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There's a lot of focus on weight loss as of late; not only in the diabetic community, but in the world in general. New ads for gyms and products claiming fast weight loss come out daily, women feel pressured to lose pregnancy weight within minutes from birthing their children, thin models are being airbrushed until they are nearly unrecognizable and diets are being undertaken without people understanding how/why/if it's really going to be effective. Some of my own friends are chronically doing near-starvation diets to shed weight. People seem to be focused on getting the fat off, but unless long term habits are improved, it's not going to stay off. It's great to fight the obesity epidemic, but we can't allow ourselves to go to the other extreme. Carrying excess weight isn't a good thing, but I think we're losing focus on the importance of health versus aesthetics.
So, what is it that affects my glucose levels and why is it so hard to manage diabetes? In this case, we're talking type 1 diabetes; mine seems to be extremely stubborn and "brittle" by nature. Honestly, sometimes balancing this chronic condition is downright exhausting. Some days it's a scientific equation, weighed and measured, a standard protocol. Other days, it's a roller coaster, a compounding tidal wave, a boxing match.
People with diabetes know the score. We've all seen "revolutionary" drugs and treatments introduced with fanfare, and we know that that much of the time they're evolutionary at best. But something has changed in the world of diabetes care.
I've been type 1 diabetic for 15 years. It hasn't been easy and I'm still grasping to keep my feet on the ground medically. Every time I think I've got this disease figured out, something new gets thrown at me and I stumble over and over again. From insulin resistance to pump failures to carbohydrate/insulin sensitivity changes to exercise regimens to health insurance issues to medical bill payments to a seemingly innocent cut on the sole of my foot, etc., I'm getting worn out.
The restriction of protein intake is an outdated thought. It was born of a study by Barry Brenner, at Harvard, back in the 1980s. He did a survey of the diabetologists in Boston asking, "At what blood sugars do you like to keep your diabetics?" The collective answer ultimately was 250 mg/dl.
When I became a type 2 diabetic, I wanted to find a way to manage my weight and blood sugar with diet and exercise. I tried the high carb diet recommended by my doctor and dietitian for a time. It worked wonderfully well while my blood sugar level was high, but when my blood sugar stabilized and I was able to go off medication, I started gaining weight again. The next thing I tried was low carbohydrate dieting. I found it to be a very effective way to lose weight rapidly, but I was unable to endure the regimen for more than a short time.
UC San Diego scientists have discovered a molecule involved in regulating the biological clock that could open a new path for treating type 2 diabetes. The molecule, dubbed KL001, controls a key protein, cryptochrome, that regulates the biological clock (circadian rhythm) in plants, animals, and humans. In doing so, cryptochrome indirectly affects the liver's production of glucose. KL001 can be manipulated to induce cryptochrome to slow the liver's glucose production, thus creating a possible new therapeutic approach to type 2 diabetes.
One of the greatest technological advancements in diabetes care has been the insulin pump. For one, it gives you the illusion of being "normal" because you no longer have to inject insulin throughout the day. Instead, you "bolus" by pushing a button on the pump itself or using a remote control. It allows better glucose management because you can adjust your basal rate (the "background" insulin dose) by increments of one thousandth of a unit every hour. Especially when you're moving from the peaks and valleys of NPH or the restraints and hazards of Lantus, the freedom of living with an insulin pump is incredible. But pumps do not come without their kinks.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14. Suddenly, I went from being a carefree teenager to a patient who had to be concerned with every carbohydrate in a cracker. Not only was I dealing with the hormones and emotional adjustments of adolescence, but I was also learning to cope with and accept a disease that wanted a part of every minute of my day. I also had to deal with the illusion that other teenagers had nothing to worry about except how to fit in, and the fact that I was no longer part of that group of carefree kids. I was now the student who had a free pass from teachers to eat or drink during class. The girl who left fourth period ten minutes early to go to the nurse's office to test her glucose. The sick kid who had a doctor's appointment every two months and came late to school because of it.
A short animated video narrated in a woman's reassuring tone provides a basic look at diabetes. The presentation touches on the science behind the condition and explains important terms, including "pancreas," "glucose," and "insulin." It stresses the importance of regular A1C checks and taking medication if needed, while pointing out the dangers associated with not staying on top of blood sugar levels.
A compound found in excessive quantities in the glucose of people with diabetes may hold the key to successful treatment of neuropathic pain, says an international team of researchers. The compound, methylglyoxal, attacks and modifies a protein, called Nav1.8, in nerve endings.
With tens of millions of American facing life with type 2 diabetes and many millions more at risk of the disease, scientists are scrambling to unravel novel treatments. The latest breakthrough could come from California's Salk Institute.
"I knew I didn't eat a totally healthy diet because bread is a big weakness of mine. Worse, exercise was something I kept planning to do but hadn't gotten around to," recalls 62-year-old Laura M., who lives in a New York City suburb. "I had been feeling more tired than usual and had a cut on my right leg that seemed to be healing slowly, but other than that I felt fine. When during the course of an annual check-up, my doctor said I had diabetes, I practically fell apart."
What's it really like to have type 1 diabetes? Every morning I start the day with a finger prick and two insulin injections. It doesn't matter if I don't feel like it. It doesn't matter if I'm tired. There is simply no room for pre-coffee dosage errors, excuses, or whining. Some mornings are good and some are bad, based upon my blood glucose reading. Its level varies greatly depending on whether my liver has released large stores of glucose during the dawn hours.
Vaginal yeast infections are annoying, not dangerous, but they can seriously hamper your sex life, especially if you have diabetes. What's the connection, and what can you do to prevent and treat yeast infections?
By now you're halfway through pregnancy. You've managed to get through the stresses of insulin shock in the first trimester and insulin resistance beginning in the second trimester, and you're well on your way toward your third trimester. Congratulations! A moment of applause, please.
I first met Team Type 1 in 2006, when I was 17 years old. They were competing in the Race Across America (RAAM), a 3,000-mile race from California to New Jersey, for the first time. When I signed up to be part of the support team for Team Type 1, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was just happy to be getting a trip to California and to be away from my parents for a week. I had no idea how much work it would take.
So, you're pregnant! Many who are in your shoes have worked very hard and diligently to begin this excursion. Others have reached this milestone unintentionally. Either way, you are about to embark on a journey that will completely challenge everything you know about your type 1 diabetes management. These next few months will challenge your motives, your emotions, your determination, and everything that makes up who you are. So sink your heels in. Take each step one at a time.
When people are diagnosed with diabetes, things can seem pretty overwhelming. In a short time, they have to absorb a daunting amount of information and start making significant decisions about the way they live their lives.
How many times has this happened to you? You're driving somewhere and something feels off. You suspect that your blood sugar level may be dropping, but you plow ahead. Now, imagine your car sounding the alarm: "Attention: This is your car speaking. Your blood sugar is low. Pull over and eat a snack."
Albertson's LLC, a nationwide supermarket chain with more than 200 stores, has announced that it will participate in the Diabetes Control Program (DCP) of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. The DCP works through trained pharmacists to provide education and support to people with diabetes.
As we wrote back in 2008, the EndoBarrier is a very clever way to simulate the effect of a gastric bypass without the unpleasant scalpel part. It looks like a long clear plastic stocking, and it's simply threaded through the patient's mouth and stomach, down to the small intestine, where it lines the intestine's upper section (the same part that is bypassed in traditional surgery). Food slips right through it, but digestive enzymes are trapped on its other side. The two don't get to join forces until a couple of feet further downstream, so the effect on diabetes is a lot like that of a bypass: It resolves the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease of the substance sugar, but is really about energy. In the final analysis, diabetes is a disease of poor energy metabolism. It is manifest in problems with sugar, the crucial fuel, and insulin, the crucial energy hormone. To understand diabetes, we need to understand biological energy: where it comes from, what it is, and how it works.
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