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.
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 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.
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