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.
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.
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."
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