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.
Michael Hamman is a 63-year-old contractor. He recalls, "I first was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes five or six years ago. I probably had elevated blood sugar well in advance of that, but I was unaware of it. I don't remember how high my blood sugar was at the time, but I think my A1C was 7.5%. My blood sugar's never really been awful. Since I started monitoring myself, my sugar readings are normally between 150 and 165. I think it was pushing 200 before I was medicated, but the medications brought it down. They started me on glyburide and I took that for a long time, and then the A1C was moving up again, so they added the metformin. The A1C now is down in the mid-sixes. They consider it controlled, not well controlled or as good as it could be, but certainly for someone my size, it's probably as good as you can get."
Tony Flores is a 50-year-old native of El Salvador who works as a construction foreman. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 12 years ago, after an eye doctor told him it would be a good idea to get his blood sugar checked. He recalls, "I did the test, and they got all freaked out and told me, ‘Oh my god, your A1C is at 12%. You have diabetes type 2. You've got to cut the sugar, you've got to stop drinking orange juice and soda."
Weight loss can help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar and avoid potential health risks associated with the disease. Did you know that losing even seven percent of your body weight can lower blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels1?
"Consider diabetes as a disease that has different phases--with the central feature a disorder of insulin production and insulin use," said Roberta Anding, MS, RD/LD,CSSD,CDE. Anding is a clinical dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Baylor College of Medicine, as well as a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "To better control and lose weight safely with type 2 diabetes, it is important to consider the type and amount of food on your plate."
Everywhere you look, there seems to be a great tasting high carb meal, dessert, or snack staring back at you. While away at college last fall, I found a t-shirt picturing a cupcake above a skull and crossbones. For me, that image really sums up how we need to deal with being diabetic while being constantly tempted by sugary treats.
It's Labor Day weekend in Pittsburgh, just outside of the Steelers' Heinz Field, and the Bret Michaels Band has come home for some hard-driving rock and roll. The 20,000 screaming fans are a generational mix, shrieking 16-year-old girls side-by-side with moms and dads who have temporarily abandoned their parental roles to dance, sing the familiar words to "Look What the Cat Dragged In," and howl into the nighttime air. On stage is Bret Michaels, the boy from Butler, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town just an hour north.
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