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Can Diabetes Be Contagious?

Could Diabetes Spread Like Mad Cow Disease?

Could Diabetes Spread Like Mad Cow Disease?

Prions are insidious proteins that spread like infectious agents and trigger fatal conditions such as mad cow disease. A protein implicated in diabetes, a new study suggests, shares some similarities with these villains. Researchers transmitted diabetes from one mouse to another just by injecting the animals with this protein. The results don’t indicate that diabetes is contagious like a cold, but blood transfusions, or even food, may spread the disease. The work is “very exciting” and “well-documented” for showing that the protein has some prionlike behavior, says prion biologist Witold Surewicz of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, who wasn’t connected to the research. However, he cautions against jumping to the conclusion that diabetes spreads from person to person. The study raises that possibility, he says, but “it remains to be determined.” Prions are misfolded proteins that can cause normally folded versions of the same protein to misfold themselves. When this conversion occurs in the brain, the distorted proteins bunch up inside cells and kill them. Although prion diseases are rare in people, they share some similarities with more common illnesses. In Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, globs of a misshapen protein known as β amyloid build up in the brain. Parkinson’s disease and Huntington disease, two other brain maladies, also feature aggregates, or lumps of misfolded proteins. Get more great content like this delivered right to you! By signing up, you agree to share your email address with the publication. Information provided here is subject to Science's privacy policy. At first glance, type 2 diabetes, in which people lose the ability to control their blood glucose levels, doesn’t seem to have any connection to prions Continue reading >>

Is Kidney Disease Contagious?

Is Kidney Disease Contagious?

It may sound odd that a recent study found a connection between being married to a person with kidney disease and increased risk for you — but doctors see the findings as entirely logical. While kidney disease isn’t itself contagious, a major risk factor — lifestyle — is. If you’re not sick yet, you may still be able to stop the disease in its tracks… if you act fast. Researchers at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan studied 178 patients whose kidney disease had advanced to the point where they required dialysis. Since it’s widely known that several causes of kidney disease (diabetes and hypertension) have genetic roots, they also studied 196 of their first- and second-degree relatives — parents, siblings, children, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and half-siblings, as well as a control group from the general population. In order to determine whether husbands and wives also have a higher-than-average risk, the researchers compared these groups to 95 men and women married to chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. The researchers found that CKD was indeed prevalent in spouses of patients — even more so than among their relatives, who shared their genetic traits. After compensating for age and other factors, researchers found that, compared with the control group, incidence of kidney disease was 2.55 times higher in relatives… and 2.8 times higher in spouses. These differences are statistically significant, meaning that having a husband or wife with kidney disease raises your risk morethan having a relative who has it. It’s concerning that so few people are familiar with the risk factors for CKD, I learned from Kerry Willis, PhD, head of scientific activities at the National Kidney Foundation — she called it “a dang Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes: A-to-z Guide From Diagnosis To Treatment To Prevention

Type 1 Diabetes: A-to-z Guide From Diagnosis To Treatment To Prevention

Introduction to type 1 diabetes: When a child starts drinking more or urinating more frequently, the thought of type 1 diabetes (and now type 2 diabetes) often springs into the parents’ minds. When should parents be concerned? What is diabetes? In healthy children a hormone called insulin pushes sugar from the blood into the body’s cells where it can be used for fuel. This insulin is produced in the pancreas. Type I diabetes is an attack on the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is what we call an autoimmune disease. When diabetes first begins, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed gradually over months or years. The remaining cells are able to compensate for this by increasing their insulin production. The body can still make enough insulin to keep the concentration of sugar in the blood within a fairly narrow range. Not until 90 percent of the insulin-producing cells are destroyed is the sugar no longer pushed effectively from the blood into the cells. The blood sugar level begins to rise. Without sugar in the cells, muscle and fat begin to be burned for fuel (evidence of this — ketones — shows up in the urine). The person feels hungry all the time, but loses weight in spite of increased eating. The person is literally starving. Meanwhile, the concentration of sugar in the blood begins to increase. When the level reaches 180 mg/dL, the sugar begins to spill over into the urine. This causes the person to make more urine and then get thirstier, creating an accelerating cycle. Who gets diabetes? Type 1 diabetes most often strikes young people, especially between the ages of 5 and 7 (when viruses run through the schools), or at the time of puberty (when so many hormones change). For this reason, it used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes. This term ha Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes Transferable?

Is Diabetes Transferable?

First of all, diabetes is definitely not contagious. There a two types of diabetes. Both of them aren't curable, but with the right treatment, people can live just about as long as any other healthy person. Type 1: ... is an autoimmune disorder. The immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreasas as an overreaction, so that for people suffering from type 1 diabetes, insulin is essential for survival. Most likely, type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in the childhood. Though it's rare, it's also possible to develope it about the age of thirty. The patients need to inject insulin several times of the day, every time they eat or their blood sugar appears to be too high. Plus, they need to consider very different things, challenging their lifestyle. Type 2: ... begins with an insulin resistance one can manage at first by dietary changes and by increasing exercise. If that isn't successful anymore, one gets oral anti diabetics, and if that on the other hand isn't successful enough anymore, one starts slowly with injecting insulin, still taking the oral anti diabetics. The treatment consistently gets adjusted on the state of health of the particular patient by their doctors. Though you have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, if your ancestors suffered from it, the chance of getting ill are only highly increased, if you get overweight and if you underexercise. If you know that, you can avoid further increasing the risk. If there is only one side if ancestors in which someone had a type 2 diabetes, your chances to get it are at approximately 10%, if that is the case on both sides, there is a 30% - if you're overweight. One could also add a type 3 and a type 4 to that list, if one considers gestational diabetes, a condition in which the insulin re Continue reading >>

> Diabetes Facts And Myths

> Diabetes Facts And Myths

It's important to educate yourself about diabetes so you can help your child manage it. This means arming yourself with the right information. Although the Internet has a wealth of content on diabetes, it's not always accurate. Information that's not interpreted correctly, or is inaccurate or misleading, can actually be harmful for someone with diabetes. Even well-meaning family members and friends can give bad information. Talk to your diabetes health care team when you see information that doesn't seem quite right, sounds too good to be true, or contradicts what they've told you. Never make changes to your child's diabetes management plan without contacting someone on the health care team first. Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes. Fact: Type 1 diabetes is caused by a destruction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, which is unrelated to sugar consumption. Type 2 diabetes results from the body's inability to respond to insulin normally. Although the tendency to get type 2 diabetes is genetically inherited in most cases, eating too much sugar (or foods with sugar, like candy or regular soda) can cause weight gain, which can increase the risk for developing the disease. Myth: Kids with diabetes can never eat sweets. Fact: Kids with diabetes can eat a certain amount of sugary food as part of a balanced diet, but they need to control the total amount of carbohydrates they eat, which includes sugary treats. Because sweets provide no real nutritional value other than calories, they should be limited — but not necessarily eliminated. All kids (and adults!) should avoid excessive consumption of foods that provide little nutritional value and can crowd out healthier foods. Fact: Kids do not outgrow diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the cells of the pancreas th Continue reading >>

Yeast, Diabetes, And Sex

Yeast, Diabetes, And Sex

Vaginal yeast infections are annoying, not dangerous, but they can seriously hamper your sex life, especially if you have diabetes. What’s the connection, and what can you do to prevent and treat yeast infections? According to Chris Illiades, MD, on the website Everyday Health, “Normally, Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infection, lives in balance with the other microorganisms in your body…. But anything that upsets this normal balance can lead to an overgrowth of yeast and can cause a yeast infection.” Diabetes is one of the things that can upset the normal balance because yeast love to eat sugar, especially glucose. In fact, they help make beer by eating sugar and turning it into alcohol, and they are crucial in bread-making because after eating sugar, they produce a gas that makes dough rise. When there’s extra sugar in your blood, there is likely to be more in your vagina and other tissues, so yeast grow better there. Yeast irritating the inside of your vagina is called “vaginitis.” In the tissues around the vagina – the vulva – such irritation is called “vulvitis.” Both are far more common in women with diabetes. There are many causes of yeast infections. One is the use of antibiotics, which can change the balance in the vagina by killing bacteria, thus allowing yeast to grow unchecked. A common pattern is for a woman to treat a bladder infection with antibiotics, only to wind up with a yeast infection that is just as annoying. According to Dr. Illiades, other causes of vaginitis include stress, illness, menstrual periods, pregnancy, and other medications. Diabetes Health writer Linda von Wartburg wrote that menopause may also increase the risk of vaginitis. Preventing Yeast Infections You can reduce your risk of vaginitis by ma Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes Contagious?

Is Diabetes Contagious?

Is Diabetes Contagious? I had one of my favorite young patients with Type 1 Diabetes ask me this one day. NO! Diabetes (of any type) is not contagious. If your child has diabetes, I suggest you talk with their teacher and school nurse about a Diabetes School Care Plan before each school year starts. Many schools require a special form to be filled out by your child’s healthcare provider each year. The form often specifies action to be taken for example if blood sugar is high/low. It should specify when to call you and when and when to call 911. I think it is also important to talk to your child’s teacher to educate them about diabetes. I’ve saved some tips on my Pinterest page for parents/caregivers and I’ve seen good information under “Safe at School” on www.diabetes.org recently. Unfortunately, kids can be cruel (sometimes unintentionally). This same patient told me another day that a little boy in his class told him that he, “had diabetes because he was stupid.” This nearly broke my heart. That is DEFINITELY not the case either! I told him that actually he was one of the brightest kids I know! He knows how to take care of his insulin pump, carb count, etc. better than some adults that I know! We need to be sure to clear up any questions/misinformation that other students may have – I think this helps. If other students are well-informed, they can often be a good support system. I also recommend looking into Diabetes Camps in your area. Diabetes campes can allow your child to be around other children with the same condition while having fun and learning more about diabetes. Many camps are run by healthcare providers. At the practice I work for, we wear jeans on Fridays to help raise money/awareness to send children to diabetes camp each summer. They Continue reading >>

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Could Increase Your Diabetes Risk

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Could Increase Your Diabetes Risk

Sexually transmitted diseases could significantly increase your chances of getting diabetes, according to a new study. Scientists revealed STDs, like chlamydia, increase your risk of diabetes by up to 82 per cent - the same as having a high body mass index. But the results weren’t just confined to STDs - intestinal infections also raised the risk of diabetes by 88 per cent. The researchers found any diagnosis of sexual and gender identity disorders increased the risk of diabetes by 130 per cent. Shockingly, this is the same as having high blood pressure. Chicken pox, shingles and other viral infections increased someone’s chances of developing diabetes as much as high cholesterol. The team developed a new screening algorithm that allowed them to predict the likelihood of developing diabetes using the records of almost 10,000 people and assessing their medical history. Vital signs, prescription medicine and reported illnesses were available to the scientists. Fri, October 2, 2015 The Top 10 most contagious illnesses Study co-author Dr Mark Cohen professor at UCLA said: “There's so much more information available in the medical record that could be used to determine whether a patient needs to be screened, and this information isn't currently being used.” The pre-screening algorithm was found to be more effective than screening based on traditional factors, such as blood pressure, BMI, age, gender and smoking. It was also 14 per cent better at identifying those who don’t have the disease. The team even suggest it could identify 400,000 people who haven’t yet been diagnosed. The pre-screening tool also identified factors that lowered the risk of diabetes. Regular migraines decreased someone’s chances of developing the condition as much as being 29 years younge Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes Contagious?

Is Diabetes Contagious?

Sharing a household with someone who has the metabolic disorder can greatly increase the risk of developing the condition, a new study show, Newsmax Health reports. Researchers from the McGill University Health Centre who analyzed several studies determined that spousal diabetes is a risk factor. The findings, published in the British Medical Journal BMC Medicine, may help improve diabetes detection and motivate couples to work together to reduce the risk of developing the condition. Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta, M.D., with the Research Institute of the MUHC and an associate professor of medicine at McGill University said his team undertook the analysis to determine if diabetes in one partner could lead to diabetes in the other, noting many of the risk behaviors that lead to diabetes — such as poor eating habits and low physical activity — could be common in a household. The researchers' conclusions were based on an analysis of six studies conducted in different parts of the world that examined diabetes diagnoses involving 75,498 couples. "The results of our review suggest that diabetes diagnosis in one spouse may warrant increased surveillance in the other," Dr. Dasgupta said, noting doctors typically track family history of diabetes in patients, but not spousal diabetes. Sponsored Report ad Sponsored Online Health & Fitness Student Stuns Doctors With Crazy Method to Melt Fat Are you looking to burn belly fat, but diet and exercise is not enough? A student from Cornell University recently discovered the fastest way to lose weight by combining these two ingredients. Learn More Report ad Continue reading >>

People With Diabetes Are Not “suffering,” And There Is No “bad” Kind

People With Diabetes Are Not “suffering,” And There Is No “bad” Kind

Team Novo Nordisk athletes with diabetes dispel myths and stigma. Our team was fortunate to attend Team Novo Nordisk’s (TNN) Diabetes Online Community Meet-up at the recent ADA conference in New Orleans to hear members of the all-diabetes professional team and friends discuss “Diabetes Language, Myths & Stigma.” Panelists included: As professional athletes living with diabetes, TNN smashes some commonly held misconceptions about diabetes, and in doing so, strives to reduce – and eventually end – diabetes stigma in society. At this enlightening event, TNN shared the stage with Professor Jane Speight from the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, who contributed valuable insight from her own research. Our main takeaway was that language is a big piece of the puzzle: it can dispel harmful myths, stop stigmatizing attitudes, and halt unhelpful behaviors. How do diabetes myths lead to stigma? Diabetes myths showcase an overall limitation of diabetes literacy and awareness that, while not intended to be harmful, contributes to societal stigma towards diabetes. TNN members shared their own encounters with uninformed questions and comments about their diabetes: Lauren: “I didn’t know people with diabetes could get pregnant.” Renza: “I know how you cure diabetes … just drink water!” Ben: “Is your diabetes contagious?” Thomas: “Do you still have diabetes?” Renza: “Do you have the good or bad type of diabetes?” Ben: “Did you drink too much soda as a kid?” For each of the questions or comments above, the myths they include can be tied to a stigmatized belief that may be (unfortunately) widely held: people with diabetes are sick and unhealthy; diabetes is something people bring upon themselves, either through actively made poor Continue reading >>

Can You 'catch' Diabetes?

Can You 'catch' Diabetes?

Is your wife diabetic? If you answered yes, your risk for the disease just jumped 26 percent, according to new research from Canada’s McGill University. A lot of factors determine your diabetes risk—including genetics. But lifestyle choices like how much you sleep, what you eat, and how much you exercise can seriously shrink or swell your chances of developing the disease, explains study coauthor Kaberi Dasgupta, M.D. Dasgupta says it may be that people who share the same unhealthy lifestyles tend to end up together. Or maybe you adopted her couch-potato ways after you hooked up. In either case, these shared health habits—or lack thereof—are at the root of the spouse-diabetes link, Dasgupta says. Slash your risk by trying to walk for at least 30 minutes a day, she says. It doesn’t have to be all at once either: Taking public transport, avoiding elevators, and parking the car further away from the shopping mall all add up. And swap processed snacks—muffins, bagels, or chips—for dark produce like blueberries and purple grapes. They are especially potent diabetes fighters, as they’re rich with anthocyanins and resveratrol—two polyphenols that may help improve glucose metabolism and sensitivity. Continue reading >>

Diabetes Health Advice

Diabetes Health Advice

Is Diabetes Transferable? Diabetes is characterized by increased blood sugar or blood glucose levels. Glucose is obtained from the food that is consumed. The glucose gives the cells the energy they need to perform various functions. The hormone insulin aids in this process. In type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body either does not produce or cannot use the insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes is also known as diabetes mellitus and is the more common of both types. When there is an inadequate amount of insulin in the body, the glucose remains in the blood, thereby elevating blood sugar levels. Diabetes health risks are many. If the glucose remains in the blood over time, many serious complications such as kidney, eye and nerve damage can occur. Gestational diabetes is another type of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women due to the effect of hormonal changes. Diabetes health problems can occur in any type of diabetes. These problems develop when an individual is unable to manage diabetes properly. A common complication that occurs in diabetic individuals is hyperglycemia which is characterized by excessively high blood sugar levels. If left untreated, conditions such as kidney failure, nerve damage and blindness can occur. Unmanaged diabetes can also lead to high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure. This contributes to circulation disorders and heart disease. Diabetes often leads to frequent infections since the immune system is affected. Intake of too much insulin can lead to hypoglycemia wherein dizziness, headache, sweating and fainting can occur. The diabetes health plan involves proper diet, lifestyle modifications and medication. Type 2 diabetes is initially treated with dietary changes, regular exercise and weight re Continue reading >>

Sex And Type 1 Diabetes

Sex And Type 1 Diabetes

When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, their doctor will typically walk them through the steps of how to deal with this medical issue in the following years; however, sex is rarely addressed, often leaving the patient feeling left in the dark. The journal Diabetes Care found that only half of all men and 19 percent of women with diabetes had broached the topic of sex with their doctors.1 It is crucial that individuals with Type I Diabetes become aware of the sexual problems associated with this health condition because certain symptoms can be assumed an effect of Type 1 diabetes, but be caused from an unrelated medical condition. For people that already have diabetes, sexual problems can indicate nerve damage, blocked arteries, and irregular hormone patterns.2 People who keep their diabetes under control can lower their risk of developing these sexual and urologic problems in the future. Talk to Your Partner Establishing a strong system of communication with your partner is a crucial component of every relationship. Along with discussing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and contraception usage, Type 1 diabetics should express how diabetes affects their sex life. Many Type 1 diabetics may feel self conscious about their condition and try to hide it from their partners. If you do this, however, you may not feel comfortable asking your partner for a break from sex in the case of a low blood sugar and put yourself in a dangerous situation. Sex is an intense physical activity and as any Type 1 diabetic knows, this can cause a fast drop in blood glucose level. Make sure your partner knows how to care for you in case you experience a severe low blood sugar level and are unable to care for yourself. It is your responsibility as a diabetic to protect yourself and give t Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes Communicable?

Is Diabetes Communicable?

If you have diabetes, are your loved ones more likely to get it? Science has always said no; diabetes is “noncommunicable.” But a new study raises the scary possibility that spouses and partners may be at increased risk. The study reviewed the records of over 3 million Kaiser members in Northern California. Researchers looked at life partners of people newly diagnosed with diabetes. Partners and spouses were twice as likely as the general population to develop diabetes in the following year. Male spouses were at even higher risk, about 2.5 times the national average. Females were slightly less vulnerable than men, but still close to double the average. There were some same-sex partners in the sample, but too few to draw meaningful conclusions, according to researcher Dr. Mohammed K. Ali of Emory University. The data, which were reported at the 75th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, didn’t specify what type of diabetes people had. The newly diagnosed subjects were aged 18–79, so most probably had Type 2. Dr. Ali said that, “The implications of this are huge. It might be important to…talk to the spouses or partners about their own risks. We know that health-related risks tend to occur among people who are socially connected.” What’s going on here? Is this effect real, and if so, what could have caused it? Partners might not be getting sicker. It might just be that people whose partners get diagnosed ask their doctor for a test. Then doctors will discover diabetes in people who already had it but didn’t know. However, there are several possible ways that diabetes could spread in a household. If you move in with somebody, you may adopt his food and exercise habits. If the new patterns are unhealthy, your health may suffer. If you st Continue reading >>

4 Diseases You Can Catch From Kissing

4 Diseases You Can Catch From Kissing

Knowing a potential significant other’s sexually transmitted disease status is mandatory these days. But is there even more to be concerned about? It seems as though before you even kiss goodnight, you may want to check your date’s dental records. Studies show that cavities and gum disease are contagious—and can be transmitted through swapping spit, just like colds and flu. In fact, some experts estimate that up to 500 different germs can be transmitted in a single kiss. Saliva and the mouth are full of viruses and bacteria, including some that cause cavities and gum disease. Kissing a partner who is actively infected with gum disease or cavity-causing bacteria can cause a person who previously had a low concentration of these bacteria to ‘catch’ problems, due to the extra dose of bacteria from kissing—particularly if that person has poor oral habits that set the stage for tooth decay. Get The LATEST Articles Straight To Your Inbox! 1. Periodontitis In a dental care article published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, it was revealed that periodontitis might be passed from parents to children and between intimate partners. The bacteria that inhabit the periodontal pockets are also present on the oral soft tissues, teeth, tongue and saliva. They can be transferred from one person to another through saliva, intimate kissing, sharing of food, utensils, or toothbrushes, and can result in exposure to saliva that contain the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. 2. Cold sores Cold sores are caused by Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1). In contrast to infections spread through the saliva, HSV-1 is spread through open cold sores on the lips or near the mouth. Although the infection is contagious through all stages of a cold sore, the infection is most Continue reading >>

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