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Could Pitt Genetic Procedure Allow People With Type 1 Diabetes To Produce Their Own Insulin?

Could Pitt genetic procedure allow people with type 1 diabetes to produce their own insulin?

Could Pitt genetic procedure allow people with type 1 diabetes to produce their own insulin?

For the first time, medical researchers have developed a genetic procedure that, if the project proceeds as hoped, could allow people with type 1 diabetes biologically to generate their own insulin.
It also could help those with type 2 diabetes produce more insulin and avoid injections.
Only a mouse study is completed, but research underway in primates has shown success to date. However, the research team based at the University of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC cannot predict if it will work in humans.
“We have shown for the first time that gene therapy can be specifically and effectively targeted to reverse autoimmune diabetes in mice without the use of any immunosuppressant drugs,” said George K. Gittes, chief of pediatric surgery at Pitt’s School of Medicine and also Children’s chair of pediatric surgery.
The study published online today in the journal Cell Stem Cell says the Pittsburgh-based strategy “could represent a new therapeutic approach,” complemented by drugs to suppress the immune system, “to bolster endogenous insulin production,” which means the body generates sufficient insulin to keep blood-sugar levels in or closer to the normal range.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which one’s own immune system destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
For nearly a century, doctors have sought a way to allow people with type 1 to biologically produce insulin, the hormone necessary to allow blood sugar to enter cells for use as energy. Without insulin injections or doses from insulin pumps, glucose le Continue reading

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As a doctor, I’d rather have HIV than diabetes

As a doctor, I’d rather have HIV than diabetes

‘There is now a deadly virus, which anyone can catch from sex with an infected person. If we’re not careful, the people who’ve died so far, will be just the tip of the iceberg… If you ignore Aids, it could be the death of you.’ It has been hailed as one of the most memorable health campaigns ever created. The message couldn’t have been clearer and people were petrified. For anyone over the age of 30, the ‘Iceberg’ and ‘Tombstone’ adverts — as they came to be known — with John Hurt’s menacing voice-over, still bring back a sense of crushing dread. The UK actually led the way with its HIV public health campaigns; it was considered so successful in raising awareness that other countries adopted similar adverts relying on shock and fear. The thing I am most struck by now, however, is how over-the-top they seem.
It’s now 30 years since HIV was discovered. During my training as a doctor in central London in the late 1990s, people were still dying of Aids. But since then, incredible pharmacological advances have been made in how the virus is treated and managed. Combination medications — termed ‘highly active antiretroviral therapy’ or Haart — have resulted in being able to maintain the infected person’s immune system and therefore prevent the opportunistic infections that resulted in the development of Aids and led to death. Despite working in the centre of London with high-risk groups such as sex workers and drug addicts, I haven’t seen someone die of HIV for years. It’s now incredibly rare to die as a result of HIV/Aids in this country. Continue reading

Home Blood Glucose Monitoring for People with Diabetes

Home Blood Glucose Monitoring for People with Diabetes

Interpreting the Results of Your Glucometer
Checking your blood sugar at home, sometimes called self blood glucose monitoring (SBGM), is an important step in diabetes management. Because individualized diabetes care is associated with better diabetes management, it is important to get your doctor's advice on how often you should test your blood sugar. This includes recommendations for what time of the day you should test your blood sugar, and your personal target ranges for blood sugar control. This article is intended to provide general guidelines for SBGM in order to enhance discussion with your doctor. It is not a substitute for your physician's guidance.
When testing your blood sugar at home, it is important to talk to your doctor or certified diabetes educator about each of the following, which we'll discuss in detail below:
Choosing the best glucose meter for you
Using good technique when testing your blood sugar
When should you test your blood sugar?
How to use and interpret the numbers on the screen
Proper disposal of used testing supplies
How do I choose the best glucometer?
Today, there are many quality-made home blood glucose meters on the market. Choosing the right one for you can be a little overwhelming, so here are some factors to consider.
Many health insurance plans offer some type of coverage for diabetes testing supplies. However, in many cases, your insurance company may recommend a "preferred meter" or a "preferred brand" that must be used in order to avoid paying a high co-pay. It is best to call your insurance company and ask if there is a preferred b Continue reading

10 tips to manage your diabetes

10 tips to manage your diabetes

The problem with living with a chronic condition like diabetes is that it’s, well, chronic. It doesn’t go away. Bridget McNulty, type 1 diabetic and editor of Sweet Life diabetes lifestyle magazine and online community, offers 10 tips to make living with diabetes a little easier:
1. Take your medication
This one is so obvious that I shouldn’t have to mention it, but it probably has the biggest impact on any diabetic’s life. Insulin – whether in pill form for type 2 diabetics or injections or a pump for type 1 diabetics – is literally life-saving. Take your medication properly, and you can live a long, happy, healthy life with diabetes. Don’t take your medication and you can get very ill, very fast.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Again, it’s not rocket science, but it is vitally important. People with diabetes don’t have to eat a special ‘diabetes diet’, but they do have to eat the same healthy diet that we should all be eating: little to no fast food, junk food, fizzy drinks, sweets and cakes, lots of fresh vegetables, some fruit, good quality proteins, the right kind of fats and a small amount of wholegrain carbs. We all know that refined carbohydrates like white rice and pasta and doughnuts and cookies are bad for us – as diabetics, it’s important to know this and respect it. That’s not to say there’s no room for treats in life, but I always stick to my mom’s advice: “everything in moderation"
3. Exercise regularly
Moderate exercise three times a week is the magic key to a healthy life with diabetes, in my opinion. We can all find half an hour thr Continue reading

Diabetes poses growing challenge in Australia

Diabetes poses growing challenge in Australia

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia and the three types of diabetes — type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes — are all increasing.
The most common, type 2, is the fastest increasing, associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors (especially obesity) and strong genetic and family-related risk factors. Often, people with type 2 diabetes show no symptoms, and without regular health checks it does more damage.
This is a condition that can lead to more serious problems such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks and stroke. In 2011, according to statistics released this year, it was estimated that about 730,000 Australians had diagnosed diabetes.
Of those, 1.7 per cent (12,300) had lower limbs amputated as a result. With more than 280 people developing diabetes every day, you should be paying close attention to your health and have a regular GP, especially if you are already at risk.
Researchers led by Anna Hatton from the University of Queensland want to help diabetics who have foot nerve damage improve their balance and physical activity.
Hatton, from the school of health and rehabilitation sciences, says the international research effort will look at the use of shoe insoles to provide practical assistance to those in need. “Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a consequence of diabetes, can increase the risk of falls and serious injuries requiring hospitalisation,” she says.
“The quality of signals transmitted from the feet to the brain, when damaged, disrupts the vital cues required to help people remain upright.
“Using shoe insole Continue reading

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