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How Digital Health Care Can Help Prevent Chronic Diseases Like Diabetes

How Digital Health Care Can Help Prevent Chronic Diseases Like Diabetes

How Digital Health Care Can Help Prevent Chronic Diseases Like Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most pervasive and expensive chronic diseases: It affects an estimated 30.3 million people in the United States and costs a staggering $245 billion per year to treat. In addition there are 84.1 million adults in the United States with high blood sugar levels in danger of developing type 2 diabetes. It is widely acknowledged that the most effective method of treating these prediabetics so they don’t become full-fledged diabetics is diabetes prevention programs (DPPs) that follow a protocol validated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the challenge has been to get people to enroll in them in the first place and stick with them if they do.
Omada Health, a digital therapeutics firm focused on preventing obesity-related chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, has made significant strides in achieving both with the 120,000 prediabetics who have participated in its program. Its success demonstrates the potential of digital health services, and its approach can serve as a model for applying such services to other chronic diseases. We studied Omada’s program as part of our Harvard Medical School initiative to identify and share knowledge about innovative approaches to major health challenges that primary care providers play the lead in treating.
DPPs typically include in-person meetings of a small group of prediabetic adults who, with the guidance of a health coach, progress through a diet and lifestyle curriculum. The course usually consists of weekly sessions during the initial four months. Participants then receive monthly Continue reading

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Essential Keys To Diagnosing And Treating PAD In Patients With Diabetes

Essential Keys To Diagnosing And Treating PAD In Patients With Diabetes

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Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is an extremely prevalent, substantially underdiagnosed condition, which has a significant risk of morbidity and mortality. Recent data suggests that PAD affects nearly 18 million Americans and greater than 202 million globally.1,2 Patients with diabetes at highest risk include those age 50 or older, or those under age 50 with comorbid hypertension, hyperlipidemia or obesity. Individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease and those over age 65 are also at high risk.1,3
Complicating the ability to diagnose PAD, approximately 50 percent of PAD patients are asymptomatic while another 33 percent have atypical symptomatology.4 Unfortunately, once diagnosed with PAD, 20 percent will experience a life-altering cardiovascular complication such as a myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular accident while 30 percent will experience a life-ending cardiovascular complication.5
Why Diabetes And PAD Are Frequent Comorbid Conditions
Diabetes mellitus is also a global health emergency.6 As of 2016, 422 million people had diabetes worldwide, up from an estimated 382 million people in 2013 and 108 million in 1980.7,8 The prevalence of diabetes varies worldwide. It is greater in middle-aged people in developing countries and people over 65 years of age in developed countries such as the United States.9
The U.S. has the unfortunate distinction of having the third largest number of adults suffering from diabetes.6 Currently, 14.3 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes with over 36 percent undiagnosed.10 Over the last 17 years, the U.S. pre Continue reading

Stem Cell Implants Could Replace Insulin Shots For Type 1 Diabetes

Stem Cell Implants Could Replace Insulin Shots For Type 1 Diabetes

Around 42 million people worldwide have type 1 diabetes, which is caused by the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
A company in San Diego, California, has created a credit-card-sized implant, called PEC-Direct. The implant contains cells obtained from embryonic stem cells that can grow inside the body into the specialized islet cells that get destroyed in type 1 diabetes.
The implant is embedded below the skin and will release insulin when blood sugar levels rise, thus restoring them to normal.
“If it works, we would call it a functional cure,” says Paul Laikind, of Viacyte. “It’s not truly a cure because we wouldn’t address the autoimmune cause of the disease, but we would rather be replacing the missing cells.”
Once implanted, tiny openings on the surface of the outer fabric of the device allow blood vessels to penetrate inside, nourishing the small island of the parent cells. Once these cells have matured – which should take about three months – the hope is that they will be able to monitor sugar levels in the blood, and release insulin as necessary.
If successful, it could free people with type 1 diabetes from having to constantly check their blood sugar levels and inject insulin, although they would need to take immunosuppressive drugs to stop their bodies from destroying the new cells.
“This strategy could really change the way we treat type 1 diabetes in the future,” says Emily Burns of the charity Diabetes UK. Continue reading

What is Insulin Resistance and How to Reverse It?

What is Insulin Resistance and How to Reverse It?

Most of us do not understand the meaning of the condition, insulin resistance. It is a very serious condition that ultimately leads to diabetes as well as other health problems. Hence, it is imperative we know about it and take all the necessary steps to tackle and reverse the condition. The objective of the article is to familiarize you with the problem of insulin resistance while at the same time helping you to reverse the condition. So, come and join in fir the article “What is Insulin Resistance and How to Reverse It?”
What is the Meaning of Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance refers to a condition where the body loses its sensitivity to the hormone insulin. When a person suffers from this condition, the glucose is unable to enter into the cells appropriately and the required amount of energy is not produced in the body. When you do not have the problem of insulin resistance, the level of insulin rises to a small amount after eating. The liver is stimulated to take up the essential glucose from the blood and thereby convert the same into energy. Hence, the level of glucose in the blood thereby falls and the raised insulin also balances itself out.
However, when you are having the problem of insulin resistance, the blood sugar could be normal but the level of insulin is always high as the liver is not responding to the hormone which makes the pancreas release more of insulin. The calories are then stored as fats and there are major problems in the body.
With time, the problem of insulin resistance can cause severe health conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases Continue reading

Tips for Blood Sugar Control When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Tips for Blood Sugar Control When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Check your blood sugar levels at least once a day with a blood glucose meter, and keep a record of the readings. Know what’s normal, high, and low. You’ll be able to spot patterns and give your health care team the information they need to craft a treatment plan for when things get off-track.
Even when you’re eating healthy food, you can have too much of a good thing. A good rule of thumb: Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, and split the other half between a lean protein and a grain.
It's a good way to bulk up your meals. And since your body doesn’t digest it, it doesn’t raise your blood sugar. Shoot for 50 grams a day. Fruits and veggies with the skin on, whole grains, and legumes are all good sources.
Carbohydrates turn right into glucose after you eat them. So it’s extra important to keep them in check. When you choose your carbs, give your body the good stuff: fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans. Ease up on less healthy options, like white bread and white rice.
When you have diabetes, you feel hotter faster than other people. A hot body doesn't deal with blood sugar as well. Wear loose-fitting, cool clothes and a hat. Head for the air conditioning when temps are their highest.
Regular exercise makes insulin work better in your body. Being active is vital to lowering your blood sugar, so find your workout groove. Take walks, swim a few laps, do yoga, dance -- find something you enjoy, and make it part of every day.
You don’t have to avoid it altogether -- but be smart about drinking when you do. If you drink, women should stick to one 12- Continue reading

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