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Friday, November 27, 2009

Is there a Link Between Diabetes and Alzheimer?

The hormone that is vigorously involved in metabolism and blood glucose is insulin. Too little insulin causes type 1 and too much of it causes type 2 diabetes. This is a condition that is called resistance to insulin. Scientists are more and more convinced that this is a master hormone that influences the other hormones.

Researchers know that diabetics have higher risk of developing Alzheimer by up to 65% than the general population without this condition. But they did not know the answer to why this is so until now. There is a new study on this very issue. This is also mentioned at this page where you can just hit control f and you will find Alzheimer.

Researchers from Boston's Joslin Diabetes Center and Cologne Germany conducted a study that suggests resistance to insulin in the brain cells can influence how it works. This can lead to the biochemical changes in people with Alzheimer.

It looks like the researchers have found out that the brain also produces insulin. And so they are now saying there is another form of diabetes which the team in Brown Medical School in the United States called type 3, but they do not think it affects the blood sugar. So now insulin could be significant to the brain.

The insulin levels are affected by this type 3 and seems to be connected with Alzheimer. This is what they published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. So let's make this clear. When the body is not able to produce insulin from the pancreas, type 1 and 2 diabetes occur. This type 3 diabetes which refers to lower insulin in the brain seems connected to Alzheimer.

The scientists also found out that many of those with type 2 diabetes have protein deposits in their pancreas that are the same as those in the brain tissue of people with Alzheimer. That is why researchers are going on to find the link between the two conditions.

Rhode Island's neuropathologist Dr. Suzanne de la Monte and her team think the link is in the newly discovered type 3. This opens up new ways to treat the condition and the possibility of type 3 diabetes is raised. There is also proof that diabetes that is poorly controlled affects brain functioning. More research should be conducted to arrive at stronger conclusions.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Diabetes and Alcohol Can Cause Hypoglycemia

Diabetes and alcohol is the topic of a study conducted by Karolinska Institutet. This is the leading medical university in Sweden had scientists who revealed how alcohol causes hypoglycemia. Alcohol can lead to inflated secretion of insulin which in turn can lead to too low sugar, otherwise known as hypoglycemia.

Now the scientists at this Swedish university are saying that alcohol consumption can do harm to the brain. How? By lowering the concentration of blood glucose to such low levels, that's how. They have published this finding in the journal called Endocrinology.

Although hypoglycemia brought about by alcohol consumption has been a clinical problem to people with diabetes, the logistics behind this has not been unearthed or explained until recently. Researchers at the Hospital Diabetes Center in Stockholm assessed the link between diabetes and alcohol.

How did they do this? They administered alcohol on the pancreatic islet and monitored its influence to the blood flow, blood glucose levels and secretion of insulin. This is what they found which may very well convince the diabetics not to consume alcohol.

The main investigator, Ake Sjoholm, said they found that alcohol affects the microcirculation in the pancreas by inducing huge redeployment of the blood flow to the part that produces insulin. This results in hypoglycemia. He further said that this finding is vital for patients with diabetes and alcoholics with liver failure.

Alcohol consumption may aggravate persistent hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes who are treated with sulfonylureas because many of these types of medications have a long half-life. Professor Sjoholm also said that most alcoholics are not properly nourished so they may not be able to respond to hypoglycemia appropriately.

Well, whether we like it or not the processing of alcohol in the body is similar to fat. Both contain almost the same amount of calories. Drinking alcohol can result in higher blood glucose level. That said and because I do not want to be such a kill-joy, you can drink it sometimes as a treat and when the blood glucose level is under control.

And if you are like me, about ten pounds overweight or more depending on whether I have just been to a buffet (my Waterloo) and have high triglycerides and blood pressure levels, then the smartest thing to do is to consult your doctor. I don't know about doctors these days. They get so panicky with 140-150 blood pressure level. So keep in mind the link between diabetes and alcohol.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Continuous Glucose Monitoring, How It Is Done

What is continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system? It is one that employs a tiny sensor which is inserted under the skin to check sugar levels in tissue fluid. This sensor stays in place for a week or several days after which it has to be replaced. Look for some improvement on this.

Through radio waves, a transmitter sends the data on blood glucose levels to a wireless monitor. This monitor is small and looks like a pager. The diabetic has to check the blood samples with a glucose monitor before programming the device.

These are more expensive than the traditional way of doing it but may help in better sugar control. They are FDA approved and give out real-time measurements displayed in one-minute or five-minute intervals. An alarm can be set to alert the user when the reading gets too low or too high.

The leading company for an insulin pump technology that one can wear is Insulet Corporation. Now this company has agreed to combine their wearable insulin pump with the continuous monitoring system of DexCom. What does this mean?

Combining the two will result in a handheld OmniPod System that will be wireless with Personal Diabetes Manager which can program the diabetic's delivery of insulin. It will display glucose readings continuously. The display will be glucose values that are real-time. In addition, this combo will alert the diabetics if the sugar levels are falling or rising.

Insulet Corporation's president and CEO, Duane DeSisto, said that this latest technology proves the company's dedication to improve the lives of the diabetics. Combining the DexCom's continuous monitoring system and making it into OmniPod Personal Diabetes Manager is easy to use and will prove the benefits of continuous monitoring and insulin pump therapy.

DexCom's president and CEO, Terrance H. Gregg, said his company is glad to work with Insulet Corporation in bringing about this combo that will make managing diabetes better for people with diabetes. The two technologies will certainly do that.

The combination of the two technologies will not only provide the diabetics with continuous data but also they will be able to track the trends that will make them know when to adjust their treatment. Alarms will sound off to alert the diabetics when their sugar levels are not within target levels.

The efforts to continue the development of this combo will go on through 2008 and should be ready to launch in the middle of 2009. Insulet Corporation's products for diabetes management will broaden as a result of this integration.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Carrot Cake, What Has This Got to do with Type 2 Diabetes?

Hammersmith Hospital's Department of Nutrition and Dietetics in London conducted a study on sugar. We know that diabetics are frequently advised to cut back on sugar intake but researchers have questioned this saying that a reasonable amount is safe to take, as part of the diabetes diet.

So this study added three slices of carrot cake to the every day diet of nine type 2 diabetics who were overweight for 24 days. They kept a record of the participants' blood glucose levels, weight, sensitivity to insulin and cholesterol levels at the start and at the end of the research.

The leader of this research, Professor Gary Frost, said that the intake of energy of the participants was balanced to their weight and they evenly distributed the sucrose consumption over a day. What they found they published. There's more information at this other site on fats and sweets.

The participants did not gain weight. Nor did their sensitivity to insulin and their blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels change. Professor Frost further added that while their study is small and short term, their findings support other scientific researches on the same issue.

This study demonstrated that increased daily sucrose consumption with carrot cake did not show any unfavorable effect on the diabetics' blood glucose who retained a steady body weight. So the revised approach on the diabetes diet with some flexibility on increased sugar intake is here.

In fact, Kirk et al reviewed other studies in 2000 and found that adding sugar could help lower the consumption of fat. This is of course good for the general health. The findings of this research is also agreeable to the 2007 dietary guidelines of the American Diabetes Association.

ADA says that sucrose does not have a greater bad effect on blood sugar level than the same amount of starch. It should therefore be regarded the same way as the other foods that contain carbohydrates. It can be a replacement for other carbohydrate foods but of course monitored so diabetes medication can be used correctly. Watch out, carrot cake, here I come!