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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

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

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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

Type 2 Diabetes Reversed With Weight Loss: Super Low-Calorie Diet May Cure the Disease

Type 2 Diabetes Reversed With Weight Loss: Super Low-Calorie Diet May Cure the Disease

Update | Hundreds of people went on an extreme diet with the hopes of curing their Type 2 diabetes. For some of them, it worked.
A study published in The Lancet on Tuesday chronicles a remarkable change in the health of its participants. One of the findings—that a calorie-restricted diet leads to weight loss—is hardly groundbreaking. But the effect that losing weight had on diabetes was dramatic. For nearly half of the people on the diet (86 percent of the 36 people lost more than 30 pounds), their diabetes appeared to be gone a year later.
The technical term the authors used was “remission.” That term indicates that the levels of red blood cells connected to sugar molecules had fallen below a certain limit even without medication. That limit, often used as a shorthand to diagnose diabetes, is known as HbA1c. It's an indicator of average long-term blood sugar levels and may also be related to the risk of developing complications from diabetes.
"'Cure' implies absolute and lasting absence of disease—such as curing tuberculosis. Remission recognises that the person is still susceptible to diabetes and emphasises that continued attention to weight control is vital," said Dr. Roy Taylor, a researcher at Newcastle University and one of the authors of the paper. If the people in this study regain the weight, "then it is certain that the diabetes will come back."
Dr. Sona Shah, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health, said that doctors knew that if a person lost between 5 to 10 percent of their weight, it could help improve their HbA1c levels. “I’ve seen that many t Continue reading

Diabetes and Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)

Diabetes and Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)

Nerve damage is called neuropathy. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states neuropathies are a group of nerve problems which often develop in people with diabetes over time. Nerve damage can be without symptoms or people can feel pain, numbness, or tingling in their feet, hands, arms, and legs and this damage can happen in any part of the body because it can affect any organ.
Neuropathy is caused by high blood sugars making blood more acidic. As that acidic blood goes through small blood vessels, it can cause damage over time.
About half of people with diabetes develop nerve damage. It can happen at any time but chances of developing nerve damage go up with age and the longer a person has diabetes. Neuropathy develops more in people who struggle to manage their blood sugars since elevated blood sugar is the root of the nerve damage. It is also more common however, in overweight people with higher levels of cholesterol and blood pressure.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) also lists different causes or contributors to neuropathy:
metabolic factors, such as high blood glucose, long duration of diabetes, abnormal blood fat levels, and possibly low levels of insulin
neurovascular factors, leading to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves
autoimmune factors that cause inflammation in nerves
mechanical injury to nerves, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
inherited traits that increase susceptibility to nerve disease
lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol use
Peripheral Neuropathy
This type of neuropathy is Continue reading

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