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Stem Cell Implants Could Replace Insulin Shots For Type 1 Diabetes

Stem Cell Implants Could Replace Insulin Shots For Type 1 Diabetes

Stem Cell Implants Could Replace Insulin Shots For Type 1 Diabetes

Around 42 million people worldwide have type 1 diabetes, which is caused by the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
A company in San Diego, California, has created a credit-card-sized implant, called PEC-Direct. The implant contains cells obtained from embryonic stem cells that can grow inside the body into the specialized islet cells that get destroyed in type 1 diabetes.
The implant is embedded below the skin and will release insulin when blood sugar levels rise, thus restoring them to normal.
“If it works, we would call it a functional cure,” says Paul Laikind, of Viacyte. “It’s not truly a cure because we wouldn’t address the autoimmune cause of the disease, but we would rather be replacing the missing cells.”
Once implanted, tiny openings on the surface of the outer fabric of the device allow blood vessels to penetrate inside, nourishing the small island of the parent cells. Once these cells have matured – which should take about three months – the hope is that they will be able to monitor sugar levels in the blood, and release insulin as necessary.
If successful, it could free people with type 1 diabetes from having to constantly check their blood sugar levels and inject insulin, although they would need to take immunosuppressive drugs to stop their bodies from destroying the new cells.
“This strategy could really change the way we treat type 1 diabetes in the future,” says Emily Burns of the charity Diabetes UK. Continue reading

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What is Insulin Resistance and How to Reverse It?

What is Insulin Resistance and How to Reverse It?

Most of us do not understand the meaning of the condition, insulin resistance. It is a very serious condition that ultimately leads to diabetes as well as other health problems. Hence, it is imperative we know about it and take all the necessary steps to tackle and reverse the condition. The objective of the article is to familiarize you with the problem of insulin resistance while at the same time helping you to reverse the condition. So, come and join in fir the article “What is Insulin Resistance and How to Reverse It?”
What is the Meaning of Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance refers to a condition where the body loses its sensitivity to the hormone insulin. When a person suffers from this condition, the glucose is unable to enter into the cells appropriately and the required amount of energy is not produced in the body. When you do not have the problem of insulin resistance, the level of insulin rises to a small amount after eating. The liver is stimulated to take up the essential glucose from the blood and thereby convert the same into energy. Hence, the level of glucose in the blood thereby falls and the raised insulin also balances itself out.
However, when you are having the problem of insulin resistance, the blood sugar could be normal but the level of insulin is always high as the liver is not responding to the hormone which makes the pancreas release more of insulin. The calories are then stored as fats and there are major problems in the body.
With time, the problem of insulin resistance can cause severe health conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases Continue reading

Tips for Blood Sugar Control When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Tips for Blood Sugar Control When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Check your blood sugar levels at least once a day with a blood glucose meter, and keep a record of the readings. Know what’s normal, high, and low. You’ll be able to spot patterns and give your health care team the information they need to craft a treatment plan for when things get off-track.
Even when you’re eating healthy food, you can have too much of a good thing. A good rule of thumb: Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, and split the other half between a lean protein and a grain.
It's a good way to bulk up your meals. And since your body doesn’t digest it, it doesn’t raise your blood sugar. Shoot for 50 grams a day. Fruits and veggies with the skin on, whole grains, and legumes are all good sources.
Carbohydrates turn right into glucose after you eat them. So it’s extra important to keep them in check. When you choose your carbs, give your body the good stuff: fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans. Ease up on less healthy options, like white bread and white rice.
When you have diabetes, you feel hotter faster than other people. A hot body doesn't deal with blood sugar as well. Wear loose-fitting, cool clothes and a hat. Head for the air conditioning when temps are their highest.
Regular exercise makes insulin work better in your body. Being active is vital to lowering your blood sugar, so find your workout groove. Take walks, swim a few laps, do yoga, dance -- find something you enjoy, and make it part of every day.
You don’t have to avoid it altogether -- but be smart about drinking when you do. If you drink, women should stick to one 12- Continue reading

Mary Tyler Moore’s death a reminder of the toll of diabetes

Mary Tyler Moore’s death a reminder of the toll of diabetes

Mary Tyler Moore debuted on television in the 1950s, appearing in commercials that aired during a popular show. Her star continued to rise until Moore landed the eponymous sitcom that became a staple of 1970s pop culture.
But it was another event that cast her in a new, unfamiliar and lifelong role: a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes at age 33. Moore, who died Jan. 25 at age 80, did more than just fight her disease. She leveraged her star power to become an advocate for diabetes research.
Moore’s official cause of death, cardiopulmonary arrest, was released Jan. 30. Diabetes was listed as a contributing factor.
As a physician who directs a diabetes institute at an academic medical center, I see this moment as a teaching opportunity about her disease. I also hope to show how Moore used her celebrity for good in the fight against diabetes, which kills 69,000 people a year, more than the toll of HIV/AIDS and breast cancer combined.
An old problem, with new and growing numbers
The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes, in all forms, in the U.S. increased by 382 percent from 1988 to 2014.
There are two types, but both involve the build-up of sugar in the blood, which can damage blood vessels and organs and lead to death and disability.
Type 1 diabetes arises when the pancreas fails to produce insulin that allows the body to extract energy from food. Sugar builds up in the blood rather than going to cells, where it is used for energy. About 1.25 million people have this type of diabetes, and it is what Mary Tyler Moore suffered from.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common, with about 30 mi Continue reading

Elderly Women at Higher Risk of Developing Diabetes While Taking Statins

Elderly Women at Higher Risk of Developing Diabetes While Taking Statins

The risks may be outweighing the benefits, but only to a point.
Statins, the inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase, have long been an important piece in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disorders. By reducing production of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), the risk of developing cardio- and cerebrovascular events has been significantly reduced in patients with and without diabetes. Statins are fairly well tolerated, with the major use limiting side effect being myalgias, which are largely associated with increases in statin dosage and potency, as well as prolonged periods of use. Since the discovery and increased use of statin therapy, development of diabetes has also been linked to their use, in varying degrees.
Several studies over the years have proposed mechanisms by which statins promote diabetes, including decreasing insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity, but the consensus remains open. This could be due to variation among the class itself. For example, pravastatin has been shown to be less likely to cause diabetes than the other statins, whereas atorvastatin, simvastatin, and rosuvastatin have the most profound effects on insulin secretion and sensitivity. It is not surprising that the mid- to high-range doses of atorvastatin and rosuvastatin are considered to be high potency, carrying the largest effect on lowering LDL-C, with higher dose simvastatin being moderate potency. Further clouding the issue is the finding that the most dramatic reduction of insulin sensitivity occurred in patients who were normoglycemic, suggesting th Continue reading

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