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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Diabetes Leg Pain and the New Limb Preservation Track

Diabetes leg pain symposium of this kind is something I am glad to have come across as it will provide us with new connections to the world of Wound Care and Wound Healing, so crucial to diabetic patients. This 22nd annual meeting of wound care specialists from different disciplines met at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center back in 2009.

What is important is that at this meeting they added a limb preservation track to address the concerns of vascular surgeons and doctors of podiatric medicine. These are the people who treat the diabetics who have lower extremity wounds and are at risk for amputation.

From Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Kazu Suzuki said that about one-third of diabetics suffer from diabetes leg pain and foot wounds and poor circulation. Apparently, these led to over 100,000 leg amputation each year and often these are preventable. How?

When the wound is detected and treated early, amputation could be avoided. That is why it is important to examine feet and legs for sores and wounds as the diabetics may not feel them and not know early enough that they are there. Examining the feet and legs every day should be part of the diabetes care plan.

There are limb preservation efforts through proper care of the wound and revascularization. These could save life and limb and are part of looking after the diabetic patients especially knowing that quality of life deteriorates after amputation. So it is important to know more about diabetes leg pain.

So this meeting addressed the diagnostic tests and treatment to help prolong the lives of the diabetics. It is their aim to raise awareness of the symptoms, care and treatment options for diabetic leg wounds. It will lower the cost of complications because early detection is cheaper than leg amputations which will require hospitalization and rehabilitation.

There will be another meeting on this issue this spring where they are going track the peripheral arterial disease and diabetes mellitus. The discussion will be on such topics as epidemiology, management and assessment of arterial disease from medical to surgical to rehabilitation.

It is my fervent hope that some experts will share what they have discovered at this symposium. You can be sure I will follow this up as I can't wait for new ways and treatment options for the diabetics who suffer so much from their diabetes leg pain.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Diabetes Pill Gives Hope to End Painful Injections

Insulin pill was thought of as something that will give hope to the diabetics. This was reported in August 2001. The claim was in a decade this would be a done deal. So on January 25, 2009 when I read the news that Diabetes Pill Gives Hope to End Painful Injections, I decided to revisit the news pertaining to this.

The every day injection of insulin they said will soon be a thing of the past. Apparently, a chemistry student has come up with the material that would enable the diabetics to take their insulin orally. This would be in the form of a pill.

Some people with diabetes are dependent on insulin to survive and have to give themselves injection three times a day. There had been efforts to replace these injections with oral insulin but these attempts failed because the harsh acids in the mouth, throat and stomach destroyed the pills, making them ineffective.

The new material, however, is a polymer with a gel-like consistency. This makes people think that it will be more effective because the insulin is protected from the harsh acids until it gets to the small intestine. It is there where it should be absorbed into the blood.

A graduate student from Purdue University, Aaron Foss, made this breakthrough. He said that the small intestine is less acidic and will enable the polymer to swell. This in turn will release the insulin. He presented his findings to the American Chemical Society during its 222nd national meeting.

The finding did well in the trials that showed up to 16% of the insulin could be carried to the bloodstream when in the past the figure was only 0.1%. Foss said that when he lowered the acidity after two hours, the material opened up that released the insulin.

He said it worked but he wanted to continue the research so that more insulin can be delivered. He therefore planned to change some parameters and to look at some other compounds and see if it can be further optimized. There was much hope in the finding.

Then on January 25, 2009, there was good news that Diabetes Pill Gives Hope to End Painful Injections. The news really excited me so here I am writing about this. This should be good news especially after it passes the human trials.

Diabetes UK found this interesting and welcomed it for anything that makes life easier for the diabetics is a real welcome news. They said it was too early in 2001 but the scientists were hopeful that this could be done within ten years. I will keep my fingers crossed that next year which is a decade from the first finding, that it should be here by then.

They've already experienced success on this that lowered the blood sugar level in animals after taking these pills. Let's hope and pray for their continued success as this will end the constant injections the diabetics have to endure; this will certainly add to their quality of life soon after the finalization of these pills with insulin.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dance and Diabetes As an Elegant Tool to Fight This Condition

Dance and diabetes they say is an elegant way to help keep this condition at bay. This is what this tribe is doing to reach the people to keep them healthy for they are at higher risk to develop diabetes. We can do the same and dance away our pains and getting two birds in one shot. Not only are we getting the exercise but also we can socialize and have fun dancing and listening to the music.

Shelley Bointy demonstrated how to do a two-step dance. This was part of a workshop at Haskell Indian Nations University. She was showing the teachers how to use the round dance of the Native Americans so they can use it to motivate the students to prevent diabetes by exercising.

This song and dance workshop was organized by Shelley Bointy. This was where the Red Lake Singers from Minnesota performed a dance song. The group ranged in age from 21 to 67 years old. A group of Lawrence teachers joined them. At first, they did a slight shuffle with the left foot, then right. Pretty soon they were circling the room.

Right in front was Johnny Smith singing and beating the drum. The upper bodies moved to the beat of the drum and pretty soon they were sweating and feeling winded. The songs were short but they enabled the group to exercise for diabetes. It helped the teachers learn to use the round dancing of the Native Americans to motivate people to exercise and stop diabetes.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Institutes of Health have been working together for several years on intervention programs directed at the Native American children. In addition to the song and dance, they employ examples from the past to develop healthy behaviors.

The 67-year old in the group had been singing and dancing for decades with these singers and dancers. After he had a heart attack, his doctor recommended that he should keep on dancing. He therefore continues to do the round dancing to keep his own condition properly managed. What a fun way to prevent complications by combining dance and diabetes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

High Blood Sugar Could Impair Thinking

High blood sugar reading could impair brain functioning which makes sense because low blood glucose could also affect one's thinking ability. The brain needs glucose to keep functioning and since it does not store nor manufacture its own glucose it has to rely on the body to process that.

People with type 2 diabetes may have higher average blood glucose (sugar) levels and this may be linked to lower brain functioning. This is according to a study where researchers found that those with higher levels of hemoglobin A1C had worse results while doing cognitive tasks.

Hemoglobin A1C is the measure of average blood sugar levels over two to three months. The cognitive tasks that were found to have lower results among those with high blood glucose levels are those that tested memory, speed and the ability to manage multiple tasks at the same time. Higher A1C levels were also linked with lower scores on a test of global cognitive function.

These findings were published online and I was interested in following it up. The study is appropriately called MIND (from the Memory in Diabetes) It really is a part of the trial called ACCORD (from to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes.

Of course people are concerned even if the impairment is mild. This is what Dr. Tali Cukierman-Yaffe, the lead researcher, who is from Tel-Aviv University in Israel said in a news release with the American Diabetes Association.

What is not clear though is that the researchers were not sure whether higher blood glucose levels increase the risk for cognitive impairment or whether cognitive impairment lowers the ability of the body to control the blood glucose levels. They were hoping this will be clarified in the ongoing ACCORD-MIND study.

The study will test the hypothesis that decreasing the A1C levels could improve cognitive functioning. Meantime we know that in the previous research the diabetics are found to be 1.5 times more at risk to suffer cognitive decline and dementia than those without diabetes.

Since we know there are so many people whose cognitive functioning is high like the new member of the Supreme Court and she has had diabetes for decades. Let us therefore prove the hypothesis wrong by making sure we do not have the levels that are considered to be high blood sugar.