Diabetes, Cancer And The Drug That Fights Them Both

Diabetes, Cancer and the Drug that Fights them Both

Diabetes, Cancer and the Drug that Fights them Both

by Megan L Norris
figures by Bradley Wierbowski
The emerging link between cancer and diabetes
In the early 2000s, observations that diabetics are more likely to get cancer than non-diabetics began piling up. Was this because diabetes and cancer share general risk factors such as diet, aging and obesity? Or was there a direct link between them, with cancer benefiting from the sugar-rich and inflamed environment brought on by diabetes? Making bad news worse, it became apparent that cancer thrives in the presence of excess insulin, like that injected by many diabetics as therapy. Thus, one of the ways to treat diabetes could be making the cancer risk even worse.
Almost as soon as this dark cloud began to loom, rays of light broke through from an unexpected source. Research on a popular type II diabetes treatment called metformin revealed that metformin actually seemed to lower the risk for colorectal and other cancers in diabetics. Though it may seem paradoxical that metformin and insulin injections, two treatments for the same disease, could have such opposite effects on cancer, years of research in both the clinic and the laboratory has begun to pull back the curtain on this mystery. Broadly speaking, metformin makes the body more sensitive to the insulin it already is. For type II diabetics, not only does this increased insulin sensitivity treat diabetes, but it drains the fuel on which some cancers may thrive.
Diabetes is a pervasive disease
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the US and is on the rise. More than 10% of Americans over 20 years old have diabetes, Continue reading

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Simple Tricks for Living Well with Diabetes—from People Who Have It

Simple Tricks for Living Well with Diabetes—from People Who Have It

Stay active and track your reactions
When David Weingard was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 36, he faced with some tough adjustments. From taking his new medication to monitoring his blood sugar, he fought to stay active and fit, eventually founding his diabetes coaching company, Fit4D. For Weingard, exercising had to remain a part of his life and he encourages other diabetics to do the same.
"Exercise is critical to long-term physical and mental health. Mentally, we need positive energy (and endorphins) to combat the 24/7 strain of the condition. Physically, we need to help our bodies stay strong and avoid the long-term effects and complications of diabetes," he says.
But to figure out how much you can withstand and what works for your body, he also notes that keeping track your reactions will help create a plan that works uniquely for you. "Detailed record keeping is a key factor in realizing the benefits of exercise and minimizing blood sugar swings—especially highs and lows. You can reference these records to repeat workouts and your body should yield similar results most of the time," he says. Find out what the best exercises are for people with diabetes.
Build a support system
Though Rachel Zucker is only 24 years old, she's been managing her type 1 diabetes diagnosis since she was four years old, making her quite the expert. She described diabetes as a full-time job: She had to accept that there are no days off, no breaks or vacations. That's why she recommends having supportive friends and family around you who will move with your highs and lows—th Continue reading

Diabetes control: Warning signs and tips to reduce your risk

Diabetes control: Warning signs and tips to reduce your risk

Educating ourselves on chronic diseases that are significant risks to our health can significantly improve and even save our lives. Although we may worry about genetically modified foods and pesticide contamination, diabetes is a greater risk to your health and well being.
Diabetes is a disorder of insulin production or use. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to the food we consume. Disruption in the production or use of insulin causes alteration in the way food is used. It is critical to know the differences between both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes so you can be aware of signs, symptoms and treatment options.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is often considered juvenile-onset diabetes since the usual patient is less than 20 years old. According to the CDC, more than 13,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about five percent of total cases. Signs and symptoms include increased thirst, urination, hunger and rapid weight loss. In Type 1 diabetes, the body stops producing insulin and insulin must be given via injection in a way that mimics normal pancreatic function.
Type 2 diabetes
As opposed to Type 1 diabetes, those with Type 2 diabetes make insulin but don’t use the hormone effectively. The body subsequently responds by making more insulin. This excess insulin can cause an increase in appetite and other undesirable health changes. Being overweight and lack of physical activity increases the risk.
Although the symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are similar, the latter disease is stealth like. Type 2 diabetes s Continue reading

Eat This, Not That! to Improve Your Health

Eat This, Not That! to Improve Your Health

Eat This, Not That! To Control Blood Pressure
En español | You already know that cutting down on salt is a good idea for your blood pressure. You may even know that the new 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that your sodium intake be below 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day. That’s the equivalent of eight of those little packets of salt you get at McDonald’s. While that seems like a lot, it’s nothing compared with what’s lurking in some of our most popular restaurant and prepared foods. Here are a few swaps for better blood pressure.
Eat Walnuts, Not Roasted, Salted Nuts
A diet rich in walnuts and walnut oil may help the body respond better to stress and can also help keep diastolic blood pressure levels down, according to a small Pennsylvania study. But while all nuts are healthy, roasting them can ramp up the calories (but not the nutrition). Many cocktail mixes are packed with sugar.
Eat Peanut Butter With Blueberries, Not With Blueberry Jelly
Peanut butter, especially when spread on whole-grain bread, is rich in fiber; a 2015 study showed that increasing fiber to at least 30 grams per day for a year resulted in lower blood pressure. Those benefits can be undone with the wrong products, though. Peanut butter and jelly sounds wholesome, but it packs an awful lot of sugar. According to a study in the journal Open Heart, a high-sugar diet can increase blood pressure. Instead of jelly, try mashing up 1/4 cup of blueberries and adding them to your sandwich.
If your diet is low in protein, you can have a harder time recovering from illness or surgery. A 2015 study in Cl Continue reading

From the Ask D'Mine Mailbag: Expiration Dates, Insulin Freezing, Diabetes Donations

From the Ask D'Mine Mailbag: Expiration Dates, Insulin Freezing, Diabetes Donations

If it isn't one thing with diabetes, it's another — from trying to figure out our dosing needs to cross-over with other ailments to how we feel about sharing our D-issues with others in our lives.
We at the 'Mine have got your back, especially each Saturday with our weekly in-depth advice column, Ask D'Mine, hosted by veteran type 1 and diabetes author Wil Dubois from New Mexico.
This week, Wil's addressing a smattering of questions about expiration dates, insulin freezing, and diabetes supply donations. We thank you all for keeping our mailbag full of great queries!
{Got your questions about navigating life with diabetes? Email us at [email protected]}
Shannon, 'diabetes curious' from New York, writes: Hi. I have a question regarding the expiration of diabetes checking equipment. The one I have is OneTouch Ultra 2. The expiration date on it is on 11/2016. My question is, is it safe to use this equipment after the expiration date? I tried to research, but I couldn’t get a proper answer. Kindly help me with this. And I’m not diabetic, I just thought I’d check my diabetes level.
Wil@Ask D’Mine answers: Safe? You betcha. Accurate? Hell, no. Test strips can be stretched a bit and still work OK, but almost a year is too much of a stretch. The results you’d get from test strips that far out of date will be wrong. They might be artificially high or artificially low. Either way, you won’t get the information you need.
The best way to “check your diabetes level” is to get screened for diabetes at your doctor’s office or county health office. And that’s Continue reading

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