Will High-Tech Skin Put An End To Needle Sticks For Diabetes?

Will High-Tech Skin Put an End to Needle Sticks for Diabetes?

Will High-Tech Skin Put an End to Needle Sticks for Diabetes?

Painful and inconvenient, needle sticks are part of daily life for many people with diabetes. Wouldn’t it be great if there were some high-tech wearable that could monitor blood glucose levels continuously and noninvasively — that is, without the need to pierce the skin?
We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer. The FDA just approved a skin patch with a small through-the-skin wire that delivers glucose readings wirelessly to a wand-like reader — but the patch must be replaced every 10 days. And researchers at MIT are doing very preliminary research on tattoos that change appearance to indicate changing glucose levels.
Now University of Chicago scientists have taken these ideas a step further. Working with rodents, they’ve endowed skin itself with the ability to track blood glucose and are at work on a system that could give at-a-glance insights into all kinds of blood values.
The team, led by cell biologist Dr. Xiaoyang Wu, used stem cells and the gene-editing technique CRISPR to create skin cells that emit fluorescent light in a particular pattern as blood glucose levels rise.
The light is invisible to the naked eye but can be detected by a tiny electronic sensor that might be embeddable in a wristwatch or bracelet.
If this preliminary research pans out, the skin sensor-and-device combination could make possible continuous, noninvasive monitoring of blood levels of cholesterol, sodium, iron, bilirubin, and liver and kidney enzymes as well as glucose.
A gentle vibration, ring, or flash would alert wearers when levels got out of whack — a Continue reading

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Eating Well with Type 2 Diabetes

Eating Well with Type 2 Diabetes

When you have diabetes, your diet plays a key role in controlling your blood sugar levels. SparkPeople strongly encourages everyone with diabetes to meet with a Registered Dietitian or a Certified Diabetes Educator in their area. These health professionals can assess your individual nutritional needs and develop a specific plan to meet your physical needs, work schedule and activities, medication schedule, health goals, tastes and lifestyle. You should not alter your diabetes management plan without discussing your options with your health care provider. With all this in mind, SparkPeople will still be a great resource for you. Use this article to review key points for eating with type 2 diabetes. Note: SparkPeople does offer meal plans designed for people with diabetes. Click here to learn more.
Carbohydrate Basics
Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source. During digestion, sugar (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood sugar (glucose). If you consume too much carbohydrate-rich foods at one time, your blood sugar levels may raise too high, which can be problematic.
Carbohydrates are found in cereals and grains, fruits and fruit juices, milk and yogurt, and sweets. Because they are important sources of energy, it's important to include nutritious carbohydrates at each meal and snack. But keep in mind that the healthiest carbohydrate choices are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, and low-fat dairy products.
Portion Control
Portion control is a problem for many people, but for individuals with type 2 diabetes i Continue reading

Diabetes Basics for Family and Friends

Diabetes Basics for Family and Friends

There are few things more misunderstood than diabetes. It’s a disease that can seem simple from a casual distance (oh, it means you can’t have sugar, and you’d probably be just fine if you lost a few pounds), while in truth it is a very complex condition — actually, several fairly different complex conditions that all happen to be called “diabetes.” It seems like it’s a disease that’s mentioned all over the place, but it’s still rare enough that relatively few people ever really learn what it really is.
So today I’m going to offer this column anyone who finds themselves in the social orbit of someone living with diabetes. Consider this your Diabetes 101: Intro to ‘betes.
1. There are two main types of diabetes, and they’re not the same.
OK, this is an important one. Diabetes is really several different diseases. Both main types involve the body’s ability to metabolize sugar, but the causes are very different. And the treatments can be very different. Some of my most irritating experiences as a Type 1 diabetic have been when someone who knows someone with Type 2 decides to start giving me advice or telling me I shouldn’t be eating something. And I’m not alone here — everyone I’ve talked to with Type 1 has had the same experience, and it drives them crazy, too.
There is one important physiological distinction you should understand. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s beta cells, which produce insulin. Insulin is what the body needs to transfer sugar from the bloodstream to the body’s many cells (which use t Continue reading



Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough insulin or is not able to use the insulin effectively. As a result, the glucose in the blood (often called blood sugar) becomes too high.
There are 29.1 million Americans who have the condition, of which 8 million do not know that they have diabetes. The number of people with diabetes has increased along with the number of people who are overweight or obese. Diabetes is more common among minorities such as blacks, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Americans. People can get diabetes at any age, but the risk increases as we get older. It is estimated that in 2014, nearly 25 percent of people over the age of 65 have diabetes. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational (je-sta-shen-al) diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes (previously also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes)
Type 1 diabetes develops because the cells that produce insulin (beta cells) are destroyed by an immune process, and the body, therefore, is unable to produce sufficient amounts of insulin. Only about five to 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in children and young adults, but may occur at any age. So even if you are 90 years of age, you can develop juvenile diabetes!
Type 2 diabetes (previously also known as adult onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes)
Type 2 diabetes develops because the body is unable to effectively use the insulin that it produces. Type 2 diabetes ty Continue reading

New metformin may help more patients with type 2 diabetes

New metformin may help more patients with type 2 diabetes

A new study shows that the glucose-lowering effect of metformin - a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes - takes place in the gut and not in the bloodstream.
The revelation, published in the journal Diabetes Care, means that a delayed-release form of metformin that the researchers tested could suit the 40% of type 2 diabetes patients who cannot use the current formulation.
Metformin (short for metformin hydrochloride, also known as Glucophage and other brand names) has been used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes for nearly 60 years.
Despite the drug's veteran status, scientists are not exactly sure how and where in the body most of its glucose-lowering effect takes place.
The new study, led by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill, provides strong evidence that metformin does most of its work in the gut, and not in the bloodstream, as many had assumed.
First author John Buse, a professor of medicine, says:
"Our clinical trials show that metformin works largely in the lower intestine, reversing half a century of conventional thinking."
In their paper, the team describes how they carried out a phase 1 and a phase 2 trial of the experimental drug Metformin Delayed Release (Metformin DR). Prof. Buse says:
"These studies provide evidence that delivering Metformin DR to the lower bowel significantly reduces the amount of metformin in the blood, while maintaining its glucose-lowering effect."
Trials show Metformin DR may suit kidney-impaired patients
One of the main reasons metformin is not suitable for all patients with type 2 diabetes is because it c Continue reading

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