Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

Tips for Avoiding Diabetes Burnout

April 9, 2010
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Some great tips here on how to live with diabetes day-to-day…

All of us get tired or frustrated with managing our diabetes day after day, year after year. However, some take it to the extreme by neglecting good diabetes management for a few days, a few weeks, or possibly forever. While it is understandable that some may want a break from the disease, it often contributes to some of the disease’s complications, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness and kidney disease.

The Joslin Diabetes Center offers a handful of tips on its website for avoiding diabetes burnout, noting the condition is different than depression. Here are five ways to help avoid the burnout:

  • Stay motivated – to do this, it is important to cut yourself some slack and realize your blood sugar numbers will not always be perfect. Accepting that high and low readings will occur from time to time should help relieve some stress.
  • Identify Obstacles – making a list of items that make it difficult for you to manage your diabetes will help you better address those items. For example, if you do not have enough time to go to the gym, you may want to spend the money you will pay in gym membership for a treadmill at home. If
  • Get Support – some people are very private about their diabetes, but allowing close friends and family members know how they can help can be important. It can be as simple as telling them upfront what you find helpful and what you do not find helpful.
  • Keep Focused on the Big Picture – because many of diabetes’ complications build up over many years and decades, it can be tempting to lose sight of the importance of day to day care, such as exercise and eating right. Staying on track will not only help stave off long-term complications, it will help individuals feel better on a day-to-day basis.
  • Visit Doctors Regularly – your doctors can help guide you and provide you feedback on how you are doing in your overall management.

While many of these items may seem pretty basic, they are important to remember

via: Tips for Avoiding Diabetes Burnout


Researchers Explore Potential Replacement for Insulin

April 8, 2010
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More research into how the weight loss hormone leptin works with insulin for better blood sugar control…

New research suggests that multiple daily insulin injections may one day be a thing of the past for people with Type 1 diabetes, according to a recent article published by BusinessWeek.

Researchers experimenting on mice say that the weight loss hormone leptin may one day replace or complement insulin shots in helping people with Type 1 diabetes maintain better blood sugar control. Previous research suggested the hormone may help people with Type 2 diabetes.

People with Type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin, the hormone that helps control the level of sugar in the blood, and therefore must inject the hormone into their body on a regular basis. People with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but their body does not use it efficiently. Some people can control their Type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise, but most need to take a pill or even insulin injections to regulate the sugar in their blood.

For this study, researchers treated Type 1 diabetic mice with insulin, leptin or a combination of the two hormones. What they found was that those treated with leptin or the combination of the two hormones showed better blood sugar control, lower cholesterol and lower body fat.  Researchers say the next step is human trials to see if the treatment works in humans.

via: Researchers Explore Potential Replacement for Insulin

UK Study Finds That People With A1c’s of 7.5% Run Less Risk of Death Than Those With Lower A1c’s – Diabetes Health

February 15, 2010
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I think this is a very important study — really tight control is not just hard but deleterious.

“Results of a 22-year study by researchers at Cardiff University School of Medicine in Wales indicate that older type 2s who try too hard to drive their A1c’s down to “normal” (4.5% to 6%) may significantly increase their chances of early death. In fact, the study, just published in the British medical journal The Lancet*, found that type 2s with the lowest risk of death had A1c’s of 7.5% — a figure that few authorities on the disease have recommended as ideal.”

via UK Study Finds That People With A1c’s of 7.5% Run Less Risk of Death Than Those With Lower A1c’s – Diabetes Health.

Insulin Pumps Might Have Slight Advantage in Type 1 Diabetes -Diabetes news-

January 20, 2010
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New evidence review suggests that using a pump to deliver insulin continuously — instead of taking three or more daily injections — might result in better control of blood sugar for people with type 1 diabetes.

“The findings of this review tell us that both continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion and multiple injections correct blood glucose levels. However, [continuous infusion] may be better for reducing harmful fluctuations in blood glucose,” said lead author Marie Misso, Ph.D.

Type 1 diabetes — which used to be known as juvenile diabetes — results when the pancreas is not able to secrete enough insulin, causing the levels of glucose (or sugar) in the blood to rise.

Chronically high blood glucose can lead to heart attacks, circulation problems and blindness. Low levels can lead to unconsciousness and even death. Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood.

Most people with the condition control their glucose by injecting themselves with insulin three or more times per day. Others choose to use a pump, which gives continual, smaller doses of insulin without the discomfort of injections.

“There are numerous studies that evaluate these treatments, but most are of poor quality,” said Misso, a research fellow at the Monash Institute of Health Services Research in Clayton, Australia. “So there has been uncertainty about which treatment is best for maintaining consistent levels of blood glucose and reducing harmful fluctuations.”

In the new review, Misso and colleagues analyzed the results of 23 studies that assigned 976 adults and children to one of the two interventions randomly. Researchers looked at measures such as levels of hemoglobin A1c (or HbA1c), a widely used marker for assessing long-term glucose control. They also looked at the incidence of both high and low blood glucose.

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

While participants using the insulin pump had significantly lower HbA1c levels than those using multiple daily injections, no differences existed between the two for non-severe low blood glucose levels. However, there appeared to be a reduction in severe incidents of low blood glucose among those using the pump.

via Insulin Pumps Might Have Slight Advantage in Type 1 Diabetes -Diabetes 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.

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

Editorial: Fat policy is a big loser | Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/07/2009

December 11, 2009
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Officials at historically black Lincoln say its policy requiring an exercise class for graduation was adopted in 2006 in response to the growing obesity epidemic. The policy is believed to be unique among U.S. colleges. This year's seniors are the first who must complete the course.

A recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that African Americans have a 51 percent greater likelihood than whites of becoming obese.

via Editorial: Fat policy is a big loser | Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/07/2009.

Using Smartphones to Better Manage Diabetes | Diabetes News Hound

November 10, 2009
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Doing blood tests ‘on the move’, can mobile phones be of assistance?

Using Smartphones to Better Manage Diabetes | Diabetes News Hound.

The Big Blue Test: Worldwide Diabetes Test-In | Diabetes Forecast Magazine

November 10, 2009
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The countdown has started — theBig Blue Test is on Saturday folks (World Diabetes day).

The Big Blue Test: Worldwide Diabetes Test-In | Diabetes Forecast Magazine.

Diabetics who get educated about their condition incur lower healthcare costs

November 6, 2009
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People Who Receive Diabetes Education Incur Lower Healthcare Costs, says Patrick Totty, Oct 17, 2009 on Diabetes Health:

A study of healthcare claims by 8.75 million health plan members and 632,000 Medicare patients shows that referring people with diabetes to diabetes educators notably lowers healthcare costs. Health plan members incurred 5.7 percent lower costs for their healthcare, while similar costs for Medicare patients dropped by 14 percent. The study, “Assessing the Value of Diabetes Education,” was conducted by Solucia Consulting of Hartford, Conn., and also involved researchers from the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

In the study, researchers sought to assess the impact of diabetes education and self-management training on the cost of patient care in two distinct patient groups: a “commercial group” consisting of 8,749,569 members of private health plans, and a “Medicare group” consisting of 631,931 enrollees in a government program.

The study showed that savings did not occur at the level of primary or preventative outpatient services. For example, in the commercial group, insurees with diabetes education had higher outpatient claims than insurees who had not received education. However, their level of claims for acute inpatient services were considerably lower, an indication that diabetes education allowed them to avoid some of the disease’s harsher and more injurious outcomes.

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