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A Tale For The Ages: How The Mystery Of Diabetes Was Unraveled

A Tale for the Ages: How the Mystery of Diabetes Was Unraveled

A Tale for the Ages: How the Mystery of Diabetes Was Unraveled

Although it seems to have gained notoriety only recently as increasing numbers of people across the globe have fallen prey to the disease, countless brilliant minds have played a part in the fascinating history of diabetes mellitus. Scientists and physicians have been chronicling this devastating medical condition for more than 3,000 years, from the origins of its discovery to the dramatic breakthroughs in its treatment.
The earliest known mention of diabetes appeared in 1552 B.C. in a 3rd Dynasty Egyptian papyrus authored by Hesy-Ra, one of the world’s first documented physicians, who wrote about an illness resulting in frequent urination...which we now know is one of the key symptoms of the condition. And in the first century A.D., ancient Greek physician Aretaeus vividly described the destructive nature of an illness which he named “diabetes,” derived from the Greek word “siphon” (meaning flowing through), and rendered the earliest account of diabetic patients’ intense thirst and “melting down of flesh and limbs into urine.” Diabetes indeed appears to have been a death sentence in the ancient era: Aretaeus did attempt to treat it, but could not provide a good prognosis. He commented that "life (with diabetes) is short, disgusting and painful.”
In the Middle Ages, diabetes was known as the “pissing evil.” And until the 11th century, diabetes was commonly diagnosed by “water tasters,” who tasted the urine of people thought to have diabetes to see if the excretion was sweet like honey. Thus, the Latin word “mellitus,” meaning honey, was added t Continue reading

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Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Is Possible Through Weight Loss, Study Finds

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Is Possible Through Weight Loss, Study Finds

December 7, 2017
Type 2 diabetes has long been viewed as an incurable, chronic condition that often requires lifelong management through medication, such as Glucophage (metformin) and insulin. But a study published in December 2017 in the journal The Lancet suggested following a radical diet that restricts calorie consumption to under 1,000 per day has the potential to reverse the disease in some individuals without using conventional treatments.
"Our findings suggest that even if you have had type 2 diabetes for six years, putting the disease into remission is feasible," colead author Michael Lean, bachelor of medicine and chair of human nutrition at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom, says in a news release. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100 million American adults are living with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Worldwide, an estimated 108 million people have type 2 diabetes, according to the World Health Organization.
What Previous Research Says About Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Through Weight Loss
Previous studies have found that diet and weight loss can help people better manage type 2 diabetes, and in some cases, such as through the CDC Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), prevent prediabetes from progressing into type 2 diabetes. In fact, an analysis published in September 2017 in the journal BMJ offered a magic number of pounds that is linked with reversal of type 2 diabetes: 33 pounds (lbs).
Though risky, bariatric surgery also can help people with type 2 diabetes better manage the disease — potentially bett Continue reading

Do Statins Raise Odds for Type 2 Diabetes?

Do Statins Raise Odds for Type 2 Diabetes?

HealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins may lower your risk of heart disease, but also might boost the odds you'll develop type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.
"In a group of people at high risk of type 2 diabetes, statins do seem to increase the risk of developing diabetes by about 30 percent," said the study's lead author, Dr. Jill Crandall. She's a professor of medicine and director of the diabetes clinical trials unit at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
But, she added, that doesn't mean anyone should give up on statins.
"The benefits of statins in terms of cardiovascular risk are so strong and so well established that our recommendation isn't that people should stop taking statins, but people should be monitored for the development of diabetes while on a statin," she explained.
At least one other diabetes expert agreed that statins are still beneficial for those at risk of heart trouble.
Dr. Daniel Donovan Jr. is professor of medicine and director of clinical research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute in New York City.
"We still need to give statins when LDL (bad) cholesterol isn't under control. A statin intervention can lower the risk of a cardiovascular event by 40 percent, and it's possible the diabetes may have been destined to happen," he said.
The new study is an analysis of data collected from another ongoing study. More than 3,200 adults were recruited from 27 diabetes centers across the United States for the st Continue reading

What are some myths about type 2 diabetes?

What are some myths about type 2 diabetes?

There are a number of myths about type 2 diabetes. The most dangerous myth is the belief that diabetes isn’t that serious. In fact, type 2 diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
Another popular misconception is that type 2 diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar. This myth probably stems from the fact that if you eat a lot of sugar, you may be overweight, and that can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. But just because you consume a lot of sugar doesn’t mean you’ll end up with diabetes, which is caused by heredity and lifestyle factors, such as being overweight and not exercising.
Another myth: Some people believe that if you have type 2 diabetes, you must eat only special foods. Not true. Your diet should be one that would be healthy for anyone -- low in fat, with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meat and nonfat dairy products.
The top 4 myths about type 2 diabetes are:
Myth 1: "Diabetes is nothing to worry about -- it's just a 'touch of sugar.' I'm just borderline."
Fact: Diabetes is a serious condition, but there's a lot you can do to take care of yourself.
Myth 2: "If I take my diabetes pills, I don't have to worry about what I eat or whether I exercise."
Fact: All three ways -- medication, meal planning, and physical activity -- work together to treat diabetes.
Myth 3: "Once you have diabetes, there's nothing you can do to prevent health problems."
Fact: Research has proven that keeping blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels on target can help prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, st Continue reading

Drinking Wine For Diabetes Prevention: Moderate Alcohol Consumption Manages Blood Sugar

Drinking Wine For Diabetes Prevention: Moderate Alcohol Consumption Manages Blood Sugar

Many of us drink the occasional glass of wine to disconnect our brain at the end of the day. The alcoholic beverage not only acts as a stress reliever, it can also protect us from diabetes. A new study published in Diabetologia found a moderate to high intake of wine is associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes.
Researchers from the National Institute of Public Health at the University of Southern Denmark believe its protective effects could be attributed to the role polyphenols have on managing blood sugar levels. Although the mechanism is still hazy, researchers suggest higher concentrations of tannins have an inhibiting effect on the action of carbohydrate-reducing enzymes. In other words, the presence of polyphenols in the body will influence the effect foods have on blood sugar levels during and after consumption.
Read More: People With Type 2 Diabetes May Benefit From Drinking Red Wine In The Context Of A Healthy, Mediterranean Diet
In the study, men and women who consumed seven or more drinks of wine per week had a 25 to 30 percent lower risk of diabetes compared to those who had less than one drink of wine per week.
"Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with the risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over 3-4 weekdays is associated with the lowest risks of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account," wrote the study authors, in their paper.
Previous research on alcohol use and diabetes consistently shows light to moderate alcohol consumption (how many drinks are consumed) is linked wi Continue reading

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