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Child's Plague: Inside The Boom In Childhood Diabetes

Child's Plague: Inside the Boom in Childhood Diabetes

Child's Plague: Inside the Boom in Childhood Diabetes

When 7-year-old Gus Ramsey of Weston, Massachusetts, was found to have type 1 (juvenile) diabetes in September 2007, it seemed mere coincidence that Grayson Welo, age 6 and living around the corner, had been diagnosed with the same disease a few months before. After all, type 1 was considered rare—only about 15,000 new cases were diagnosed annually in the United States at the beginning of the decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least Gus’s parents could be reassured that they lived in a healthy community: Weston, population 11,134, is the wealthiest town in the state, with three golf courses, 13 soccer fields, 19 baseball diamonds, and not a single fast-food restaurant.
Yet two months after Gus’s diagnosis, another child, Natalia Gormley, was found to have the disease on her tenth birthday. She lived on the other side of town. In January 2008 12-year-old Sean Richard was diagnosed. He lived less than a mile away. Then 8-year-old Finn Sullivan became the fifth case of type 1 diabetes diagnosed in Weston in less than a year. He lived on Gus’s block, just six doors down. And the cases kept on coming. Six-year-old Mya Smith, from nearby Wellesley, received the diagnosis in April. On June 15 came the jaw-dropper, when Walker Allen was diagnosed. His father, basketball star Ray Allen, scored 26 points two nights later in game six of the NBA Finals to give the Celtics their first championship in 22 years. Far more notable was Walker’s age: just 17 months.
Weston’s school nurses had never seen anything like it. There were now ei Continue reading

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Poor Diet Linked to Half of Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes Deaths

Poor Diet Linked to Half of Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes Deaths

Most of us are aware that what we eat affects our health. But the results of a new study illustrates that fact vividly: Almost half of deaths in one year caused by heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes in a large group of Americans were linked with a poor diet.
Researchers from Tufts University in Boston, the University of Cambridge in England and Montifiore Medical Center in New York analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They looked at the deaths of more than 700,000 people in 2012 from heart disease, stroke and type two diabetes, and examined 10 dietary factors among the population such as consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, processed meats and sodium intake.
Their analysis showed that about 45 percent of the deaths were linked to unhealthy eating habits heavy on foods and nutrients that have long been associated with influencing cardiovascular and metabolic health.
The researchers looked at these 10 foods:
Salt
Processed meats
Seafood omega-3 fats
Vegetables
Fruits
Polyunsaturated fats
Unprocessed red meats
The largest number of heart disease deaths was associated with high intake of processed meats and sugar-sweetened beverages and low intake of nuts.
High stroke risk was associated with a diet low in fruits and vegetables and high in salt.
Increased risk of death from diabetes was associated with consuming more processed meats and sugar-sweetened drinks, and not enough whole grains. The food linked to the most deaths overall was salt.
The study illustrates the fact that your food choices can have a profound impact on your healt Continue reading

8 Warning Signs of Uncontrolled Diabetes

8 Warning Signs of Uncontrolled Diabetes

Controlling your blood glucose levels isn’t always easy. However, it’s also the key to staying healthy and avoiding long-term complications from diabetes. So, it’s important that you have a solid understanding of your condition. Equally important is that you have established, with the help of your physicians, a management plan that suits you and your lifestyle.
Having a diabetes management plan that truly works for you is the best way you can prevent dangerous spikes and crashes, which wreak havoc on your blood vessels over time, causing the unpleasant, painful, and sometimes debilitating complications you’re trying to avoid.
While testing is, of course, an excellent indicator of how well your management plan is working, it’s also important that you have an idea of what uncontrolled blood glucose levels look like over time.
Paying attention to the signs your body is giving you can clue you into a potential problem early on. Knowing how to spot these indicators can help you make the necessary adjustments to get things where they should be, and hopefully prevent long-term damage.
Let’s take a look at the signs of uncontrolled blood glucose levels.
1. Bowel and Urinary tract problems
Nerve damage caused by uncontrolled diabetes can result in a variety of uncomfortable issues. People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing gastroparesis, urinary tract and bladder infections, and suffering from incontinence, constipation, and diarrehea.
2. Fatigue
Insulin resistance is a common culprit for chronic fatigue. If your cells are resisting the glucose (energy) y Continue reading

Can an online game really improve blood sugar control for people with diabetes?

Can an online game really improve blood sugar control for people with diabetes?

Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling
When it comes to serious health problems, you might think a game would be unlikely to help. But a recent study of people with diabetes could change your mind.
Researchers publishing in the September 2017 issue of Diabetes Care describe a study in which people with diabetes joined a competitive online game aimed at educating participants about ways to improve blood sugar control. The results were encouraging.
How a game led to improved blood sugars
In this new research, 456 patients with poorly controlled diabetes were randomly assigned to one of two groups:
Group 1 participated in an online or phone-based educational game that asked two questions about managing diabetes each week for six months. Later, answers and explanations were provided. This group also received a booklet about civics, including questions about citizenship in the US.*
Group 2 received online or phone-based questions about civics each week for six months along with a booklet about diabetes self-management.*
(*The researchers wanted to have a control group that was just like the diabetes management game group, except instead of diabetes information they provided information on civics. Both groups got a civics lesson and diabetes information; the only difference was how that information was delivered. That way investigators could say with more confidence it was the game that improved blood sugars.)
Each participant was assigned to a team. Points were awarded for correct answers, and scores were posted so other participants could compare team and individual performance (wi Continue reading

Insulin Pump Therapy for Kids

Insulin Pump Therapy for Kids

There’s no doubt that interest in insulin pumps is up among people with diabetes. In fact, the most commonly asked question of the staff at the Yale Children’s Diabetes Program in New Haven, Connecticut, is, “Am I a candidate for the pump?” or “Is my child a candidate for the pump?” In many cases, the answer is yes.
Let’s have a look at what makes a child a good candidate for a pump and what’s involved in getting started using one. As you read, keep in mind that this article describes primarily how the Yale Children’s Diabetes Program operates. As in all aspects of diabetes care, there are many “right” ways of doing things, and the diabetes center in your area may do things differently. If you are interested in any of the methods or products mentioned in this article, please check with your health-care team before making changes in your child’s diabetes-care routine.
Who’s a pump candidate?
The children who are most likely to be offered a pump at Yale are those who are working very hard to maintain normal blood glucose levels, those who are not meeting goals, those who ask about pump treatment and how it might help them, and those whose episodes of hypoglycemia or high blood glucose are affecting their school work, sports performance, and normal, day-to-day living.
However, pump treatment will succeed only if both child and parents are motivated and have reasonable expectations of what a pump can and can’t achieve. They must understand that a pump is only as good as the person operating it. In addition, parents need to be reliable, and a child mu Continue reading

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