Battling Winter Colds And Illness When Type 1 Diabetic

Battling Winter Colds and Illness When Type 1 Diabetic

Battling Winter Colds and Illness When Type 1 Diabetic

My carefully laid training plans were recently axed by a “stinking cold” that seemed to go round amongst colleagues and friends.
What started off with body aches on a Friday, feeling cold and having headaches on a Saturday, had turned into a proper cold by Sunday with all the common symptoms: Runny nose, cough, congestion, headaches, sneezing and feeling generally quite lousy. And with that started a new challenge altogether: Managing my diabetes!
From incubation to outbreak – Blood sugar observations
As the weekend progressed, my sugar levels became gradually harder to manage until, eventually, with the outbreak of the cold, they were staying up at around 200-220mg/dl (11-12mmol/l).
Any slow-release carbohydrates I would eat and cover with short-acting insulin (bolus) would send levels even higher within 30-60 minutes of injecting. My body had become highly insulin resistant and my diabetes an uncontrollable beast!
Real life example: Day 2 of the cold and blood sugar levels
My target range is shown in gray; levels between 85-140mg/dl (4.7-7.5mmol/l). I generally have good control with HbA1c results of ca 6.2%. When illness strikes however, chaos rules: Below graph shows how elevated glucose levels were despite:
A temporary basal rate at 140-150% from waking up throughout the day until early evening
an additional circa 15 -20 units of correction with short-acting insulin over the course of the day
Little carbohydrate intake
Notice the spike from 160mg/dl (8.9mmol/l) to 271mg/dl (15mmol/l) around 19:00 (7 pm)? This came after eating 12 grams of COH in form of Pumpernic Continue reading

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Immunotherapy succeeds in thwarting Type-1 diabetes in study

Immunotherapy succeeds in thwarting Type-1 diabetes in study

In a small but rigorous clinical trial, British investigators gave patients recently diagnosed with the metabolic disorder a truncated version of the chemical that gives rise to insulin.
After a quarter-century of failed efforts to treat diabetes with an immune therapy, the experimental treatment appeared to quell the immune system's assaults on the body's insulin-production machinery. The authors of the new study call their experimental treatment "an appealing strategy for prevention," both in the earliest stages of Type-1 diabetes and in children who are at high genetic risk of developing the disease.
The different metabolic trajectories of subjects in the trial's control group and its active arm were evident at three months — the earliest point at which a surrogate marker for insulin production was measured.
The report of the early-stage clinical trial, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, offers some preliminary reassurance that immunotherapy could be used safely in this growing population.
Researchers have been wary of pursuing the strategy in diabetes, worried that it could accelerate or strengthen the immune system's attack on insulin-producing pancreatic cells, or cause dangerous allergic reactions. In the current study, injections of an immunotherapeutic agent caused no detectable worrisome response -- not even redness or swelling at the site of injection — prompting the authors to declare its safety profile "very favorable."
Recent years have seen progress in the bid to develop chemical mimics of allergens that train and reassure Continue reading

Apps to Help Prevent & Reverse Diabetes

Apps to Help Prevent & Reverse Diabetes

According to the Center for Disease Control and prevention, it’s estimated that 86 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition of high blood sugar levels that could turn into type 2 diabetes within 5 years. But studies have shown that prediabetes (and even full-blown Type II diabetes) can be reversed or prevented through healthy diet and exercise.
In a TEDx talk at Purdue University, Dr. Sarah Hallberg cited that as much as 50% of the population could have insulin resistance to some degree even if their blood sugar levels still test normal. With insulin resistance, insulin cannot process the high amounts of sugars and carbohydrates, and the glucose gets stored as fat.
As a society, a lot of our diet is made up of carbohydrates — from potato chips and pretzels to bread, pasta, rice and more. Add in the sugars from desserts and store-bought snacks and the hidden sugar in condiments like ketchup, and it's easy to exceed the USDA's recommended 225 grams of carbs per day. Over time, this can cause a condition called insulin resistance or prediabetes.
Dr. Hallberg cites success in reversing pre-diabetes and Type II diabetes with a low sugar, low carbohydrate diet. And she’s not alone. There is a wealth of studies supporting her findings (see an overview of the efficacy of low-carb diets by the American Diabetes Association).
So when I was diagnosed with prediabetes, I knew that it was time to seriously change the way I ate. I chose a diet high in vegetables, protein and healthy fats and low in starch and sugar (i.e., a low-carb diet). In search of information, recipes, Continue reading

Type 1 Diabetes: A Primer

Type 1 Diabetes: A Primer

City of Hope’s Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute is committed to developing a cure for type 1 diabetes within six years, fueled by a $50 million funding program led by the Wanek family. Here, we take a closer look at the disease.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.
“Type 1 diabetes is very complicated,” said Defu Zeng, a professor in the Department of Diabetes Immunology at City of Hope who has been working on a cure for type 1 diabetes for the past 10 years. “It is caused by multiple genetic as well as environmental factors.”
It is a relatively rare disorder, affecting only about 1 million people in the United States. People with type 1 diabetes make up just 5 percent of the total diabetic population (which includes those with type 2 diabetes), according to the American Diabetes Association. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes, because of the destruction of the beta cells, the body does not produce sufficient insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that breaks down sugars and starches into a simple sugar called glucose, which cells use to perform essential functions. Insulin allows glucose to get from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. This process is essential for life.
While type 1 diabetes appears to have a strong genetic component, environmental factors such as viruses may trigger the disease.
Diabetes throughout History
Although type 1 Continue reading

Diabetes and Chronic Fatigue: What You Need to Know

Diabetes and Chronic Fatigue: What You Need to Know

Studies show that people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from chronic fatigue than the rest of the population. Some research even suggests that nearly 85% of people with diabetes report fatigue. And while you might be thinking, most people would probably say they don’t get enough sleep if asked, chronic fatigue is more than a fleeting feeling of tiredness. The Mayo Clinic describes fatigue as an “unrelenting exhaustion… a nearly constant state of weariness that develops over time and reduces your energy, motivation and concentration.” They further note the affect chronic fatigue has on your emotional and psychological well-being.
With so many people being confronted with this often debilitating condition, you’d think there would be more awareness of it, maybe even a cure for it. Yet, while there is a notable connection between diabetes and chronic fatigue, scientists remain unsure of its underlying cause.
However, there are a lot of things you can do to help improve your energy levels, and establish whether or not you are suffering from chronic fatigue. We’re here to help you understand potential risk factors for developing this condition, things you can do to have more energy, and when it might be time to talk to your doctor.
How can diabetes cause fatigue?
Stress, anxiety, and depression: Between constant management, fear, and pain, stress often plays a large role in the life of an individual with diabetes. That stress is often accompanied by high blood pressure and heart rate, both of which deplete energy. Further, it’s not uncommon for all this str Continue reading

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