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The Connection Between Diabetes And Stroke

The Connection Between Diabetes and Stroke

The Connection Between Diabetes and Stroke

If you have diabetes you are at higher risk for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. As with many of the health problems associated with diabetes, higher-than-normal blood glucose (blood sugar) levels raise the risks.
High Blood Sugar Levels Raise Stroke Risk
Persistently elevated blood glucose levels contribute to the buildup of plaque in blood vessels. Plaque -- a pasty substance made up of cholesterol, calcium, cellular waste and protein -- sticks to the walls of blood vessels and can interfere with blood flow.
This impaired blood flow can lead to stroke.
Your blood sugar level over the past couple of months is indicated by the hemoglobin A1c test. The American Diabetes Association says that people with A1c levels above 7% are nearly three times as likely to have a stroke as people with an A1c level below 5%.
For those with diabetes, the important thing to do when it comes to reducing stroke risk is to keep blood sugars within the target range. Controlling blood glucose levels will help minimize plaque buildup.
What Is a Stroke?
A stroke involves blood vessels and the brain. According to the American Stroke Association, “A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot [ischemic stroke] or bursts [hemorrhagic stroke]. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.”
Strokes happen suddenly and require immediate medical attention.
Treatment within 60 minutes of the first symptoms often leads to a good prognosis. If deprived of oxygen for more than a Continue reading

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Chasing Diabetes' Connection To Pancreatic Cancer

Chasing Diabetes' Connection To Pancreatic Cancer

Diabetes and pancreatic cancer affect the same organ, but they have more in common than just their location. People who have one of these conditions are also more likely to have the other one.
About 30 million Americans have diabetes. Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in nearly 54,000 people each year, and it's the third-leading cause of cancer-related death. Most people aren't diagnosed until their cancer has already spread and is harder to treat.
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Pancreatic cancer has gained attention from the diagnoses of several prominent figures, including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who was diagnosed in 2003 and died Oct. 5, 2011. Jobs had an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, a rare form of the disease. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and actor Patrick Swayze have also faced pancreatic cancer. Swayze died in 2009. The lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 65.
Researchers have been looking at the link between diabetes and pancreatic cancer for many years. Now they're trying to use this connection to diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier, when treatment is more likely to improve survival.
Diabetes is both a risk for, and a warning sign of, pancreatic cancer. "The relationship goes both ways," says Lynn Matrisian, PhD, chief science officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Researchers don't know exactly why, but people who have had diabetes for several years are slightly more likely to get pancreatic cancer than those without diabetes.
Pancreatic cancer can also cause diabetes. About half of people with pancreatic cancer have high blood sugar. When the Continue reading

Monogenic Diabetes (Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus & MODY)

Monogenic Diabetes (Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus & MODY)

The most common forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, are polygenic, meaning they are related to a change, or defect, in multiple genes. Environmental factors, such as obesity in the case of type 2 diabetes, also play a part in the development of polygenic forms of diabetes. Polygenic forms of diabetes often run in families. Doctors diagnose polygenic forms of diabetes by testing blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, in individuals with risk factors or symptoms of diabetes.
Genes provide the instructions for making proteins within the cell. If a gene has a change or mutation, the protein may not function properly. Genetic mutations that cause diabetes affect proteins that play a role in the ability of the body to produce insulin or in the ability of insulin to lower blood glucose. People typically have two copies of most genes, with one gene inherited from each parent.
What are monogenic forms of diabetes?
Some rare forms of diabetes result from mutations or changes in a single gene and are called monogenic. In the United States, monogenic forms of diabetes account for about 1 to 4 percent of all cases of diabetes.1,2,3,4 In most cases of monogenic diabetes, the gene mutation is inherited from one or both parents. Sometimes the gene mutation develops spontaneously, meaning that the mutation is not carried by either of the parents. Most mutations that cause monogenic diabetes reduce the body’s ability to produce insulin, a protein produced in the pancreas that helps the body use glucose for energy.
Neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM) and maturity-onset diabetes of the you Continue reading

Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)

Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)

Maturity-onset diabetes of the young or MODY is considered by many physicians and researchers to be a subset of Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and is often misdiagnosed as T2D.[1] Some estimates are that over 90% of MODY patients are misdiagnosed as having T2D because many physicians are not aware of the distinctions.[2] About 1-2% of all diabetes cases can be considered MODY. The terminology currently used can be confusing because MODY and T2D are very similar and the distinctions are still being studied. For example, there are least six different genes that when mutated or damaged can cause a form of MODY. However, only three are officially recognized as forms of MODY (MODY1, MODY2 and MODY3—see below). The others are not universally recognized. There are some distinct characteristics of MODY that can differentiate it from other forms of diabetes, but these are not often recognized as well because of the rarity of the conditions. These distinctions can be important because the different types of MODY respond better to different treatments.
The Basics
MODY is caused by a change in a single gene (monogenic) and can be passed from parent to child. Currently, there are 6 known genes that, when mutated or altered, can cause MODY. These genes are called:[3]
HNF4A (MODY1): This is the gene that codes for a protein known as Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor-4 Alpha gene. The protein produced by this gene switches other genes on and off. Babies with this mutation are often born with macrosomia—they are larger than normal (over 9 pounds). They also may have low blood sugar early in life. Adults Continue reading

Calls to address 'staggering' number of Australians losing limbs to diabetes

Calls to address 'staggering' number of Australians losing limbs to diabetes

What began as a pin-hole sized lesion on the bottom of Alan Tillotson's foot quickly turned into a nasty infection, leading to the amputation of his leg.
Like many people with diabetes, the 65-year-old country Victorian truck driver isn't quite sure how the wound first developed.
It might have been something as minor as a small stone in his thong.
But poor circulation meant the tiny ulcer would not heal, and quickly turned into to a much larger problem.
"I was first diagnosed with diabetes when I went to have my eyes checked," he said.
"It wasn't until four years later, two years ago, that all the ulcers started. I'd come into hospital, they'd keep me in for three or four weeks. These ulcers kept on flaring up.
"The last ulcer affected the bone ... so it was either get rid of it earlier, or lose the whole leg completely."
Having already had his toes removed, Mr Tillotson decided to have his leg removed beneath the knee to prevent further spread.
His surgery is one of just an estimated 4,400 diabetes-related amputations occurring in Australia each year.
"It's a staggering number," Diabetes Australia CEO Greg Johnson said.
"Today in Australian hospitals, around 12 people will undergo a diabetes-related amputation ... it's something that's not understood by the public, and we really need to do more, because most of this is preventable."
According to Diabetes Australia, the problem is on the rise, and is the focus of this year's National Diabetes Week campaign.
People who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk.
However, there is no formal national reporting system to monit Continue reading

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