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Decades Into Diabetes, Insulin Therapy Still Hard To Manage

Decades into diabetes, insulin therapy still hard to manage

Decades into diabetes, insulin therapy still hard to manage

So, your doctor told you that you need insulin therapy for your Type 2 diabetes.
This is a common problem and likely to be more so in the coming years. About 29 million people in the U.S. have Type 2 diabetes, and another 86 million have prediabetes. About one in four people with Type 2 diabetes is on insulin therapy, and another one in four likely needs to be.
What does it mean to be on insulin therapy, exactly? And whose fault is it? Could you have prevented this? Will insulin actually work? These are frequent questions people who need insulin therapy ask, and, as someone who has treated people with diabetes for years and has been working to improve its effectiveness, I will do my best to help you answer these questions. I also have been working to develop a better way to personalize dosing for insulin.
Insulin therapy for Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes is a condition in which your pancreas fails to secrete a sufficient amount of insulin to help you to maintain normal blood glucose, or sugar in the blood, which is transported to various parts of our bodies to supply energy.
There are many causes of insulin deficiency, but the most common is Type 2 diabetes. The main risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are family history, weight and age.
In fact, most overweight or obese people in the Western world will never develop diabetes. Weight is a very important, yet misunderstood, risk factor for diabetes. The foods you eat are usually less relevant than the weight itself. The American Diabetes Association, for example, recommends that you limit the amount of sugary drinks you drink, inclu Continue reading

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Alzheimer’s: Diabetes of the Brain?

Alzheimer’s: Diabetes of the Brain?

Although we’ve always known that Alzheimer’s disease is typically associated with numerous tangles and plaque in the brain, the exact cause of these abnormalities has been hard to pin down. Now, we may be closer to an answer.
In many respects, Alzheimer’s is a brain form of diabetes. Even in the earliest stages of disease, the brain’s ability to metabolize sugar is reduced. Normally, insulin plays a big role in helping the brain take up sugar from the blood. But, in Alzheimer’s, insulin is not very effective in the brain. Consequently, the brain cells practically starve to death.
How is that like diabetes?
These days, most people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Basically, cells throughout the body become resistant to insulin signals. In an effort to encourage cells to take up more sugar from the blood, the pancreas increases the output of insulin. Imagine having to knock louder on a door to make the person inside open up and answer. The high levels of insulin could damage small blood vessels in the brain, and eventually lead to poor brain circulation. This problem could partly explain why Type 2 diabetes harms the brain. In Alzheimer’s, the brain, especially parts that deal with memory and personality, become resistant to insulin.
Why does the brain need insulin?
As in most organs, insulin stimulates brain cells to take up glucose or sugar, and metabolize it to make energy. Insulin also is very important for making chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which are needed for neurons to communicate with each other. Insulin also stimulates many function Continue reading

Author Advances Damaging Myth About Diabetes

Author Advances Damaging Myth About Diabetes

Jim Hirsch, diaTribe contributor and bestselling author, weighs in on a damaging diabetes myth:
“They’re never going to cure diabetes, because there’s too much money in it.”
This article prompted a letter of complaint from Dr. Denise Faustman, printed below, followed by responses from Jeffrey Brewer and Mr. Hirsch.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 40 years ago, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say that or words to that effect. It’s understandable. Diabetes is big business, and as the drugs and medical devices have become more sophisticated and expensive each year – and as more people are diagnosed each day – diabetes itself becomes an even bigger business. In the United States, about $200 billion a year is spent in direct costs for diabetes, including hospital and emergency care.
Hence the conclusion: In the view of frustrated patients, family members, and loved ones, there’s just too much money to be made in this disease for a cure to ever be found. Powerful corporate interests will see to that. Even worse: Conspiracy theorists believe that the companies that profit from diabetes are actively thwarting a cure. Or as one person told me, “Eli Lilly has the cure in its vault, but it won’t let it out.”
***
I was recently listening to NPR and heard the writer Elisabeth Rosenthal discuss her new book, “American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back.” The title captures her central theme, that health care in America has been compromised by corporations that have their put their financial i Continue reading

Could you develop diabetes? This test examines FOUR lifestyle factors to assess your risk and what to do to manage the condition

Could you develop diabetes? This test examines FOUR lifestyle factors to assess your risk and what to do to manage the condition

Diabetes is a global epidemic expected to be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.
The condition is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation – and places a huge strain on our health services.
Yet type 2 form of the disease – which accounts for 90 per cent of cases – is largely preventable. Nine cases in 10 could be avoided, according to experts at Harvard School of Public Health.
Now Healthline has devised a test for you to assess your risk of developing diabetes and advises what you can do to reduce it.
Lifestyle factors
The quiz asks you about your diet, exercise, sleep and smoking habits.
The authors point out that this assessment is not a diagnostic tool, and merely aims to help you understand the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and give recommendations for lifestyle changes.
Get more exercise
Almost 90 per cent of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or are obese, according to Public Health England.
People who are overweight or have obesity have added pressure on their body's ability to use insulin to properly control blood sugar and are therefore more likely to develop diabetes.
Studies show that people at high risk for developing the disease can prevent or delay its onset by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight.
Exercise reduces the body's need for insulin by keeping weight down.
Cut down on sugary drinks
Drinking more than two sugary or artificially sweetened soft drinks a day greatly increases the risk of diabetes, research has found.
A Swedish study found that consuming more than tw Continue reading

Nearly one in two Chinese have diabetes or are likely to get it, making country’s epidemic the world’s biggest

Nearly one in two Chinese have diabetes or are likely to get it, making country’s epidemic the world’s biggest

China is facing the largest diabetes epidemic in the world, with around 11 per cent of its population suffering from the metabolic illness and nearly 36 per cent pre-diabetic, according to a US study.
The survey, which included 170,287 participants and was conducted in 2013, was analysed with the assistance of Linhong Wang from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Researchers measured levels of fasting plasma glucose of each participant. Those with levels of 126 milligrams per decilitre or higher were defined as diabetic, while those with levels between 105 and 126 mg/dl were defined as pre-diabetic. People who are pre-diabetic have higher than normal blood sugar levels and without lifestyle changes are at high risk of suffering diabetes.
Hyperglycemia is a result of two anomalies – a malfunction of the pancreas which creates insulin, or the resistance of the body to this hormone. Among the diabetic population in China, 36.5 per cent were aware of their diagnosis and 32.2 per cent were receiving treatment. Among those being treated, 49.2 per cent had adequate glycemic control.
Tibetan and Muslim Chinese had significantly lower prevalence of diabetes compared to the majority Han population (14.7 per cent for Han Chinese, 4.3 per cent for Tibetan Chinese, and 10.6 per cent for Muslim Chinese).
The adult diabetic rate in China of 10.9 per cent is close to that of the United States – 9.3 per cent according to 2014 figures recorded by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue reading

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