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Can Diabetes Kill You?

Can Diabetes Kill You?

Can Diabetes Kill You?

Here’s what you need to know about the life-threatening diabetes complication called diabetic ketoacidosis.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. Symptoms can take you by surprise, coming on in just 24 hours or less. Without diabetic ketoacidosis treatment, you will fall into a coma and die.
“Every minute that the person is not treated is [another] minute closer to death,” says Joel Zonszein, MD, professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin. (Diabetic ketoacidosis most often affects people with type 1 diabetes, but there is also type 2 diabetes ketoacidosis.) Without insulin, sugar can’t be stored in your cells to be used as energy and builds up in your blood instead. Your body has to go to a back-up energy system: fat. In the process of breaking down fat for energy, your body releases fatty acids and acids called ketones.
Ketones are an alternative form of energy for the body, and just having them in your blood isn’t necessarily harmful. That’s called ketosis, and it can happen when you go on a low-carb diet or even after fasting overnight.
“When I put people on a restricted diet, I can get an estimate of how vigorously they’re pursuing it by the presence of ketones in the urine,” says Gerald Bernstein, MD, an endocrinologist and coordinator of the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
RELATED: The Ketogenic Diet Might Be the Next Big Weight Loss Trend, But Should You Try It?
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Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes

The debate over whether diet sodas are good, bad or just OK for us never seems to end.
Some research suggests zero-calorie drinks can help people cut calories and fend off weight gain.
But in recent years, the idea that artificial sweeteners may trick the brain and lead to "metabolic derangements," as one researcher has theorized, has gained traction, too.
Now, a new study published in the journal Nature introduces a new idea: Diet sodas may alter our gut microbes in a way that increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes — at least in some of us.
In the paper, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel describe what happened when they fed zero-calorie sweeteners, including saccharin, aspartame and sucralose, to mice.
"To our surprise, [the mice] developed glucose intolerance," Weizmann researcher Eran Elinav tells us.
Intrigued by the findings, Elinav and his colleague Eran Segal set out to determine whether this might happen in people as well.
First, they analyzed data collected from a group of about 400 people who are enrolled in an ongoing nutrition study. They found that people who were heavy consumers of artificial sweeteners had slightly elevated HbA1C levels (a long-term measure of blood sugar) — compared with people who rarely or never consumed artificial sweeteners.
Next, they recruited seven volunteers — people who were not in the habit of drinking diet drinks — and asked them to start consuming the equivalent of 10-12 of those fake sugar packets during a one-week experiment.
"What we find is that a subgroup [four of th Continue reading

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

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

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