Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

JDRF — going blue for World Diabetes Day on 14 November

October 11, 2010
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They’re doing it, I’m going to do it, are you? Going Blue! Whatever you do, don’t feel blue about diabetes, get blue to show your support for World Diabetes Day. Fundraise, raise awareness or just spread the word. You can find out what JDRF is doing, and they’ll help you with a free pack. http://bit.ly/JDRF_goingblue


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. www.diabete-ezy.com


Intestinal Bacteria May Contribute to Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

April 27, 2010
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Intestinal bacteria helps increase appetite? Its just put me off my lunch…!

According to researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, obesity and metabolic syndrome may be partially brought on by intestinal bacteria that increase appetite and insulin resistance. The two can lead to overeating and high blood sugar levels – both important factors in the eventual onset of type 2 diabetes. Perhaps even more interesting, the scientists found that the bacteria can be transferred from one mouse to another, creating increased appetite and insulin resistance in an animal that had previously experienced neither.

As a result, the researchers believe that excessive consumption of calories may be more than simply a matter of undisciplined eating. If scientists can duplicate the results with human test subjects, they might find additional ways to treat or forestall obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Both animals and people acquire intestinal bacteria from their family members soon after birth. If bacteria that can predispose individuals to overeating and eventual insulin resistance are so easily transferred, it means that the environment, not just genetics, can lead to those outcomes.

The Emory researchers think, however, that there may be a genetic component to the altered bacteria. They are now looking into a gene called toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5), which plays a role in controlling intestinal bacteria, to see if a deficiency in TLR5 in humans and mice is a key to increased appetite.

The Emory findings were published online in the March 4 issue of Science.

via: Intestinal Bacteria May Contribute to Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome


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


Being Introverted May Shorten Life Expectancy of Diabetics: Study

April 19, 2010
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Being bold is good for your health, so speak up!

New research suggests there is a social component to life expectancy among diabetes patients, according to a recent article from Private MD. Reseachers examined 3,535 adults with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and found that those who are more introverted and less trusting had a 33% higher mortality rate than those who are extraverted.

The study’s authors suggest that being overly self-reliant may not actually be a good thing for people with diabetes. That’s because many self-management aspects of the disease are best carried out in conjunction with others.

via: Being Introverted May Shorten Life Expectancy of Diabetics: Study


Company Hopes New Drug is Major Type 1 Breakthrough

April 13, 2010
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Diabetes Newshound reports a new drug that helps the immune system to “tolerate” insulin-producing cells that it would otherwise mistakenly attack and destroy is being trialed by 240 patients…

Tolerx Inc. should know by the end of the year whether or not they have created one of the most significant developments in preventing or slowing Type 1 diabetes, according to a recent article published by the Boston Globe.

The company said that it has completed the enrollment of 240 patients in a clinical trial of otelixizumab, a drug that aims to help the body’s immune system to “tolerate” insulin-producing cells that it would otherwise mistakenly attack and destroy.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells, mistaking them for foreign cells. People need insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar in the blood. People with Type 1 diabetes need to inject the hormone into their body several times each day.

The company says it could eventually offer an eight-day course of intravenous infusions of the drug for people recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The treatment could reduce the need for daily insulin shots and helping the patients control their blood sugar levels.

via: Company Hopes New Drug is Major Type 1 Breakthrough


Researchers Explore Potential Replacement for Insulin

April 12, 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


Discovery of a Suspect Enzyme in Humans Could Lead to Powerful Type 1 Therapy

April 11, 2010
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A tale of mice and men… and some very complicated but positive enzyme research!

An enzyme that destroys pancreatic beta cells in lab mice has now been observed in human beta cells. Because scientists already know how to delete the mouse gene that produces the enzyme, they are hopeful that the same therapy can eventually be applied to people with type 1 diabetes. If so, it would be one of the most powerful therapies yet for addressing the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells that causes type 1.

Researchers at Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Strelitz Diabetes Center knew that the enzyme, 12-lipoxygenase (12-LO), produces lipids that cause inflammation, killing pancreatic beta cells in lab animals. They suspected that the same enzyme might also be responsible for beta cell death in humans. Thanks to people who donated their bodies to science through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Islet Resource Center Consortium, the Virginia researchers were able to confirm their suspicion-12-LO is present in human islets of Langerhans, which contain the insulin-producing cells. In some individuals, certain lipids produced by 12-LO inflame beta cells, leading to their death and an associated decline in insulin production that can range from drastic to total.

(more…)


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


Possible Culprit in Type 1 Diabetes Development Identified

March 24, 2010
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New research into the enzyme which may cause inflammation in the pancreas could help treatments of Type 1 diabetes sufferers.

Researchers say they may have identified the culprit that leads to the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in Type 1 diabetics, according to a recent article published by Science Daily.

The exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is not known. However, the disease is triggered when the body mistakenly identifies insulin-producing cells as foreign bodies and destroys them. Since people with diabetes are no longer able to produce insulin, the hormone that regulates the level of sugar in the blood, they have to inject insulin into their body frequently or wear an external insulin pump in order to keep their blood sugar under control.

Now, researchers claim that the enzyme 12-Lipoxygenase (12-LO) may help cause inflammation in the pancreas that leads to the destruction of the beta cells. Specifically, they say the enzyme produces certain types of lipids that cause the inflammation.

Researchers experimenting with mice found that deleting the gene that makes 12-LO prevented the development of Type 1 diabetes. Researchers have confirmed that the same enzyme is found in human islets and can lead to the lower insulin levels as well as the destruction of insulin-producing cells.

Researchers say the findings are significant because they can help lead to new treatments of Type 1 diabetes. One researcher associated with the study said the next step is to develop a drug that targets 12-LO to prevent the destruction of insulin-producing cells and combine that with a therapy or drug that can regenerate dead or damaged cells.

Via: Possible Culprit in Type 1 Diabetes Development Identified


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