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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Obesity and Related Genes Found

Obesityand genes related to it have been found in old experiments conducted by Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital and the School of Medicine at the Stanford University. This result brings promise of information that is useful for many medical conditions.

Dr. Atul Butte, a PhD pediatrician at Packard Children‘s Hospital said they developed an easy way to turn the old data into possible genes for more study. Dr. Butte who is also the director of the hospital’s Center for Pediatric Bioinformatics said that when they put the data together, not only did they confirm the facts already identified, but they also discovered some new forecasts.

It is difficult to identify new genes responsible for complex diseases like diabetes, autism and obesity because these conditions are due to environmental aspects and interacting genes so this is quite a challenge.

Butte, also an assistant professor of pediatrics and medicine and his collaborator, Sangeeta English, a PhD analyzed the data from 49 researches whose only common element is that they conducted to search for genes that are significant to the storage of fat or body size.

What Butte and English did was to match pairs of the researches. They thought that if the gene is weak in one research it may have just been rejected but if the same gene is identified to be strong in two or more other researches, then it has become stronger.

When they analyzed the data further, they identified 16 genes that were positive in other researches like in six or more. Three were identified as positive in eight researches. Among the three, one gene was a well known obesity gene. The other two can be sent to the lab to find out what they do.
This just came on time because it has been claimed that this problem could lead to NHS Bankruptcy.

Dr. Colin Waine warned that the problem could lead to bankruptcy of NHS. He is chairman of the National Obesity Forum (NOF). He spoke at the fifth annual conference of the forum in London to discuss the challenge and what to do to overcome it. He said that despite the funding they get, the problem is escalating so fast that it will lead to type 2 diabetes.

The Foresight Tackling Obesities conducted a new research revealing that within 25 years, half of the population will be obese if the current trends continue. The director of Care at Diabetes, UK, Simon O'Neill, agreed with Dr. Waine and said further that the problem does not affect only adults but children as well.

The estimate is that there are about 1000 children in the UK with type 2 diabetes and all of them are obese. It is clear that there is an age group of obese children who face possible heart disease, amputations and blindness.
It is time to take action like Finland did.

Finland has a prevention programme based on research that with the change in diet and exercise, new cases of type 2 diabetes can be reduced by 58%. If the children would eat healthier and exercise more, the chance of developing the condition is reduced but the one to be addressed first is obesity.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Double Diabetes Increase in UK

January 21, 2009

Obesity is linked to the double diabetes increase in the UK, so did an article in New Scientist magazine warn. Doctors are seeing more and more diabetes cases with mixed symptoms. This makes it hard for them to diagnose the specific type of diabetes and to give the right treatment for the type of condition.

The Director of Care of Diabetes, UK, Simon O’Neill, said that type 1 and type 2 diabetes are two different conditions. Some aspects may be similar but the treatment can be different. There are people who do not know the type of diabetes they have and this is harmful because they may not be getting the best care or treatment.

New researches are most welcome in fitting all the missing pieces together. What is most important now is to give the appropriate treatment for the diabetics in order for them to get help in avoiding the complications. All kinds of help in preventing the rise of this condition should be in place.

Then a year later there was a report on October 21, 2008 where a leading health charity Diabetes UK issued a warning that the number of those diagnosed with diabetes has risen by 167,000 when compared with last year's data. This brings the total of those afflicted with diabetes to a staggering 2.5 million people.

The increase is more than double for the period of the preceding year of 83,000. For the first time in England the statistics has broken the two million mark for the first time. This increase is 6.4% whereas the increase in Northern Ireland and Wales is 6.8%. The biggest increase is in Scotland which comes in as 16.9% due mainly to improved recording.

Approximately 90% of diabetics have type 2 which is linked to being overweight or obese, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating. There are now five million people who are registered obese in the UK with Scotland again registering the biggest increase.

The chief executive of Diabetes UK, Douglas Smallwood finds the figures quite alarming. He did say though that the large increase is due to improved recording, screening procedures and the fact that people are more aware of the factors that make one at high risk to develop this condition. But the truth of the matter is, just like in the rest of the world, the increase is linked to obesity.

Clearly this is a big challenge in the UK as well as in the rest of the world. With diabetes causing heart disease, amputation, blindness, stroke and kidney failure, the health cost is astronomical. The only way to go about this is to raise awareness on the seriousness of diabetes and to have preventive measures in place like adopting a healthy lifestyle and where better to start than in schools so the children will be able to prevent obesity.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Whatever Happened to the TLC Trial to Help Type 2 Diabetics?

Type 2 diabetes I thought had a shot in the arm (no pun intended) last October 11, 2007 because it was announced that Brisbane Type 2 diabetes patients were needed to help with a TLC trial in Australia. I must confess I thought TLC stands for tender loving care so I selected this to report as an alert.

Now I know that TLC stands for Telephone-Linked Care. I was going to stop reporting on it but had a second thought for the simple reason that I think this type of program is essential all over the world. Why? Can you imagine anyone with a question or having trouble with self care being able to call TLC for help? I say that's priceless.

At that time, Professor Mary Courtney of the Queensland University of Technology said that the researchers needed 340 people with type 2 diabetes for this trial that will start in November. I like the TLC system because it is designed to monitor, educate and coach the patients and give them the power to self manage their condition.

It was not the intention of this research to take the place of doctors but it will certainly help type 2 diabetes people supplement the care received from dietitian, endocrinologist and the other members of the health care team. We know that despite the help of these experts, questions could arise.

Those who would call the TLC system were supposed to receive feedback regarding the monitoring of the blood glucose level. They will also get information regarding diet, exercise and taking medications so they will keep themselves healthy.

This will be an important resource for people who do not live near health services like the ones who live in remote areas. They didn’t say whether this was open to people with type 2 diabetes world wide but they did invite people who are interested to email Dominique Bird on TLC Diabetes

It will be a good idea to write Dominique and find what happened to the TLC program. One of the members of the team of researchers is the Boston University in USA so I will think the authorities there may know what's going on regarding the progress of this important resource.

At any rate, I hope they will have something like this all over the world so people can receive encouragement and help with their condition, not only with the blood sugar monitoring, nutrition and exercise but the care of the feet as well for those with type 2 diabetes.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Diabetes Inpatient Care

Diabetes inpatient care has long been in my mind since Diabetes UK started looking for people who had inpatient care experiences. I started thinking of how to improve this important part in the care of diabetics and therefore researched this issue. These are what I found.

What can people expect in the hospital setting when it comes to diabetes inpatient care? This problem has long been established and trying to improve it is an on-going issue. This is a multi-faceted question that includes suffering, disempowerment, lack of skill and know-how of the staff in managing complications, medicines, and meal scheduling.

Here are the principles that have been accepted as to the standard of care in hospital setting. To make the plan workable and achieve the best result for each diabetic in the hospital setting, the standard of care should make certain that:

  • Every diabetic will undergo pre assessment planning.

  • Every diabetic has an assessment and management care plan during his hospital stay that can be updated as necessary.

  • Medication and meal schedules are administered properly.

  • Good diabetes management requires access to food and snacks as needed.

  • Procedures are in place for the management of hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and other complications.

  • Support is provided for the diabetics to maintain blood sugar control.

  • Information is provided for the diabetics regarding their hospital stay.

  • Multi disciplinary care is available.

  • Access to diabetes health care team is provided.

  • After discharge, a follow up plan is provided.

To improve diabetes in patient care, those who would like to manage their own condition should be given appropriate support. How can this be implemented? For one thing, every diabetic should be encouraged to do self management of their condition. In so doing, he should have access to his equipment to monitor his blood glucose level and should be provided with the proper education.

The aforementioned are all good but it is easy to fall into the trap of just paying lip service to them. To accomplish the goals, all medical and nursing staff should have the diabetes training. Also from time to time, evaluation of the goals should be undertaken for only then can we be sure that there is improvement in diabetes inpatient care.