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Diabetes Is On A Rapid Rise Through Sub Saharan Africa

Diabetes is on a rapid rise through sub Saharan Africa

Diabetes is on a rapid rise through sub Saharan Africa

In the 1990s diabetes was seen as a condition that mainly affected rich people in high income countries. Nowadays, it’s one of the leading contributors to death in all countries in the world, driven by increases in national and personal wealth resulting in people having more disposable income. In addition, urbanization has led to more and more people living sedentary lifestyles. A commission of experts, which was set up in 2014 to tackle the challenge in Africa, have recently released their findings. The Conversation’s health and medicine editor Candice Bailey spoke to professor Justine Davies about the importance of the commission and what good it can do.
What do we know about diabetes in Africa? Why is there a concern?
About 95% of cases around the world are type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity. The impact of diabetes is becoming much greater in poorer countries and regions. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 34 of the world’s 48 least developed countries. In lower-income countries, even though national and personal wealth is increasing, health systems are not developed enough to cope with the increasing numbers, or the long-term consequences of diabetes such as heart attacks, strokes, blindness, and kidney failure.
The health fraternity has a good idea diabetes rates in Africa are increasing but they don’t know enough about the number of people with the disease. The health fraternity has a good idea that diabetes rates on the continent are increasing but they don’t know enough about the number of people with the disease. For example, a recent study foun Continue reading

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Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes Insipidus

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What is diabetes insipidus?
Diabetes insipidus is a rare disorder that occurs when a person's kidneys pass an abnormally large volume of urine that is insipid—dilute and odorless. In most people, the kidneys pass about 1 to 2 quarts of urine a day. In people with diabetes insipidus, the kidneys can pass 3 to 20 quarts of urine a day. As a result, a person with diabetes insipidus may feel the need to drink large amounts of liquids.
Diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus—which includes both type 1 and type 2 diabetes—are unrelated, although both conditions cause frequent urination and constant thirst. Diabetes mellitus causes high blood glucose, or blood sugar, resulting from the body's inability to use blood glucose for energy. People with diabetes insipidus have normal blood glucose levels; however, their kidneys cannot balance fluid in the body.
What are the kidneys and what do they do?
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Every day, the kidneys normally filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid. The urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through tubes called ureters. The bladder stores urine. When the bladder empties, urine flows out of the body through a tube called the urethra, located at the bottom of the bladder.
How is fluid regulated in the body?
A person's body regulates fluid by balancing liquid intake and removing extra fluid. Thirst usually controls a person Continue reading

Fruits for Diabetes: All You Need to Know

Fruits for Diabetes: All You Need to Know

Eating fruit is a delicious way to satisfy hunger and meet daily nutritional needs. However, most fruits contain sugar, which raises questions about whether they are healthy for people who have diabetes.
Is fruit unhealthy for people with diabetes? This article will look at what you need to know about fruit and diabetes.
Contents of this article:
What is fruit?
Most people can probably name several fruits such as oranges and apples, but not know why they are fruits. Fruits contain seeds and come from plants or trees. People eat fruits that are stored in many ways - fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and processed.
But aren't tomatoes and cucumbers also fruits because they have seeds? There are many foods that are classed as fruits that may surprise some people. Tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, peas, corn, and nuts are all fruits.
It's fine to think of tomatoes and cucumbers as vegetables rather than fruits, however. What's important is how much energy (calories) and nutrients each food has.
The bottom line: it's not important to know the difference between fruits and vegetables but to know that both are good for health.
Does eating fruit play a role in managing diabetes?
Eating enough fiber plays an important role in managing diabetes. A diet high in soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and control blood sugar levels. Many fruits are high in fiber, especially if the skin or pulp is eaten.
Many fruits are filling because they contain fiber and a lot of water.
Diets containing enough fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of obesity, heart attack, and stroke. Obesity ha Continue reading

It Costs $10K More To Treat People With Diabetes, Insurers Say

It Costs $10K More To Treat People With Diabetes, Insurers Say

It now costs $10,000 or more per person annually to treat someone with diabetes than someone who doesn’t have the chronic disease, according to a new analysis of large insurance company claims data.
The Health Care Cost Institute, a Washington-based group backed by some of the nation’s largest insurance companies including UnitedHealth Group UNH -0.18%
(UNH), (HUM) (AET) and says that spending per capita on health care for people with diabetes was just shy of $15,000 in 2013. By comparison, $4,305 was spent in the same year on people who didn't have diabetes, according to claims information for people under age 65 with employer-sponsored insurance from data provided to the group.
The report is the latest push from insurance companies to use their vast claims data to point out areas of rising costs and the reasons behind it. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, which represents Anthem (ANTM) and myriad other Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, has been issuing more reports of late as well showing cost differences for treatments and surgeries and how they vary across the country. (See related gallery from Blue Cross on knee and hip surgery costs.)
In the institute’s diabetes report, the insurers and their data point to expensive new brand name insulin and other prescription medications as a key driver in the diabetes costs per capita that jumped 4 percent in 2013 to $14,999 from $14,404 in 2012. Costs for people without diabetes rose to $4,305 in 2013 from $4,146.
“We’re seeing spending on anti-diabetic medication and insulin specifically and branded versio Continue reading

Diabetes And Diabetic Retinopathy: Q&A

Diabetes And Diabetic Retinopathy: Q&A

Q&A Menu
To find the Q&As most helpful to you, please click on one of these subjects:
How Does Diabetes Affect Eyes?
Q: How does diabetes affect your eyes? — L.L., Connecticut
A: Diabetes causes problems in the retina with what are collectively called microvascular abnormalities. The small blood vessels develop microaneurysms and leak blood. New blood vessel growth (neovascularization) occurs. Unfortunately, these blood vessels are weak and also leak. These leaks (hemorrhages) can cause irreversible damage to the retina and permanent vision loss.
Patients with controlled diabetes do better than those with uncontrolled diabetes. However, even a person whose diabetes is under perfect control can still develop diabetic retinopathy — hence, the need for yearly retinal exams. — Dr. Slonim
Q: Does diabetic retinopathy get progressively worse? — F.R.
A: Yes. When left unrecognized and untreated, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and eventually lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy can even get worse despite use of the best treatments that currently exist for it. — Dr. Slonim
Q: My father has type 2 diabetes and he is seeing double. We went to the hospital about a week ago and they said the diabetes had affected a nerve on the right eye. Can medicine get his sight back to normal? — W.C.
A: Diabetes can affect any one of the three cranial nerves that are responsible for movement of the eyes. Diabetes is one of the more common conditions associated with sixth nerve (Abducens nerve) palsies. Paralysis of this nerve affects the lateral rectus muscle that allows the eye t Continue reading

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