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Pre-diabetes, Diabetes Rates Fuel National Health Crisis

Pre-diabetes, diabetes rates fuel national health crisis

Pre-diabetes, diabetes rates fuel national health crisis

Americans are getting fatter, and older. These converging trends are putting the USA on the path to an alarming health crisis: Nearly half of adults have either pre-diabetes or diabetes, raising their risk of heart attacks, blindness, amputations and cancer.
Federal health statistics show that 12.3% of Americans 20 and older have diabetes, either diagnosed or undiagnosed. Another 37% have pre-diabetes, a condition marked by higher-than-normal blood sugar. That's up from 27% a decade ago. An analysis of 16 studies involving almost 900,000 people worldwide, published in the current issue of the journal Diabetologia, shows pre-diabetes not only sets the stage for diabetes but also increases the risk of cancer by 15%.
"It's bad everywhere," says Philip Kern, director of the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Kentucky. "You almost have the perfect storm of an aging population and a population growing more obese, plus fewer reasons to move and be active, and fast food becoming more prevalent."
Tabitha Jordan of Louisville says she was eating poorly, struggling to find time for exercise and packing on pounds when her doctor diagnosed pre-diabetes in October. She recognized the danger; she'd seen her mother go blind, lose toes and eventually die from diabetes complications at age 63.
"It was kind of like, 'It's time for me to do something,' " says Jordan, 47. "I knew things had to change."
Doctors and experts coined the name pre-diabetes in the late 1990s, replacing less worrisome terms such as "borderline diabetes" that didn't convey the seriousness Continue reading

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Creating Diabetes Tattoos That Sense Changes in Blood Sugar

Creating Diabetes Tattoos That Sense Changes in Blood Sugar

It’s not often that the words “cool” and “diabetes” get used in the same sentence, but researchers at MIT and Harvard have joined the two concepts with an idea for creating tattoos that change color based on the blood sugar level of the person wearing them.
The project has the oddly dystopian name of the Dermal Abyss (or, as they call it d-abyss) and is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and Harvard Medical School, according to Katia Vega, a post doctoral associate at MIT and a member of the team.
“The Dermal Abyss is a proof-of-concept that illustrates the potential of culturally and medically integrated biosensors,” Vega says. “They are biosensor tattoos that visibly react to changes in the metabolism. The purpose of the work is to light the imagination of biotechnologists and stimulate public support for such efforts.”
The tattoos they designed will not be showing up in a pharmacy or tattoo shop any time soon. “The purpose of the work is to highlight a novel possibility for biosensors rather than bring a medical device to market,” Vega says. “As such, there are currently no plans to develop the Dermal Abyss as a product or to pursue clinical trials.”
Like a hot concept car, there is real technology in the tattoos that were produced for the project. Various iterations of the tattoos sense changes not only in glucose but in pH, which can indicate dehydration and changes in sodium ion, which can give indications of hypertension.
For glucose, the colors change from a light blue at a reading of five, and go th Continue reading

Diabetes medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Diabetes medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding

In the past, women with diabetes were at high risk for complications during pregnancy. Today, with advancements in treatment and good blood glucose control, women with diabetes can have a safe pregnancy and delivery similar to that of a woman without diabetes.
(Please note: this article focuses on pre-existing diabetes, which refers to women who have diabetes before becoming pregnant. This is different than gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy.)
Planning your pregnancy
For women who have diabetes, obtaining preconception (‘before pregnancy’) care is associated with better birth outcomes. By discussing pregnancy with your healthcare team prior to conception, they can help you reach your blood glucose targets, start folic acid supplementation and discontinue potentially harmful medications to lay the groundwork for a healthy pregnancy.
Blood glucose targets
It is important that woman who are planning a pregnancy get their preconception A1C levels to less than 7%, or as close to normal as can be achieved safely. This will decrease the risk of spontaneous abortion, birth defects and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (this is known as ‘preeclampsia’). Good blood glucose control in pregnancy is important, because high blood glucose levels can cause the baby’s size and weight to be larger than average and increase the risk of complications during and after delivery.
Women should speak to their healthcare team, as blood glucose targets change in pregnancy; hence, more frequent blood glucose monitoring is recommended to ensure these goals are being met. Continue reading

Living with Diabetes Teeth and Gum Problems to be Aware of

Living with Diabetes Teeth and Gum Problems to be Aware of

Comments Off on Living with Diabetes Teeth and Gum Problems to be Aware of
One of the most common sedentary lifestyle diseases affecting very many Americans today is diabetes. When discussing the side effects of diabetes, a lot people often concentrate on the sugar related implications and oversee a very important problem associated with diabetes- dental disease. Unknown to many, diabetes puts patients at a very high risk of getting dental problems. The sugar related problems extend every part of the body and teeth are not an exception. If you are suffering from diabetes therefore, you should be weary of teeth and gum problems. Here are some of the most common teeth and gum problems associated with diabetes and how you can stay clear of the said problems;
Gum diseases
One of the most common problems associated with diabetes is the gum disease. Gum disease takes two forms: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is less serious, but can develop into periodontitis if left untreated for a very long period of time. In addition to cutting off blood to the gums, diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting the gums at risk for gingivitis, an inflammation caused by the bacteria in the form of plaque. The main symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen, and bleeding gums. It is important to contact your dentist as soon as these symptoms develop so the problem can be addressed.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis, which affects the tissue and bones that support your teeth. Periodontal disease is a more serious infection and Continue reading

Living With Diabetes: Teeth and Gum Problems to be Aware of

Living With Diabetes: Teeth and Gum Problems to be Aware of

Diabetes can lead to a whole host of health problems, but did you know that it can also put you at risk for dental issues? The implications of high blood sugar extend to every part of the body — including teeth and gums. When it comes to diabetes, teeth and gum problems are something you need to be aware of.
Diabetes: Teeth and Gum Problems to Look Out For
Here are few of the ways diabetes can wreak havoc on your mouth, and how you can prevent this damage from occurring if you are one of the 21.9 million people in the U.S. who suffer from diabetes.
Gum Disease
Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums, which increases the risk for gum disease. This risk is amplified if you had poor dental health prior to being diagnosed with diabetes.
Gum disease takes two forms: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is less serious, but can develop into periodontitis if left untreated. In addition to cutting off blood to the gums, diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting the gums at risk for gingivitis, an inflammation caused by the bacteria in the form of plaque. The longer plaque remains on your teeth, the more it irritates the gingiva — the part of your gums around the base of your teeth.
The main symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen, and bleeding gums. It is important to contact your dentist as soon as these symptoms develop so the problem can be addressed.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis, which affects the tissue and bones that support your teeth. In addition to red bleeding gums, other symptoms incl Continue reading

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