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Alabamian With Diabetes Built Her Own Artificial Pancreas, Gives Away Plan For Free

Alabamian with diabetes built her own artificial pancreas, gives away plan for free

Alabamian with diabetes built her own artificial pancreas, gives away plan for free

Dana Lewis is a good name to remember the next time you hear somebody say Alabama's mostly good for football and barbecue.
Lewis, a University of Alabama graduate who grew up in Huntsville, used social media, computer skills and mail-order parts to invent an artificial pancreas for people with diabetes. Along with co-inventor and husband Scott Leibrand, she's now giving her discovery away.
The device is a success - hundreds of people are using it, including Lewis - and it is bringing the young inventors increasing attention. Just this spring, Fast Company put the 28-year-old Lewis on its 2017 list of America's 100 "most creative people in business."
Diabetes is caused when the pancreas fails to make the insulin that helps the body turn glucose from sugar and carbohydrates into energy. Without insulin, sugar builds up in the blood stream. With too much insulin, it can fall to dangerously low levels. For diabetics, staying in the safe center is a constant challenge.
"You really do make hundreds of decisions a day about things that impact your blood sugar," Lewis said last week from her current home in Seattle. "It's a lot. And it really does impact everybody who cares for a person with diabetes - spouses, siblings, parents, grandparents. Oftentimes, a person with diabetes is surrounded by a half-a-dozen people who help care for them and love them."
Lewis was an example of that. She moved to Seattle for a job after graduating from Alabama. The daughter of a Huntsville engineer, she attended Grissom High School before going to Tuscaloosa.
At the university, Lewis minored in an Continue reading

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A Fasting Diet Could Reverse Diabetes And Repair The Pancreas, Says New Research

A Fasting Diet Could Reverse Diabetes And Repair The Pancreas, Says New Research

Researchers have been able to reverse symptoms of diabetes and restore pancreas functions in mice by putting them on a version of the fasting-mimicking diet.
The diet tricks the body into a fasting mode for a few days a month, even while carefully selected foods are still being eaten, and it could be enough to reboot the organ's key functions and restore insulin production, scientists say.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot make insulin (type I) or is damaged by insulin resistance (type II), and the team from the University of Southern California says the diet reversed symptoms of both types of diabetes in mice.
"By pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back... the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming," says the head of the research team, Valter Longo.
In humans, the fasting-mimicking diet has been credited with helping people lose weight more effectively, and previous studies have also linked it to reducing risk factors for diseases like heart disease and cancer.
The diet has also been credited with reducing the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, so it's earning quite a reputation amongst scientists. In each case starving the body seems to reset the production of healthy cells.
In the latest study, mice were put into the artificial fasting mode for four days a week over a period of several months.
Scientists found this was enough to regenerate beta cells in the pancreas, responsible for storing and releasing insulin. Damaged cells were replaced by working ones.
The team also experimented on pancreati Continue reading

Clifford Whittaker given medal for living with diabetes for 80 years

Clifford Whittaker given medal for living with diabetes for 80 years

A pensioner who has lived with diabetes for 80 years has become the first person in the UK to get a medal for the way he has coped with the condition.
Clifford Whittaker, 88, from Colchester, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was eight years old.
He was awarded the medal by the charity Diabetes UK which described him as "an inspiration".
"My diabetes has never stopped me doing anything," said Mr Whittaker, adding he had only stopped driving two years ago.
If poorly managed or left untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness or amputations.
'Long and healthy life'
Mr Whittaker said he had managed to live with the condition for so long thanks to his late wife Doreen, to whom he was married for 60 years.
The couple met while working in a sweet shop in Hertfordshire.
He said: "Doreen passed away six years ago. But she used to look after me very well and make sure I was eating properly and generally looking after myself," said Mr Whittaker.
300,000
people in the UK have Type 1 diabetes
10% of all diabeties is Type 1 - where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin
40 Most people are diagnosed in their childhood and before they reach the age of 40
NHS England
"My diabetes has never stopped me doing anything and people have always been very kind. I worked in the wages department of a company until I retired in my 60s."
Sharon Robert, of Diabetes UK said: "He is an inspiration, and has really shown that through managing your diabetes well you can live a long and healthy life".
Mr Whittaker was given an HG Wells medal which is awarded to people who have lived with the conditi Continue reading

Fat is GOOD for you! New research says cheese and cream to PREVENT diabetes and heart risk

Fat is GOOD for you! New research says cheese and cream to PREVENT diabetes and heart risk

Current dietary advice says foods containing high levels of saturated fats such as cream, butter, red meat, eggs and cheese should be avoided because they increase the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.
But a study published in a leading medical journal has found the opposite is true, with a diet full of natural fats improving the health of people taking part.
Professor Sherif Sultan, a heart specialist from the University of Ireland, said: “We urgently need to overturn current dietary guidelines.
"People should not be eating high carbohydrate diets as they have been told over the past decade.
“Instead our diets should be largely based on good quality high-fat foods. This will prevent the rising epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and reverse the growing numbers of people suffering weight-related heart problems.”
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found overweight middle-aged men who ate high levels of saturated fat and low levels of carbohydrate became slimmer and healthier.
Researchers also saw reduced blood pressure and glucose levels, which are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer, in the patients.
The people in the study were given unprocessed fats from natural sources, including butter, cream and cheese, along with coconut oil. Scientists believe these are “good fats” that absorb well in the body.
They did not include manufactured fats such as margarine, highly refined oils and trans-fats used in processed foods.
Experts say refined carbohydrates turn into sugar in our bodies, caus Continue reading

Type 1 diabetes breakthrough using stem cell research raises hope for cure

Type 1 diabetes breakthrough using stem cell research raises hope for cure

Scientists believe they have made a major advance in the quest to find an effective treatment for type 1 diabetes.
Using human embryonic stem cells as a starting point, they have for the first time been able to create human insulin-producing beta cells equivalent in almost every way to normally functioning beta cells in the kind of large quantities needed for cell transplantation and pharmaceutical purposes.
Doug Melton, Xander University Professor at Harvard University, who led the work, said he hopes to have human transplantation trials using the cells under way within a few years.
The stem cell-derived beta cells are currently undergoing trials in animal models, including non-human primates.
Prof Melton, who is also co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, said a device being tested had so far protected beta cells implanted in mice from immune attack for many months.
“[While] there have been previous reports of other labs deriving beta cell types from stem cells, no other group has produced mature beta cells as suitable for use in patients,” he said.
“The biggest hurdle has been to get to glucose-sensing, insulin-secreting beta cells, and that’s what our group has done.
“We are now just one pre-clinical step away from the finish line.”
Beta cell transplantation as a treatment for diabetes is still essentially experimental. It uses cells from cadavers, requires the use of powerful immunosuppressive drugs and has been available to only a very small number of patients.
Professor Elaine Fuchs, of Rockefeller University, described the findings as “one of Continue reading

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