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Friday, August 28, 2009

Amputations Linked to Mental Health

Amputations was the topic of a study that reported in the magazine General Hospital Psychiatry issue on the American veterans who are diabetics. This group was found to have an increased chance of major amputations when they score low on a mental health functioning test. That is why mental assessment should be a part of the overall management of diabetes.

This news item suggests the need to evaluate patients for mental health issues as this seems to be a risk factor. This way, some suitable intervention can be undertaken to reduce the risk for amputation. So did the senior authors of the VA Health Care System in New Jersey report.

Dr. Tseng and his team studied almost 115000 diabetics at Veteran Health Administration Clinic during the period of 1998-2000. These patients completed a mental health functioning test. They then evaluated the results of the test. Hopefully my readers on diabetes leg pain will take note of this.

Here's what they found. They found that 450 patients underwent amputations of the ankle which are considered major while 431 had toes to ankle amputations which are considered minor. They then compared this with the findings on the measurement of the mental health functioning.

The ones who scored lower showed a greater risk for amputation. This was the finding after taking into account the other factors like obesity, less health care, poor diabetes control and smoking. The major amputation rate was .5% among those who scored below average, .3% for those who obtained above average and .2% for those who have the highest score in the test.

It goes to show that increase in mental health functioning score of five points was linked to a reduced risk of major amputation by 5%. And when adjustment was made, mental health functioning stopped being a major risk for amputations that are minor.

My prayer is for no diabetic to need wheel chairs but if they do they should get Power Wheelchairs that are at low or no cost, free delivery, free training & setup! Medicare recipients, get your free consultation. ClickOnHealth
This is a big help when they will deliver it for free and set it up too. I don't know about you but I am a technically challenged person so a company that gives free training and setup gets a big thumbs up from me!

The link between mental health functioning was mentioned before but this is the first time that it has been formally studied. Mental health issues may get in the way with the care of people with diabetes including complications with the foot care. Being aware of this could lead to better care for diabetics and fewer amputations.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Oral Treatment for Diabetes Discovered?

University of Haifa researchers in the Biology Department of Faculty of Science and Science Education uncovered a matter that may treat diabetes and its accompanying complications orally. This substance is a derivative of a yeast called GTF, an acronym for Glucose Tolerance Factor.

They tested this substance on rats that had diabetes which subsequently have been found to have lowered the lipids and sugar levels in their blood. The one conducting the research is Dr. Nitsa Mirsky who said that the next step is to assess if GTF will work successfully as well on people.

Acknowledged as a world-wide health crisis, diabetes has an effect on 5-10% of people in developed countries and has been declared an epidemic in developing countries. A lasting illness with no cure, it has many complications like blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and others.

About half of people with diabetes are injected with insulin while the others take oral medications that are not easy to control and frequently with side effects. Treatment with insulin may not be effective because resistance to it can slowly develop.

There is another problem with insulin in the sense that it has to fit the diabetic's activities and sometimes it doesn't to the point that taking a large dose before meals could trigger hypoglycemia which could lead to coma and even death.

Dr. Mirsky's research involved two levels, first on rats that were diabetic and on the molecular cells. The findings showed that GTF reduced the glucose level and the bad cholesterol and raised the good cholesterol. This glucose tolerance factor kept back the process of oxidation that could lead to atherosclerosis that in turn could result in heart attacks and strokes.

And here's even better news. If GTF is given early, it could stop or at least slow down renal problems. It has also shown to stop damage to the retina and could help prevent cataracts. It also helps improve the efficacy of insulin. There is a need though for more research to combine both insulin and GTF treatment for diabetics.

I tried to get updated information on this discovery and found that glucose tolerance factor is an agent for diabetic treatment and healing development. Chromium which is considered the central part of Glucose Tolerance Factor improves the effect of insulin in the body.

Chromium is known as a trace element that is necessary for human nutrition because it improves insulin efficacy as well the glucose tolerance. It can be obtained from the diet but inadequate amount is said to lead to symptoms that are found in cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

The over processing of foods makes for less dietary consumption of chromium. Many diets have less than 60% of the recommended consumption. The estimated and safe everyday consumption of chromium is 50 to 200 micrograms. There is more info on this at Treatments for Diabetes.

Those with diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance when given supplemental chromium have shown improvement in blood sugar, insulin and lipids. Reaction depends on the amount and form of supplement. Over the past thirty years there has not been any report of chromium toxicity in studies on the supplements.

Friday, August 14, 2009

USA's Top Diabetes Magazine on its 62nd Year

Diabetes Forecast starts the 60th year by releasing its annual supplement, the 2008 Resource Guide on diabetes. To help the diabetics, the supplement offers the readers with a summary of new and established products. This overview will provide the information needed for diabetes care. I wonder if they will release the 2009 Resource Guide.

The 2008 Resource Guide has different sections. There are news on new products such as new medications, blood glucose monitors that continuously keep track of blood sugar levels. It provides ways to control type 2 diabetes with drugs especially now that there are six classes of pills and a number of combinations of pills.

For insulin users, the supplement provides an overview of the chief characteristics of insulin and the ones used in the US and helpful guidelines on labeling, shipping and storage. In addition, it gives data on pumps, pens, jet injectors, syringes and infusers. It helps users decide which tools match their needs.

The diabetics will also learn to determine which blood glucose monitor is the best tool. There are tips on how to handle hypoglycemic episodes and how to prevent them from happening. It gives information on how to test for ketones as well. Meanwhile, to get alerts and tips, sign up at the top of this page on diabetes like hypoglycemia symptoms.

There is an alphabetical list of distributors and manufacturers of diabetes goods. And this is not all. There will be eight steps on how to make good on the resolutions to lose weight. The hints help anyone to stick to this resolution.

I will try to report on all of these in more detail as I believe this is an important resource for people who have diabetes. It is good to have such information handy within one's reach at all times. Self-care will be more manageable with such resource on hand.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Black Community Urged to Make Lifestyle Change

Diabetes among African Americans is on an all-time high. It is one of the most serious health problems facing the community. More than 30 million of them suffer from this condition. Approximately 1.6 African Americans get diabetes for every white American diagnosed with it.

In this connection, it is good to know what are the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. The same factors that increase the risk for the other populations are the culprits for the African Americans developing this condition. These are genetics, medical risk factors and lifestyle factors.

Genetics include inherited traits. They inherited what they call the thrifty gene from their ancestors which enabled them during famine and feast cycles to adjust when food was scarce. Now that that these cycles are fewer if ever, the thrifty gene makes it harder to control the weight.

Speaking of this, allow me to let you read one doctor's take on this issue. She believes that it is not what we eat nor our lack of exercise that is responsible for us getting overweight but something else. Find out why everyone is so mad at this doctor. She will tell you all about it herself.

The second risk factors are medical and include impaired glucose tolerance, obesity and hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. Hyperinsulinemia refers to higher than normal fasting insulin levels. This often occurs several years before diabetes comes in for good.

The third risk factors are the ones that have something to do with lifestyle. The scientists think that lack of physical activity contributes to high diabetes rates among older African-American women. They say that adequate physical activity protects one against diabetes so it‘s best to counteract this by getting enough exercise.

Representative Cummings wrote in Louisiana Weekly urging the black community to make lifestyle changes to stop the threat of diabetes from them. It is now the fourth main cause of death among the blacks who have almost twice the rate with this disease than the whites. There is more information on diabetes risk factors here.

He said that a lot of the factors leading to diabetes are preventable. The traditional diet the blacks have contribute to this disease and this should change now in order to save lives later. What we eat, he says, is frequently linked to how we die.

Changing the lifestyle by eating less and moving more will spell the difference. He said there's a national movement for every American child to get healthy foods and they're working on it in the congress. However, passing laws is not enough. The community has to work together to educate every one of the risk linked to the every day diet so we can all prevent diabetes.