Ten years ago, I was asked by my endocrinologist to begin using statins to lower my cholesterol. I was barely over 20 years of age and was afraid of possible side or long-term effects. I was nervous about adding yet another drug to my list of daily medications, so I told him I would consider it and went home feeling like a medical disaster. Hello, diabetes complications: We meet again.
Diabetes is certainly a journey. The more I learn about it, the more I want to step off this path and onto a new one. So, how do you change the course of such an expensive and frustrating chronic illness?
Here is a statistic to warm the heart-literally: The death rate from heart disease and stroke among American adults with diabetes dropped 40 percent from 1997 to 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The overall mortality rate among people with diabetes dropped 23 percent.
The slow backlash against low-fat, relatively high-carb diets as the ideal for everyone with type 2 diabetes has received a boost from a team of Swedish researchers at Linkoping University, about 100 miles southwest of Stockholm.
"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."
Up to seven years before she becomes pregnant, a woman's risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy can be identified based on routinely assessed measures of blood sugar and body weight, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the online issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Carbohydrates can increase blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, as well as contribute to weight gain. A recent study shows that eating two ounces of raw, dry, or roasted nuts daily as a replacement for two ounces of other carbohydrates may control blood sugar levels and cholesterol in type 2 diabetes without packing on the pounds.
Italian researchers have found that increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids leads to a decrease in insulin resistance, a common precursor to the development of type 2 diabetes. It also improves lipid profiles and adiponectin levels. (Adiponectin is a protein that is involved in metabolizing glucose and fatty acids. Low levels are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and obesity.)
In the last decade, dramatic changes have occurred in our understanding of the onset and progression of prediabetes. Lightning speed changes have also occurred regarding the therapies available to achieve optimal blood glucose control. Even with all of this change, however, many old dogmas hang on. It's time to be aware of the new realities. In this article, I focus on two common old dogmas and the new realities.
Over the last decade, dramatic changes have occurred in our understanding of the onset and progression of prediabetes. Lightning speed changes have also occurred regarding the therapies available to achieve optimal blood glucose control. Even with all of this change, however, many old dogmas hang on. It's time to become aware of the new realities. In this article, I focus on two common old dogmas and the new realities.
Here's news that has been receiving big play in U.S. and European media: British scientists have found that a gene called KLF14 acts as a "master switch" that controls other genes found in body fat-genes that are major factors in such conditions as type 2 diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol levels, and levels of glucose and insulin. The finding, by researchers at King's College London and Oxford University, could lead to treatments for diabetes, obesity, and related metabolic disorders by targeting the gene.
Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center's Heart Institute in Utah have found that regular fasting cuts the risk of both heart disease and diabetes. The study comes from Utah because the state's large number of Mormon residents are asked to fast at least once a month. For many of them, not eating at all has real, long-lasting health benefits.
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