Don Francisco launches Diabetes website

Published: Feb 17, 2015

Don Francisco, the renowned TV show host, is launching a new website called “Cuida Tu Don” which is about how you and your family can prevent diabetes. He is taking this initiative because he knows how dangerous this chronic disease is and wants others to know about it too.

Diabetes is amongst the most harmful diseases for the Latinos. Almost 12.8% people of Hispanic origin suffer from diabetes. It is believed that the Latinos have a tendency to suffer from this disease because of genetic transfer.

The Latin host was diagnosed with diabetes type 2, 14 years ago, and that is why he felt that he needed to spread the message of the dangers of this disease. On his website, Don can be found interviewing various people from doctors to diabetic patients talking about diabetes, its causes, prevention and controlling blood sugar levels. Don says that the videos and contents on his website are very helpful as you can know about the warning symptoms and get knowledge about taking control of you blood sugar levels, if you already have diabetes.

Don Francisco launches diabetes website

Taking inspiration from one of the questions asked by the interviewee of Saludify, Don has considered undertaking a new initiative. He plans to encourage young people to get their elder family member- parents or grandparents- to get an early check for any signs of diabetes. He thinks of the idea, to target the young generation, as a good one. He further adds that he would ask his crew members to dedicate a section on how the youth can persuade their families into thinking differently about diabetes.

Mofitt Cancer Centre had done a research on Hispanic and non-Hispanics. The study was done in order to see the amount of trust they have on doctors, and without any surprise, the Hispanic (older generation and non-college- educated) complained about having been treated as the subjects of medical experiment by the doctors; whereas the non-Hispanics complained about no such thing. The same is can be concluded about the check-up regarding diabetes. The distrust on doctors leads to lesser people going for an examination.

When asked about how he was so fit even after acquiring the disease he replied by telling us his daily routine which involves eating healthy and living healthy. He takes 6 meals a day, checks his blood sugar level, controls on his diet and makes sure to exercise regularly. He says that he religiously follows what his doctor tells him to do and that has kept him going for so long.

You can find more on his website about diabetes: what does it do to your body, how can you prevent it, or balance the blood sugar level in your body. If you go and check this website out, we are sure that you will have something or the other to learn from this informative website created to help the millions of people who are suffering. This website is for everyone: for those who have diabetes and also for those who don’t.

30 million Americans have diabetes, 25% not even aware

Published: Feb 17, 2015

According to a research done by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concludes that approximately 30 million citizen of America are patients of diabetes out of which, only three-fourths are aware of it.

Stovy Bowlin, who is 56-years-old, from Cedar Creeks knows the severity of this incurable disease; and that it has become his motive to live life in order to only spread awareness about this disease. Word has it that he not only spreads awareness but also helps people in learning about the disease in order to prevent it.

The man who admits to being as stubborn as a bull says his motive is to reach out to all those who share the same feelings about diabetes, as him. Intending to work with those who are as strong willed as him about awareness of diabetes, Bowlin sets on the mission to the event at Camp Mabry called ‘Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes’.

Diabetes in men

Disease caused due to deficiency in a hormone called Insulin, which is produced by the body to digest or metabolize sugar is known as diabetes. Insulin is released by the pancreas in order to control the level of blood sugar in our bodies.

Due to deficiency in insulin, and rise in blood sugar levels, blood vessel and nerve are damaged. This may lead to organ damage, amputation or even blindness (in severe cases).

Bowlin said that he did not realize, but his medical condition has worsened and took to turn to becoming a crisis. He followed this by the story of how he went from being 290 pounds to (now) 240 pounds within a year. He underwent a surgery for an abscess at St. David’s South Austin Medical Centre. Surgeons found a bacteria inside that abscess. More bad news was yet to come. Along with the 8-inch problem, with a bacteria feeding on flesh inside it, was his high level of blood sugar of over 500. Doctors consider level of blood sugar of a little over 100 to be normal.

Browlin says his condition had worsened so much that he wasn’t far from entering the state of coma.

High blood sugar level, ignored for a long time became a home for the bacteria and pathogens. Bowlin says that the reason the abscess became so large was due to his neglection.

Bowlin showed his shirt to Chief Medical Officer of St. David’s South Autin, where he had taken signatures of all those who had cared for him. Dr. Gros says, CDC’s research shows a worse scenario which could occur in the future, adding that patients not knowing about diabetes is not uncommon.

Dr. Gros revealed frightening news that if no action is taken to prevent people from getting diabetes, then by 2020 one-fourth of American population will be affected by it.

Diabetes goes unnoticed in many Americans because the signs of this disease are hard to detect, says Gros. In order to know how he can help people better, Bowlin took a flight to CDC. He along with his team members of Step Out are ones leading in raising funds for American Diabetes Foundation, in the world.

Change EU guidelines for diabetes patients, study suggests

Published: Feb 14, 2015

The new guidelines of EU in relation to the control of blood pressure for diabetics could raise some problems.

A study done by researchers of The George Institute for Global Health, which is in affiliation to the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University, states that the new guidelines of EU could increase the chances of heart diseases, and/or stroke.

The new guidelines states that the blood pressure level for normal people should be below 140/90mmHg, while for the diabetics the level of blood pressure should kept at the maximum of 130/80mmHg.

Now very long ago another report about these researchers, who now pose a problem with the new guidelines, had provided therapeutic solutions to patients of type 2 diabetes having high blood pressure.

Blood pressure for diabetics

The reason why this new guideline is posing a problem is because high blood pressure in humans generates the risk of heart attacks, stroke and cardiovascular diseases. As for diabetic patients, due to high sugar levels, they already have a high chance of acquiring cardiovascular diseases; and having a high blood pressure will put them at an even higher risk.

The researchers claim that the conclusion of the study was that people who had blood pressure lower than 130mmHg, had 25% lower chance of having any cardiovascular disease; whereas, the patients who had more than 130mmHg, were at higher risk. When analyzing the data, they found that those with low blood pressure reduced the chances of acquiring eye and/or kidney diseases amongst diabetics. They added that relaxing the level of blood pressure could be dangerous.

Professor Kazem Rahimi, the author of the study, said that the news about the change in the guidelines is very unfortunate because they will prove to be harmful to the patients as higher BP would result in more risks of mortality. Rahimi, adds that these new changes should be modified and the BP target should be lowered to 130mmHg from 140mmHg.
Neil Poulter, from Imperial College London agrees with the results of the study and says that this could influence and change the guidelines of the new target set. He adds that changing the guidelines is necessary for the patients to be able to receive timely treatments in the UK and the US.

There are around 2.5 million patients of diabetes in the United Kingdom who are suffering. Diabetes is a diseases which can lead to other diseases like kidney, heart or eye diseases. Changing the guidelines would help the patients receive treatment well in time.

Though Paulter was not a part of the study, he has been worried about the change in the BP targets for the diabetic patients. He believes that this study has provided enough facts to change the new formed rules.

Diabetes drug shows promise treating lupus

Published: Feb 13, 2015

Researchers from the University of Florida have found, from researching for two years, that a drug commonly used by diabetic patients has shown possibility of curing Lupus, the chronic disease. The drug called ‘metformin’ was tested in mice along with human cells in the laboratory and has shown positive results.

The findings were posted in Science Translation Medicine, the journal. The researchers believe that this medicine could become the savior of many from the chronic disease of Lupus, which does not have a cure yet.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where due to hyperactivity of the immune system, the normal and well-functioning tissues of the bodies are attacked. This results in damage caused to the skin, heart, lungs, kidney and joints.

Lupus cure from Diabetes drug

According to Lupus Foundation of America, over 16000 Americans become victims of Lupus, every year. LFA states that around 5,000,000 people all across the globe are expected to be suffering from Lupus. While men and women, both, suffer from it, the chances of women acquiring it during child-bearing are more.

Our bodies, when functioning normally, produce antibodies to fight bacteria and viruses to make our immune system strong. When a person is diagnosed with Lupus they lose the ability to differentiate between antigens, like virus and bacteria, and healthy tissues. Due to dysfunction of the antibodies, skin, heart, lungs and/or kidneys are damaged.

According to Laurence Morel the WBCs (white blood cells) secrete antibodies that feed on glucose present in our bodies. She conducted some tests and found that combining metformin with glucose inhibitor resulted in slowing down of metabolism process and the attack on the ‘good’ tissues. The specialist in Immunology and Pathology, from University of Florida Medical School said that the test was done on mice using WBCs from patients suffering from Lupus which resulted in normal functioning of the WBCs. Alliance for Lupus Research and National Institutes of Health funded this research.

She found her inspiration from a research done on cancer, said Morel. In this research the growth of cells causing cancer was slowed down using a drug. She believed that from the various options of drugs that inhibit growth in cells, she chose the ones which showed positive results in cases of mouth cancer.

She said that the initial two combinations which she tried, had worked. Calling that an ‘educated guess’ Morel added that she was trying out various other combinations of drugs for a more perfect result.

The disease, lupus, is now being treated with immunosuppressant drugs and steroids. Using these drugs is having negative side effects on the patients. The disease, which results in blood clots, lung and heart diseases, currently, has no cure. She believes that using an already existing drug will impart no additional charges for the patients. She adds that a research on this drug will also prove to be cost-effective and, hence, will speed up the process of clinical trials.

When asked about her next step, she replied saying that the research will continue until the cure was found.

Diabetes drug may help obese women conceive and have healthier children

Published: Feb 12, 2015

It is not news that obese women encounter a lot of problems in getting pregnant. Many women choose the path to infertility treatments to get pregnant. When they have children, it is more likely that their child would also be obese.

The news that researchers have found a solution to this problem may be appealing to those suffering. Research done on mice resulted in the finding the cause for these problems.

Today obesity has become one of the major problems in the United States with around 34.9% adults who are obese. It is not just a disorder but a life threatening one. Obesity can also lead your cells to dysfunction. Obesity has been directly linked to having higher levels of cholesterol and fats which do not let your cells function properly. Due to the dysfunction, the ER (Endoplasmic Reticulum) cannot function properly and produce proteins. This is called ER stress; and it can cause a cell to explode.

Diabetes drug for pregnant obese women

In order to see if this disorder also occurs in the egg, some researchers conducted a study on mice. Two groups of mice were selected to perform the research on: one group had Blobby mice, which were obese, and the other group had lean mice. The research was done by Rebbeca Robker and her colleagues at the University of Adelaide in Australia. The Blobby mice go through mutation causing overeating and becoming obese.

They monitored the mitochondria activity in the mice egg cells and ER stress. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, producing energy. After the research, it was noted that there was a high level of ER stress in the Blobby mice as compared to the lean mice. There was also reduction in mitochondrial activity in the egg cells of the Blobby mice.

The researchers said that when they found out that the mitochondrion cells were damaged, they knew that it would affect the eggs as well. They further added that since the mother’s mitochondria plays an important role in the development of every cell in the child, therefore any damage caused to the mitochondria in the cell may result in damaged mitochondria in the child.

David Albertini, from the University of Kansas Medical Centre, is a scientist in reproduction. He says that this research is an important one because this study provides a new outlook towards the problem of obesity through researching the effects of obesity on the quality of eggs. The diabetes drug which is in the process could be a savior for many.

The replication of the mitochondria was affected as it could not replicate inside the embryos. Due to this the offspring mice of the Bobby mice were born heavier as compared to those of the lean mice. The offspring also had less mitochondrion in their kidneys, hearts and livers.

Robker says that the new found information is significant because it provided a new prospect as to how obesity in the mother can get transferred to the child. She further adds that this could become a way to reduce obesity amongst people because people will now be aware.

Lower blood pressure can benefit type 2 diabetes patients

Published: Feb 10, 2015

If you have diabetes type 2, then there is some good news for you. Research done on over 100,000 diabetics, and data collected from 40 trials suggests that lower blood pressure can reduce the risks occurring from type 2 diabetes.

Till now we knew that lower blood pressure reduced the chances of cardiovascular diseases, but it wasn’t clear if patients will already lower BP also showed the same results.

Patients of diabetes are more prone to hypertension as compared to healthy people. Recently, guidelines about Blood Pressure levels were released stating that 140mmHg was the more suitable and safe target for diabetics, but this study reveals otherwise. It suggests that the maximum target should be 130mmHg or lower because during the study patients having blood pressure lower than that had lower risk of suffering from diabetes related complications.

Lower Blood Pressure helps Diabetes

The study posted in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), analyzed the study and found that lowering of BP by only 10mmHg resulted in reduction of 13% risk of dying.

The research was done, along with colleagues, by Kazem Rahimi from Oxford. An extensive research was done for 12 months on over 100,000 diabetic patients; 40 trials were conducted at The George Institute for Global Health. He found that reduction in only 10 points in BP was directly linked to reduction of eye diseases by 13% and diseases in the kidney by a good 17%.

Though the medication worked wonders for the patients with high BP, the impact of the same medication was comparatively very low in people with a low BP baseline (lower than 140mmHg). The medication may not have had a huge impact, but the reduced chances of heart, kidney and eye diseases were significant.

The conclusion drawn from this study was that patients of diabetes, with more than 140mmHg BP would get the most benefit from lowering their blood pressure. As for the patients with low BP to start with (lower than 140mmHg), the effect of the medication needs to be closely monitored to know the benefits of it.

This research provides enough evidence to put emphasis on the control of BP in type 2 diabetic patients. This study provides important information because it lets people know that the risks of mortality and other diseases can be lowered by significantly lowering and keeping a control over your BP.

The co-author of this study, believes that the new guidelines for the target of BP should be changed as it could be dangerous for the diabetics. He adds, that even though you have only a moderately high BP, and take the medication to lower your BP, you will be at an advantage.
There is yet a drawback of this study. Though it has been able to clearly state that blood pressure control in diabetics is important, it has not been able to show if patients need to control their BP moderately or follow a strict routine.

Type 1 Diabetes ‘more dangerous’ in women

Published: Feb 7, 2015

Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology published a new research study which analyzes data from 26 studies on diabetes starting from 1965. This research study discovered that deaths of female patients with type 1 diabetes were 37% more than deaths among the male.

Though this result came from an extensively done research, there are certain drawbacks. As the research was done on studies from the past 60 years, there is a possibility of not considering the confounding variables in the same order as we do today. However, arguments amongst researchers have concluded that confounding factors will be the same amongst both the genders. The outcome of the study is still important.

Diabetic woman

The meta-analysis done on several studies starting from 1965 to 2010, comprised of over 200,000 patients, amongst which 15000 deaths occurred.  The participants of the studies ranged from age-groups 15 to 30, and were from various parts of the world.

Even though the studies were carried out in various parts of the world, like U.S, Japan and Estonia, the results concluded the same thing: deaths among women patients were more than that among men.

This means that women have more risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease than men, but not that women die more due to acquiring diabetes, according to scientists. These studies are a way of finding the likelihood of women dying due to heart diseases. The studies provide an estimate of the risk factor in women suffering from type 1 diabetes.

Today, with the advancement of technology, medicines and research, it may be likely to say that the number of deaths are much lower than what they were before. People are becoming more aware and taking steps to prevention, but this does not mean that diabetes should be considered to be only a chronic disease when it has the potential to be life threatening.

Director, translational research, of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Helen Nickerson says the research has given a new outlook. The result tells us that even though we knew that diabetes type 1 caused loss of cardio-renal protection, the increase in the chances of death because of heart diseases (due to diabetes) was not realized.

She adds that even though the paper does not clearly state how the risk actors like, high cholesterol, blood pressure or blood sugar level, affected the deaths, the paper has been able to emphasize on the importance of controllable risk factors which could prevent death amongst women with type 1 diabetes.

What is the cause behind more deaths in women, due to cardiovascular diseases, than men? It may be because of the decline in glycaemic control among women than in men.  In women diagnosed with diabetes type 1, this could occur during puberty, due to the dysfunction in insulin production.

Researchers believe that due to eating disorders women provide less amount of insulin to their bodies as compared to men. Bulimia is one of the common eating disorders in women.

However, others still believe that high risk of cardiovascular diseases in women could also result from that fact that they are women, because they suffer from more hormonal imbalance than men.

Diabetes technology inches closer to an artificial pancreas

Published: Feb 1, 2015

There have been advancements in technology to ease the lives of those suffering from diabetes. New reports have suggested that the scientists are now one step closer to making artificial pancreas which will perform the same way that a normal pancreas does.

The function of the pancreas is very complex. A well-functioning pancreas will release insulin in order to keep a check on the blood sugar levels of a person after every meal; and glucagon when no food has been consumed for a long time. Pancreases release exactly the right amount of insulin and glucagon for our bodies to perform properly. In diabetic patients either the pancreases stops functioning properly or the insulin released by the pancreases doesn’t cause any impact on the cell, and in turn on the glucose levels of the patients.

Diabetes

After the development of many types of equipment to keep a check on diabetes, for example, a mobile app which lets parents keep a check on their children’s blood sugar level even when they are at school, there has been no perfect solution for this disease.

Even though Insulin pumps, and continuous glucose monitors have been around for ages and have been of help in monitoring blood sugar levels, they need constant attention of the user. A glucose monitor met with an improvement in its system which enabled the monitor to stop releasing insulin when the blood sugar reached a low level. But, as the VP of the research done at JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Aaron Kowalski said, these are mere steps to gain back what has been lost due to the disease; and termed them as ‘artificial pancreas system’.

Even though there has been no perfect solution for disease, there are many trials still under research. Medtronic have been working on a system which would release insulin when glucose levels rise to a certain limit. One of the many ideas, which are still being experimented upon in labs, include a ‘hybrid’ which needs the user to signal before their meals in order for the system to release insulin. Other ideas or trials include a system, called ‘closed-loop’ which works without any signal from the users; and a system which releases glucagon along with insulin and is capable of functioning on its own. It is referred to as a ‘bionic pancreas’.

The concept of introduction of bionic pancreas is debatable. Doctors around the world feel that a bionic pancreas can function sufficiently with insulin; and may not necessarily require glucagon which is more unstable than insulin.

This field has achieved a significant amount of progress but there are difficulties to overcome. For instance, the insulin will not be released in the blood vessels like a natural pancreas does. Remodeling of insulin is required so that it can help in reducing high sugar levels, faster, after every meal.

In conclusion, even though there may be extreme advancements in the field of developing the bionic pancreas to work to perfection, we must acknowledge the fact that they are machines which are prone to wear-and-tear and failure; and hence, should not be looked upon as the ultimate cure for diabetes.

Probiotic drinks could help prevent Diabetes

Published: Jan 31, 2015

Recently a study on diabetes was posted on Diabetes, the journal. It was shown that John March along with his colleagues were capable in finding a cure for diabetes levels in rats.

An organ called pancreas in our bodies, releases insulin to keep the blood sugar levels in check. When either the pancreas is not able to secrete insulin or the insulin is ineffective towards the control of blood sugar, that condition is called diabetes.

This results in higher blood sugar levels than normal and called hyperglycemia. Due to this other organs of the body are impaired which can cause stroke, nerve damage and/or heart diseases.

Probiotics could cure Diabetes

The researchers, from Cornell, put forward the idea that bacteria found in the human gut was able to reduce blood glucose in diabetic rats. According to the report of National Diabetes Statistics of 2014, 9.3% of the American population has diabetes. From the outcome of this new study, the researchers believe that they could be closer to achieving the cure for this chronic disease.

The harmless bacteria, Lactobacillus, could release GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide 1) due to the engineering done by the researchers. Lactobacillus, a probiotic, is commonly used to treat skin disorders, diarrhea and/or Crohn’s disease. This hormone, GLP-1, would release insulin during the intake of food. When injected in mice, the blood sugar level reduced by almost 30%!

The research was conducted for 3 months, straight. The engineered probiotic was inserted in one batch of mice, who were diabetic. Throughout the 90 days, these rats were closely monitored along with the other group of diabetic rats which were not receiving the probiotic.

After the duration, it was found that the blood sugar level in the rats which received the probiotic has 30% lower blood sugar levels than those who did not.

The researchers believe that the probiotic had caused the epithelial cells of the intestine to behave like pancreatic cells which releases insulin regulating blood sugar levels in humans.

When the diabetic rats (with probiotics) were compared with normal rats, which didn’t have diabetes, it was noticed that the total time taken for blood sugar levels to lower after a meal was similar in both the groups. March added that the duty to control blood sugar levels in the diabetic rats was being moved from pancreatic cells to intestinal cells due to the injection of the probiotic.

March and his colleagues are not preparing to try another research including more doses of the engineered probiotic to see the effects. They are expecting positive results.

March said that the probiotic was also given to the normal rats but no change was noticed. It is because if the glucose levels are already in control, then the rats do not require more insulin.

The researchers have already contacted a company to produce the probiotic for humans. The biopharmaceutical company, BioPancreate, and the researchers believe that if successful, this could be the ultimate cure for the disease.

Type 1 Diabetes patients live longer with immediate Blood Glucose Control

Published: Jan 8, 2015

According to a recent research study on Type 1 diabetic patients states that the earlier they start controlling the level of glucose the longer they live. Written in the newspaper, Journal, of American Medical Association, was the finding of the research that those who control their blood sugar level at an early age live longer than those who don’t. This research was funded by National Institute of Health.

Dr. Catherine Cowie, member of National Institute of Health (NIH) funded the study done by Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and Epidemiology of Diabetes Control and Complications (EDIC). She said the approach of people with type 1 diabetes towards their disease is much better than before. The findings has helped people by ensuring that people who take care of the blood sugar level at the early stages of diagnosis, do have a change of surviving longer.

Male diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is found in children and young adults. Pancreas in our bodies make insulin to keep a check on the blood sugar level, but bodies of people suffering from diabetes do not produce enough insulin to keep level of blood sugar to normal.

A study done in 1983 on 1441 people suffering from type 1 diabetes, showed that the group which was taking intensive care had less eye, kidney or any sort of nerve disease as compared to the group without any intensive care. After over 20 years of study a total of 107 people died, amongst which 64 deaths were from the group that received standard treatment and 43 were from the intensive treatment group. Though diabetes was not the cause of all deaths, around 33% deaths were due to diabetes. Other causes include cancer, extremely low or high blood sugar level, cardiovascular diseases, or accidents. It was also noted in the standard group more death were caused due to kidney diseases caused by diabetes, as compared to the intensive treatment group. It was also found that a high percentage of protein in their urine and higher sugar levels were also major factor causing death.

The lead author of the study, Trevor Orchard claims that many studies done on type 1 diabetic patients have concluded that increased protein levels in urine do have a correlation to death. Being the professor at the University of Pittsberg, he said that higher level or protein is a cause for reduced lifespan. He emphasizes on the fact that the results show important information that taking control of glucose level at an early age can increase the lifespan of diabetic patients.

After the conduction of this study in 1993, by DCCT, it has been stated that controlling blood sugar levels at the early stages of type 1 diabetes can in fact solve many other side effects of the disease while also giving the patient a longer lifespan.

Owing to this study, Director of NIDDK, Griffin P. Rogers said that millions of type 1 diabetic patients have now become more aware and can take steps to ensure a longer lifespan for themselves by either preventing or delaying it. Take intensive care will also reduce the impact of diabetes on their eyes, nerves and/or kidney.