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Diabetes: Heart Attack Risk Due To Loss Of Small Blood Vessels Around The Heart

Diabetes: Heart attack risk due to loss of small blood vessels around the heart

Diabetes: Heart attack risk due to loss of small blood vessels around the heart

People with diabetes have a significantly higher risk for heart attack. Now, new research suggests that diabetes damages the small blood vessels around the heart, and this might explain the link to heart attack. In a study reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the researchers also propose a solution may lie in gene therapy.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that arises either because the body does not produce enough insulin (typical of type 1 diabetes) or because it cannot effectively use the insulin it produces (typical of type 2 diabetes). Around 90 percent of people with diabetes have type 2.
Insulin is a hormone that helps keep blood sugar (glucose) under control. Uncontrolled diabetes results in high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, which, over time, damages many parts of the body, including nerves and blood vessels.
The number of people with diabetes worldwide was estimated to be 422 million in 2014, up from 108 million in 1980. The disease is a major cause of blindness, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation
In the United States, there are now more than 29 million people with diabetes, up from 26 million in 2010.
Another 86 million people have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar is higher than normal but not yet in the range for type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes affects small cardiac blood vessels
The global prevalence of diabetes among adults rose from 4.7 percent in 1980 to 8.5 percent in 2014.
Once a disease seen only in adults, the number of children with type 2 diabetes is increasing.
The total medical costs and lost Continue reading

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'If I can do it, anyone can': By following 5 steps, mom loses 79 pounds

'If I can do it, anyone can': By following 5 steps, mom loses 79 pounds

A few years ago, Rachel Woodrow got a Wii console with Wii Fit. As she set it up, it weighed her and she was shocked by the number: 218 pounds.
“I was just stunned,” Woodrow, 42, of Wellington, New Zealand, told TODAY.
She had struggled with her weight her entire life — she remembers starting her first diet at 9 years old. But Woodrow didn’t know she had put on so much weight at just 5 feet 2 inches tall. Even though she was horrified by that number, she still didn’t act immediately.
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It wasn’t until she tried getting pregnant with her third child that Woodrow realized she had to do something. She had been struggling for years to get pregnant and thought losing weight might help. She dropped 10 percent of her body weight, about 20 pounds, and became pregnant. But she still was unhealthy.
“I developed very dangerous levels of type 2 diabetes,” she said.
While Woodrow delivered a healthy baby girl, Tabitha, she was still overweight and had diabetes. Her doctor wanted to put her on medication, but she balked.
“I begged her to give me three more months,” she said.
Even though Woodrow feared being dependent on medication, what worried her more is that her weight would make it tough for her to be a mom to Tabitha.
“It was looking like I wasn’t going to be a very useful parent,” she said. “It was either diet and exercise and change my diabetes, or part company with this very small baby.”
Courtesy Rachel Woodrow
That’s when Woodrow decided to use the Fitbit she owned. She started with a very modest target — take 10,000 steps a day.
“I s Continue reading

Diabetes in your DNA? Scientists zero in on the genetic signature of risk

Diabetes in your DNA? Scientists zero in on the genetic signature of risk

ANN ARBOR—Why do some people get type 2 diabetes, while others who live the same lifestyle never do?
For decades, scientists have tried to solve this mystery—and have found more than 80 tiny DNA differences that seem to raise the risk of the disease in some people, or protect others from the damagingly high levels of blood sugar that are its hallmark.
But no one "type 2 diabetes signature" has emerged from this search.
Now, a team of scientists has reported a discovery that might explain how multiple genetic flaws can lead to the same disease. They've identified something that some of those diabetes-linked genetic defects have in common: they seem to change the way certain cells in the pancreas "read" their genes.
The discovery could eventually help lead to more personalized treatments for diabetes. But for now, it's the first demonstration that many type 2 diabetes-linked DNA changes have to do with the same DNA-reading molecule. Called Regulatory Factor X, or RFX, it's a master regulator for a number of genes.
The team reporting the findings in a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences comes from the University of Michigan, National Institutes of Health, Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, University of North Carolina and University of Southern California.
They report that many diabetes-linked DNA changes affect the ability of RFX to bind to specific locations in the genomes of pancreas cell clusters called islets. And that in turn changes the cells' ability to carry out important functions.
Islets contain the cells that make hormones, in Continue reading

Can diabetics eat watermelon?

Can diabetics eat watermelon?

Like all fruits, watermelon contains plenty of natural sugar. While watermelon is usually safe for someone with diabetes to eat as part of their diet, how much and how often they can do so depends on several factors.
People with diabetes are aware of the need to educate themselves about the right kinds of foods to eat to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
Eating a diet high in fruit and vegetables is advisable, but fruit contains natural sugars, and so it can be confusing to work out how much a person with diabetes can eat.
The American Diabetes Association recommend that "there is no single ideal dietary distribution of calories among carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for people with diabetes, macronutrient distribution should be individualized while keeping total calorie and metabolic goals in mind."
There is not a simple "yes" or "no" answer about whether fruits, such as watermelon, are healthful for people who have diabetes. In this article, we look at the nutritional and health benefits of watermelon, as well as other factors a person with diabetes should consider.
Health benefits of watermelon
Watermelon is a refreshing, juicy fruit and is a common healthful food choice in the summer. But what does it contain?
Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including:
vitamin A
vitamin C
vitamin B1 and B6
fiber
iron
lycopene
Vitamin A helps to keep the heart, kidney, and lungs functioning properly. It also supports vision and eye health. A 280 g serving of watermelon provides 31 percent of a person's recommended daily amount of vitamin A.
Vitamin C is a p Continue reading

The global prevalence of diabetes

The global prevalence of diabetes

Common health risks, associated symptoms, and impact on healthcare costs
Diabetes, a disease affecting blood glucose control, is a growing issue worldwide. From 1980 to 2014, the number of people affected by diabetes almost quadrupled from 108 million to 422 million worldwide, or a growth in diabetes prevalence of 4.7% to 8.5%.1
This growth trend is not estimated to stop or slow in the future, according to the IDF Diabetes Atlas, by 2040 the number of worldwide diabetics are expected to grow to 642 million, representing a potential future healthcare crisis for patients and providers alike.2
The healthcare costs are also expected to balloon. In the years between 2007 and 2012, the total healthcare costs associated with diabetes rose from $174 billion to $245 billion, or 41% in just a 5-year period.3
The majority of diabetes cases occur in developing countries, representing a high proportion of the disease’s economic burden. Prevalence of diabetes in Asian countries is particularly high and expected to increase.4
In fact, 60% of the world’s diabetic population are concentrated in Asian countries, with socio-economic growth, industrialization, and urbanization being three of the most common factors associated with increased prevalence of the disease.4
Diabetes is also growing in potentially epidemic proportions in India where over 62 million people are affected.5,6 Genetic factors, improved living standards, and rising levels of obesity are some of the many reasons associated diabetes is growing in this geographic region.7
Diabetes: health effects
The short- and long-term Continue reading

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