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What I Ate When I Couldn't Eat Anything: Facing Gestational Diabetes As A Food Lover

What I Ate When I Couldn't Eat Anything: Facing Gestational Diabetes as a Food Lover

What I Ate When I Couldn't Eat Anything: Facing Gestational Diabetes as a Food Lover

Whether food is your comfort, your hobby, or your profession, gestational diabetes is tough. Here's what you can eat. [Photograph: Shutterstock]
In the first few months of my pregnancy, friends often asked me how I was dealing with life without wine, beer, and cocktails; without buttery pieces of toro at my beloved neighborhood sushi bar; without the various other foods most people avoid when they're carrying a baby. Early on, none of those things mattered much to me; I was too sick to crave much more than mac and cheese. Coffee and wine started to taste oddly bitter and flat to me, but it didn't seem that awful to wait 40 weeks to get back to enjoying them. My local bar always managed to serve me some creative alcohol-free concoction. (Pineapple juice and savory Cel-ray? Highly recommended.)
I took advantage of California's citrus season, buying pounds of floral Oro Blanco grapefruits and tangerines for making fresh juice. Fruit never tasted better: I sent my husband on wild goose chases for out-of-season mangoes, and celebrated the early arrival of local strawberries by eating a pint every day. And I had ice cream: pints of salted caramel at home, cones of Bi-Rite's insanely rich buffalo-milk soft serve during walks around the park. In challenging moments in those first few months, Max reminded me that "at least it's an excuse to eat all the ice cream you could desire." (I never did convince him to ship me some homemade pints of this crazy chocolate number from New York.)
But in mid-March I found myself undergoing a hazing ritual pretty much all pregnant women experience: Continue reading

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Trial to 'prevent' diabetes starts

Trial to 'prevent' diabetes starts

A major trial is set to start in Scotland aimed at preventing type-1 diabetes in children.
Researchers are preparing to contact all 6,400 families in the country affected by the condition.
Children who have a parent or sibling with type-1 diabetes will be invited for a blood test to see if they are at high risk of developing the disease.
Those at risk will be offered a drug called metformin to see if it can hold off diabetes.
Metformin is already used to treat diabetes, but it is not clear if it might prevent it from developing in the first place.
If successful, the study could challenge long-established thinking on what lies behind type-1 diabetes.
Scotland has the third highest rate of type-1 diabetes in the world, and a good system of record to identify affected families.
Alternative theory
Type-1 diabetes develops when the body does not produce insulin. This is the hormone needed to control blood sugar levels.
Despite extensive research, there is no way of preventing the disease.
Most experts believe it is caused by a problem with the immune system - mistaking insulin-producing cells in the pancreas - called beta cells - as harmful, and attacking them.
This study, called the autoimmune diabetes Accelerator Prevention Trial (Adapt), tests an alternative theory developed by Prof Terence Wilkin, from the University of Exeter Medical School.
Rather than focusing on halting the immune system, Prof Wilkin says it could be better to work on protecting the beta cells.
He argues the key cause of damage is stress on the beta cells as they struggle to cope with demand for insulin. Continue reading

Israeli device banishes finger-pricking for sugar levels in diabetes patients

Israeli device banishes finger-pricking for sugar levels in diabetes patients

Diabetes patients know that one of the greatest challenges in managing the ailment is tracking their blood sugar, or glucose, levels. To do that the only option available today is through the use of standard glucose meters — devices that require multiple finger pricks each day, a painful process.
For years, researchers have been trying to find a noninvasive, quicker and easier way to monitor blood glucose. Even the most advanced devices in use today, like needle sensors, which can track glucose continuously, need to be inserted under the skin every one to two weeks.
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Now, Caesarea-based startup Cnoga Medical Ltd. says it has come up with a way to track blood glucose levels without pricking or pain. Its glucose meter, already approved for use in numerous countries worldwide, uses a camera to provide a diagnosis of blood glucose levels by observing the changing colors of the user’s finger.
During a short training period, the device learns to correlate the user’s skin tone with previous glucose level readings.
The technology got the green light on Monday from one of the world’s leading diabetes specialists, Prof. Andreas Pfützner, MD, PhD, who came to Israel to present the company with his findings after having tested the technology in two clinical studies in Germany.
“The results were surprising,” he told The Times of Israel in a phone interview. Pfützner held two clinical trials at his institute to validate the performance of the technology, and in both studies he found that the medical device performed “with a surprising level of accuracy,” the Continue reading

Scientists find cure for type 2 diabetes in rodents, don’t know how it works

Scientists find cure for type 2 diabetes in rodents, don’t know how it works

The cure for type 2 diabetes may be all in your head, a new study in rats and mice suggests.
With a single shot to the brain, researchers can rid rodents of all symptoms of the disease for months. The injection, a relatively low dose of a tissue growth factor protein called fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1), appears to reset powerful neural networks that can control the amount of sugar in the blood.
So far, it’s not completely clear how exactly FGF1 does that, researchers report in Nature Medicine. Early experiments found that FGF1 didn’t appear to lower blood sugar levels in some of the most obvious ways, such as curbing the rodents’ appetite and spurring sustained weight loss. Nevertheless, because FGF1 is naturally present in human brains, as well as those of rodents, researchers are hopeful that the lucky shot may translate into a useful treatment.
If nothing else, the FGF1 finding “unmasks the brain’s inherent capacity to induce sustained diabetes remission,” the authors conclude. But because scientists already have the protocols and know-how to safely deliver FGF1 to human noggins via intranasal routes, moving toward clinical trials seems like a no brainer, they argue.
The authors, led by researchers at the University of Washington, gave FGF1 a crack in animal brain experiments after other studies had seen encouraging results with FGF1’s cousins. Those related growth factors can activate some of the same brain signals as FGF1 and lowered blood sugar levels after brain injections in animals. Yet FGF1 may be a more powerful player in the brain, the authors Continue reading

Team cures diabetes in mice without side effects

Team cures diabetes in mice without side effects

A potential cure for Type 1 diabetes looms on the horizon in San Antonio, and the novel approach would also allow Type 2 diabetics to stop insulin shots.
The discovery, made at The University of Texas Health Science Center, now called UT Health San Antonio, increases the types of pancreatic cells that secrete insulin.
UT Health San Antonio researchers have a goal to reach human clinical trials in three years, but to do so they must first test the strategy in large-animal studies, which will cost an estimated $5 million.
Those studies will precede application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Investigational New Drug (IND) approval, Bruno Doiron, Ph.D., a co-inventor, said.
The scientists received a U.S. patent in January, and UT Health San Antonio is spinning out a company to begin commercialization.
The strategy has cured diabetes in mice.
"It worked perfectly," Dr. Doiron, assistant professor of medicine at UT Health, said. "We cured mice for one year without any side effects. That's never been seen. But it's a mouse model, so caution is needed. We want to bring this to large animals that are closer to humans in physiology of the endocrine system."
Ralph DeFronzo, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Diabetes at UT Health, is co-inventor on the patent. He described the therapy:
"The pancreas has many other cell types besides beta cells, and our approach is to alter these cells so that they start to secrete insulin, but only in response to glucose [sugar]," he said. "This is basically just like beta cells."
Insulin, which lowers blood sugar, Continue reading

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