Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

NHS Partnerships | Supporting young diabetes patients by podcast

November 5, 2009
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Wild! The NHS getting into podcasts in this case for over 14-year-olds with Type 1 diabetes. Advocated by Sir Steve Redgrave who supports the project saying, ‘diabetes must live with you, not you live with diabetes.’

NHS Partnerships | Supporting young diabetes patients by podcast.

The Big Blue Test on World Diabetes Day – TuDiabetes – A Community for People Touched by Diabetes

November 4, 2009
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The Big Blue Test on World Diabetes Day – TuDiabetes – A Community for People Touched by Diabetes.

November 14 is World Diabetes Day. On that day, at 14:00 hours (2 pm, local time), thousands of people with diabetes will test their blood sugar, do 14 minutes of exercise, test again and share their results online.

The event is called The Big Blue Test because the blue circle is the international symbol for diabetes. The idea of a shared “blood sugar test-in” started with an activity organized in July 2009 by, a community for people touched by diabetes. More than a thousand people participated then. Now, we seek to reach thousands of people with diabetes through eight diabetes social networks* and Twitter. The activity incorporates 14 minutes of physical activity to reinforce the importance of exercise.

“People with diabetes have to test their blood sugar routinely. It can be a very lonely activity.” said Manny Hernandez, co-founder of TuDiabetes and a person with diabetes himself. “We want people to take The Big Blue Test, to shed light on this chronic condition and the importance of exercise on World Diabetes Day.”

Currently, more than 250 million people have diabetes worldwide. Millions more have diabetes but do not know it yet. People with diabetes need to test their blood sugar levels several times a day and exercise regularly.

Participating in this event to raise diabetes awareness on November 14 is easy:

1. Test your blood sugar.

2. Run, jog, walk the dog or do anything you’d normally do as part of your exercise routine for 14 minutes.

3. Test your blood sugar again.

4. Go to (or your preferred diabetes social network*) and post your readings and what physical activity you did. If you have a camera, you can also add a photo of your reading(s) or you exercising.

5. If you have a Twitter account, you can also post your readings on Twitter (use the #bigbluetest hashtag) and link back to

“We hope to see most readings posted at 14 hours (2 pm) local time, on November 14. If you are early or late, it’s OK,” said Hernandez. “What matters most is that you test your blood sugar often and that you exercise regularly. If you don’t have diabetes, you can take The Big Blue Test. Either way, tell others to test, exercise and share on Nov. 14.”

I’m going to do it & my exercise will be a walk along Brighton seafront, come rain, wind or sunshine. What a great way to unite a global community. Well done Manny.

Sirona Biochem’s new scientific advisor

November 3, 2009
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The management of sugar metabolism is a primary medical challenge associated with treating diabetes and obesity and that is why SGLT inhibitors show such promise in this regard.

How to avoid Type 2 diabetes | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Life/Travel: Health

November 3, 2009
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Sensible advice.

How to avoid Type 2 diabetes | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Life/Travel: Health.

Diabetes Designs, Control is in Style. Diabetic Meter Case. Diabetes Kit Case

October 30, 2009
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Just happened across another site that sells diabetes meter cases. They even have one called the Classic, just like I do on — great diabetes minds clearly think alike!

Diabetes Designs, Control is in Style. Diabetic Meter Case. Diabetes Kit Case.

Metformin possible cancer treatment

October 30, 2009
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Metformin has always been the old reliable for treating new onset type 2 diabetes, but it’s beginning to look like it’s got a new calling as a cancer treatment. Diabetes Health recently reported on the fact that metformin reduces a type 2 person’s risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 62 percent. It’s also been observed that people with type 2 who take metformin have a much lower cancer incidence than those who don’t. Now it appears that metformin can help with breast cancer treatment as well. A study of mice with breast cancer generated from human breast cancer cells has found that they remained tumor-free for nearly three months on metformin combined with doxorubicin, a standard cancer chemotherapy. In mice given only the doxorubicin, the tumors recurred. How metformin suppresses cancer has been unclear, but now researchers believe that they may have the answer.

The Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) cautious over extended role of new drugs

October 28, 2009
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Careful selection is vital, reveals ABCD study of 7,000 patient experiences

DOCTORS have cautioned against indiscriminate use of new classes of medication for Britain’s increasing number of people with diabetes – saying the drug advances needed “careful adoption” to meet their full treatment potential.

The Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) explored the safety and effectiveness of one new therapy in particular – exenatide – as part of a unique research project. This involved the experiences of over 7,000 diabetes patients nationwide – making it the biggest international database of its kind.

ABCD do suggest that new types of oral and injectable medication – used as an alternative to insulin – have an important role to play in improving the clinical outcomes of a selected number of patients with obese type 2 diabetes. This is the more common form of the condition, affecting around 75 per cent of people with diabetes.

But the Association advised against a routine role for these drugs at this early stage, after its research highlighted the need for careful patient selection.

Patients at risk of pancreatitis, such as those with a high alcohol intake; a history of gall stones; or on steroids should only be considered for exenatide under specialist medical supervision with careful monitoring, it warned.

Bus and lorry drivers with diabetes, as well as patients who have undergone or who are contemplating bariatric surgery, also require specialist input in selection for exenatide use.

ABCD is the national organisation representing more than 500 consultant physicians and registrars in Britain who specialise in diabetes mellitus – an increasingly common condition that is known to affect more than two million of the population, although the actual figure is feared to be far higher.

Over the last two years, it has built up considerable experience in the prescribing of these newly-developed drugs (oral gliptins and injectable incretin mimetics). It has drawn upon this expertise to identify ‘best practice’ in their future use.

Its views have been published to coincide with the long-awaited update on diabetes treatment soon to be issued by NICE, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence

ABCD chairman, Dr Peter Winocour, said the Association’s research, combined with the NICE guidance, placed an important spotlight on the future treatment regimes for diabetes.

He said: “By pooling our expertise, ABCD is in a unique position to share our experience throughout the diabetes community – and ensure that patients continue to receive the highest possible quality of care.

“These drugs are welcome additions in the fight against diabetes but, as with anything new, they need careful adoption and must be used judicially.

“We have been able to identify the appropriate cohort of patients who may benefit the most from these therapies. We recommend widening their use in some groups – but urge caution in others, especially those with abnormal liver and kidney function.”

The views of ABCD were shaped by a confidential web-based audit among its members regarding the use of exenatide, one of the new injectable therapies for obese type 2 diabetes.

It also took into consideration limited NICE guidance published previously as well as the findings of other diabetes specialists across America and Europe, who have also suggested a more restricted role for these “less well-validated therapies”.

ABCD’s preliminary position statement will now inform drug prescribing and clinical practice among diabetes experts nationwide.

Dr Winocour added: “We have learned from past experience with other novel diabetes therapies that adverse side effects can become apparent even after pre-licensing testing. Our audit will help to identify adverse effects sooner rather than later, ensuring the right treatments continue to be provided to the right patients in the right way.

“The potential positives and negatives of all treatment options need to be carefully employed and discussed fully so informed decisions can be made in partnership with the patient.

“We are also advising that patients are fully aware of potential side effects, such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and early satiety (feeling over-full).”

NEJM — Optimal Insulin Treatment in Type 2 Diabetes

October 22, 2009
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The aim of insulin supplementation is glycemic control and a reduction in microvascular disease and, if possible, macrovascular disease, without the induction of hypoglycemia or weight gain

via NEJM — Optimal Insulin Treatment in Type 2 Diabetes.

Press Release: Diabetes Conversation Map(TM) Education Tools Celebrate One-Year Anniversary

October 22, 2009
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Great initiative from IDF and others including Lilly and the Canandian Diabetes Association.

Press Release: Diabetes Conversation Map(TM) Education Tools Celebrate One-Year Anniversary.

India to have most diabetics in world

October 21, 2009
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NEW DELHI, Oct. 21 (UPI) — India is projected to have 50.8 million diabetics

by next year, making it the diabetics’ capital of the world, the International Diabetes Federation warns. Worse still, the agency says, that number is expected to jump to 87 million or 8.4 percent of country’s adult population by 2030, the Times of India reported Wednesday. IDF is headquartered in Brussels. Currently, seven percent of Indian adults suffer from the metabolic disease, blamed largely on sedentary lifestyle, faulty diet and high stress. China, the second country on the list, currently is reported to have 43.2 million diabetics. That number is expected to reach 62.6 million by 2030, says the IDF.

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