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Why A Key Diabetes Test May Work Differently Depending On Your Race

Why a key diabetes test may work differently depending on your race

Why a key diabetes test may work differently depending on your race

This overestimate could lead a doctor to target a black patient's blood sugar levels aggressively, causing dangerously low blood sugar.
"I believe our study, for the first time, definitively shows there is a component of higher A1c that is due to biologic or genetic differences in glucose attaching to the red blood cell," said Dr. Richard Bergenstal, executive director of the International Diabetes Center in Minneapolis and lead author of the study.
The study notes that race only partially explains the hemoglobin A1c differences, and more research is needed to identify social and economic factors that may influence blood sugar levels in various groups of people.
For black patients in America, who have traditionally faced a history of barriers and disadvantages in health care, those factors might also include having limited access to care or medications.
Bergenstal offered one specific question that concerned patients could ask their doctors: "Are we depending just on the hemoglobin A1c to measure how my diabetes control is doing, or are we actually looking at the blood sugars to get a little better reflection of my blood sugars?"
He added that "the A1c, you know, is kind of an average marker, and no patient is average. One of our take-home messages is, it's probably time to be looking at blood sugars and personalizing therapy for each individual a little more than just this average blood sugar test."
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar levels are above normal, which could cause health problems. With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not make insulin, a hormone Continue reading

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Here’s How Much It Costs To Treat Diabetes

Here’s How Much It Costs To Treat Diabetes

Diabetes is a major health problem among Malaysians. According to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, a total of 3.6 million Malaysians have it, with 1.8 million may be unaware that they are diabetic as they never went for health screening.
This number has been continuously rising for years, and if you are related to someone who has diabetes, you’re at higher risk of having it yourself. It’s a pandemic that seems to have no end in sight.
The biggest issue with diabetes is that not only will it take a slow but sure toll on your health, it does the same for your finances too.
Here are some of the costs you need to consider should you be diagnosed with diabetes.
Outpatient diabetes treatment cost
Whether you have Type 1 or 2, you will have to deal with ongoing treatments to help you manage and keep your condition stable for the long run. The Hemoglobin A1c test (HbA1c, A1c, or Hb1c), which is used to determine the average concentration of glucose in the blood plasma, is a common test for diabetics that need to be taken about two to seven times a year. There are also blood test devices and medications that need to be considered as well.
Here’s how much the cost will look like.
Diabetic treatment in the hospital
Even though your condition can be controlled on your own with medication, there’s always the chance of you having to be hospitalised due to issues such as hyperglycemia, where your blood sugar level increases to dangerous levels that require further monitoring and increases in insulin dosages. Hyperglycemia would require not only medical personnel to wa Continue reading

Moringa oleifera can help treat diabetes, study finds

Moringa oleifera can help treat diabetes, study finds

(NaturalNews) The leaves of the Moringa oleifera tree are one of Asia's most nutrient-dense foods. In fact, just one serving of these leaves in powdered form contains almost 50 types of antioxidants and almost 90 different nutrients. Unsurprisingly, numerous studies have linked long-term consumption of Moringa leaves to the treatment of countless health conditions such as osteoporosis, macular degeneration, high blood pressure, obesity and even cancer.
A recent study published in the March 2014 issue of Acta Histochemica, however, suggests that we add another condition to that list: diabetes mellitus, the increasingly common metabolic disease that affects an estimated 8.3 percent of the United States population.
Significant results
For the study, the Egyptian researchers fed aqueous extracts of Moringa oleifera leaves to albino rats that were suffering from streptozotocin-induced diabetes. During the trial period, they monitored the fasting plasma glucose levels of the rats, as well as their levels of glutathione (an antioxidant found in Moringa that contains antidiabetic properties) and malondialdehyde (a toxic byproduct of lipid oxidation that is often found in high levels in people suffering from diabetes).
At the end of the trial, the rats that were fed Moringa extracts fared far better than the control group. Specifically, the extracts reduced their fasting plasma glucose levels from 380 percent to 145 percent (i.e. their blood sugar levels were reduced by more than 2.5 times). The extract also reduced the rats' levels of harmful malondialdehyde from 385 percent to 186 Continue reading

Statins DOUBLES risk of diabetes, concludes 10-year study into controversial drug

Statins DOUBLES risk of diabetes, concludes 10-year study into controversial drug

The research, published in a leading journal examined 25,970 patients over ten years and discovered statin users had a higher incidence of diabetes and also weight gain.
Patients using the drugs also had more than double the risk of diabetic complications including eye, nerve and kidney damage.
Scientists say the new research published in the leading Journal of General Internal Medicine, confirms a long suspected link between statin use and diabetes.
Professor Ishak Mansi a heart specialist at the University of Texas who led the study said: “Our findings are alarming.”
The research, will add to the debate surrounding the drugs, which are routinely given to up to 12 million patients in the UK, or around one in four adults.
Supporters say they save lives by lowering cholesterol and UK health regulators say they are safe. However increasing research has suggested the risks such as severe muscle pain, depression, fatigue, impaired memory, and stroke, may outweigh the benefits in many patients.
Many leading doctors and academics believe drug regulators over depend on studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry, details of which are kept “hidden” due to commercial confidentiality agreements.
Professor Ishak added: “There is not enough funding to carry out studies to assess these long term effects that are not funded by drug companies and therefore clouded by conflicts of interest.”
And he said drugs may be doing more harm than good for people at low risk of heart disease: “I am sceptical about the prescribing guidelines for people at lower risk (of heart disease). Continue reading

Merck's Diabetes Franchise And The Perils In Proving A Drug's Medical Value

Merck's Diabetes Franchise And The Perils In Proving A Drug's Medical Value

Merck’s Januvia (sitagliptin) and its metformin combination, Janumet, are important drugs for type 2 diabetes patients as well as for Merck’s bottom line. These drugs, which are DPP-4 inhibitors, account for more than $6 billion in sales for this drug giant. Given the growing incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the world, this franchise is poised for continued growth.
However, Merck has competition in this field with a number of other drug companies, a notable one being Eli Lilly. Lilly has a variety of products for diabetics, including Jardiance (empagliflozin), a drug that acts by blocking SGLT2. (Lilly co-developed Jardiance with Boehringer Ingelheim.) Both Januvia and Jardiance lower high blood sugar, the cause of the downstream consequences of diabetes such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputations. However, just because a drug lowers blood sugar doesn’t ensure that it will reduce the ultimate complications of diabetes. Nevertheless, over the years diabetes drugs have been approved on the basis of blood sugar lowering alone.
However, last December, Lilly raised the bar for oral diabetes drugs with the acceptance by the FDA of its data showing that Jardiance not only lowered blood sugar but, in doing so, also reduced cardiovascular events in diabetic patients with heart disease. These data were generated in a trial known as the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial. Last December, the FDA effectively blessed this work and allowed Lilly to add the cardiovascular outcome benefit to the Jardiance label. This was a big advantage to Lilly because its sales r Continue reading

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