Type 2 Diabetes Could Be Affecting Half A Million Unaware Australians

Type 2 diabetes could be affecting half a million unaware Australians

Type 2 diabetes could be affecting half a million unaware Australians

Up to 500,000 Australians may have type 2 diabetes without knowing it, putting them at risk of devastating health consequences, health experts have warned.
Due to low screening rates across the country, one in three people are unaware they have type two diabetes and are being left vulnerable to serious health issues.
Type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness, limb amputation and end-stage kidney disease in Australia.
Diabetes Australia CEO Greg Johnson said only five per cent of Australians over 40 have had a check for type 2 diabetes in the last two years.
"The high figures are really startling and alarming," he said.
"The critical thing here is many people actually have type two diabetes for up to seven years before it's diagnosed and during that time it could be silently doing damage to your body.
"If we detect it early and if we treat it we can actually prevent most or all of the complications."
Mr Johnson said people often ask what symptoms to look out for but he stressed one cannot wait to experience symptoms.
"It's often silent but doing damage to all the organs in the body so people need to have regular checks.
Diabetes NSW and ACT chief executive Sturt Eastwood said one in three people with type 2 diabetes have not been diagnosed even though diagnosis is simple.
"I really recommend you add a diabetes test your next visit to your GP," Mr Eastwood said.
"And if you are over 50 or you have anyone in your family with diabetes I would recommend you start that process today."
Belinda Nakota was diagnosed with diabetes 15 years ago when a urinary tract Continue reading

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Patient Voices: Type 2 Diabetes

Patient Voices: Type 2 Diabetes

Nearly 400 million people around the world have Type 2 diabetes , including about 28 million in the United States. Of those, as many as eight million dont know they have it. Type 2 diabetes can wreak havoc on the entire body, affecting everything from hearing and vision to sexual function, mental health and sleep. It is the leading cause of blindness, amputations and kidney failure, and it can triple the risk for heart attack and stroke. But with vigilant monitoring, a person can keep Type 2 diabetes under control and live well. Five men and women speak about living with diabetes.
Do you or does someone you know have Type 2 diabetes? Tell us about how you manage your condition.
Larry Brandwein, 56, Brooklyn
Larry Brandwein, a former special education teacher, was formally given a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes at the age of 35, but he suspected he had it well before then.
Every morning, Mr. Brandwein injects himself with insulin to help his body maintain a healthy level of blood sugar. But routine monitoring is a challenge, and he often copes with drops in blood sugar levels. When that happens, Mr. Brandwein gets dizzy and must immediately have something sweet, like orange juice. Too much orange juice, though, can cause a sudden rise in his blood sugar. Such extreme swings can be very damaging to the body.
Five years ago, Mr. Brandwein began to have trouble walking, a result of peripheral neuropathy , a common complication of diabetes that causes pain and numbness in the extremities. This pain, made worse by foot ulcers, forced him to retire from teaching.
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Disability tax credit rules unfair to some diabetics, advocates say

Disability tax credit rules unfair to some diabetics, advocates say

Diabetes advocates are the latest group to complain that the way the federal disability tax credit is being applied is unfair.
On Monday CBC News reported that parents of children with a rare disorder called phenylketonuria, or PKU, are frustrated that some families are approved while others are not.
By contrast, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association, most children with Type 1 diabetes do qualify for the federal benefit.
However, once they turn 18, many of them are cut off.
Canadian Diabetes Association spokeswoman Joan King says her group is calling on the federal government to allow all Type 1 diabetics access to the tax credit.
"The fact that they're perceived to be independent of adult support seems to be the clincher but they still have to manage a 24/7 complicated and demanding disease," she said.
The sticking point seems to be a strict requirement that patients spend at least 14 hours per week administering a life-sustaining therapy — in this case, insulin.
King says children are generally approved because the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) adds up the time spent by both parents and children.
Another problem is that only certain activities count, King says. For example, tracking carbohydrates and managing blood-sugar lows do not.
"There are many activities that aren't permitted. And when we calculate it's a 24-7 complicated disease to manage that the CRA doesn't permit," she said.
The association submitted its recommendation to change the rules to the federal government earlier this year.
With files from the CBC's Jennifer Lee
To encourage thoughtful and resp Continue reading

Fatty Pancreas and the Development of Type 2 Diabetes

Fatty Pancreas and the Development of Type 2 Diabetes

The English friar and philosopher William of Ockham (1287-1347) is credited with developing the fundamental problem solving principle known as lex parsimoniae or Occam’s Razor. This principle holds that the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions is most often right. The simplest explanation is usually the most correct.
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” With that in mind, let’s remember that type 2 diabetes reflects two fundamental problems:
Insulin resistance
Beta cell dysfunction
Insulin resistance, an overflow phenomenon, is caused by fatty infiltration of the liver and muscle. Without dietary intervention, defect #2 virtually always follows #1, albeit by many years. Also, #2 is almost never found without #1.
Yet somehow, we are asked to believe that the mechanism behind insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction are completely and utterly unrelated? Occam’s razor suggests that both defects must be caused by the same underlying mechanism.
Searching for the mechanism
Hyperinsulinemia stimulates de novo lipogenesis transforming excess dietary carbohydrate into new fat. The liver packages and exports this new fat as VLDL making it widely available for other organs. The new fat deposits in skeletal muscles takes up much of this fat, as do the fat cells in and around the abdominal organs leading to the central obesity that is an important component of metabolic syndrome.
As fat begins to deposit within the organs, specifically the liver and muscles, insulin resistance develops, gradually leading Continue reading

The risky bet behind the first ‘artificial pancreas’ for diabetes patients

The risky bet behind the first ‘artificial pancreas’ for diabetes patients

Twelve years ago, a dotcom millionaire stood at a patient advocacy group’s board meeting and made an offer.
I’ll give you $1 million, he said. But only if you commit to getting an artificial pancreas on the market.
That challenge set JDRF, formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, on a costly, and risky, campaign to enlist academic researchers, global companies, members of Congress, and even federal regulators to embrace the concept of a device that could take over much of the process of regulating blood sugar in patients with diabetes.
The campaign worked: The Food and Drug Administration last week approved the first artificial pancreas, from Medtronic, for patients over age 14 with type 1 diabetes.
JDRF’s long crusade mirrors a trend in the patient advocacy world: Such groups are increasingly moving beyond traditional activism to fund research at drug and device companies.
Those close ties with industry have sparked some criticism — mostly out of concern that advocacy groups won’t be able to freely fight for patients if their finances are tied to the fate of a corporate partner. But the expanding model may also help patients, if the advocacy groups succeed in pushing industry to get new treatments to market quicker.
In the case of the artificial pancreas, JDRF was taking a very big chance.
Academics had been trying for years to develop algorithms to power a fully automated system for regulating blood glucose, a task that again and again proved unfeasible. Device makers were squeamish about letting a computer control an insulin delivery system Continue reading

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