Diabetes News

Diabetes news you can use!

Traveling by air? Here’s what you need to know.

January 7, 2013 in News

Traveling by air can be a hassle for anyone these days, and if you are living with diabetes, there are additional challenges – making sure you have enough of your medications, figuring out where to eat, keeping to your monitoring routine (help with those below the jump) – all on top of sometimes frustrating screening procedures.  For those who use an insulin pump or a glucose monitor, recent research has raised a very important question:

Do you know if it is safe to expose your pump or monitor to X-rays? Read the rest of this entry →

The key to raising low testosterone levels may begin with a “kiss!”

January 4, 2013 in News

Testosterone is a very important hormone, and it gets a lot of press.  It’s often known as the male hormone, and the majority of the hormone in men is produced in the testes.  Testosterone has some important functions in women as well, but recent health research has largely focused on men, and a recent publication has found an extremely promising potential treatment. Read the rest of this entry →

Join us in Second Life for World Diabetes Day on November 14

October 26, 2012 in News

On November 14, 2012, Diabetes Agent will host an all-day Diabetes Awareness Event and Conference in Second Life, featuring moderated discussions with Second Life Residents, exercise sessions, a cooking demo, and a dance party with a live DJ.

Read the rest of this entry →

Low HDL may raise diabetic nephropathy risk

September 4, 2012 in News

HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, are a form of cholesterol. HDL is often referred to as the “good cholesterol,” since many studies have suggested that higher levels of HDL may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Low-density lipoproteins, LDL, are the form of cholesterol that can build up in the arteries, raising the risk of cardiovascular disease. Read the rest of this entry →

Taking your medication pays off

September 4, 2012 in News

If you are taking multiple medications every day, keeping to your regimen can be a big challenge. But taking all of your medications as your doctor instructed is one of the biggest factors in staying in control of your diabetes and reducing your risk of complications. The payoff for medication adherence can be huge; an article recently published in the journal Health Affairs explained just how significant the impact can be. Read the rest of this entry →

Good news for Type 1 Diabetics: Life expectancy has improved dramatically

September 4, 2012 in News

According to the results of a study recently published in the journal Diabetes, the life expectancy for those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes has saw a huge jump over the last half of the 20th century.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh compared data on two groups of participants diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before age 17. The first group were diagnosed with diabetes between 1950 and 1964. The second group received their diagnosis between 1965 and 1980. Read the rest of this entry →

Tuberculosis vaccine offers new hope for treating Type 1 Diabetes

September 4, 2012 in News

Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is a mouthful, but it has been used successfully to combat tuberculosis for the past 90 years. These days, it is also used as a treatment for bladder cancer. Now, a small study has provided preliminary evidence that this vaccine could help fight type 1 diabetes as well.

The vaccine increases levels of a substance naturally produced in the body, tumor necrosis factor (TNF). High levels of TNF are toxic, but BCG does not seem to raise levels of TNF high enough for this to happen. Read the rest of this entry →

More reasons not to postpone your eye exam

September 4, 2012 in News

Diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retinas caused by high blood sugar that can cause vision loss, is a major concern for all persons with diabetes. Getting an eye exam is a vital part of routine health care if you have diabetes, and newly published research suggests that retinopathy is not the only concern. Read the rest of this entry →

Beyond Blood Sugar: Is it time to expand the focus of diabetes care?

September 4, 2012 in News

What would you say is your health care provider’s main focus in treating you for diabetes?

If you are like most diabetics in the United States, you probably answered something fairly close to “preventing complications by managing your blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and/or your blood pressure.” Read the rest of this entry →

Legislating for better diabetes care

September 4, 2012 in News

Legislators in Washington, D.C. have introduced a bill that, if passed, will create the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission: an organization that would aim to address the diabetes epidemic by coordinating and concentrating national efforts to research, understand, prevent, and treat the condition. Read the rest of this entry →

Special concerns: Diabetes and post-surgical infections

September 4, 2012 in News

You may already be aware that people with diabetes are at high risk for bacterial and fungal infections of the skin. This is one of the reasons foot care is so essential if you have diabetes; the combination of poor circulation and nerve damage make it easy to injure your feet without noticing, or to develop ulcers. Ulcers and small wounds are difficult to heal if your circulation is poor or your blood sugar is not controlled. The longer a wound or ulcer takes to heal, the easier it is for infection to set in. Read the rest of this entry →

Don’t resist resistance training

September 4, 2012 in News

If you’re currently doing regular aerobic exercise, but are skipping the gym’s weight room, you may be missing out on some important benefits that can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Researchers at the University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology in Hall in Tirol, Austria recently published the results of their analysis of a large number of studies that each looked at the relationship among body fat, resistance training, and the body’s inflammatory responses. Read the rest of this entry →

Diabetes in the bedroom

September 4, 2012 in News

Sex and sexual difficulties are tough to approach. Bringing intimate matters out for frank, clinical discussion can make a lot of people uncomfortable, whether the discussion is with a partner or a member of their health care team. But when these discussions are avoided, there’s no way to learn about treatments that can help.

It’s been well known for many years that men with diabetes are susceptible to sexual problems, including ED (erectile dysfunction, often referred to as impotence). This is due in part to damage to the nerves and blood vessels in the penis, and can be increased by cardiovascular disease risk factors like obesity, smoking, and being inactive; some medications used to treat diabetes also have side effects that can increase ED. Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression also can have a significant effect.

Read the rest of this entry →

Love your heart – aerobic exercise comes with added benefits for those with diabetes

September 4, 2012 in News

Most of us have heard that exercise is good for the heart; regular aerobic exercise like swimming, jogging, and biking can strengthen the heart and improve cardiac function. Now it appears that the same aerobic exercise that is good for everyone’s heart gives an added benefit to people with diabetes. Read the rest of this entry →

Preventing complications goes beyond watching your blood sugar

September 4, 2012 in News

Watching your blood pressure is a good idea for anyone, but is especially important for those with diabetes. High blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol are two of the most common conditions that are comorbid with diabetes; according to the CDC, about 13 percent of U.S. adults are living with a combination of two of the three conditions. Read the rest of this entry →

If you miss eating rice, here’s some good news!

September 4, 2012 in News

If you are trying to choose foods with a low glycemic index (GI) to help you control your blood sugar, you may have been advised to avoid white rice. White rice is often mentioned in lists of high GI foods, along with white potatoes, pasta, and white breads. Read the rest of this entry →

Is it time to reassess early treatment of Type 2 Diabetes?

September 4, 2012 in News

If you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the past decade, you are probably familiar with the “stepwise” approach to confronting the condition. This stepwise approach, currently the standard in healthcare, encourages blood glucose control through lifestyle changes first. For example, the American Diabetes Association recommends that newly diagnoses diabetics be treated with a combination of weight loss through diet and exercise, and the drug metformin. Read the rest of this entry →

New research suggests possible treatments for diabetic neuropathy

September 4, 2012 in News

Diabetic neuropathy can cause a wide range of painful, troubling side effects – loss of sensation in hands or feet, trouble with digestion, trouble with regulating blood pressure, difficulties with sexual function, and even loss of bladder control. Close to half of all diabetics deal with one or more symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, which makes developing a greater understanding of the condition a priority for diabetes researchers. Read the rest of this entry →

Portion control a problem? Try switching plates!

September 4, 2012 in News

Plate color, that is.

No jokes here. A recently published research study looked at the way plate color impacted the choices participants made regarding food. Participants were given a plate that either closely matched the color of the food served, or contrasted with the food. They were then invited to serve themselves however much they wished from a buffet table. Read the rest of this entry →

When was your last eye exam?

September 4, 2012 in News

The diabetes epidemic is concerning in and of itself, but it also may be driving large spikes in related health problems as well. A group of researchers sponsored jointly by the National Eye Institute and Prevent Blindness America just released their analysis of the rates health conditions that threaten vision in the United States. They found the largest and most troublesome increase in the rates of diabetic retinopathy, which increased 89 percent between 2000 and 2010.

Read the rest of this entry →

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk

September 4, 2012 in News

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a very common hormonal disorder that affects between 5 and 10 percent of all women. In PCOS, the “female” hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance with the “male” hormone androgen, and this imbalance can cause infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, and small cysts in a woman’s ovaries. Similar to diabetes, weight seems to be linked to the condition, and weight management is one of the most important factors in managing the condition. Read the rest of this entry →

Diabetes and Cancer Risk

September 4, 2012 in News

By now, you are well aware of the fact that diabetes affects more than just your sugar levels. As research efforts unravel more of the mysteries of the effects diabetes has on the body, it is increasingly clear that these effects are far-reaching.

We know that having diabetes can increase your risk of some other health conditions; the link among diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension has been well documented. The relationship between diabetes and other conditions has been suspected, but not well understood. Read the rest of this entry →

New glucagon formula may be suitable for the artificial pancreas

September 4, 2012 in News

As you know, glucagon is a naturally occurring hormone that normally protects the body from hypoglycemia by raising blood sugar levels when they dip below a healthy level. In someone without diabetes, glucagon and insulin complement each other, responding to fluctuations in blood sugar to keep glucose levels within a healthy range. Read the rest of this entry →

Insulin and CVD Risk – Myth Busted!

September 4, 2012 in News

Any time you are prescribed a new medicine, it is normal and healthy to be concerned about potential side effects – especially if it is something you are likely to be taking long-term.

If you’ve been prescribed insulin, or have looked into the possibility, you may have heard that one of the potential side effects dicussed in the media is an increased risk of heart attack. It is true that experts have been concerned about the long term effects insulin injections may or may not have over the long term, but there has been little conclusive evidence for these effects. Read the rest of this entry →

Are teens getting the lifestyle message?

September 4, 2012 in News

According to recent research, more than half of them are not.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) just released information collected from 6,911 girls and 6,970 boys between the ages of 11 and 17, showing that less of half of these teens were advised by their doctor to eat healthily and get plenty of exercise. Read the rest of this entry →

Sneaky Bad Habits – Have any of these crept into your self-management?

September 4, 2012 in News

There’s no way around the fact that no matter your prescribed treatment, managing a chronic illness such as diabetes is a lot of work. It’s a 24 hours a day, 365 (or 366) days per year occupation. Sometimes, the with the amount of attention diabetes requires, bad habits and shortcuts might start drifting in to your self management routine. Read the rest of this entry →

Why we can always make room for dessert

September 4, 2012 in News

Has this ever happened to you?

You ate a good, sensible, balanced breakfast. You feel satisfied.

Then you get to work, and the first thing you see is that your coworker brought in a box of fresh doughnuts. Suddenly, you don’t feel full anymore. In fact, you feel like you’ve got plenty of room for a doughnut. Or two. Read the rest of this entry →

Poor glycemic control tied to symptoms of depression

September 4, 2012 in News

There has been a lot of buzz in diabetes research lately about the connection between diabetes and depression. Multiple studies have shown that people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from depression than those without diabetes; now researchers are focusing on the specifics of the connection so that they can design better treatments for those who suffer from both conditions. Read the rest of this entry →

Teenage diabetes rate doubles

September 4, 2012 in News

In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that about 9 percent of teens had diabetes or prediabetes.

Just ten years later, according to a study recently published in the journal Pediatrics, that rate is now 23 percent – almost a quarter of American teenagers. Read the rest of this entry →

Can the “gift of life” give back?

September 4, 2012 in News

On their home page, the American Red Cross invites you to “Give the gift that everyone wants but money can’t buy” by donating blood. New research is suggesting that regular blood donation may give back to the donor as well.

Yes, giving blood that may save someone’s life can provide anyone with an emotional lift. What researchers in Germany found during their controlled clinical trial, however, were signs of important health benefits for obese patients with metabolic syndrome. Read the rest of this entry →

Don’t lose your mind! Poor glucose management can lead to brain volume loss late in life.

September 4, 2012 in News

Here’s yet another reason to stick to your blood glucose self-management regimen: poor control over your blood glucose can result in brain atrophy – basically, your brain shrinking in volume.

Brain atrophy happens as a result of the loss of cells, and its exact effects vary depending on where the cells are lost. Regardless of the location of the damage, declines in function occur, and the condition often gets progressively worse over time. A variety of cognitive and neurological problems can develop, including dementia. Read the rest of this entry →

The artificial pancreas gets its first U.S. outpatient test drive

September 4, 2012 in News

Justin Wood, a 40-year-old diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 28 years ago, recently became the first person enrolled in a clinical trial to try out a newly-developed artificial pancreas outside of the hospital. The device, developed by the multinational Artificial Pancreas Project supported by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, is a handheld device that ties a reconfigured smartphone into a patient’s insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Read the rest of this entry →

Diabetes self-managment – a family affair?

September 4, 2012 in News

Having the support of family and friends can make just about anything a little easier to deal with, but the reverse is also true. Not having that support when you really need it can make things that much more difficult, and a recent study performed by researchers at Vanderbilt University demonstrated just how problematic the lack of support can be for those managing type 2 diabetes. Read the rest of this entry →

Watching your sugar intake isn’t enough: How high fat consumption can raise blood sugar

September 4, 2012 in News

Obesity is well known for increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as is the fact that a high fat diet can contribute to obesity. But a new study conducted by the University of Michigan Health System has revealed that the link between consuming foods high in fat and diabetes goes even deeper. Read the rest of this entry →

Nerve damage, vision loss, kidney disease: Diabetes complications can start sooner than you think

September 4, 2012 in News

Loss of vision, nerve damage in the feet and hands, eye disease, kidney disease? Not me. These are complications that can happen to people who have had diabetes a long time, not newbies, right?! A new study suggests this common belief may be dead wrong and that even patients with newly diagnosed diabetes may experience these complications. The signs of the complications may or may not always be glaringly obvious, but the underlying problems are frequently present and merit increased awareness. Read the rest of this entry →

Type 2 Diabetes and the Blame Game

September 4, 2012 in News

A recent editorial in Diabetes Health hit me hard – the article described one woman’s experience with confronting feelings that she was being blamed for her diabetes (you can read her article at the link below). One of my good friends received a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes recently, after having been prediabetic for many years. Initially, she didn’t tell me – the subject came up sideways during a get-together. I realized she was embarrassed to tell me, because she knows I work for studies focused on preventing type 2 diabetes. She told me that she was struggling with the diagnosis; she felt like a failure because she had been ‘unsuccessful’ at preventing herself from getting diabetes despite all her hard work. Read the rest of this entry →

A new form of glucose test could bring better care to remote, impoverished areas

September 4, 2012 in News

Increasing rates of type 2 diabetes are a concern worldwide, and the common concerns have led to some exciting opportunities for international research cooperation. One of the emerging concerns for these international research teams is the beginnings of the epidemic to impoverished, rural areas in countries like China and India. Healthcare is often hard to come by in these areas, with families often unable to prioritize health care over other essentials such as food and shelter. Read the rest of this entry →

Veggies looking unappetizing? Try changing beverages!

September 4, 2012 in News

“Finish your vegetables!”

Those three words are enough to make a lot of people wince. Some people just don’t like vegetables at all, right? If you don’t like the taste of vegetables, what are you supposed to do to eat healthy?

A recent study published in the journal Appetite suggests that the first thing you might want to try is to change what you are drinking with dinner. Read the rest of this entry →

New study offers insight into one of the most painful side effects of diabetes

September 4, 2012 in News

The impact of painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) on the lives of those affected by it is well understood. Recent estimates suggest that up to 50% of those with diabetes suffer from the distressing condition, and the persistent abnormal pain impairs patients’ quality of life and affects sleep, mood, mobility, ability to work, relationships, self-esteem and independence. Read the rest of this entry →

Why your wallet will love your exercise routine

September 4, 2012 in News

If you need extra motivation to start the exercise regimen your doctor has been recommending, keep in mind that some sweating now can really pay off later in life – financially as well as physically.

Researchers at University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center and the Cooper Institute, both in Dallas, decided to look at the impact of fitness in middle age on health outcomes later in life. They looked at information from when the participants had an average age of 51 to determine general fitness level, which was assessed using a treadmill test. The researchers found that the medical expenses at an average age of 72, for those participants who were fit in middle age were drastically lower than their counterparts. Read the rest of this entry →

Healthy Eating is Cheaper than You Think!

September 4, 2012 in News

Thinking about changing what you eat can be intimidating. After all, few of us have the luxury of planning meals based solely on what we want to eat. There are other people’s tastes to consider, what’s available at the store when we go… and of course, the price. Food costs have been going up, and a lot of us are under pressure to choose foods that are as filling as possible for as cheap as possible. “Healthy” foods don’t seem to fit in to that category, right? Read the rest of this entry →

What are you taking?

September 4, 2012 in News

Due to the rapid increase in the rate of diabetes in the United States, there has been a lot of healthcare research focused on finding the best way to provide quality care in the most cost-efficient manner possible.

One recent study looked at the prescriptions type 2 diabetes patients are receiving when they first start taking an oral medication for glucose management. There are currently six basic classes of these medications, all of which help lower blood glucose. Each of these has a different set of benefits, and the costs among the choices can vary a great deal. Read the rest of this entry →

Finding the right age to start regular colonoscopies

September 4, 2012 in News

Preliminary results from a small study suggest that patients with type 2 diabetes may need to begin regular colonoscopies sooner than their peers.

In a colonoscopy, a doctor uses a camera attached to the end of a long, thin, flexible tube to examine the walls of the large intestine. During this procedure, any polyps (small outgrowths of cells) are removed and biopsied. Currently, it is recommended that individuals have their first colonoscopy at age 50. Read the rest of this entry →

Better lifestyle habits are saving lives!

September 4, 2012 in News

A recent release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that patients with type 2 diabetes are taking better care of themselves and receiving better care than ever before.

According to the study, the death rate for diabetes from either stroke or heart disease was 40% lower in 2006 than in 1997. The overall death rate for adults with diabetes from all causes was also lower, showing a 23% decrease. Read the rest of this entry →

How Dense is Your Diet?

September 4, 2012 in News

Most of us have heard that we should eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, while limiting our intake of fats and and added sugar. In 2010, the USDA released a set of dietary recommendations for all Americans that included this advice, adding that we should all try to eat more foods that a have a low “energy density.” Read the rest of this entry →

Can’t Make Time to Exercise Every Day? Don’t let that stop you from reaping the same benefits!

September 4, 2012 in News

Most of us have heard that daily exercise is a healthy way can help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar. The ADA recommends that people with diabetes get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five or more days per week.

Easy, right? Well, it sounds like it should be, but as you’ve probably experienced, making time every day for 30 minutes of exercise can be a real challenge at times. Read the rest of this entry →