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How Diabetes Contributes To Kidney Failure

How Diabetes Contributes to Kidney Failure

How Diabetes Contributes to Kidney Failure

Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, according to the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) 2007 Annual Data Report.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD), the precursor to kidney failure, is considered comorbid (commonly coexisting) with diabetes.
Because of the increased risk of developing kidney disease, people with diabetes should be regularly screened for any evidence that they are developing kidney issues. Evaluation generally begins five years after diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes and immediately upon diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. After initial screening, annual screenings are recommended.
What Kidneys Do
The kidney's primary purpose is to filter impurities from the blood, which are then excreted in urine. The blood is also replenished by the kidneys, with necessary proteins and other substances added back. The kidneys release three hormones, including one that stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow and one that is the active form of vitamin D, which works in conjunction with calcium to maintain proper levels of calcium in the body. The third hormone helps to regulate blood pressure at proper levels.
How Diabetes Affects Kidneys
Diabetes has a significant impact on blood vessels, damaging the epithelial cells that line arteries, vessels and capillaries. This causes inflammation and increasing inflexibility of the vessel walls.
The filters in the kidney are made up of tiny blood vessels that are easily damaged. Accumulated damage to these vessels makes the kidneys less efficient at filtering and leads to retention of fluids and salts. Th Continue reading

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Cost Control Tips for Diabetes Expenses

Cost Control Tips for Diabetes Expenses

For many people with diabetes, out-of-pocket medical expenses are a regularly occurring fact of life. Insurance and assistance programs rarely cover all costs.
Doing research, comparison shopping, and looking for deals on diabetes treatments and supplies can save you money. Check out these cost-cutting ideas and shopping tips suggested by Andy Robin, M.D.
Glucose-Monitoring Costs
Even if you buy glucose test strips from an online or big-box discount store, a one-month supply of strips will cost the same or more than one reusable glucose monitor.
You can purchase a glucose monitor for about $20. Those sold in the United States have to be FDA-approved, so their accuracy is quite reliable. Since all meters are based on the same technology, differences in price reflect the monitor’s blood sample size and its response time.
If you use strips, being disciplined about diet and exercise may mean having to monitor fewer times per day, trimming your costs. However, those with type 1 diabetes may have to monitor more often if they increase their exercise routines.
Cost-cutting Tip: For any drug or other supplies you need, do an Internet search using the product’s name plus the words “rebates,” “coupons,” and “free samples.” You may find some surprising savings.
Non-Insulin Medication Costs
There are no stand-out non-insulin treatments available, so going with the least expensive treatment option makes sense.
The drug Metformin is well-researched, inexpensive, and frequently recommended for treating type 2 diabetes. It costs about $100 a year or less, depending on where Continue reading

Common Diabetes Medications Can Cause Heart Failure

Common Diabetes Medications Can Cause Heart Failure

Medications used to help diabetics manage their blood sugar could increase their risk for heart failure, according to research presented recently at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session.
The study found that newer or more intensive drugs for blood sugar management were linked to a 14 percent overall increased risk for heart failure. Drugs in the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors class, or PPAR agonists – like Actos or Avandia – were associated with the highest risk. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, like Januvia, were associated with intermediate risk of heart failure, while long-acting insulins like Lantus were associated with "neutral" risk.
"This increased risk was directly associated with the type of diabetes therapy that was chosen, with some drugs more likely to cause heart failure than others, compared with placebo or standard care," said Dr. Jacob Udell, lead study investigator.
Heart disease is still the number one cause of death globally, and it is also the primary cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes, according to the American Heart Association.
Weight management is key
A common side effect of many blood sugar lowering medications is weight gain, which could be the most dangerous outcome for patients taking these drugs: The study found that every 1 kilogram (about 2 pounds) of weight gain associated with taking a blood sugar medication was linked to a 7 percent increased risk of heart failure.
While blood sugar medications are a common first approach for patients with diabetes, other lifestyle intervent Continue reading

Statin scam exposed: Cholesterol drugs cause rapid aging, brain damage and diabetes

Statin scam exposed: Cholesterol drugs cause rapid aging, brain damage and diabetes

Statins, the widely prescribed class of drugs said to lower “bad” cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart problems, has recently come under fire after a study revealed that they destroy human health more than they work to improve it.
Sadly, many people take statin drugs, which are commonly known by brand names including Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor. Prescription drug spending in the U.S. shot up to about $374 billion in 2014, representing the highest level of spending since 2001. Statins undoubtedly made up a significant portion of this spending, and now consumers who take such drugs have much more to worry about than the dent it’s making in their wallets.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Physiology, states that statins’ “…impact on other biologic properties of stem cells provides a novel explanation for their adverse clinical effects.” Specifically, the study states that such adverse effects include advancing the “process of aging” and also notes that “…long-term use of statins has been associated with adverse effects including myopathy, neurological side effects and an increased risk of diabetes.” Myopathy refers to skeletal muscle weakness.
Experts involved in the study suggest that the health problems associated with statins have likely been downplayed through the years. In reality, those taking such cholesterol-lowering drugs have been experiencing cataracts, fatigue, liver problems, muscle pain and memory loss. Simply put, the drugs have been found to tamper with cells in such a way that their primary purpose of reproduc Continue reading

Can cough syrup treat diabetes?

Can cough syrup treat diabetes?

An ingredient in many over-the-counter cough syrup remedies may help to improve the body's insulin response, according to a new study.
Dextromethorphan is a compound that acts as a cough suppressant, but researchers found it also produces a byproduct that increases the release of insulin from the pancreas. This is the exact opposite of what researchers thought the drug would do.
Affecting N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptors, dextromethorphan stimulated insulin release in both animal and human pancreatic tissue sample cells. A small group of 20 diabetic patients were also given the drug and monitored for insulin changes during a single-dose clinical trial.
A future treatment for type 2 diabetes?
The study authors don't suggest diabetics self-medicate with cough syrup, as the participant pool for the research was small and the results don't provide sufficient evidence of a treatment quite yet.
"My hope is that our study triggers further clinical trials at established diabetes centers," senior study author Eckhard Lammert told Live Science.
Other drugs that act on NMDA-receptors might also be an area of study to explore if dextromethorphan is found to be an ineffective treatment method, the researchers said.
The study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.
Source: Live Science
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes in many ways. As its alternate name of adult-onset diabetes implies, it is usually only found in adults. However, the rate of children acquiring the disease is going up.
Type 2 diabet Continue reading

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