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Type 2 Diabetes: Study Explains Link To Sleep Hormone Melatonin

Type 2 diabetes: Study explains link to sleep hormone melatonin

Type 2 diabetes: Study explains link to sleep hormone melatonin

Researchers have discovered that increasing levels of the sleep hormone melatonin reduces the ability of insulin-producing cells to release insulin. Also, they found the effect is stronger in people who carry a particular gene variant that is linked to higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
The study, led by Lund University in Sweden, is published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
The findings mark the culmination of work that goes back to 2009, when Lund researchers showed that a variant of the gene that codes for the protein known as melatonin receptor 1B (MTNR1B) increases the risk for type 2 diabetes.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps to maintain our day-night cycle, or circadian rhythm, by regulating other hormones. The amount of melatonin in our blood varies through the day. It is affected by light and peaks during the darkest time, at night.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. It is produced and released by the beta cells of the pancreas, in response to spikes in blood sugar, such as during digestion.
In type 2 diabetes, which accounts for nearly 90 percent of diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin, or cells become less effective at responding to it, which increases demand on the beta cells to produce more. Both of these result in increased levels of blood sugar, which eventually causes serious damage to organs.
In the new study, the researchers worked with lab-cultured beta cells and mice to show that insulin-producing cells respond to increased levels of melatonin by reducing the amount of insulin they release. These signals are conve Continue reading

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Dietary Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes: How Millet Comes to Help

Dietary Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes: How Millet Comes to Help

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Type 2 Diabetes Overview and Associated Complications
Diabetes is a chronic disease that is characterized by high level of blood glucose also known as hyperglycaemia. According to WHO 2015 published figure1, 9% of the world population aged 18 and above has contracted diabetes and an estimated 1.5 million deaths per year are attributed to diabetes directly. It is well known that glucose level of a diabetic patient increases dramatically beyond the normal range after a meal. It is also true that their blood glucose level would soon drop as the body failed to store the excess glucose for later use.
Diabetes is classified into Types 1 and 2. Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes as the patients’ pancreas cannot produce or produces little insulin and often presents itself from childhood (Diabetes.co.uk, 2016c). Type 2 diabetes (T2D), however, often first appears in adults when the body becomes resistant to insulin or fails to make sufficient amounts of insulin (Martin et al., 1992; Weyer et al., 2001). T2D comprises 90% of people with diabetes around the world (NHS choice, 2014). This can largely be the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity. Added complication to T2D is that it presents less marked symptoms than Type 1 diabetes and is often diagnosed only when complications have already arisen.
Major complications caused by hyperglycaemia include atherosclerosis that hardens and narrows the blood vessels. Other diabetes-related complications are heart disease, stroke, retinopathy, and kidney failure (Bitzur et al Continue reading

10 Holiday Survival Tips If You Have Diabetes

10 Holiday Survival Tips If You Have Diabetes

Some of my patients with diabetes ask me what’s the big deal if their blood sugar levels go up a little or they gain a few pounds over the holidays. They say they can always lose the weight afterward and get their sugar levels under control.
To an extent, that could be true. If you’re in good overall health, doing well with your diabetes control and manufacturing reasonable amounts of insulin, a day or two of indulging a bit more than usual in holiday food shouldn’t be a problem.
How long that overindulgence goes on, and how many times, though, are important factors. The holidays can easily extend well past New Year’s. If you slip into bad eating habits, you can do long-term damage, raise your blood sugars and gain weight.
You can keep your weight and blood sugar levels under control during the holidays using these tips.
1. Maintain your schedule
If you overeat, trying to catch up by skipping a meal afterward may cause you to overeat when you have your next meal or if a snack is available. Even on your holiday and days away from work, try to get up, eat, exercise and take your diabetes and any other medications about the same time as you usually do.
2. Check your blood sugar frequently
If you are taking insulin or medications that lower your blood sugar, check your blood sugar more frequently during the holidays, especially before driving a car or adjusting your insulin doses. Make allowances for the changes in your work and exercise schedules as well as your eating opportunities.
3. Budget your sweets and treats
To keep your blood sugars from skyrocketing, include Continue reading

Cellular markers of aging could reveal how insulin-producing cells begin to fail in type 2 diabetes

Cellular markers of aging could reveal how insulin-producing cells begin to fail in type 2 diabetes

Diabetes researchers have puzzled for decades about why insulin-producing beta cells in one pancreatic islet often look and behave quite differently than their counterparts in the same islet or in nearby islets. Using newly identified cellular markers of aging, Joslin Diabetes Center scientists now have shown that this diversity may be driven at least in part by differently aged beta cell populations within the pancreas.
Additionally, the Joslin team demonstrated that the aging of beta cells, with associated losses of their insulin secretion, can be accelerated by insulin resistance, a condition that can lead toward type 2 diabetes.
"This research opens up an entirely new set of questions about the development of type 2 diabetes," says Susan Bonner-Weir, a Joslin Senior Investigator and corresponding author on a paper describing the work in the journal Cell Metabolism. The disease worsens over time as beta cells die off or perform less effectively, for reasons that are not well understood.
Scientists have long known that beta cells change significantly over time, says Bonner-Weir, who is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Back in 2011, for example, her lab demonstrated that beta cells in newborn rats are immature cells with very different gene expression and function than adult beta cells.
Her lab's most recent work, led by HMS Instructor Cristina Aguayo-Mazzucato, started instead with very old mice, created for another experiment, whose beta cells emitted fluorescent signals. The investigators could compare the insulin-producing beta cells from the Continue reading

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Diabetes in Movies

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Diabetes in Movies

While testing blood sugar, having lows, and shooting insulin might be daily life for you, it’s an action-escalating, drama-creating plot device for the writers and directors of Hollywood. You’ve probably caught at least one TV episode or movie scene about diabetes that got your eyes rolling, but you’ll be happy to know it isn’t all bad (okay, a lot of it is really bad though). You probably won’t be directing anyone to Netflix if diabetes education is your goal, but it’s still helpful to know what kind of info people are getting about your condition from their screens.
The good
Nothing seems to capture the true day-to-day struggle with diabetes, but some of the scripted portrayals at least hit some of the major points.
The Godfather III (1972) might not be the best installment in the trilogy, but Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) does offer a pretty convincing portrayal of what living with diabetes is like. As the mobster weakens in his old age, he is diagnosed with diabetes and offers realistic symptoms like weakened eyesight and a moment where he has a low, has to sit down for a minute, and requests some orange juice or candy. Maybe you haven’t ever been a part of a crime family, but yeah, you’ve probably had to ask someone to bring you some juice before. He even explains at one point that stress affects his numbers. Maybe once Corleone left his life of crime he should have become a diabetes advocate? The portrayal is probably decently realistic because the late Godfather trilogy screenwriter, Mario Puzo, had diabetes.
Diabetes doesn’t end well for every chara Continue reading

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