Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

Diabete-ezy tips from Oz

August 19, 2010
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Another website run by people who live with diabetes who have got up and done something about it. This family has 3 kids and one parent with Type 1. they have their own version of a kitbag, pump belt and record book and some test wipes so you have super clean skin before you test to avoid dodgy readings.


Texas Researcher Poised to Test Leptin as a Replacement for Insulin Among Type 1s

April 23, 2010
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After mice “thrived” on the insulin-free regimen the hormone leptin offered, researchers are now ready to test the response on humans…

A University of Texas researcher who genetically modified mice with type 1 diabetes to control their disease with leptin instead of insulin is now ready to extend his experiment to human test subjects. Dr. Roger Unger, a researcher at the UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, will begin the tests as soon as leptin manufacturers can assure him of a steady supply of the hormone.

While other studies have indicated that the hormone may help control blood sugar levels, Unger and his associates were the first to experiment with leptin as a monotherapy in diabetes.

In his paper, “Leptin monotherapy in insulin dependent type 1 diabetes,” just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Unger details how his team initially genetically modified diabetic mice to produce extra quantities of leptin. The mice were then taken off insulin and left to rely solely on leptin to control their blood sugar levels.

Unger reports that the mice thrived on the insulin-free regimen. Because genetic manipulation is not an option in human test subjects, the next step was to treat diabetic mice that had not been genetically altered with pump-delivered injections of leptin. Unger reports that those mice, too, did well despite the absence of insulin.

One reason for Unger’s desire to see if leptin can be a viable alternative to insulin is concern about the side effects produced by the typically large doses of insulin that most people with type 1 diabetes have to take. Among them are large fluctuations in blood sugar levels and possible long-term ill effects on blood vessels. In his experiments with leptin, Unger found that only low doses of the hormone were needed to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Even as he undertakes tests with human subjects, Unger agrees with other diabetes experts that there is still a long way to go before leptin could be recommended as an alternative diabetes therapy. One important question the research may help answer is why leptin mimics insulin’s ability to deliver sugar to muscles and fat cells.

In comments on his paper, Dr. Barbara Kahn, a diabetes expert at Harvard Medical School and chief of endocrinology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said that Unger’s research will have to address several other crucial questions:

  • Mouse and human eating patterns are very different. Mice graze constantly on food that takes a long time to digest, while humans eat several meals a day. Can leptin, which can maintain constant blood sugar levels in animals whose eating patterns do not create wide swings in the first place, work in humans, whose eating patterns invite such swings?
  • Unger’s mice had to be genetically altered to produce leptin, whereas most people with type 1 diabetes already produce normal amounts of leptin. What side effects might be created if the amount of leptin in their systems is increased?
  • Will leptin make it harder for type 1s to tell if they are having a hypoglycemic episode?

Whatever answers Unger’s further research delivers, they probably won’t help people with type 2 diabetes, who are resistant to both insulin and leptin.

via: Texas Researcher Poised to Test Leptin as a Replacement for Insulin Among Type 1s

Islet transplantation in the news

April 8, 2010
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Just reading about Richard Lane — first man in the UK to have an islet transplant, and the support that the JDRF gives to the transplant initiative. The Edmonton Protocol sounds like the name of a sub-Bondian adventure novel, but it’s top-class research into life-saving treatment for Type 1 diabetes — so far MORE exciting!

Islet transplantation in the news.

Testing Blood Sugar Through Your Tears | Diabetes News Hound

January 11, 2010
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Researchers in Canada have developed a novel method that may one day be used to monitor the blood sugar of diabetics: contact lenses.

The contact lenses will continuously monitor blood sugar levels and alert the user that their sugar levels are off by changing color, according to an article published recently in the Times of India. The lenses are made of hydrogel and use very small nano-particles that react with glucose particles found in tears to measure the blood sugar levels.

Details of the lenses and their accuracy at measuring high and low blood sugars are limited, but the article notes that researchers are currently working to improve the technologies.

via Testing Blood Sugar Through Your Tears | Diabetes News Hound.

New Type of Rice May Help Control Diabetes | Diabetes News Hound

January 7, 2010
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Researchers at the Korea National Open Society say they have cultivated a new strain of rice that can reduce sugar levels and increase insulin levels in the blood, according to an article published in The Chosun IIBO.

The researchers, who conducted the study on rats, plan to register the rice next year with the Korea Seed and Variety Service. The researchers note that the rice has not been genetically altered or modified in any way so there shouldn’t be a problem with eating it.

The rice also proved to reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

via New Type of Rice May Help Control Diabetes | Diabetes News Hound.

Stunning stats on global ‘epidemic’ of diabetes from International Diabetes Foundation (IDF)

January 5, 2010
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MONTREAL, Canada. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) released new data today showing that a staggering 285 million people worldwide have diabetes. The latest figures from the IDF Diabetes Atlas indicate that people in low and middle-income countries (LMCs) are bearing the brunt of the epidemic, and that the disease is affecting far more people of working age than previously believed.

In 1985, the best data available suggested that 30 million people had diabetes worldwide. Fast-forward 15 years and the numbers were revised to just over 150 million. Today, less than 10 years on, the new figures – launched at the 20th World Diabetes Congress in Montreal, Canada – put the number closer to 300 million, with more than half aged between 20 and 60. IDF predicts that, if the current rate of growth continues unchecked, the total number will exceed 435 million in 2030 – many more people than the current population of North America.

Professor Jean Claude Mbanya, President of the International Diabetes Federation, voiced concern: “The data from the latest edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas show that the epidemic is out of control. We are losing ground in the struggle to contain diabetes. No country is immune and no country is fully equipped to repel this common enemy.”

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys its own insulin-producing cells. People with type 1 diabetes require daily injections of insulin to survive. The majority of all diabetes is type 2 diabetes (85%-95%), which in many cases can be prevented. People with type 2 diabetes cannot use the insulin they produce effectively, but can often manage their condition through exercise and diet, although many go on to require medication, including insulin, to properly control blood glucose levels. It is estimated 60% or more of type 2 diabetes could be prevented.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes represent a serious health threat. Diabetes claims four million lives every year and is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and amputation

Researchers Question Benefit of Test Strips for Type 2 Patients | Diabetes News Hound

December 30, 2009
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Two new studies are suggesting that finger sticks and daily blood sugar monitoring is unnecessary and costly for the majority of Type 2 diabetics, according to a recent article published on the CTV Toronto website. However, for people with Type 1 diabetes, who rely on insulin injections to regulate their blood sugar levels, and people with Type 2 diabetes that also take insulin shots, test strips are a necessary and important tool.

via Researchers Question Benefit of Test Strips for Type 2 Patients | Diabetes News Hound.

Rethinking Carb Counting, Aggressive Blood Sugar Control | Diabetes News Hound

December 22, 2009
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Two practices that were commonly thought to be mainstays of diabetes control – carb counting and aggressive blood sugar control — are getting a second look.

via Rethinking Carb Counting, Aggressive Blood Sugar Control | Diabetes News Hound.

December 1, 2009
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A new website based around the glycaemic index links steadier blood sugars to weight loss, but irrespective of the need to lose weight using knowledge of teh GI in anyone’s every day diet is of great benefit, especially if they have diabetes as the GI was initially investigated as a means to help diabetics avoid highs and lows of blood sugars.

“By simply switching from high GL foods to more natural, less refined low GL foods you can steadily shed unwanted excess weight, increase your energy and importantly help balance your moods. This is due to the blood sugar balancing effects of eating low GL foods, which also make it an ideal plan for diabetics.”


Obesity may modify genes

November 30, 2009
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Evidence from candidate gene studies suggests that obesity may modify genetic susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.

via SpringerLink – Journal Article.

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