Cure For Type 1 Diabetes Imminent After Harvard Stem Cell Breakthrough

Cure for Type 1 Diabetes Imminent After Harvard Stem Cell Breakthrough

Cure for Type 1 Diabetes Imminent After Harvard Stem Cell Breakthrough

Scientists say they have made a "giant leap forward" in finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes following a breakthrough in stem-cell related research.
Researchers at Harvard University claim a cure for the disease could be imminent after they were able to create insulin-producing cells, which are almost identical to those found in the human body using embryonic stem cells.
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Described as a "major medical breakthrough", scientists have recreated human beta cells in such quantity that cell transplantation is now possible, signalling an end to the daily insulin injections and health complications linked to Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for around 10% of all adults with the incurable disease and is the most common type of diabetes found in childhood.
The stem cells currently undergoing trials on animals and other primates, are still producing insulin after several months.
It is hoped human transplant trials using the created cells will start within a few years.
Doug Melton, Xander University Professor at Harvard University, who led the work, said: "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."
Melton dedicated his career to finding a cure for the disease 23 years ago after his infant son Sam was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
"We are now just one preclinical step away from the finish line," sa Continue reading

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Can Diabetes Make You Sleepy?

Can Diabetes Make You Sleepy?

It's normal to feel tired throughout the day every now and then, but if you are not managing your diabetes properly it could be affecting your energy levels.
Diabetes can directly cause fatigue due to high or low blood sugar levels. High blood glucose causes your blood to become “sludgy,” which slows down circulation. When this occurs, cells can’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need. On the other hand, low sugar levels also cause fatigue. This occurs because when sugar levels are low there isn't enough fuel for your cells to work well.
Additionally, stress can also make you feel fatigued. If you are feeling burned out about having to manage your diabetes every day, this could be causing you to feel tired. Your exercise routine and diet can also have an effect on how tired you feel throughout the day.
Fatigue and Other Medical Conditions
Diabetics are susceptible to many different conditions, and it is important to know what other diabetes-related complications could be causing fatigue. One complication to look out for is infection. Often a diabetic may have an infection that he or she is not aware of.
It takes a lot of energy to fight off an infection, something which can cause fatigue and a spike in blood sugar levels. Urinary tract or bladder infections are very common conditions that diabetics should watch out for. Bladder infections often hurt, but sometimes have no symptoms, except for that of fatigue.
Another thing to watch out for is undiagnosed heart disease. If you are getting tired after doing tasks that used to be a breeze, it may be time to have your he Continue reading

Scientists Reveal the Dark Side of Instant Noodles

Scientists Reveal the Dark Side of Instant Noodles

Instant noodles are a convenient and tasty dish that is popular worldwide. The number one global consumer is China, and the United States is ranked sixth in instant noodle sales, with 4,300 billion units sold in 2013.
In June 2014, a comprehensive study was published in The Journal of Nutrition that revealed the dangers lurking inside your cup of noodles. According to the international group of scientists, instant noodles are associated with cardio-metabolic risks, which mainly refer to the risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It seems that the handy and delicious dish comes at a price.
About the Study
The study was conducted in South Korea, which has the highest per-capita number of instant noodle consumers in the world. Also, in recent years, a higher proportion of Koreans started developing conditions such as heart disease and obesity, so it seemed worthwhile to explore the reasons behind this decline in health.
A total of 10,711 adults (54.5% women) between the ages of 19 and 64 were included in the study. Their dietary patterns were analyzed by Hyoun Shin, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health, and his colleagues. Two major dietary patterns were identified: the “traditional dietary pattern”, rich in rice, fish, vegetables, fruit, and potatoes, and the “meat and fast-food pattern”, rich in meat, soda, fried food, and fast food including instant noodles.
The researchers observed that people who ate traditional food, were more unlikely to suffer from high blood pressure. Fast food diet was associated with abdominal obesity, hi Continue reading

Artificial pancreas offers hope to diabetes patients

Artificial pancreas offers hope to diabetes patients

An artificial pancreas developed by Boston researchers shows considerable promise to dramatically change the treatment of type 1 diabetes, potentially enabling 2 million Americans to eat what they want without counting carbohydrates or calculating insulin injections, researchers announced Sunday.
Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University developed the experimental device, which consists of an automated pump that releases the hormones insulin and glucagon and a glucose monitoring system controlled by an iPhone app.
“We encouraged them to eat whatever they wanted while they wore the bionic pancreas,” said Dr. Steven Russell, an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who led the study. “They went on a diabetes vacation, eating ice cream, candy bars, and other things they normally wouldn’t eat — like taking out a new sports car and seeing what it can do.”
In a new study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers found that 52 adults and teens who used the mobile system for five days had healthier blood sugar levels compared to when they used standard treatments that required them to check their own blood sugar levels and determine how much insulin to inject via a pump device.
“This is not a cure,” said study coauthor Edward Damiano, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University who holds a patent on the software that makes the automatic dosing decisions. “It’s taking diabetes management to its ultimate potential and unburdens people with type 1 diabetes from thinki Continue reading

What Parents of Children with Diabetes Wish You knew…

What Parents of Children with Diabetes Wish You knew…

Have you read the blog post “What Everyone with Diabetes wishes you knew“? Go and read it if you haven’t. Bring tissues. After I wiped away the tears, I began to think about “what parents of children with diabetes wish you knew.” Some of us don’t have diabetes ourselves but we still have very strong feelings about the issue. As parents of people with diabetes, we have things that we wish our children knew. There are also things that we wish that the general public knew.
Parents of children with diabetes wish that the our children with diabetes knew that….
We would take this disease from them in a heartbeat…a heartbeat.
With every tear that they shed, we have privately cried a hundred more… We didn’t want you to see how much it hurts us to hurt you. We told you that we do this to keep you healthy and alive (and we do) but it kills us too.
No matter how old you are, we still want to “make it better”. Seriously. Still.
We know that you can handle it. We just wish that you didn’t have to…As parents of children with diabetes, when we were completely responsible for your care, we got tired and wanted a break. We understand that you, as the person with diabetes must feel the same way at times. We wish we could carry the burden for you.
Even when we don’t ask you how your readings are, we are still wondering if they are okay…We know that you are more than a number. As parents of children with diabetes, we understand that blood glucose levels are only part of the story but we want you to be okay. We want to know that the readings are okay as well.
We Continue reading

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