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Type 2 Diabetes: Sponge Implants May Reduce Blood Sugar And Weight Gain

Type 2 diabetes: Sponge implants may reduce blood sugar and weight gain

Type 2 diabetes: Sponge implants may reduce blood sugar and weight gain

In a search for new treatments for type 2 diabetes, researchers have discovered that implanting polymer sponges into fat tissue might offer a way forward.
So suggests new research from the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia that is featuring at the American Chemical Society's 254th National Meeting & Exposition, held in Washington, D.C.
The team found that 3 weeks after receiving polymer sponge implants in their fatty abdomens, obese mice with type 2 diabetes fed on a high-fat diet gained less weight and had lower levels of blood sugar than untreated equivalent mice.
Diabetes is a long-lasting disease that develops when the body either does not make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or cannot use insulin effectively (type 2 diabetes).
Insulin is a hormone that helps cells to take up sugar from the blood so they can use it for energy. Major tissues and organs, such as the liver, brain, and skeletal muscles, need lots of blood sugar to work properly.
If untreated, diabetes can result in vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other health problems, due to damage caused by excess glucose in the bloodstream.
Body fat is an 'active organ'
Around 30.3 million people in the United States have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. Approximately 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes.
The number of U.S. adults with diabetes has more than tripled in the past 20 years, largely as a result of an aging population and rising numbers of overweight and obese people.
As yet there is no cure for diabetes, and current treatments depend heavily on patients' ability to Continue reading

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Are synthetic insulin-secreting cells the future of diabetes treatment?

Are synthetic insulin-secreting cells the future of diabetes treatment?

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While treatments for type 1 diabetes are rapidly evolving, even the most recent hi-tech artificial pancreas system still involves glucose monitors and insulin pumps. But a new development from scientists at the University of North Carolina and NC State could do away with the need for injections and glucose monitoring through the use of artificial beta cells that mimic the insulin-secreting function of healthy cells.
For patients with type 1 diabetes, and some cases of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas fails to produce effective beta cells, the cells that monitor blood sugar and release insulin to keep glucose levels normalized. Outside of manual monitoring and insulin injections, pancreatic cell treatments are an option, albeit an expensive and time consuming one.
In an effort to create synthetic beta cells that can duplicate the behavior of natural beta cells, scientists from the University of North Carolina and NC State cleverly produced artificial cells containing insulin-stuffed vesicles. The vesicles' coating can identify high glucose levels and subsequently release the load of insulin into the surrounding bloodstream.
"This is the first demonstration using such a vesicle fusion process for delivering insulin that employs insulin-containing vesicles like those found in a beta cell and can reproduce the beta cell's functions in sensing glucose and responding with insulin 'secretion'," says Zhaowei Chen, lead author on the study.
The artificial beta cells were tested in diabetic mice and within an hour of the injection the mice displayed normal blood glucose level Continue reading

Diabetes and Vision: Understanding the Link

Diabetes and Vision: Understanding the Link

Uncontrolled blood sugar can affect you from head to toe—including your eyes. Yet Johns Hopkins research shows that many people living with diabetes don’t have their eyes examined or take other steps that can help save their vision.
Fewer than half of all Americans with diabetes-related eye damage know that diabetes can lead to vision loss—and just 60 percent of those in the know had a complete eye exam in the previous year, finds a recent Johns Hopkins study. This “knowledge gap” could increase risk for blindness if people miss out on early eye checks and vision-protecting treatments, the researchers say. In fact, nearly one in four people in this study already had some loss of vision.
It’s well known that diabetes raises your blood sugar levels. But this chronic health condition also increases your risk for eye diseases that can cause blindness, says Johns Hopkins diabetes expert Rita Rastogi Kalyani, M.D., M.H.S.
“Elevated blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina—the area at the back of the eye that sends signals to your brain,” says Kalyani. “This damage, called diabetic retinopathy, can begin years before you notice vision changes.” The condition can lead to diabetic macular edema, a leading cause of vision loss in people with diabetes.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new cases of reversible blindness in the United States. About 40 percent of people with diabetes have some degree of retinopathy, according to the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute. At first, tiny blood vessels in the eye may swell Continue reading

Type 1 diabetes linked to coeliac disease

Type 1 diabetes linked to coeliac disease

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the body's immune system to mistakenly attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Parents of young children with type 1 diabetes need to be on the lookout for symptoms of another autoimmune condition – coeliac disease, new research suggests.
The study found these youngsters appear to face a nearly tripled risk of developing coeliac disease autoantibodies, which eventually can lead to the disorder, which is chronic and causes an intolerance to gluten, which damages the small intestinal lining. The severity of symptoms differs from person to person.
Genetically related
"Type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease are closely related genetically," explained study author Dr William Hagopian.
"People with one disease tend to get the other. People who have type 1 diabetes autoantibodies should get screened for coeliac autoantibodies," Hagopian said. He directs the diabetes programme at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle.
Insulin is a hormone that helps to usher the sugar from foods into the body's cells to be used as fuel. Because the autoimmune attack leaves people with type 1 diabetes without enough insulin, they must replace the lost insulin through injections or an insulin pump with a temporary tube inserted under the skin.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine when gluten is consumed, according to the Coeliac Disease Foundation. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. Symptoms of coel Continue reading

Decades into diabetes, insulin therapy still hard to manage

Decades into diabetes, insulin therapy still hard to manage

So, your doctor told you that you need insulin therapy for your Type 2 diabetes.
This is a common problem and likely to be more so in the coming years. About 29 million people in the U.S. have Type 2 diabetes, and another 86 million have prediabetes. About one in four people with Type 2 diabetes is on insulin therapy, and another one in four likely needs to be.
What does it mean to be on insulin therapy, exactly? And whose fault is it? Could you have prevented this? Will insulin actually work? These are frequent questions people who need insulin therapy ask, and, as someone who has treated people with diabetes for years and has been working to improve its effectiveness, I will do my best to help you answer these questions. I also have been working to develop a better way to personalize dosing for insulin.
Insulin therapy for Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes is a condition in which your pancreas fails to secrete a sufficient amount of insulin to help you to maintain normal blood glucose, or sugar in the blood, which is transported to various parts of our bodies to supply energy.
There are many causes of insulin deficiency, but the most common is Type 2 diabetes. The main risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are family history, weight and age.
In fact, most overweight or obese people in the Western world will never develop diabetes. Weight is a very important, yet misunderstood, risk factor for diabetes. The foods you eat are usually less relevant than the weight itself. The American Diabetes Association, for example, recommends that you limit the amount of sugary drinks you drink, inclu Continue reading

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