Diabetes Now Kills More People In South Africa Than HIV

Diabetes Now Kills More People in South Africa Than HIV

Diabetes Now Kills More People in South Africa Than HIV

The country's near-total focus on HIV over the past 15 years has saved countless lives but starved other diseases of resources.
Linda Nordling
Sep 11 2017, 2:00pm
Aletta Harrison
It was in late 2016 that Goodman Gwala noticed an itch on his left foot. His local clinic in Inanda, a township in Durban, South Africa, gave him bone-chilling news. "The doctor told me: 'Your toes are rotten, Goodman, there's nothing we can do. We have to take this thing out.'"
In April, doctors amputated half of Gwala's left foot to halt the source of the itch—a gangrenous ulcer caused by diabetes. If caught early and treated carefully, such wounds can heal. But in South Africa, where diabetes is an overlooked condition, many seek help too late. Type 2 diabetes, which is what Gwala has, can often be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. But his job as a supermarket baker put him in the way of too much temptation. "I used to make birthday cakes, donuts…Most of the time I was eating them," he says.
Aletta Harrison
Today the 51-year-old has given up sweet cakes and sugary drinks, but the damage is already done. "My life is difficult. It's not like before," he says. He rarely goes out, as it hurts to be on his crutches too long. Mostly, he sits at home watching TV. He survives on a meager disability grant of R4,000 a month—around $310—and he reckons he'll never work again. He hopes retirement age will bring more money—enough to build a bigger house for himself and his young son.
Gwala's illness is one case among more than 2 million South African adults who were shown to have diabetes in 2015 (t Continue reading

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7 Causes of Excessive Perspiration in People with Diabetes

7 Causes of Excessive Perspiration in People with Diabetes

Unless the weather is sweltering or you’re having hot flashes, excessive sweating is most likely an indication of a greater health issue. Ask yourself:
Do you have a fever or other signs of an infection?
Are you in any pain when you sweat?
Is the sweating mainly on one side?
Does it involve your palms, soles, and/or armpits?
Do you sweat while you sleep?
Is your blood glucose level high (or low) during these sweating episodes?
Could sweating be a reaction to your diabetes medication?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, talk to your healthcare provider.
What are the possible causes of excessive sweating?
For people with diabetes, certain complications can affect the sweat glands, making it difficult for the body to cool down in hot weather, triggering heavy sweating even during light activities, or causing sweating in cool temperatures.
1. Autonomic neuropathy.
This is a condition in which hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) interferes with the nerves that control involuntary functions. The autonomic nervous system manages several systems automatically, including bladder control, heart rate, the ability to detect hypoglycemia, and the ability to sweat appropriately. Dry feet are a common symptom of nerve disease, so it is important to inspect your feet daily to be sure there are no cracks from excessive dryness, a condition that tends to occur along with sweating.
2. Low blood glucose levels.
A low blood glucose level is called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia triggers a fight-or-flight response in the body. As a result, the body produces additional norepinephrine and Continue reading

People With Type 2 Diabetes May Benefit From Drinking Red Wine In The Context Of A Healthy, Mediterranean Diet

People With Type 2 Diabetes May Benefit From Drinking Red Wine In The Context Of A Healthy, Mediterranean Diet

The benefits of moderate alcohol consumption have been heavily debated, perhaps no more so than when experts are considering red wine. Compared to white wine, red wine has more phenols — a smaller version of the antioxidant compound known as polyphenols. The latter are what some experts believe helps reduce chronic disease risk, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. So it would stand to reason that an occasional glass or two of Pinot could be part of a healthy lifestyle. And among people with type 2 diabetes, it very well may be, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
An international group of researchers found that within the context of a healthy diet — in this study it was the Mediterranean diet — drinking dry red wine can help control cholesterol and blood glucose (sugar) levels; that is, it can control levels under certain conditions. The diabetic men and women aged 40 to 75 that were recruited to participate in this two-year trial had previously abstained from alcohol and were found to have their diabetes under control. Abstaining meant participants drank alcohol once per week — any more and they were excluded.
At the start of the study, and again at six and 24 months, participants gave blood samples and completed electronic questionnaires, which "collected data on demographics, lifestyle patterns, any medications they were taking, symptoms, and quality of life." All the while participants were consuming 150 milliliters, or 5 ounces, of their assigned beverage with their dinner. The patients assigned to consume wine were ins Continue reading

Type 1 diabetics thriving and living longer

Type 1 diabetics thriving and living longer

People who have thrived with Type 1 diabetes for 50 years or more are inspiring doctors in Toronto to investigate why and how they've accomplished the feat in order to help other patients.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that stops the pancreas from producing the hormone we need to use carbohydrates as fuel. People with Type 1 diabetes must inject insulin to prevent serious illness or death.
The life expectancy for those with Type 1 diabetes may be shortened by as much as 15 years, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association.
"In the 1940s, roughly half of people with Type 1 diabetes were getting end-stage kidney disease in their 40s and dying in their 40s," said Dr. Bruce Perkins, an endocrinologist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.
Diabetes longevity
A U.S. modelling estimate based on data from the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications suggests that the life expectancy at birth for someone diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes between 1965 and 1980 was estimated to be 68.8 years compared to 72.4 years for the general population. In comparison, for someone diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes between 1950 and 1964, the estimated life expectancy at birth was 53.4 years.
Most Canadian provinces lack diabetes registries. That’s why researchers aren’t able to identify the type of diabetes someone has using billing codes and administrative databases.
Perkins is leading the Diabetes Longevity Study — the first Canadian study of its kind looking at the personal experiences of Canadians who have lived with Type 1 diabetes for 50 years or more.
Perkins attribute Continue reading

Diabetes in Children and Teens: Signs and Symptoms

Diabetes in Children and Teens: Signs and Symptoms

With more than a third of diabetes cases in the United States occurring in people over the age of 65, diabetes is often referred to as an age-related condition. But around 208,000 children and adolescents are estimated to have diabetes, and this number is increasing.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of the condition among children and adolescents.
A 2009 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that type 1 diabetes prevalence stands at 1.93 in every 1,000 children and adolescents, while type 2 diabetes affects 0.24 in every 1,000.
In 2014, Medical News Today reported that, based on a study published in JAMA, rates of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have increased significantly among American children and teenagers.
The study found that incidence of type 1 diabetes in children aged up to 9 years increased by 21 percent between 2001 and 2009, while incidence of type 2 diabetes among youths aged 10-19 years rose by 30.5 percent.
The researchers note: "The increases in prevalence reported herein are important because such youth with diabetes will enter adulthood with several years of disease duration, difficulty in treatment, an increased risk of early complications and increased frequency of diabetes during reproductive years, which may further increase diabetes in the next generation."
Contents of this article:
Here are some key points about diabetes in children. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
Type 1 and 2 diabetes are both increasing in the youth of America
Often, the symptoms of type 1 diabetes in child Continue reading

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