

Even in this age of nicotine awareness, you may not realize all the good things that happen to your body when you stop smoking. While many people haven’t heard how smoking can ruin their looks and put them at risk for diabetes, most have heard that secondhand smoke puts non-smokers at risk, as well. So here’s something completely new: Thirdhand smoke is potentially deadly as well, according to an alarming new study out of the University of California, Riverside. Long after you’ve put out a cigarette, its toxins linger on your carpeting, furniture, bedding, clothing, skin, and hair, and can cause serious harm to the health of those who spend time in that environment. Smoke accumulates on surfaces, reacts with the air, and changes into carcinogenic chemicals, the study authors explain. These toxins can remain on surfaces for years, and not only do they have no detectable odor, they’re resistant to even the strongest cleaning agents. So the researchers, Yuxin Chen, PhD, Manuela Martins-Green, PhD, and graduate student Neema Adhami decided to test whether the compounds could be pose health problems. For six months, they exposed mice to the carcinogens, and the results were alarming. Within one month of exposure to thirdhand smoke (THS), the resesarchers began detecting harmful effects on the mice that continued to increase for the duration of the study. The mice suffered: cell damage to the liver cell damage to the brain increased cortisol levels (the stress hormone, which is associated with weight gain, among other things) weakened immune system increased insulin resistance. These last three are all associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Although the studies were done on mice in circumstances that slightly exaggerate typical real-world exp Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Seizures: What Are They? What Are The Symptoms?

Diabetes And Seizures: What Are They? What Are The Symptoms?

Having a seizure is a very serious thing. It is dangerous for the person experiencing it, and it is also scary for those nearby. Seizures can be caused for several reasons. Some people have epilepsy, which is a disorder where seizures happen often. For those without epilepsy, they are often called “provoked seizures” because they were provoked, or brought on, by something reversible. Individuals with diabetes can experience these “provoked seizures” when their blood sugar drops too low. The following article explains the difference in these, how to prevent them, and how to care for someone that is having a diabetic seizure. The difference between epilepsy and seizures Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that happens because there is an electrical storm in the brain. People have recurrent seizures that involve loss of consciousness, convulsions, abnormal behavior, disruption of senses, or all of the above. Some have an “aura” before having a seizure and know when it is going to happen. Most causes of epilepsy are unknown, however they can be triggered by flickering light, loud noises, or physical stimulation. Treatment for this condition includes medications and sometimes diet changes. A “provoked seizure” happens because something abnormal is happening in the body. This can include low sodium, fever, alcohol, drugs, trauma, or low blood sugar. The same thing happens as with epilepsy, and there is unusual activity in the brain causing abnormal movements and behaviors. Unlike epilepsy though, where a seizure can happen for no reason, there is an actual cause for each one that occurs for “provoked seizure”. It is important to understand the cause of these so that preventative measures can be taken. There is no relationship between epilepsy and diabetes. One Continue reading >>

Diabetes During Pregnancy Can Be Deadly For Your Child

Diabetes During Pregnancy Can Be Deadly For Your Child

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 — Diabetes can raise your risk for heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and more, but did you know it can also affect your children's health? Babies are are more likely to die in the womb or shortly after birth when its mother has diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal Diabetologia, and experts say the findings show the importance of managing your blood sugar during pregnancy. Researchers from Newcastle University in the UK looked at data on more than 1,500 women with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes who gave birth in 1996, and compared them to healthy women who gave birth during the same year. They found that babies were nearly 5 times more likely to die in the womb and nearly 2 times as likely to die within their first year of life when born to diabetic mothers compared to babies born to healthy mothers, even when researchers excluded the increased risk of death from birth defects. Uncontrolled blood sugar during pregnancy can lead to a host of congenital issues and birth defects, according to the study, such as cleft lip, cleft palate, kidney defects and limb deficiencies, which greatly increase a baby’s risk of death. However, researchers excluded deaths from these defects, finding that simply having high blood sugar can be deadly for your child. “It’s not uncommon for infants born to diabetic mothers to have breathing problems,” said Scott Drab, PharmD, a diabetes specialist and associate professor of pharmacy and therapeutics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. “Oftentimes women with diabetes will go into premature labor and will deliver early, which raises the risk for death.” In addition, insulin can pass through the placenta, which can be deadly for newborns. “Some infants will h Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is what every diabetic fears -- very low blood glucose. Since the brain requires glucose for fuel at every second, it's possible to induce coma, seizures,brain damage[1][2][3] and death by letting blood glucose drop too low. Because the brain is almost totally dependent on glucose to make use of oxygen[4], it is somewhat like having severe breathing problems. Though the causes and mechanisms are different, in both cases the brain does not have enough oxygen, and similar symptoms and problems can occur. It is caused by giving too much insulin for the body's current needs. The blood glucose level at which an animal (or person) is dangerously hypoglycemic is fuzzy, and depends on several factors.[5] The line is different for diabetics and non-diabetics, and differs between individuals and depending on exogenous insulin and what the individual is accustomed to. The most likely time for an acute hypoglycemia episode is when the insulin is working hardest, or at its peak; mild lows may cause lethargy and sleepiness[6]. An acute hypoglycemic episode can happen even if you are careful, since pets' insulin requirements sometimes change without warning. Pets and people can have hypoglycemic episodes because of increases to physical activity. What makes those with diabetes prone to hypoglycemia is that muscles require glucose for proper function. The more active muscles become, the more their need for glucose increases[7]. Conversely, there can also be hyperglycemic reactions from this; it depends on the individual/caregiver knowing him/herself and the pet's reactions. According to a 2000 JAVMA study, dogs receiving insulin injections only once daily at high doses[9] are more likely to have hypoglycemic episodes than those who receive insulin twice daily. The symptoms Continue reading >>

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