Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

UK Obesity barometer launched — we’re getting fatter

February 7, 2011
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The UK Obesity Barometer shows that around 1.2 million people in the UK moved into the ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ category over the festive season* pushing levels to a new high. The LighterLife UK Obesity Barometer shows that although overweight or obese averages decreased in some regions, overall, the nation has piled on the pounds over the last few weeks.

Whilst over one third of people questioned before the holidays in the UK were worried about putting on a few pounds over the festive season, the LighterLife UK Obesity Barometer shows that, in reality, over a million people have piled on enough weight to slip into the overweight or obese categories (Overweight Body Mass Index (BMI) = 25–29.9, Obese BMI = 30+).

The LighterLife UK Obesity Barometer has been developed with the National Obesity Forum to track the changing rates of obesity by region across the UK throughout 2011.

Dr David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: “We all know obesity rates are rising so we are pleased to support the LighterLife UK Obesity Barometer as a way of tracking obesity levels and raising awareness in the UK.  People often put on weight at Christmas time, however it will be interesting to see how many can shift the excess pounds in the next few weeks and months. For those who have a BMI of 25 or more, they are at increased risk of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, so it’s important that the weight gained is lost. The barometer will prove invaluable to track the weight of the nation at both a regional and national level.”

The barometer will highlight weight across the regions in the UK and people will be able to see how this fluctuates over this coming year.  Tips and advice for those worried about their weight are also provided with links to helpful advice on the LighterLife website.


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.

Mutation That Affects Response to Smell and Taste Could Lead to Type 2 Diabetes

April 20, 2010
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Genetic mutation – doesn’t sound very mice does it?

According to Duke University researchers, a mutation that causes the lack of an insulin-controlling molecule may be a factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. The molecule, ankyrin B, is activated in response to the smell and taste of food and leads to the production of insulin in preparation for food intake.

Because ankyrin B is an important factor in the body’s insulin response, researchers at Duke University Medical Center experimented with genetically mutated lab mice to see how they were affected by a deficiency of the molecule. They found that a lack of ankyrin B impaired the mice’s ability to produce proper amounts of insulin in response to food smells and tastes. This led to higher blood glucose levels, which over time led to the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Based upon the sequence of events-ankyrin B deficiency, followed by long-term effects on blood sugar levels, followed by diabetes-the Duke researchers concluded that the disease gradually develops through the parasympathetic nervous system*, not as a result of the foods eaten by the mice. In other words, the persistent inability to secrete proper levels of insulin was an effect of a genetic mutation rather than of eating the “wrong” foods.

As the researchers investigated further into the implications of ankyrin B deficiency, they found that one ankyrin B mutation was associated with type 2 in whites and non-white Hispanics. These findings open the door to research into genetic therapies that could help prevent the onset of type 2 in certain populations.

The study was published online in the March 11 edition of the journal Science Signaling.

via:  Mutation That Affects Response to Smell and Taste Could Lead to Type 2 Diabetes

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

Type 2 Drug Metformin More Effective When Taken Within Three Months of Diagnosis

April 16, 2010
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An article in The Times of India has found the diabetes drug metfomin works twice as long for those patients that begin taking it within three months of their diagnosis.

New research from Kaiser Permanente finds that the popular Type 2 diabetes drug metfomin works twice as long for those patients that begin taking it within three months of their diagnosis, according to an article in the Times of India.

Metformin is prescribed for the vast majority of Type 2 patients. However, it typically stops working and additional drugs need to be added to the mix to help the patients keep their blood sugar under control. People with Type 2 diabetes produce the insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar levels in the blood, but don’t use it efficiently. Many need to take medicine to help control their sugar levels.

With patients taking Metformin within three months of diagnosis, the drug failed at a rate of 12% per year, according to the study. For those that began taking it one to two years after diagnosis, the drug failed at a rate 21.4%. Researchers say they believe the reason for the discrepancy is that by taking the drug early on patients are able to preserve some of their own body’s ability to control blood sugar levels.

Researchers say the study is important because it can help patients with Type 2 diabetes avoid paying extra for additional medications and can help them avoid some of the added risks and complications, such as weight gain, associated with some additional drugs.

However, one of the biggest barriers for doctors and patients is that many people living with Type 2 diabetes don’t know they have the disease until some of the complications have started to kick in.

via: Type 2 Drug Metformin More Effective When Taken Within Three Months of Diagnosis

Only Lunchtime Coffee-Drinking Cuts Diabetes Risk: Study

April 14, 2010
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News on your coffee fix from Diabetes Newshound….

There have been many studies linking coffee with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. However, a new study suggests that the java must be consumed during lunchtime, according to a recent article from Reuters.

A study of nearly 70,000 women found that those drinking coffee at lunch reduced their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by a third. The results help true for both decaf and caffeinated coffee, both with sugar and without it. Those drinking it at other times during the day showed no reduced risk. The findings only applied to those drinking coffee without milk.

Researchers hypothesize that the lunchtime-effect may have to do with timing, but also may relate to the types of foods people eat during lunchtime.

via: Only Lunchtime Coffee-Drinking Cuts Diabetes Risk: Study

Although Statins Increase Diabetes Risk, Study Says They’re Still Worth Taking

April 13, 2010
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Weighing up the pros and cons of Statins…

An article by Scottish researchers, published in the British medical journal Lancet, says that although people taking statins are nine percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, that risk is outweighed by the drug’s ability to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease.

Different studies over the years have reached different conclusions about whether statins increase, decrease, or do not affect the risk of acquiring type 2. Consequently, the scientists at the Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Glasgow conducted a meta-analysis of all the research into statins and type 2 diabetes. They reviewed data from 13 trials, involving more than 91,000 patients, that took place between 1994 and 2009.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found a clear link between taking statins and an increased risk of diabetes. They concluded, however, that the risk is outweighed by the benefits that statins confer. They said that whereas treating 255 patients with statins over a four-year period  would result in only one extra case of diabetes, the same group over the same timespan would avoid 5.4 deaths or heart attacks and a similar number of strokes or surgeries for clogged arteries.

Lead researcher Naveed Sattar said that given statins’ beneficial effects, which include lowering bad cholesterol and vascular inflammation, he was surprised by the statins-diabetes link. He speculated that because statins also affect the liver and muscles, which are crucial elements in the body’s creation and metabolization of blood glucose, the link may be found there.

The most common commercial forms of statins are Pfizer’s Lipitor and AstraZeneca’s Crestor.

via: Although Statins Increase Diabetes Risk, Study Says They’re Still Worth Taking

Study Explains How Weight-Loss Surgery May Impact Type 2 Diabetes

April 10, 2010
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Some information about how obesity contributes to Type 2 diabetes and the potential benefits of weight loss surgery.

While the exact cause of diabetes is not yet known, researchers do believe there is a link with obesity. In recent years, several news reports have claimed that bariatric, or lap-band surgery can reverse or “cure” Type 2 diabetes. While it sometimes resurfaces among those having the surgery, most had attributed the positive results to the weight loss.

However, researchers say weight-loss surgery in rats, which is similar to bariatric surgery in humans, causes biochemical changes in the body, according to an article from UC Davis. The surgery has shown to delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes. These findings should help researchers identify strategies for fighting and preventing the disease and its complications in humans.

The findings show that changes in the hormones made by the gastrointestinal tract may be as important to fighting the disease as the ultimate weight loss. The surgery ends up moving unabsorbed nutrients further along in the small intestines. This triggers the increase secretion of the hormones GLP-1 and PYY, which are known to have a role in insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity.

Forget surgery. That much information is more than enough to put you off your lunch!

via: Study Explains How Weight-Loss Surgery May Impact Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetics and Doctors Often at Odds on Priorities

March 17, 2010
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A new US study from University of Michigan Medical School suggests that Type 2 diabetics do not always agree with their doctors on the most pressing health concerns around their condition, and that this may be affecting their ability to control the illness.

For the study, researchers surveyed 92 doctors and nearly 1,200 patients who have both diabetes and hypertension. While both doctors and patients frequently ranked diabetes and hypertension among their top concerns, 38% of doctors ranked hypertension as the most important. Meanwhile, diabetics were more likely to rank pain and depression as the most pressing concern, while only 18% of diabetics said hypertension was the most important.

The study showed that doctors tended to focus on managing patients’ risk of long-term complications, such as kidney disease, while patients focused on more immediate issues, such as depression and back pain. While focusing on avoiding long-term complications makes sense, researchers suggest that putting these more immediate problems on the back burner may interfere with patients’ ability to manage their diabetes today, which may in turn lead to more problems.

“If a patient and their doctor do not agree on which of these issues should be prioritized, it will be difficult for them to come up with an effective treatment plan together,” says lead author Donna M. Zulman, M.D., a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan Medical School and researcher at the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in Ann Arbor.

Via: Diabetics and Doctors Often at Odds on Priorities

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Makes You Fat | Xylitol and Stevia is Better | Beware Artifical Sweetners

March 2, 2010
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Great article by Joe Garma looking at — in fact distilling — some of the confusion about sugar, explaining why some of it is good for you but much of it (in terms of the type of sugar — glucose or fructose) can be lousy for you, diabetic or not.

“Glucose is the sugar type that we all need. Our brains and each cell in our bodies are powered by glucose. Our bodies are designed to use it. As a result, nearly all of it that’s ingested is used — “burned up” — soon after ingested.

Fructose is the bad stuff, particularly high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and crystalline fructose. Fructose is a major contributor to:

* Insulin resistance and obesity…”

via High-Fructose Corn Syrup Makes You Fat | Xylitol and Stevia is Better | Beware Artifical Sweetners.

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