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We Finally Know All 5 Molecules That Are Attacked In Type 1 Diabetes

We Finally Know All 5 Molecules That Are Attacked in Type 1 Diabetes

We Finally Know All 5 Molecules That Are Attacked in Type 1 Diabetes

After 20 years of searching, scientists have finally identified the fifth and final molecule that the immune system attacks in order to trigger type 1 diabetes, completing the puzzle and providing new hope for treatments.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, which means it's caused by a patient's own immune system attacking their body - in this case, their insulin-producing beta cells. For years, scientists have struggled to figure out exactly how the immune system attacks, and which targets it aims for, but now it looks like they've finally done it.
"With this new discovery, we have now finished identifying what the immune system is targeting - we have the complete picture," lead researcher Michael Christie from the University of Lincoln in the UK, told James Gallagher over at the BBC.
Now that we know which targets the immune system is gunning for, the hope is that we'll be able to figure out a way to stop this from happening.
Researchers have long been studying the antibodies - the tiny weapons that the immune systems of type 1 diabetics produce against their beta cells - but figuring out the specific, molecular targets of these antibodies is tricky. The team compares it to figuring out someone's identity from their silhouette.
Researchers had previously managed to identify four out of the five targets, but for the past 20 years they've struggled to nail down the fifth one, simply giving it the pseudonym of 'Glima' in the research. (As far as we can tell, that's a fancier alternative to throwing up your hands and saying, "Who knows, let's call it 'molecule X'.")
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How to Manage Stress and Diabetes

How to Manage Stress and Diabetes

Having a chronic health condition like diabetes can bring on stress or exacerbate existing symptoms.
The problem is that stress can be harmful to both physical and mental health, so it's important to manage your well-being before stress manifests other complications.
How Stress Affects Health
In addition to contributing to wear and tear on the body, stress can increase blood glucose levels, lead to poor eating habits, impair your thinking and decision-making abilities, and negatively impact immune and digestive functions. Stress can also impact renal and reproductive health, while raising your risk for depression.
Symptoms
Stress doesn't always manifest as agitation, although feeling "wired" is one of the most common symptoms.
Other symptoms of stress can include: significant changes in sleep (sleeping too much or too little), changes in appetite, weight loss or gain, memory or concentration problems, muscle tension, stomach problems, avoidance of work or school tasks, profuse sweating, feeling shaky or uneasy, teeth grinding or headaches.
Managing Stress
Conquering stress starts with being mindful of your triggers or the events in your life causing you stress.
It's important to make time every day for calming activities that can lower your blood pressure, slow your breathing and ground you.
Some ways to cope with stress include: deep breathing, yoga, meditation, slow walks, connecting with nature, spending time with your pet, laughter, listening to soothing music or working with a behavioral therapist.
With diabetes, or with any disease, your mind-body connection will be i Continue reading

How Uncontrolled Diabetes Damages Your Heart, Eyes, Kidneys, Nerves, Teeth and More

How Uncontrolled Diabetes Damages Your Heart, Eyes, Kidneys, Nerves, Teeth and More

Diabetes is a cluster of disorders characterized by high blood sugar levels that persist over a long period. It is one of the most common disorders of our time.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, 387 million people worldwide were living with diabetes by the year 2014.
In the U.S. alone, 29.1 million people have diabetes, out of which 8.1 million remain undiagnosed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Understanding How Your Body Works
Glucose is a type of simple sugar found in food. It is a major source of energy and is used by every living organism.
When you eat food, your digestive system breaks it down into glucose in the blood so your cells can extract energy from it and recharge themselves. At this point, the glucose is also called blood sugar.
Every cell of every organ in your body, be it the muscles, kidneys or the brain, relies on energy from glucose to perform its functions.
But how does this glucose reach the cells?
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that performs the crucial task of delivering glucose to the different cells.
So, how does all this relate to diabetes?
Understanding Diabetes
There are two major types of diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
In Type 1 diabetes, the cells of the pancreas responsible for making insulin either fail to do so or create very little.
This keeps the glucose unused in the blood, and can ultimately cause an overload of blood sugar.
It is mostly diagnosed in young adults and children.
Type 2 Diabetes
This is the most common type of diabetes. Ninety percent of the adults suffering from dia Continue reading

10 Superfoods To Curb Diabetes

10 Superfoods To Curb Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that can gradually affect your entire system and almost every organ in your body including your kidneys, eyes, heart and more.
Paying close attention to your diet can make a big difference in whether you develop the disease or experience complications from it. In fact, one of the leading factors behind the development of Type 2 diabetes, along with many other chronic and degenerative diseases, is a poor diet.
Making some smart dietary choices can prevent or help control Type 2 diabetes. Some superfoods can control diabetes by stabilizing or even lowering your blood sugar level when eaten on regular basis in appropriate portions.
Even if you already take medicine for diabetes, it is essential to understand that what you eat and drink can greatly affect how well you manage the disease.
1. Cinnamon
Several components in cinnamon promote glucose metabolism and reduce cholesterol. Studies have shown that in people with diabetes; just one-half teaspoon of cinnamon powder per day can significantly decrease fasting blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
There are many ways to add cinnamon to your diet. You can sprinkle some in your coffee, stir it into your morning oatmeal, or add it to chicken or fish dishes. You can also soak a medium-sized cinnamon stick in hot water to make a refreshing cup of cinnamon tea.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a starchy vegetable that contains the antioxidant beta-carotene along with vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. All of these help control blood sugar.
Diabetics can use sweet potatoes in place o Continue reading

Service dog saves sleeping boy with type 1 diabetes

Service dog saves sleeping boy with type 1 diabetes

A loyal service dog saved his 7-year-old ward when the boy’s blood sugar levels dropped quickly while he was sleeping.
In a Facebook post that’s gained over 330,000 likes, mom Dorrie Nuttal shared the story and a photo of the dog, black Labrador Jedi guarding over her son, Luke, who has type 1 diabetes.
“This is a picture of Jedi saving his boy. Saving him from highs and lows and from ever feeling alone,” Dorrie wrote in the March 3 post.
Five minutes before the photo was taken, Dorrie wrote, the family was asleep. Then Jedi jumped on and off the bed where Luke, 7, was sleeping and lay on Dorrie until she woke up. Jedi then bowed—his alert that Jedi’s glucose was too low.
Dorrie checked her son’s glucose monitor, and it read at 100, which was normal. Jedi still refused to get off of the bed. Suddenly, Dorrie realized the seriousness of the situation and pricked her son’s finger— the reading was 57, too low for the boy, who was recovering from a stomach bug.
“Luke was laying right next to me, just inches from me, and without Jedi I would have had no idea that he was dropping out of a safe range. He has never woken up on his own for a low in over 4 and a half years,” she wrote.
As a diabetic “alert dog,” Jedi has been trained for the last three years to detect a high or low level or blood sugar and notify humans. Owing to their sharp sense of smell, certain dog breeds that are fit for detecting bombs are also good at sniffing out hard-to-detect scents emitted by people who lack insulin, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Type 1 diabetes affects fewer Continue reading

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