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Managing The Highs And Lows Of Diabetes

Managing the highs and lows of diabetes

Managing the highs and lows of diabetes

With proper knowledge, skills and tools, life need not be a roller coaster ride for diabetics
The serious long-term complications of high blood sugar levels are much publicised. But for some people living with diabetes, it is the fear of very low blood sugar levels that can cause crippling anxiety.
One such person is Ben, a self-employed 41-year-old who was diagnosed with diabetes 12 years ago.
He was initially managed with oral medications but required insulin therapy after four years, when the oral medications stopped being effective.
He had to inject himself with insulin before every meal. He wasn't sure of the amount of insulin to inject and often used too little or too much.
His life became a daily roller coaster of high and low blood sugar levels as he grappled with the right balance of insulin and carbohydrates.
By the time Ben was referred to the Diabetes Centre at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital a year ago, his drastic high and low blood sugar levels were causing him a lot of anxiety.
He tested his blood sugar levels 20 times a day and often woke up at night in panic, worried that he was having a low blood sugar attack or hypoglycaemia.
A hypo, or hypoglycaemia attack, occurs when blood sugar levels fall too low because of a mismatch between the body's insulin level and the amount of food (carbohydrates) eaten.
It results in unpleasant symptoms such as shakiness, sweating, palpitations, confusion and blurred vision.
If left untreated, a hypo is a medical emergency as it can cause a coma and even death.
This condition can happen to a person with diabetes, depending on the t Continue reading

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WHO Calls for Sugar Tax to Fight Obesity and Diabetes

WHO Calls for Sugar Tax to Fight Obesity and Diabetes

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday governments should raise taxes on sugary drinks to fight what it says are global obesity and diabetes epidemics.
If retail prices of sugar-sweetened drinks are increased by 20 percent through taxation, there is a proportional drop in consumption, it said in a report titled "Fiscal Policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases".
Obesity more than doubled worldwide between 1980 and 2014, with 11 percent of men and 15 percent of women classified as obese—more than 500 million people, the WHO said.
An estimated 42 million children under age 5 were overweight or obese in 2015, said Dr. Francesco Branca, director of WHO's department for nutrition and health. This was an increase of about 11 million over the past 15 years.
Additionally, some 422 million adults across the world have diabetes.
The WHO said there was increasingly clear evidence that taxes and subsidies influence purchasing behavior, and that this could be used to curb consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and hence fight obesity and diabetes.
"We are now in a place where we can say there is enough evidence and we encourage countries to implement effective tax policy," Temo Waqanivalu, coordinator at WHO's department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion, told a briefing.
The United States has the world's highest rates of obesity per population, but China also has similar absolute numbers among both men and women, Branca, the nutrition director, said.
Sweet drinks are also popular in Latin America, where people in Chile and Mexico are the bigges Continue reading

Fasting-mimicking diet may reverse diabetes

Fasting-mimicking diet may reverse diabetes

A diet designed to imitate the effects of fasting appears to reverse diabetes, a new USC-led study shows.
The fasting-like diet promotes the growth of new insulin-producing pancreatic cells that reduce symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in mice, according to the study on mice and human cells led by Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.
“Cycling a fasting-mimicking diet and a normal diet essentially reprogrammed non-insulin-producing cells into insulin-producing cells,” said Longo, a professor of biological sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
By activating the regeneration of pancreatic cells, the researchers were able to rescue mice from late-stage Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They also reactivated insulin production in human pancreatic cells from Type 1 diabetes patients.
The reprogrammed adult cells and organs prompted a regeneration in which damaged cells were replaced with new functional ones, Longo said.
The study published on Feb. 23 in the journal Cell is the latest in a series of studies to demonstrate promising health benefits of a brief, periodic diet that mimics the effects of a water-only fast.
Reversing insulin resistance and depletion
In Type 1 and late-stage Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas loses insulin-producing beta cells, increasing instability in blood sugar levels. The researchers simulated Type 1 diabetes in mice by administering high doses of the drug streptozotocin— killing the insulin-producing b-cells — and studied mice with Type 2 diabetes, characte Continue reading

Fasting-mimicking diet may reverse diabetes

Fasting-mimicking diet may reverse diabetes

A diet designed to imitate the effects of fasting appears to reverse diabetes by reprogramming cells, a new USC-led study shows.
The fasting-like diet promotes the growth of new insulin-producing pancreatic cells that reduce symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in mice, according to the study on mice and human cells led by Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.
"Cycles of a fasting-mimicking diet and a normal diet essentially reprogrammed non-insulin-producing cells into insulin-producing cells," said Longo, who is also a professor of biological sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "By activating the regeneration of pancreatic cells, we were able to rescue mice from late-stage type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We also reactivated insulin production in human pancreatic cells from type 1 diabetes patients."
The reprogrammed adult cells and organs prompted a regeneration in which damaged cells were replaced with new functional ones, he said.
The study published on Feb. 23 in the journal Cell, is the latest in a series of studies to demonstrate promising health benefits of a brief, periodic diet that mimics the effects of a water-only fast.
Reversing insulin resistance and depletion
In type 1 and late-stage type 2 diabetes, the pancreas loses insulin-producing beta cells, increasing instability in blood sugar levels. The study showed a remarkable reversal of diabetes in mice placed on the fasting-mimicking diet for four days each week. They regained healthy insulin production, reduced insulin Continue reading

Fasting Diet Could Reverse Diabetes By Regenerating Pancreas, Study Suggests

Fasting Diet Could Reverse Diabetes By Regenerating Pancreas, Study Suggests

Following a simple fasting diet could help those living with diabetes, according to a recent study.
Brief periods of fasting has been shown to regenerate the pancreas, by “rebooting” cells that are unable to produce insulin - the hormone that helps control blood sugar levels.
According to the NHS, diabetes is caused when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level, or the body is unable to use the insulin that is produced.
There are 3.9 million people currently living with diabetes in the UK and by 2025 it is estimated that five million people will suffer from the condition - 90% of whom will have Type 2 diabetes.
The “fasting-mimicking” diet, which was tested on mice, provided an “exciting” alternative approach to treating the condition.
The diet involves five days of fasting on a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, high-unsaturated fat diet, then returning to a normal diet.
“Our conclusion is that by pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back―by starving them and then feeding them again―the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming that rebuilds the part of the organ that’s no longer functioning,” explained lead author Dr Valter Longo, from the University of Southern California.
The mouse experiments were showed to benefit both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
“Medically, these findings have the potential to be very important because we’ve shown - at least in mouse models - that you can use diet to reverse the symptoms of diabetes,” Dr Longo added Continue reading

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