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Diabetes Has Become One Of America’s Most Expensive Diseases

Diabetes has become one of America’s most expensive diseases

Diabetes has become one of America’s most expensive diseases

With an estimated 30 million Americans struggling with diabetes, the disease is one of the nation’s most entrenched chronic conditions. It’s also one of the most expensive.
Consider these facts:
▪ In California, roughly 55 percent of adults either have diagnosed diabetes or blood-sugar levels that put them at high risk of developing the disease. That includes roughly 1 in every 3 adults ages 18 to 39 – a finding researchers call alarming.
▪ In terms of personal health care spending, diabetes tops the nation’s list of 155 chronic conditions, hitting $101.4 billion in 2013. According to the American Diabetes Association, average medical expenditures for people with diabetes are an estimated 2.3 times higher than for those without it.
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▪ The cost of insulin alone has spiked by triple-digit percentages in the past 20 years.
“It’s horrible for patients,” said N. Chesney Hoagland-Fuchs, a registered nurse and chairwoman of the Diabetes Coalition of California. She said prices for insulin medications began a slow climb after the recession and started “shooting up” around 2013.
Over the past 20 years, the price of human insulin produced by two major manufacturers – Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk – rose 450 percent, after accounting for inflation, according to a 2016 Washington Post analysis of data from Michigan-based Truven Health Analytics. A single 10-milliliter vial of Eli Lilly’s Humalog insulin – less than a month’s supply for many adult Continue reading

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The Best and Worst Diabetes Food Advice I've Seen

The Best and Worst Diabetes Food Advice I've Seen

The lame food advice at my diagnosis, why it didn’t work, and my #1 Bright Spot solution
I’ll never forget the diabetes food advice I received from my doctor at diagnosis:
“You can eat whatever you want, as long as you take insulin for it.”
In my view, this advice is misleading, overly simplistic, and damaging. In fact, I’d nominate it for the “worst” diabetes food advice out there. Unfortunately, those who are newly diagnosed tell me it is still common. Ugh.
Eating “whatever I wanted” and taking insulin for it was the worst kind of blank check – it set me up for years of out-of-control high blood sugars, deep and prolonged lows, huge guesstimated insulin doses (and therefore big mistakes), mood and energy swings, and lots of diabetes frustration. My blood sugar rarely stayed in my target range (70-140 mg/dl), since the effort required was so high.
It wasn’t until I took some nutrition classes in college, shared a dorm with a bodybuilder, started writing at diaTribe, and began using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that I landed on the food advice below: eating fewer carbs and more fat had a game-changing impact on my diabetes, insulin dosing burden, overall health (including cholesterol), and quality of life. In Bright Spots & Landmines, this advice appears first in the book for a reason – it’s been the most important tool for improving my life with diabetes. I’ll follow up next month with an updated list of foods I currently eat, recipes, and interesting new food tricks I’ve been testing.
Eat less than 30 grams of carbohydrates at one time. Continue reading

New diabetes treatment teaches rogue immune cells to behave

New diabetes treatment teaches rogue immune cells to behave

(Getty Images)
A treatment targeting wayward immune cells in people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes may help even years later, a new study finds.
For the treatment, researchers take blood from a person with diabetes and separate out the immune system cells (lymphocytes). They briefly expose those cells to stem cells from umbilical cord blood from an unrelated infant. Then they return the lymphocytes to the patient's body.
The researchers have dubbed this treatment "stem cell educator therapy," because when exposed to the stem cells, the errant lymphocytes seem to re-learn how they should behave.
"Stem cell educator therapy is a safe approach" with long-term effectiveness, said the study's lead author, Dr. Yong Zhao, an associate scientist at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, occurs when the body's immune system cells mistakenly attack the insulin-producing (beta) cells in the pancreas. This leaves people with Type 1 diabetes with little to no insulin. They need insulin injections to survive.
Researchers have long thought that any cure for Type 1 diabetes would have to stop the autoimmune attack, while regenerating or transplanting beta cells.
But Zhao and his team developed a new approach to the problem — educating the immune cells that had been destroying beta cells so they stop attacking.
In Type 2 diabetes, Zhao said immune cell dysfunction is responsible for chronic inflammation that causes insulin resistance. When someone is insulin-resistant, their body's cells can't properly use insulin to usher sugar from fo Continue reading

Mouthwash may kill beneficial bacteria in mouth and trigger diabetes, Harvard study suggests

Mouthwash may kill beneficial bacteria in mouth and trigger diabetes, Harvard study suggests

Mouthwash may seem a beneficial, or at least harmless, addition to a daily tooth brushing routine.
But a new study suggests that swilling with anti-bacterial fluid could be killing helpful microbes which live in the mouth and protect against obesity and diabetes.
While mouthwash is supposed to target the bacteria which cause plaque and bad breath, in fact, it is indiscriminate, washing away beneficial strains.
Researchers at Harvard University found that people who used mouthwash twice a day were around 55 per cent more likely to develop diabetes or dangerous blood sugar spikes, within three years.
Although previous studies have found that poor oral hygiene can lead to health problems elsewhere in the body, it is the first research to show that seemingly positive practices can have unexpectedly negative consequences.
Kaumudi Joshipura, professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, said: “Most of these antibacterial ingredients in mouthwash are not selective.
“In other words, they do not target specific oral bacteria-instead, these ingredients can act on a broad range of bacteria.”
The study looked at 1,206 overweight people aged between 40 and 65 who were deemed at risk of getting diabetes.
Over the study period around 17 per cent of people developed diabetes or pre-diabetes, but that rose to 20 per cent for those using mouthwash once a day, and 30 per cent for those who used it in the morning and evening.
Prof Joshipura said helpful bacteria in the mouth can protect against diabetes and obesity, including microbes which help the body produce nitric ox Continue reading

One Man’s Stand Against Junk Food as Diabetes Climbs Across India

One Man’s Stand Against Junk Food as Diabetes Climbs Across India

NEW DELHI — Rahul Verma’s son was born gravely ill with digestive problems, but over years of visits to the boy’s endocrinologist, Mr. Verma saw the doctor grow increasingly alarmed about a different problem, one threatening healthy children. Junk food, the doctor warned, was especially dangerous to Indians, who are far more prone to diabetes than people from other parts of the world.
One day in the doctor’s waiting room, Mr. Verma noticed a girl who had gotten fat by compulsively eating potato chips. He decided he had to do something.
“On one side you have children like my son, who are born with problems,” said Mr. Verma, “and on the other side you have children who are healthy and everything is fine and you are damaging them giving them unhealthy food.”
Mr. Verma, who had no legal training, sat late into the nights with his wife, Tullika, drafting a petition in their tiny apartment, which was bedecked with fairy lights and pictures of the god Ganesh, who is believed to overcome all obstacles. He filed the public interest lawsuit in the Delhi High Court in 2010, seeking a ban on the sale of junk food and soft drinks in and around schools across India.
The case has propelled sweeping, court-ordered regulations of the food industry to the doorstep of the Indian government, where they have languished. They have outsize importance in India, population 1.3 billion, because its people are far more likely to develop diabetes — which can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputations — as they gain weight than people from other regions, accord Continue reading

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