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GAD Antibodies And Diabetes: What's The Connection?

GAD Antibodies and Diabetes: What's the Connection?

GAD Antibodies and Diabetes: What's the Connection?

Some people develop diabetes as adults in the same way as type 2 diabetes. However, their condition is in fact a late-onset form of type 1 diabetes.
People with this form of diabetes have GAD antibodies. Testing for these can help diagnose the type of diabetes an adult has.
Contents of this article:
What are GAD antibodies?
GADA is short for GAD autoantibodies. Antibodies in this case means autoantibodies.
GAD antibodies result in the immune system stopping insulin being produced, leading to diabetes.
Normal role of GAD
GAD is short for glutamic acid decarboxylase. This is an enzyme that is needed to make a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are involved in nerve messaging.
The neurotransmitter is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid that has the effect of reducing nerve transmission.
GAD inhibits nerve messages. It relaxes muscles, for example. Lack of GAD is involved in a disease known as stiff-person syndrome.
GAD is found in the brain and the pancreas, the organ in the belly that produces insulin.
When GAD produces antibodies
Unfortunately, GAD can also act as an autoantigen. This means that it triggers the immune system to produce antibodies against its own cells.
In this case, these GAD autoantibodies mark out cells in the pancreas for attack.
These pancreas cells produce insulin. Diabetes is the result of the immune system attacking these cells as if they were foreign material that must be destroyed.
Autoimmunity is the cause of type 1 diabetes, and other diabetes-related autoantibodies are also involved aside from GAD autoantibodies.
Finding GAD antibodies Continue reading

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Setting Goals for Healthy Living

Setting Goals for Healthy Living

The value of a goal lies in the goal itself; and therefore the goal cannot be attained unless it is pursued for its own sake.
–Arnold J. Toynbee
Staying healthy with diabetes requires efforts on a variety of fronts. These include eating healthfully, being physically active, taking prescribed medicines at the right times in the right doses, scheduling and keeping numerous medical appointments every year, and being aware of not just blood glucose levels, but also blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, the state of one’s feet, and the sources and level of stress in one’s life.
Most people feel more confident about their efforts in some of these areas than in others. So what do you do when the areas you feel less confident about need attending to, such as when your doctor tells you that you need to “tighten up” your control to prevent diabetes complications?
For starters, ask your doctor what action or actions on your part would be most beneficial to your health. Then talk about specific goals and the steps you would need to take to reach them. Ask yourself whether those steps sound like actions you are willing and able to take. And keep in mind that you are more likely to be willing to make the effort required to reach a goal that feels important and meaningful to you. If you don’t see the point to what your doctor or another health-care provider is recommending, ask for a more detailed explanation of how a particular change or action will improve your health.
Diabetes care areas
A tool that can be helpful in determining which actions may be most effective at Continue reading

How Psoriasis and Type 2 Diabetes May Be Linked

How Psoriasis and Type 2 Diabetes May Be Linked

It’s hard to believe that the psoriasis plaques on the surface of your skin can put you at risk for serious health problems down the road, but it's true — and that risk is real.
Studies continue to show a link between psoriasis and type 2 diabetes, underlining the importance for people with the skin disease to pay attention to their overall health.
A Danish study published in August 2013 in the journal Diabetes Care followed more than 52,000 people with psoriasis ages 10 and older for 13 years, and compared them to the rest of the Danish population. The researchers found that everyone with psoriasis, whether it was mild or severe, was at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes — and the more severe the psoriasis, the higher the risk for diabetes.
A University of Pennsylvania study published in September 2012 in JAMA Dermatology compared more than 100,000 people with psoriasis to 430,000 people who didn’t have it. The researchers found that those with a severe case of psoriasis were 46 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those without psoriasis. People who had a mild case of psoriasis had an 11 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The risk was higher even among psoriasis patients who didn’t have other risk factors commonly associated with diabetes, such as obesity. As a result, the researchers estimated 115,500 new cases of diabetes a year are due to the risk from psoriasis.
In addition to diabetes, psoriasis complications include a higher risk for metabolic syndrome, heart disease, stroke, and death related to cardiovascular proble Continue reading

The Pathophysiology of Hyperglycemia in Older Adults: Clinical Considerations

The Pathophysiology of Hyperglycemia in Older Adults: Clinical Considerations

Nearly a quarter of older adults in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes, and this population is continuing to increase with the aging of the population. Older adults are at high risk for the development of type 2 diabetes due to the combined effects of genetic, lifestyle, and aging influences. The usual defects contributing to type 2 diabetes are further complicated by the natural physiological changes associated with aging as well as the comorbidities and functional impairments that are often present in older people. This paper reviews the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes among older adults and the implications for hyperglycemia management in this population.
Diabetes is one of the leading chronic medical conditions among older adults, with high risk for vascular comorbidities such as coronary artery disease, physical and cognitive function impairment, and mortality. Despite decades of effort to prevent diabetes, diabetes remains an epidemic condition with particularly high morbidity affecting older adults. In fact, nearly 11 million people in the U.S. aged 65 years or older (more than 26% of adults aged 65 years or older) meet current American Diabetes Association criteria for diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed), accounting for more than 37% of the adult population with diabetes (1). At the same time, adults 65 years or older are developing diabetes at a rate nearly three-times higher than younger adults: 11.5 per 1,000 people compared with 3.6 per 1,000 people among adults aged 20–44 years old (1). However, increasing research in diabetes and aging has improved our unders Continue reading

Type 3 Diabetes: A Starving Mind

Type 3 Diabetes: A Starving Mind

Doctors have long recognized two types of diabetes: One that you’re born with (Type 1), and another that develops later in life (Type 2).
But a growing body of research points to a new form: Type 3, often referred to as “diabetes of the brain.”
Types 1 and 2 are known for deteriorating the body. Without treatment, the disease damages blood vessels, nerves, and organs. It can also lead to blindness and even loss of limbs.
The idea behind Type 3 is that this same pattern of degeneration also invades the mind.
Over the last decade, researchers have noticed a connection between diabetes and dementia, suggesting that in many cases, the diseases may have the same root.
In their new book, “The Alzheimer’s Solution,” Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai note that a breakdown in the body’s ability to regulate sugar is the common denominator.
Glucose, a simple sugar, is the body’s primary energy source. Diabetes occurs when glucose can’t enter the cells where it’s needed. Instead, sugar concentrates in the blood, and the cells starve.
Since the brain relies on glucose for energy, it may also suffer a similar fate when the body’s sugar-regulating system malfunctions.
“Glucose dysregulation at any level, over a protracted period of time, is one of the most common contributors to Alzheimer’s disease,” Sherzai said in an email.
Blood Sugar and the Brain
So far, most of the insight into the Type 3 concept comes from research on the links between Alzheimer’s and diabetes. But diabetes may also connect to other kinds of neurodegenerative diseases, says Dr. Michele Tagl Continue reading

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