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Managing Diabetes: Six Healthy Steps With The Most Benefit

Managing Diabetes: Six Healthy Steps with the Most Benefit

Managing Diabetes: Six Healthy Steps with the Most Benefit

Want to boost your overall health with diabetes? A Johns Hopkins expert offers healthy strategies to help you control your blood sugar, protect your heart, and more.
Want more information, support, and advice about practical, everyday ways to stay healthy with diabetes? Ask your doctor about a diabetes self-management class near you. In a 2011 study from The Johns Hopkins University, people who took diabetes-education classes saw their A1C reduced by a significant 0.72 percent.
About 17.7 million Americans with diabetes take medications—pills, injections, or both—to help keep their blood sugar within a healthy range, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s important, and it’s important to take medication as prescribed, but don’t stop there. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than those without this chronic condition, according to the American Heart Association.
“It’s very important to take care of your heart health too,” says Johns Hopkins diabetes expert Rita Rastogi Kalyani, M.D., M.H.S. “Making smart choices every day can help.”
Kalyani recommends starting with these six critical steps today.
Extra pounds? Lose a little. You don’t have to be a “biggest loser” or get an “extreme makeover” to enjoy big weight-loss benefits if you have diabetes. In a nationwide study of 5,145 people with type 2 diabetes, those who shed just 5 to 10 percent of their weight (for someone weighing 175 pounds, that’s a loss of 9 to 17.5 pounds) were three times more likely to lower t Continue reading

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Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes

Coeliac disease is more common in people who have Type 1 diabetes
If you have coeliac disease and Type 1 diabetes, you should get guidance from a dietitian about how to manage your diet.
Coeliac disease is more common in people who have Type 1 diabetes because they are both autoimmune diseases. Between 4 and 9% of people with Type 1 diabetes will also have coeliac disease.
There is no increased risk of coeliac disease in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Diagnosis
For most people, Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed before coeliac disease, although it can happen the other way around.
Some people with Type 1 diabetes appear to have mild or no obvious symptoms of coeliac disease, but their gut lining will still be damaged when they eat gluten.
Coeliac disease can be missed in people with Type 1 diabetes as the symptoms of ill health can be attributed to the diabetes.
When coeliac disease is diagnosed before diabetes, the symptoms of diabetes tend to be more severe and there is a higher likelihood of other autoimmune diseases.1
Recurrent hypoglycaemia can be a sign of coeliac disease in people with Type 1 diabetes.2 In children, having diabetes and growth problems may mean they also have coeliac disease.3
Some people with Type 1 diabetes may test negative for coeliac disease early in their diagnosis, but then positive at a later stage. British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (BSPGHAN) recommended that children with Type 1 diabetes should be retested after three years or if symptoms occur. However, we would refer to the updated NICE guidelines which recomme Continue reading

Gluten-free diets may be tied to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes

Gluten-free diets may be tied to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes

Gluten-free diets are all the rage, but shunning gluten may offer no benefit to overall health for most people, a new analysis suggests.
In fact, the people in the study who ate more gluten were 13 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes over the 30-year study than those who ate less gluten, the researchers found.
For some individuals, there are health reasons to avoid gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Certain people, for example, have an intolerance to gluten, which can lead to abdominal pain, bloating or fatigue. Others have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects mostly the small intestine; when people with this disease eat gluten, their immune system responds by attacking the intestine’s lining.
However, even some people who do not have celiac disease or an intolerance to gluten believe that gluten-free diets are healthier than those that include gluten products, and the researchers wanted to see whether this belief might have any scientific merit, said lead study author Geng Zong, a nutrition research fellow at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
In the study, the researchers looked at surveys conducted every two to four years in which nearly 200,000 people reported what they ate. The researchers estimated the participants’ gluten intake based on this information, and then looked at which participants went on to develop Type 2 diabetes over the 30-year study period. Type 2 — the most common form of diabetes — occurs when the body has lost the ability to use insulin efficiently. Th Continue reading

Does Nigeria have the most people with diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa?

Does Nigeria have the most people with diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa?

Diabetes is a growing concern for Nigeria, a drug multinational executive said ahead of a recent summit on the chronic disease in Lagos.
“About three years ago South Africa and Ethiopia tended to have more diabetes than Nigeria,” said Dr Philip Ikeme, the medical director of the Nigeria, Ghana and eastern African arm of pharmaceutical giant Sanofi. Among Sanofi’s products are the insulin shots used to manage diabetes.
“Now Nigeria has the highest incidence of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa.” (Note: Incidence refers to the number of new cases in a given period, say a month or a year, while prevalence is the total number of people in a population with a disease in a specific time period.)
“In terms of actual numbers we are looking at five million people whom we know have diabetes,” Ikeme said, adding that the actual number was “much more”.
Does the data support Ikeme’s claim?
We examined the numbers.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by the body’s inability to produce required amounts of insulin – the hormone that regulates blood sugar – or to efficiently use the insulin it produces, according to the World Health Organisation. These are called type 1 and type 2 diabetes respectively.
In 2015, it was the 6th leading cause of death in lower and middle income countries. WHO notes that over the past decade, the prevalence of diabetes has risen faster in low and middle-income countries than in high-income ones. It estimates that in 2014, about 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were living with the disease, up from 4 million in 1 Continue reading

Does gluten prevent type 2 diabetes? Probably not

Does gluten prevent type 2 diabetes? Probably not

A recent analysis of a massive study observing the effect of food on the health of nearly 200,000 American health professionals suggested eating more gluten was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
But is it really this simple?
Can gluten be linked to diabetes?
A considerable amount of published research has looked at the potential links between coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes (a chronic condition where the pancreas produces little or no insulin). This has led to the discovery that they often share similar genetic markers linked to the immune system.
Another recent study found that although coeliac disease was more common in people with type 1 diabetes there were no more cases of coeliac disease in people with type 2 diabetes (which usually presents in adulthood, and is typically associated with lifestyle factors) than the general population.
However, while studies in animals suggest gluten may increase risk of developing type 1 diabetes, human studies do not. A large review investigating when infants are first given gluten and their risk of developing type 1 diabetes found no link, unless infants were fed solids in their first three months, which is much younger than the six months recommended by the World Health Organisation.
And in animal studies of type 2 diabetes, it has been suggested gluten may increase the risk of developing diabetes.
How reliable are the study results?
Mice studies are interesting, but we need to look at data from people. This is typically done in either clinical trials, which can assess causality (that one thing caused the other), Continue reading

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