Where Are All The New Diabetes Drugs?

Where are all the new diabetes drugs?

Where are all the new diabetes drugs?

As oncologists race forward with new treatments verging on science fiction and biotech companies press on with drugs for once-hopeless rare disorders, one of the world’s most pervasive diseases looks like it’s been left behind.
There are few new drugs on the horizon for diabetes, which affects about 29 million Americans. Most of the treatments in late-stage development are simply improved versions of what’s out there — taken weekly versus daily, or orally instead of by injection. Continue reading

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Blood Sugar Throughout the Day - for Normal People and Those with Diabetes

Blood Sugar Throughout the Day - for Normal People and Those with Diabetes

Most of us have heard the term blood sugar bandied around enough that we think we know what it means, but few of us really understand the complexity of the system that makes a steady supply of fuel available to our cells around the clock.
The basic facts are these: All animals have a small amount of a simple sugar called glucose floating around in their bloodstream all the time. This simple sugar is one of two fuels that the cells of the body can burn for fuel. The other is fat. Though you may occasionally eat pure glucose--it's called "dextrose" when it is found in the list of ingredients on a U.S. food label--most of the glucose in your blood doesn't come from eating glucose. It is produced when your digestive system breaks down the larger molecules of complex sugars and starch. Sugars like those found in table sugar, corn syrup, milk and fruit and the starches found in flour, potatoes, rice, and beans all contain chains of glucose that are bonded together with other substances. During digestion, enzymes break these bonds and liberate the glucose molecules which are then absorbed into your bloodstream.
How Blood Sugar is Measured
Blood sugar concentrations are described using a number that describes the weight of glucose that is found in a specific volume of blood. In the U.S. that measurement is milligrams per deciliter, which is abbreviated as "mg/dl." Europeans and almost all researchers publishing in medical journals use a different measurement, micromoles per liter, abbreviated "mmol/L."
You can convert any European measurements you encounter to the American standard Continue reading

Worried about type 2 diabetes? Walk after every meal

Worried about type 2 diabetes? Walk after every meal

If you're at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, then take a 15-minute walk after every meal.
A study, out today, shows that moderately-paced walks after meals work as well at regulating overall blood sugar in adults with pre-diabetes as a 45-minute walk once a day.
And there's an added benefit of walking after every meal, especially dinner: It helps lower post-meal blood sugar for three hours or more, the research found.
Walking after a meal "really blunts the rise in blood sugar," says the study's lead author Loretta DiPietro, professor and chair of the department of exercise science at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.
"You eat a meal. You wait a half-hour and then you go for a 15-minute walk, and it has proven effective in controlling blood sugar levels, but you have to do it every day after every meal. This amount of walking is not a prescription for weight loss or cardiovascular fitness — it's a prescription for controlling blood sugar," she says.
The Italians call the walk after dinner a passeggiata and know it aids in digestion, DiPietro says. "Now we know it also helps the clearance of blood sugar."
Currently, almost 26 million children and adults (8.3% of the population) in the USA have diabetes, and about 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes. In diabetes, the body does not make enough of the hormone insulin, or it doesn't use it properly. Insulin helps glucose (sugar) get into cells, where it is used for energy. If there's an insulin problem, sugar builds up in the blood, damaging nerves and blood vessels.
DiPietro Continue reading

Diabetes and the Ice Age

Diabetes and the Ice Age

Did you know that more people are diagnosed with diabetes in the colder months of the year? Also, type 1 diabetes is more common in European countries than in African or South American countries. And Finland has the highest rate of type 1 diabetes in the world. What do these things have in common? Yes, it seems there's a connection between diabetes and cold weather!
Would you believe that in the book Survival of the Sickest, Dr. Sharon Moalem theorizes that type 1 diabetes is actually an evolutionary adaption to the cold?
By way of explanation, here's a quick history lesson: Way, way back in prehistoric days, there was a severe drop in temperature called the Younger Dryas, in which the temperature dropped violently in a matter of a few years. While many thousands of people likely froze to death, humans clearly survived. Dr. Moalem theorizes that there might be a genetic trait that helped certain humans withstand the cold. "Just because we can't survive a true deep freeze doesn't mean our bodies haven't evolved in many ways to manage the cold," Dr. Moalem says. "Not only is your body keenly aware of the danger cold poses, it's got a whole arsenal of natural defense."
To get a real quick picture of how this relates to diabetes, Dr. Moalem illustrated his point with a story of ice wine, created in Germany 400 years ago. A German vintner discovered that if he used nearly-frozen grapes to make wine, the wine was incredibly sweet. How did this happen? A grape naturally does two things at the first sign of frost: first, it reduces water to prevent ice crystals from forming inside Continue reading

Effects of diabetes on the body and organs

Effects of diabetes on the body and organs

Over time, the raised blood sugar levels that result from diabetes can cause a wide range of serious health issues. But what do these health issues involve, and how are the organs of the body affected? Can these effects be minimized?
When people have diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin or cannot use what it has effectively. As a result, the amount of sugar in the blood becomes higher than it should be.
Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main power source for the human body. It comes from the food people eat. The hormone insulin helps the cells of the body convert glucose into fuel.
Fortunately, taking a proactive approach to this chronic disease through medical care, lifestyle changes, and medication can help limit its effects.
Effect on systems and organs
The effects of diabetes can be seen on systems throughout the body, including:
The circulatory system
Diabetes can damage large blood vessels, causing macrovascular disease. It can also damage small blood vessels, causing what is called microvascular disease.
Complications from macrovascular disease include heart attack and stroke. However, macrovascular disease can be prevented by:
Microvascular disease can cause eye, kidney, and nerve problems, but good control of diabetes can help prevent these complications.
The cardiovascular system
Excess blood sugar decreases the elasticity of blood vessels and causes them to narrow, impeding blood flow.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute say diabetes is as big a risk factor for heart disease as smoking or high cholesterol.
According to the Centers for Di Continue reading

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