New Diabetes Test Could Be More Accurate

New Diabetes Test Could Be More Accurate

New Diabetes Test Could Be More Accurate

For more than 400 million people with diabetes around the world, blood testing is a routine part of managing their disease.
Those tests, however, aren’t always accurate for a variety of reasons.
A team of researchers thinks there might be a better way.
The researchers say they have devised a new method for estimating blood sugar levels that can reduce errors by more than 50 percent.
The researchers published their findings today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
In their study, they combined a mathematical model of hemoglobin glycation in red blood cells with large data sets of patient glucose measurements. It indicated that the age of red blood cells is a major indicator of A1C variation because hemoglobin accumulates more sugar over time.
When they controlled the age of cells and tested it on more than 200 people with diabetes, they say the error rate went from 1 in 3 to 1 in 10.
One of the researchers, Dr. John Higgins, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, told Healthline these calculations can be used to correct the test results that people with diabetes now get at their regular checkups.
It can also provide an estimate of the A1C result for patients using continuous glucose monitors.
Essentially, it has the potential to be the new gold standard in diabetic testing, Higgins said.
Read more: Prediabetes: To screen or not to screen? »
What’s wrong with current tests
The current gold standard for diabetes screening is the glycohemoglobin test (HbA1c).
It is a general gauge of diabetes control that specifies an average blood glucose level over Continue reading

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Alan Thicke Will Always be a Diabetes Dad

Alan Thicke Will Always be a Diabetes Dad

The “Growing Pains” star continues to fundraise for cure research on behalf of his grown son.
Alan Thicke is worried that he will arrive late to his venue, so he calls from the road for our telephone interview. Thicke, who stars with his family in the mock-reality television show Unusually Thicke, is racing to a venue in New Jersey to host a show called Dancing Pros Live.
“It’s like Dancing With the Stars, but without the stars,” Thicke quips.
Thicke makes time for the interview because diabetes is never far from his mind, even though his son, Brennan, is now fully grown and a medical marijuana entrepreneur in California. Thicke, who became known as the ultimate television dad in the 80’s sitcom Growing Pains, says that parents of children with Type 1 diabetes never stop worrying about their children, even if they no longer manage day-to-day blood sugar levels.
“I think he certainly knows I’m completely there for him,” he says. “I’ve put a lot of time and energy and money into promoting the cause and finding a cure for my eldest son.”
Thicke is a veteran of the diabetes research fundraising circuit, both for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and for the Alan Thicke Centre For Juvenile Diabetes Research at the University of Western Ontario. He often can be found promoting other causes, as well. He jokes that philanthropy can be a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” world; if he speaks at the events of other causes, others will reciprocate and speak on behalf of diabetes research. Philanthropy helps Thicke feel like he’s doing som Continue reading

New treatment on the horizon for type 1 diabetes sufferers

New treatment on the horizon for type 1 diabetes sufferers

Patients suffering from type 1 diabetes may soon have access to improved approaches to treat the disease, courtesy of new research out of Sydney's Westmead Institute for Medical Research.
The team of researchers, led by Professor Jenny Gunton, discovered that pancreatic islets transplants delivered into the quadriceps muscle work just as successfully as the current clinical practice of transplanting islets into a patient's liver via the portal vein.
Lead researcher Ms Rebecca Stokes said that transplants into the liver can present certain risks for the patient, so their research investigated safer and more beneficial treatment options for transplant recipients.
"Islets are cells in the pancreas that produce insulin," Ms Stokes explained.
"Pancreatic islet transplantation is used as a cure for type 1 diabetes as it allows the recipient to produce and regulate insulin after their own islet cells have been destroyed by the disease.
"Currently, islet transplants are infused into a patient's liver via the portal vein. This site is used for islet transplants due to its exposure to both nutrients and insulin in the body.
"However, islet infusion into the liver also presents certain risks for the patient, including potential complications from bleeding, blood clots and portal hypertension.
"This suggests that there may be better treatment options for patients receiving islet transplants.
"We investigated alternative transplantation sites for human and mouse islets in recipient mice, comparing the portal vein with quadriceps muscle and kidney, liver and spleen capsules.
"Colleagues Continue reading

Losing weight is hard, but it’s not any harder if you have type 2 diabetes

Losing weight is hard, but it’s not any harder if you have type 2 diabetes

A study has found weight loss could reverse type 2 diabetes. The UK clinical trial showed that 46% of people who followed a low-calorie diet, among other measures, for 12 months were able to stop their type 2 diabetes medications.
This confirms a position outlined in a previous paper that people can beat diabetes into remission if they lost about 15 kilograms. Another study showed that prediabetes (a blood sugar level that is high, but lower than necessary for diabetes diagnosis) can be prevented by losing as little as 2kg.
If weight loss isn’t already hard enough, many people think it’s more difficult if you have diabetes. One small study perhaps sowed the seed for this defeatist idea. A dozen overweight diabetic subjects and their overweight non-diabetic spouses were treated together in a behavioural weight-control program. After 20 weeks, the diabetic group lost 7.4kg on average while their non-diabetic spouses lost 13.4kg.
But there’s more to this story than meets the eye. In fact, losing weight with type 2 diabetes is no harder than it is without it.
Where does this idea comes from?
Type 2 diabetes triples the risk of heart attack and stroke, and is the leading cause of blindness, amputations and kidney failure. Treatment with modern drugs improves the outlook, but complications still develop and life expectancy is substantially reduced, especially for younger people. So beating it into remission is the ultimate goal of management.
If weight loss helps reach that goal, people need to know if it’s harder to achieve than without diabetes. From all the information Continue reading

Many adults with diabetes delay insulin therapy

Many adults with diabetes delay insulin therapy

(Reuters Health) - Three in ten adults with type 2 diabetes who need to start taking insulin to lower their blood sugar don’t begin treatment when their doctors tell them to, a recent study suggests.
On average, these patients delay insulin for about two years, researchers report in Diabetic Medicine.
“This matters to patients because insulin therapy is typically offered to patients with high blood sugar levels,” said senior study author Dr. Alexander Turchin of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
“If the patient does not start insulin therapy and does not initiate any other changes to bring their blood sugar levels down, their blood sugar can stay high for years, leading to diabetes complications such as blindness, kidney failure and heart attacks,” Turchin said by email.
Globally, about one in 10 adults have diabetes, according to the World Health Organization. Most have type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity and aging and occurs when the body can’t make or process enough of the hormone insulin.
Medications as well as lifestyle changes such as improved diet and exercise habits can help manage diabetes and keep symptoms in check. When diabetes isn’t well managed, however, dangerously high blood sugar can eventually lead to blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke.
While some previous research has found diabetics often fail to start insulin when it’s needed, it’s been unclear how much of this is due to doctors failing to prescribe the medication versus patients refusing to take it, Turchin Continue reading

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