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Diabetes Breakthrough: New Smartphone App Could Help Million Of Sufferers

Diabetes breakthrough: New smartphone app could help million of sufferers

Diabetes breakthrough: New smartphone app could help million of sufferers

Scientists believe revolutionary smartphone technology, which can painlessly measure blood glucose levels without puncturing the skin, could transform the lives of millions of diabetics and prevent others from developing the deadly condition.
More than four million people in the UK live with diabetes and it is believed a further 12 million are at risk of developing the illness that can lead to blindness, amputation, heart disease and stroke.
High-profile sufferers of the condition include former Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave, Hollywood actor Tom Hanks and Prime Minister Theresa May who has revealed that she is a Type 1 diabetic and has to inject insulin up to five times a day.
The Epic Health app, which is set to undergo clinical trials in the UK in the coming months, replaces the need for diabetics to prick their fingers several times a day which patients complain is inconvenient and uncomfortable.
The app, which is suitable for both Type 1 and 2 diabetics, works by placing a fingertip over the camera lens of a smartphone and capturing a series of close-up images that convey information about the user’s heart rate, temperature and blood pressure to respiration rate and blood oxygen saturation.
Similar innovations have been developed using laser technology and sensor pads to avoid using needles but most need an accompanying gadget to interpret the results.
But the makers claim that the real breakthrough of the Epic app is its ability to measure insulin resistance levels – a key way of determining whether someone is pre-diabetic. It does this by measuring the variatio Continue reading

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4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life

4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life

This publication has been reviewed by NDEP for plain language principles. Learn more about our review process.
Actions you can take
The marks in this booklet show actions you can take to manage your diabetes.
Help your health care team make a diabetes care plan that will work for you.
Learn to make wise choices for your diabetes care each day.
Step 1: Learn about diabetes.
What is diabetes?
There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes – Your body does not make insulin. This is a problem because you need insulin to take the sugar (glucose) from the foods you eat and turn it into energy for your body. You need to take insulin every day to live.
Type 2 diabetes – Your body does not make or use insulin well. You may need to take pills or insulin to help control your diabetes. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
Gestational (jest-TAY-shun-al) diabetes – Some women get this kind of diabetes when they are pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after the baby is born. But even if it goes away, these women and their children have a greater chance of getting diabetes later in life.
You are the most important member of your health care team.
You are the one who manages your diabetes day by day. Talk to your doctor about how you can best care for your diabetes to stay healthy. Some others who can help are:
dentist
diabetes doctor
diabetes educator
dietitian
eye doctor
foot doctor
friends and family
mental health counselor
nurse
nurse practitioner
pharmacist
social worker
How to learn more about diabetes.
Take classes to learn more about living with diabetes. Continue reading

The Connection Between Diabetes and Your Pancreas

The Connection Between Diabetes and Your Pancreas

A direct connection exists between the pancreas and diabetes. The pancreas is an organ deep in your abdomen behind your stomach. It’s an important part of your digestive system. The pancreas produces enzymes and hormones that help you digest food. One of those hormones, insulin, is necessary to regulate glucose. Glucose refers to sugars in your body. Every cell in your body needs glucose for energy. Think of insulin as a lock to the cell. Insulin must open the cell to allow it to use glucose for energy.
If your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t make good use of it, glucose builds up in your bloodstream, leaving your cells starved for energy. When glucose builds up in your bloodstream, this is known as hyperglycemia. The symptoms of hyperglycemia include thirst, nausea, and shortness of breath.
Low glucose, known as hypoglycemia, also causes many symptoms, including shakiness, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can quickly become life-threatening.
Each type of diabetes involves the pancreas not functioning properly. The way in which the pancreas doesn’t function properly differs depending on the type. No matter what type of diabetes you have, it requires ongoing monitoring of blood glucose levels so you can take the appropriate action.
Type 1 diabetes
In type 1 diabetes the immune system erroneously attacks the beta cells that produce insulin in your pancreas. It causes permanent damage, leaving your pancreas unable to produce insulin. Exactly what triggers the immune system to do that isn’t clear. Genetic and environ Continue reading

Diabetes could be cured as scientists find cause of disease

Diabetes could be cured as scientists find cause of disease

Diabetes could be cured after scientists discovered that toxic clumps of a hormone stop cells producing insulin.
Scientists at Manchester University have found that both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are driven by the same underlying mechanism.
The findings suggest that both forms occur when the hormone amylin begins to clump together, surrounding cells, and preventing them from producing insulin.
Insulin is essential for moving sugar from the blood stream into muscles and fatty tissue to provide energy. But too little insulin allows dangerous levels of glucose to build up in the blood, causing damage to the heart kidneys, eyes and nerves.
However the new finding could pave the way for drugs which stop the amylin build-up in the first place or dissolve clumps which are already present.
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More than three million people in Britain have been diagnosed with diabetes, with that figure expected to five million by 2025.
The vast majority of sufferers (85 per cent) have Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity, poor diet and sedentary lifestyles.
More than 70,000 deaths a year occur among those suffering from the condition - one in seven of all deaths.
The pancreas produces both insulin and amylin Continue reading

Nine signs you're on a fast track to diabetes – and what you can do about it

Nine signs you're on a fast track to diabetes – and what you can do about it

Anyone in need of a cautionary tale to emphasise the importance of Diabetes Awareness Week should look no further than Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks.
Last year, the star of Forest Gump and The Da Vinci Code admitted that he felt a "total idiot" after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2013. Hanks believes that he developed the condition as a result of his past poor diet.
"I was heavy," he said in an interview with the Radio Times. "You've seen me in movies, you know what I looked like. I was a total idiot.
"'I'm part of the lazy American generation that has blindly kept dancing through the party and now finds ourselves with a malady," Hanks added.
But could Hanks, who said that he was "feeling just fine" when he received the news three years ago, have predicted that he was heading for a diabetes diagnosis?
"Type 2 diabetes is the commoner form," says Roy Taylor, Professor of Medicine and Metabolism at the University of Newcastle, "accounting for around 90 per cent of all diabetes diagnoses.
"And whilst Type 1 can come on relatively rapidly, and be recognised through unexplained weight loss, Type 2 diabetes – which alone accounts for the current, weight-related epidemic of diabetes – typically comes on more insidiously."
According to the NHS website, "Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don't react to insulin. This means that glucose stays in the blood and isn't used as fuel for energy."
So, with more than one in 16 people in the UK living with diabetes, and a new diagnosis being made every Continue reading

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