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There’s Now More Evidence That Type 2 Diabetes Can Actually Be Reversed

There’s Now More Evidence That Type 2 Diabetes Can Actually Be Reversed

There’s Now More Evidence That Type 2 Diabetes Can Actually Be Reversed

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism is sweetening the pot when it comes to the potential of reversing type 2 diabetes and adds to the growing body of evidence that intensive lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing the disease.
Researchers found that when diabetes patients received a combination of oral medication, insulin, and a personalized exercise and diet plan for two to four months (and then stopped all diabetes medication), up to 40 percent were able to keep their blood glucose numbers at remission levels for three months without meds. (Find out the silent signs you might have diabetes.)
“The idea of reversing the disease is very appealing to individuals with diabetes. It motivates them to make significant lifestyle changes and to achieve normal glucose levels,” said study author Natalia McInnes, MD, MSc, FRCPC, of McMaster University in Canada in a news release. (Typical treatment for the roughly 29 million Americans with type 2 diabetes is regular blood glucose testing, insulin, and medication.)
For the study, 83 individuals with type 2 diabetes were split into three groups. Two received oral medication, insulin, and a personalized exercise and diet plan that cut their daily caloric intake by 500 to 750 a day (one group followed the intervention for eight weeks, the other was treated for 16 weeks); both groups stopped taking diabetes medications at the end of the intervention and were encouraged to continue the lifestyle changes on their own. A control group received standard blood sugar management advice.
Three mo Continue reading

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Reversing Diabetes Through Weight Loss: How Much Should You Lose?

Reversing Diabetes Through Weight Loss: How Much Should You Lose?

Your doctor probably preaches healthy eating habits and exercise to manage type 2 diabetes, and while both of those things work to help keep your blood sugar in check, they can also help you lose weight. And weight loss may be the key to reversing type 2 diabetes, according to an analysis published in September 2017 in the journal BMJ.
The authors noted that losing 33 pounds (lbs) often helps put diabetes into remission. Yes, that sounds pretty specific, but it makes more sense if you consider that the data is based off of losing 15 kilograms, which equals 33 lbs. It's a bold statement, considering many people think type 2 diabetes is a chronic, lifelong condition.
The specific figure is taken from previous research: A study published in May 2016 in the journal Diabetes Care found that 40 percent of people who lost about 33 lbs and kept it off for six months through a low-calorie diet were able to send the diabetes into remission.
In that study, the authors concluded that type 2 diabetes “is a potentially reversible condition.” That said, it doesn’t mean that you should aim to lose 33 lbs specifically. “Further work on this is ongoing, regarding the actual weight loss needed,” says study coauthor Louise McCombie, RD, research associate at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
Indeed, this is part of a larger body of research that will be presented at the International Diabetes Federation in December 2017. And while 40 percent of people sending diabetes into remission is an impressive figure, it also suggests that this is possible for some people but not everyone. Continue reading

5 Sugar Substitutes for Type 2 Diabetes

5 Sugar Substitutes for Type 2 Diabetes

1 / 6 A Small Amount of Real Sugar Is Best, but Sugar Substitutes Can Help
If you think that people with diabetes should always avoid sugar, think again — they can enjoy the sweet stuff, in moderation. "The best bet is to use a very minimal amount of real sugar as part of a balanced diabetic diet," says Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, of Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City. That being said, sugar substitutes offer sweetness while controlling carbohydrate intake and blood glucose. There are many sugar substitutes to choose from, but they’re not all calorie-free and they vary in terms of their impact on blood sugar. "The major difference between the sugar substitutes is whether they are nutritive or non-nutritive sweeteners," says Melissa Mullins, MS, RD, a certified diabetes educator with Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Va. "Non-nutritive sweeteners provide no calories and no changes in blood glucose levels, which is perfect for people with diabetes.” Here are six sweet options to consider. Continue reading

Looking to cure Type 1 diabetes, investors front $114M to launch a pioneering human study at Semma

Looking to cure Type 1 diabetes, investors front $114M to launch a pioneering human study at Semma

Three years ago, Harvard’s Doug Melton published a landmark study outlining how he had successfully used stem cells to create insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells that were inserted in bulk into mice and successfully protected from an immune response — a breakthrough in regenerative medicine that bore real promise to provide a curative approach for Type 1 diabetes that could conceivably end a lifetime of insulin shots.
It was the culmination of 23 years of lab work, launched when his son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. And that achievement marked the beginning of something new in biotech.
That same year Semma Therapeutics would be launched — with a $44 million A round landing in 2015 — in pursuit of a mission to complete one of the most ambitious preclinical programs in the regenerative med field. And after working on all the nitty gritty research needed to see if this tech could be scaled up to human size, an expanded syndicate of venture investors have put together a whopping $114 million round with plans to take this into humans for a first-of-its-kind proof-of-concept study.
One of the big challenges Semma faced in scaling up, Melton tells me, was to create a membrane specifically designed with pores that were large enough for molecules to pass through but too small for immune cells to penetrate. Using some calculations from the lab, Melton and his colleagues estimated that they would need some 150 million cells — possibly ranging up to three times that amount — in order to provide the natural insulin needed to eliminate the shots.
Melton compares the Continue reading

How to Manage Your Diabetes in Extreme Summer Heat

How to Manage Your Diabetes in Extreme Summer Heat

We often look forward to changes of season, but if you have diabetes, you need to be extra careful when temperatures climb dramatically. Extreme heat can affect your blood sugar control.
If you use insulin or if your treatment of blood sugars is inadequate, this can put you at higher risk. Often, worsening blood sugar control is the main concern. Depending on the situation and your level of physical activity, low blood sugars are also possible.
Extreme temperatures can also damage your medications and testing equipment. I always remind my patients to take precautions to protect themselves and their supplies during both winter and summer.
If a patient’s blood sugars are mostly higher than 250 mg/dl, I recommend improving blood sugar control before engaging in heavy physical activity — regardless of the climate and the temperature, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
How heat can affect you
The extreme heat of summer affects blood sugar levels. How the heat affects your levels depends on what you’ve eaten, whether you’re well-hydrated and your activity level.
If the heat and your activity make you sweat profusely, you may become dehydrated, leading to a rise in glucose levels.
If you become dehydrated, your blood glucose levels will rise. This can lead to frequent urination, which then leads to further dehydration and even higher blood sugar levels — a kind of vicious cycle.
Further, if the treatment includes insulin, dehydration reduces blood supply to the skin and, therefore, less absorption of injected insulin dosage.
Adjusting your insulin dosag Continue reading

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