Is Routine Testing For Gestational Diabetes Necessary?

Is Routine Testing For Gestational Diabetes Necessary?

Is Routine Testing For Gestational Diabetes Necessary?

High blood sugar during pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), used to be a rare condition, occurring in about 3% of pregnancies.
In recent years, the rate has doubled – up to 8% of pregnant women are diagnosed with GDM.
With new recommendations lowering the cutoff point for diagnosis, a dramatic increase in GDM rates is expected; experts predict it could be up to 15%.
Not all medical professionals agree with routine testing to diagnose GDM, however, and question whether GDM is a pathological problem in such high numbers, or simply part of pregnancy.
Is Routine Testing For Gestational Diabetes Necessary?
Dr. Sarah Buckley, author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering recommends most women avoid the routine test.
Dr. Michel Odent, world-renowned obstetrician and birth specialist, and Henci Goer, expert on evidence-based maternity care, both believe diagnosis of GDM increases risk and stress unnecessarily.
Most pregnant women will have to decide whether or not to take the gestational diabetes screening test.
Women who are offered the test might not know anything about GDM, the risk factors, the accuracy of the screening tests, or what failing the test could mean.
For many women, negotiating their way through GDM screening is a challenge, especially for those who decide to forgo having the test, or want to know what their options are. Unfortunately, there aren’t many doctors or midwives who support alternative testing for GDM.
What Is Routine GDM Screening?
The test for GDM has traditionally been two-tiered and occurs around 24-28 weeks gestation.
Glucose cha Continue reading

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The Final Frontier: How Does Diabetes Affect the Brain?

The Final Frontier: How Does Diabetes Affect the Brain?

Our understanding of the impact of diabetes on organ function has been evolving since the discovery of insulin in the 1920s. At that time insulin was a miracle drug that appeared to cure diabetes, but over time it became clear that death and disability from diabetes complications involving the eyes, kidneys, peripheral nerves, heart, and vasculature could occur even with treatment. With the improvement in diabetes care over the past 20 years, fewer patients are developing the traditional diabetes complications. However, as people live long and well with the disease, it has become apparent that diabetes can alter function and structure in tissues not typically associated with complications such as the brain and bone. Alteration in brain structure and function are particularly of concern because of the impact of dementia and cognitive dysfunction on overall quality of life.
From large epidemiological studies, it has been demonstrated that both vascular and Alzheimer's dementia are more common in patients with type 2 diabetes (1). Why this might be true has been difficult to define. Certainly these patients can be expected to have more risk factors such as previous cardiovascular disease, history of hypertension, and dyslipidemia than aged matched control subjects, but when these variables are controlled, the risk for patients with diabetes appears to be higher than that of other subject groups. Persistent hyperglycemia appears to play an important role in cerebral dysfunction. Many years ago, Reaven et al. (2) demonstrated that performance on cognitive tasks assessing learnin Continue reading

Drinking wine or beer up to four times a week can protect against diabetes, researchers say

Drinking wine or beer up to four times a week can protect against diabetes, researchers say

Drinking some types of alcohol up to four times a week can significantly protect against diabetes, a study has suggested.
Compared to teetotallers, men who drink three to four days a week are 27 per cent less likely to develop the condition, and women 32 per cent less likely, researchers said.
The Danish scientists, led by Professor Janne Tolstrup from the University of Southern Denmark, publishing their findings in the journal Diabetologia.
They said wine had the most substantial effect—probably because it contains chemical compounds that improve blood sugar balance.
But gin and some other spirits had a massively converse effect on women, with just one drink a day increasing the risk of diabetes by 83 per cent.
The study examined the habits of 70,551 men and women in Denmark across five years.
A total of 859 men and 887 women from the study group developed diabetes.
The investigation did not distinguish between the two forms of diabetes, Type 1 and the much more common Type 2.
"Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with the risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over 3 to 4 weekdays is associated with the lowest risks of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account," the authors wrote.
In terms of the amount of alcohol consumed, men who consumed 14 drinks per week were 43 per cent less likely to develop diabetes than those who drank nothing, the scientists claimed.
And the diabetes risk to women who consumed nine drinks per week was said to be 58 per cent lower than it was for non-drinkers.
For both me Continue reading

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Note: This article is part of our library of resources for Forms of Diabetes.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, autoimmune condition that occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. This attack leaves the pancreas with little or no ability to produce insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Without insulin, sugar stays in the blood and can cause serious damage to organ systems, causing people to experience Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
Learn about the warning signs of T1D.
When we eat, our bodies break down complex carbohydrates into glucose, the fuel we need. The pancreas releases insulin that acts as a kind of key to unlock the cells, allowing glucose to enter and be absorbed. Without fuel, cells in the body cannot survive. In addition, excess glucose can make the bloodstream too acidic, resulting in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which can be fatal if not treated. People with T1D must inject or pump insulin into their bodies every day to carefully regulate blood sugar.
Living with T1D is a full-time balancing act requiring constant attention to avoid acute, life-threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or the long-term damage done by hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Blood sugar levels must be monitored either with finger pricks or a continuous glucose monitor. Insulin doses must then be carefully calculated based upon activity and stress levels, food intake, illness and additional factors. These calculations are rarely perfect resulting in a tremendous emotional and mental burden for both Continue reading

Rigorous diet can put Type 2 diabetes into remission, study finds

Rigorous diet can put Type 2 diabetes into remission, study finds

Some people with Type 2 diabetes were able to put the disease in remission without medication by following a rigorous diet plan, according to a study published today in the Lancet medical journal.
"Our findings suggest that even if you have had Type 2 diabetes for six years, putting the disease into remission is feasible," Michael Lean, a professor from the University of Glasgow in Scotland who co-led the study, said in a statement.
The researchers looked at 149 participants who have had Type 2 diabetes for up to six years and monitored them closely as they underwent a liquid diet that provided only 825 to 853 calories per day for three to five months. The participants were then reintroduced to solid food and maintained a structured diet until the end of the yearlong study.
The researchers found that almost half of the participants (68 total) were able to put their diabetes in remission without the use of medication after one year. In addition, those who undertook the study also lost an average of more than 20 pounds. Thirty-two of the 149 participants in the study, however, dropped out of the program.
The study comes at a time when more than 100 million American adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a report released earlier this year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prediabetes was defined by the CDC as a condition that if not treated often leads to Type 2 diabetes within five years.
In addition, approximately 90 to 95 percent of the more than 30 million Americans living with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC Continue reading

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