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Friday, July 31, 2009

Research Reports Camel Milk May Help Diabetics

Diabetes prevention should at least heed the report from Jaipur saying that although India has the most number of diabetics in the world, there are camel breeders in Rajasthan who are immune to diabetes. They say this is due to camel milk which is the main item in their every day meal. Sorry, but I am not going to drink camel milk.

Diabetes Care conducted the research at the SP Medical College Bikaner and found that a liter of camel's milk has around 52 units of insulin. This is different from other forms of insulin that is dispensed orally in the sense that the stomach's acidic juices do not neutralize the camel milk.

By now, we know there are type 1 and type 2 kinds of diabetes. Type 2 could still be treated with changing to a healthy lifestyle while the option for type 1 is to take insulin shots Now they have proven that drinking camel milk every day would add 60 to 70% of insulin to Type 1 diabetics.

This translates to the Type 1 diabetics who require a yearly supply of 20 units of insulin to reduce this need to six to seven units if they take camel milk regularly. This result came after a first survey that indicated low diabetes prevalence among the camel milk drinkers when compared to those who do not like camel milk.

The initial survey was followed by successfully testing albino rats and then 50 type 1 and type 2 diabetics for over two years. The blood glucose levels of these people fell dramatically. This has been published before with the American Diabetes Association even recommending it.

ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) has newly acknowledged this discovery but most are still not aware of this. Other countries like Japan and USA have shown interest in this finding which Dr. Agrawal said that scientists are crediting the camel milk feature as due to phytonutrient from plants that are the staple of the camel's diet every day. Should this then be considered for diabetes prevention?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kidney Disease Cause at Early Stage Uncovered?

Kidney disease cause of its early stage has been thought of as discovered. This is significant as worldwide, 100 million people are affected by the early stage kidney disease. Massachusetts General Hospital , the largest training hospital for Harvard Medical School, conducted a study where they identified a molecular pathway that seems to be the cause of urinary protein loss. If this is blocked, then the kidney failure can be slowed down.

The senior author of this study who is also the director of the Program in Glomerular Disease at MGH, Jochen Reiser, MD, PhD, said they have information on this in both animal and human models. It appeared in Nature Medicine but is also available online.

Changli Wei, MD, PhD said that targeting the mechanism with molecule compounds or antibodies can stop or lower the urinary protein loss. This may then become a new way to treat kidney disease like diabetic nephropathy.

The filtering activity of the kidney is done in the blood vessels where there are extensions called podocytes that sift extra water out while keeping the larger proteins in. Some kidney diseases show these podocytes as having shrunk thus unable to do the filtering properly and allowing the proteins to seep out of the urine.

The researchers studied this situation and for the first time found what was capable of the motion that contributes to the breakdown of the podocytes. They focused on this and found uPar as linked to the movement. These are the same molecules associated with the healing of wounds, inflammation, metastasis and invasion of tumor.

There is a need for more studies to find out how uPar interacts with the others that are involved in the filtering of the protein and its leakage to the urine. They are now carrying out a clinical trial to block the uPar. Hopefully this will be the first step to intervene in these diseases.

I tried to get the latest research on the early kidney disease but didn't find any. Meantime, there is something we can do. After consulting with the doctor a special diet may help reduce the kidneys' workload and control the build up of fluid and waste products. This may help in slowing down the kidney function loss. Generally, this diet controls the, quantity of protein, sodium and phosphorus but make sure you get enough calories.

Sometimes there are no symptoms of the early stages of this condition so it is important that one who is at risk like those with diabetes and hypertension be tested. Usually they use the urine and blood test to find the creatinine in the blood. This way we can protect ourselves until they find the cause of early kidney disease.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Therapy for Cancer and Arthritis May Be Good as Diabetes Treatment

Researchers for Yale School of Medicine report that an antibody used for treatment of some cancers and arthritis seem to holdup type 1 diabetes when they tried it on mice. They say that even after stopping the administration of the antibody, it continues to be of benefit.

They say that rituximab, the antibody they used, reduces the B cells. There is evidence that B cells have a part in autoimmune disease by interrelating with the immune system's T cells. The T cells are the ones that destroy the cells that produce insulin.

Li Wen, the division of endocrinology's senior research scientist, said that after successfully depleting the B cells, regulatory cells come out which can hold back the autoimmune and inflammatory reaction even after the return of the B cells. Li Wen and team were stunned by the fact that there were both T and B cells in the regulatory cells.

What Li Wen and her Yale collaborator, Mark Shlomchik, M.D. did to find out whether the depletion of the B cells would be a treatment for type 1 diabetes, was develop a mouse model. They engineered these mice to be predisposed to diabetes and put the molecule retuximab on surface of the B cells of these mice.

The investigators found that the drug therapy considerably delayed diabetes by 10 to 15 weeks than their mice counterparts which were treated with a placebo. This translates to about 10 to 15 years in humans. Five of the 14 mice who had already diabetes stopped requiring insulin for two to five months while their counterparts stayed being diabetic. So it has some promise as a form of diabetes treatment.

What does this mean? Shlomchik said that it looks like the B cells play two parts in diabetes and perhaps in other autoimmune disease as well. At the start the B cells may encourage the disease to appear but after depletion with rituximab, they stop the disease. This shows there may be no need for multiple medications to further deplete the B cells.

I hope they will continue on with this research but in my search for new development, I didn't find any. However, this did not diminish my admiration for the researchers for I have no idea nor want to find out how to engineer mice to be susceptible to diabetes. Why, I did not even do well at my chemistry class in the university and I am terrified of mice. So despite my overwhelming desire to help the diabetics, I will not go near those creatures. I draw the line there, so sorry guys!

Friday, July 10, 2009

What Drug Lowers Risk for Cardiovascular Disease Among Diabetics with Kidney Disease?

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are linked in the sense that the diabetics have a higher risk for heart troubles than their counterpart who do not have diabetes. The question therefore that begs an answer is what can we do to lower that risk?

That risk can be reduced by maintaining the ABC's of diabetes at acceptable level. How do we do this? This can be done by eating healthy, exercising regularly and taking medication as prescribed. Losing weight if applicable is also part of maintaining the ABC.

Every little step you take will help maintain the ABC. Once the numbers come nearer the target levels, the chance to prevent heart attack is higher, much higher. Smoking is a great no, no. If you are smoking, quit. It is as simple as that. Now what do these ABC stand for anyway?

A is for A1C which tells the story of where your average blood sugar is up to in the preceding two to three months. In fact, this is now what they advocate as the way to diagnose diabetes instead of that fasting glucose test. The recommendation is to target the A1C of below 7.

B is for blood pressure that tells the story of how hard your heart has to work because it measures the force of blood in the blood vessels. The recommendation is to keep the blood pressure reading to below 130/80 mmHg.

Now how about the C? Well it stands for cholesterol which is the amount of fat in the blood. Just to get us confused, there are two kinds. There's the HDL which is our friend because it aids in protecting the heart. And there is the LDL which we can call frenemy (This is a new word just added recently to the dictionary) which means a fake friend because it clogs our blood vessel.

The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reports in the January issue that treating patients with CKD (chronic kidney disease) with pioglitazone may lower the risk for cardiovascular disease. A new study on this confirms this.

University of Cologne's Dr. Christian A. Schneider of Germany said that this drug reduced death and cardiovascular occurrence when they studied more than 5000 type 2 diabetics who were at high risk for cardiovascular disease due to damage to the large blood vessels.

The patients treated with pioglitazone showed a lower risk for cardiovascular occurrence when compared to those assigned to take the placebo. The rate of death and cardiovascular events was reduced by 33.33%. It was noted that the decrease happened among those with lower stage of kidney function.

Dr. Schneider said their findings may not apply to diabetics with lower risk for cardiovascular events. Caution should be exercised when looking at the result of their study until it is further confirmed. This research was supported by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Let’s just follow the recommendation to lower the cardiovascular disease.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Disabled Diabetics May Collect Social Security Benefits

The main cause of disability in the US is diabetes. Its complications are many among which are blindness, kidney failure, nerve problems and blindness rendering diabetics disabled. Now there is news they are entitled to full disability benefits from Social Security.

One who is unable to work or earn enough income due to these complications and the condition has gone on or may continue for a year may be able to collect full benefits on disability insurance from Social Security. Apply at the Social Security Office.

Remember if you become disabled due to diabetes and unable to hold a job, you may be qualified to collect full social security disability benefits. So don't forget to head down to the social security office nearest to where you live and apply for benefits.

Be careful when you apply because if the person is not following a treatment plan, the Social Security Office will deny the claim. On what ground is this decision made? It is on the grounds that following the prescribed treatment plan will not make one disabled for 12 consecutive months.

Adults and children will be considered disabled due to severe kidney problem. They are also considered disabled for 12 months after a kidney transplant. A person who has had diabetes for long will have disabling complications due to retinopathy, neuropathy and kidney troubles.

Don't be disheartened if you get turned down. As far as I know that is what usually happens. Be tenacious and insist on it. You will have 60 days to appeal. Then contact a lawyer who is knowledgeable about social security disability right away. Find out if the lawyer's clients are happy with his services. That is how you know that he will be of help.

If the application is turned down, the social security lawyer who is experienced with disability insurance may be of help. These lawyers usually win cases on appeal when the client's application has been rejected. But consult the lawyer as soon as the application is turned down.

For those who are not disabled from diabetes, please continue the regimen of eating healthy, being physically active and taking the medication as prescribed. It looks like only about 50% gets disabled from these complications although I doubt if the number gets that high because most diabetics are taking good care of themselves.