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Friday, December 23, 2011

Diabetes and Hip Fracture Risk

Diabetes can make one at risk of getting a fracture to the hips. All the tempting food on the table does not make it any easier. We are still eating too much. And this can make us vulnerable to broken hip. Women who are undergoing menopause with uncontrolled blood sugar are more liable to develop a broken hip.

So researchers investigated the tool created by the World Health Organization known as the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool or FRAX. This tool makes use of algorithms found on a person’s risk to develop hip fracture along with the result of the bone density exam.

FRAX was developed by WHO in order to find what bone fracture to expect to help the doctors make a prediction on a person’s likelihood of breaking his hip or fracturing the shoulder, spine and forearm as a result of osteoporosis.

For menopausal women though, especially if they are not on HRT, the doctors are now using FRAX to access their risk to develop a hip fracture. But researchers in Canada’s University of Waterloo in Ontario begged to disagree. They found out in their new study that the most widely used tool FRAX is not that accurate.

FRAX, the researchers said, miscalculates the risk of a woman in getting her hip fractured and it is even worse if diabetes is in the picture. You see, the diabetics are found to have a 59% increased chance of getting a fractured hip and the worst part of the finding was that they were less likely to take medication in order to lower the risk or prevent it from happening.

The result of the study conducted in Netherlands is even scarier. Apparently, diabetic women who have an increased likelihood to develop fractured hip increased their risk even more when their blood sugar is poorly controlled.

There are three things they need to know. They should get a bone density test at age 50 to determine the likelihood of getting a fractured bone. Secondly if their doctor uses FRAX, their risk even gets higher, And third, it is important to keep the blood sugar under control.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Diabetes and Dental Care

Effects of diabetes on dental care has been discussed but not to this extent. The diabetics are advised to eat healthy, do regular physical activity and take medication as prescribed, but some may not know that these medications to control insulin may result in unforeseen events in dental offices. How can you tell if there‘s damage to the teeth and gums?

Plan ahead your visit to the dentist. The diabetes medicine you’re taking may cause low blood glucose. Before the visit talk to your doctor and dentist the best way you can take care of the blood glucose while having dental work done. Bring some food and diabetes medicine to the dentist’s office.

The diabetics have to tell their dentists their special needs to avoid the harmful effects of diabetes due to the interaction between the medications and the materials used at dental offices. This study was published in the AGD's clinical journal called General Dentistry.
Lee Shackelford, DDS, FAGD, said that it is very important to inform the dentists of the special needs of the diabetics so that the dentists can foresee and prepare for the medical interactions and physical response to treatment that can occur.

The dentists have to know if the patient is taking insulin treatment and have taken their everyday dose. This will also help foresee how long the appointment will take. This is important as any medication may interact with whatever agents the dentists may use.
Really, this alert is not just for the diabetics but for the general population as well.

James Little, DMD, MS, the main author of this study, advised everyone to inform their dentists with a complete information regarding prescription drugs, herbal drugs and over the counter medications as they may interact with the materials used during the dental appointments.

The excellent way to avoid the harmful effects of diabetes on the care of the oral health is an open communication with the dentists. This way any interaction can be anticipated and prepared for. There are steps the diabetic patients can take to get the best treatment possible:

1. Look for a dentist who understands the needs of diabetics.

2. Visit the dentist regularly and alert him to any changes in medications and in overall health condition.

3. Let the dentist know of any painful areas, swelling, sore or redness in the mouth.

4. Before the appointment, have a meal that is normally taken and the medication on schedule.

5. Bring the blood glucose monitor and let the dentist know when experiencing low blood sugar.

Here's a complete list on how to keep the teeth and gums healthy:
  • Brush the teeth not only after each meal but after each snack with the use of a soft toothbrush. With the bristles alongside the gum line, brush the front, back and top of each tooth gently with small, circular actions.
  • Brush the teeth not only after each meal but after each snack with the use of a soft toothbrush. With the bristles alongside the gum line, brush the front, back and top of each tooth gently with small, circular actions.
  • Brush the teeth not only after each meal but after each snack with the use of a soft toothbrush. With the bristles alongside the gum line, brush the front, back and top of each tooth gently with small, circular actions.
  • Floss at least once a day for this prevents the plaque from growing on the teeth. When not attended to, plaque will get hard and grow in the gums. How do you floss? With a sawing motion, put the floss between the teeth and rub from bottom to top a few times.
  • Keep dentures clean.
  • One of the facts of diabetes is to maintain the blood sugar level at or as close to the target as possible.
  • Immediately call the dentist if experiencing any problems with teeth and gum.
  • Ask the dental hygienist who cleans your teeth to show you the best way to brush and floss. At this point, you might as well ask the best toothpaste and brush to use.
  • As mentioned before, get your teeth and gums cleaned twice a year.
  • When the dentist informs you of the problem, ask him how to deal with it and then take action.
  • It is important to inform the dentist that you have diabetes.
  • Since smoking exacerbates the tooth and gum problems, find ways to quit the habit.
  • See the dentist whenever there's swelling, bleeding, redness, gums drawing away from teeth, and soreness from teeth or dentures.

So take time to check your mouth daily for any problems. Some have gums that bleed while brushing the teeth. Others feel soreness, dryness or a bad taste in the mouth. All these are good reasons for you to go and pay your dentist a visit. Remember that good control of the glucose can prevent problems in the mouth.

Get this for Healthy Teeth

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gum Disease Could Lead to Gestational Diabetes

Gum disease in pregnant women could be a factor in developing gestational diabetes. This what the research team at New York University’s College of Dentistry found. The group of women in the study who did not have periodontal disease were less likely to develop gestational diabetes.

The study took a long year to conduct at New York University. This study was in conjunction with Sri Lanka’s University of Peradeniya’s Faculty of Dental Sciences. The Sri Lankan researchers had the advantage of their subjects who were poor and forbidden to smoke and drink alcohol which are thought to increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

About one-third of the Sri Lankan women said their gums bled. The women who reported the most occurrences of bleeding in the gums had the highest blood glucose levels. The women who were found to develop gestational diabetes had particularly higher levels of inflammation and gum bacteria than the others.

The leader of the research team, Dr. Ananda P. Dasanayake said that the women who are planning to be pregnant would be wise to keep their oral health in good condition. They should ask their dentist to get rid of this condition before getting pregnant. In addition, after becoming pregnant they should also visit the dentist.

While pregnant, the ability to transport glucose to the cells is prevented by gestational diabetes. The end result is that the main source of energy does not reach the cells where it is needed. Mind you, this condition disappears after pregnancy but the increased risk to develop type 2 diabetes is there.

The inflammation that is linked to the gum disease plays a role in the increased risk to develop gestational diabetes. The inflammation gets in the way with the work of insulin and we know that insulin controls the metabolism of the glucose. Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans are the ones most at risk to develop gestational diabetes.

The results of this study confirm what other researches have found. And it is that gum disease and high levels of bacteria in the mouth can help predict who will develop gestational diabetes and even type 2 diabetes. Due to the fact that diabetes is an inflammatory condition, it makes sense that heightened inflammation in the mouth could play a role in developing gestational diabetes. The moral of the story is to get the dentist to help you get rid of the gum disease.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Insulin Resistance Risk Increases With Fat Build-Up

Insulin resistance is the result of the fat build-up that they refer to here is the one on chest and upper back according to HIV Study. This study led by the San Francisco VA Medical Center says that fat build-up in this area is linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance. They say that this is the very first time this relationship has been established.

The lead author and researcher, Carl Grunfield, M.D., PhD, who is the chief of the metabolism and endocrine sections at the San Francisco VA Medical Center says that the association between visceral fat and insulin resistance risk has been studied before but nobody looked at the upper trunk fat.

We know that insulin is the hormone that controls the blood glucose levels so when the cells become resistant to the insulin action, the end result is high blood glucose which has bad effects on the body. Grunfeld further observes that people with lots of fat in the upper trunk and not much in the stomach are at risk to develop insulin resistance. But if you have both, he says the risk is rather high.

The results was strong in both HIV infected participants and the ones who did not have HIV in the FRAM (Fat Redistribution and Metabolic) Change in HIV infection study. This is a longitudinal study of those who have HIV and are taking modern antiretroviral therapy and HIV negative controls.

When the visceral fat (located between and around the internal organs) is present, the risk of insulin resistance is increased not only among the HIV infected group but also among those who do not have HIV. So this means that it does not matter whether you have HIV or not. Having upper trunk fat is bad for you.

When one is resistant to insulin, the cells in the body are resistant to the action of insulin and we know that insulin is a hormone that regulates the blood sugar levels. We also know the results of the high blood sugar leading to many undesirable health effects.

Grunfeld, University of California’s professor of medicine said that the people who have a lot of fat in their upper trunk and not so much in their stomach are at risk for insulin resistance. If you’ve got both (upper trunk fat and belly fat) you have quite a high risk for insulin resistance.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Heart Attack Raises Diabetes Risk

A study finds that after a heart attack, the risk of developing diabetes and pre-diabetes goes up sharply. Heart attack patients are four-and-a-half times more likely to develop the condition than the general population. The Lancet states that the heart patients are fifteen times more likely to develop high blood sugar.

Dr. Lionel Opie, director of the Hatter Cardiovascular Research Institute of the University of Cape Town, South Africa said that heart attack means that the chance of getting diabetes later is increased. The study led by Dr. Roberto Marchioli from the Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Italy, collected information on 8300 Italian patients who suffered a heart attack.

These patients were not diabetic prior to the heart attack but a third of these patients developed diabetes or had impaired insulin resistance after more than three and a half years after the heart attack. These results showed the correlation between heart attack and high blood glucose.

The risk factors for diabetes are high blood pressure, age, the use of heart medicines like the beta blocker drugs to lower cholesterol levels and diuretics. Being overweight, an unhealthy diet and heavy drinking of alcohol also increase the risk and smoking increases it by 60%. It is therefore important to change the lifestyle in order to prevent diabetes. A Mediterranean diet can help prevent diabetes so did Marchioli say.

So what do we have to do to avoid this dire situation? It has been mentioned before but it bears repeating. Just follow the guide to physical activity and your heart. Know the risk factors. What are risk factors anyway? They are the habits and conditions that make one more liable to develop a disease and the chances are increased that the existing condition will worsen.

Now that we have cleared what it means by risk factors, let’s delve into the risk factors for heart disease. Certain risk factors for heart disease that you can’t do anything about are: a family history of early heart disease and getting older. But the other risks are something we can change. There is the physical activity factor which is a major risk factor for health disease. We can decide to get regular physical activity.

The other factors which are within our power to change are high blood pressure, overweight, high blood cholesterol, smoking and diabetes. Each of these risks increases the chance to develop heart disease. Let us not make that happen and give ourselves a fighting chance.

Each of those risks counts and will greatly increase the development of heart disease and heart attack. When the heart is damaged so is your life. There will be things you will not be able to do even simple ones like taking a walk or climbing up the stairs. But you have the power to change that.

Getting physically active is particularly important. Not only will it lower the risk to develop heart problems but also it reduces the risk to develop high blood pressure, lower the bad cholesterol, increase the good cholesterol and prevent or control diabetes. It can also help lose weight.

Now where else can you have power over your health? There’s smoking which is known to increase the risk of heart disease as much as six times than the non-smokers. You know what to do with that. You can do something about high blood cholesterol by being active, eating less trans fat, saturated fat and maintaining good weight.

How about high blood pressure? What power do you have over that? Get regular physical activity, cut down alcohol consumption, lose extra weight, and eat healthy using less salt and sodium. This will be good too for fighting diabetes and overweight for losing just 5 to 10% of the present weight will also reduce the risk of heart disease.

There you go; you have all the power in your hands to be as healthy as you can be. Let’s do it altogether. I have done all of those but am still having a hard time with the overweight thing because I am still ten pounds overweight. And to think I sometimes go to bed hungry, can you imagine that? I will be more than glad to receive your advice. Just click the link weight above and it will take you to my website where you can fill in a contact form.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blood Sugar Level of Mothers Linked to Kids' Obesity Risk

Blood sugar level of mothers were found to be linked to childhood obesity. Women with high blood sugar levels when they are pregnant are two times more likely to have obese children. This is according to the largest study on the same topic. This research is published in the September issue of the journal called Diabetes Care.

It is not all bad news though because Teresa Hillier, an endocrinologist and co-author of the study said that the tendency to have obese children is reversible when the high blood sugar is treated during pregnancy. This makes it imperative for mothers to know their blood sugar level.

Teresa Hillier and her colleagues at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health researched 9439 mother-child pairs who were enrolled at the center's Hawaii and Regions in the Northwest from 1995 to 2000. The result of their examination is that the higher the mother's blood sugar, the greater is the chance for the child to be overweight by the time he is between 5 and 7 years old. They found this true for all ethnic groups.

Those who had pre-existing diabetes were excluded from the study because the researchers wanted to find out how gestational diabetes affects the child when it comes to obesity risk. They wanted to be sure that the form of diabetes that appears for the very first time while the women were pregnant which is gestational diabetes would show the child’s risk for obesity.

A study like this was done before and the link was found between gestational diabetes and childhood obesity but it was a small study that involved the Pima Indians. But the study led by Teresa Hillier is the largest ever on this issue and it found that indeed a mother’s high blood sugar during pregnancy may make her child likely to be obese.

It is not all doom and gloom though for women who have gestational diabetes often lose the condition as soon as the baby is born. And as of the risk to childhood obesity of the maternal blood sugar, it is reversible. How? It is reversible through treatment with exercise, diet and sometimes insulin. This is not a problem because pregnant women who have the risk factors for diabetes are screened for diabetes as soon as they reach 24 to 26 weeks of pregnancy.

Larry Deeb, an endocrinologist has this word of wisdom for pregnant women. They need to know what their blood sugar is and they need to be sure it is normal in order to protect the baby. This is important because the obesity risk among children whose mothers had high blood sugar level but were treated lowered the risk to the same level of children whose mothers had normal blood sugar level.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Type 2 Diabetes Cause Found, A Different One

Type 2 diabetes cause especially when American scientists found a third anomaly that may be behind the development of type 2 diabetes intrigued me. I tried hard to follow it up knowing that if there is such a cause, can a cure be far behind? It has been drilled into our heads that being overweight and obesity as the cause. We know that the body cells fail to regulate blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes properly, this much we know.

This occurred because of improper working of the beta cells in the pancreas and the inability of the insulin to work properly on the tissues. But in the new study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Oregon Health & Science University, the scientists discovered that the glucose-sensing neurons have a part in the development of diabetes.

Dr. Bradford Lowell, a professor at Harvard Medical School, said they knew all along there were neurons in the brain that become excited by glucose but they didn't know the significance of this. The new study is the first one to show these neurons respond by returning the blood sugar level to normal.

All that said, I waited for some follow-up on this but didn’t find any so I tried to do some research and I found quite a few and one was even controversial. But what I want to let you know right off the bat was the warning I saw to the effect that if you are taking insulin, do not stop doing so and keep on checking your blood glucose levels unless of course your doctor tells you otherwise.

Type 2 diabetes can still be cured, thank goodness but the thing that I found controversial was that this condition is not caused by being overweight. And the author of this said that it is because scientists get a lot of data and sometimes they do not know how to interpret them. You can find more to read about what causes diabetes here.

Let us make this a little clearer. What they say is that there is some kind of confusion because what causes overweight and obesity is the same thing that leads to diabetes. What is that, you asked? It is the bad fats that is the culprit. A specific example of this is margarine.

So you see, the link between being overweight and diabetes is statistical and not a causal relationship. Instead it is a common cause relationship and the claim is that they do hardly discuss the common cause relationship because they are paid to sell drugs.

And here’s another thing that causes type 2 diabetes. Our diets have extra oils that are man-made known as trans fats. These get into our cell walls and damage the electrical charge smothering the cells and slowing down the process of letting nutrition in and the waste out. Insulin therefore has a hard time passing through the cell wall full of trans fats. And that my friends is a type 2 diabetes cause.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Surgery for Diabetes, Can It Help?

Surgery for diabetes, some surgeons found out that with a form of gastric bypass for Type 2 diabetes, showed that some of these patients no longer had diabetes after the surgery. Duodenal exclusion is the name of the surgery and was done on Type 2 diabetes patients between the ages of 20m and 30.

These patients had a BMI of between 22 and 34 kg/m squared. The upper small intestine was removed leading to the stomach feeding directly into the mid-small intestine. What does this mean? There is a reduction in the time that the body has to take in the calories from the food.

Dr. Iain Frame, the research manager at Diabetes UK said that is not easy to make any firm conclusion from this study because it has a small number of subjects which is seven at the time of accessing this news item. Out of these only two cases have been followed up.

Since the food intake has been considerably reduced, one explanation could be that with the insulin the patients were still producing, these patients were able to manage . Another explanation could be that perhaps deflecting the food away from certain parts of the intestine may have changed how the hormones work.

The advice is to consider surgery for diabetes only as a last option especially that one can lose weight and prevent diabetes by eating healthy foods along with exercise. Weight Loss Surgery sounds like a pipe dream but it’s not. You can keep your eyes and ears open for more on this.

Diabetes is a highly challenging condition. With the need to check the blood sugar a lot and avoid some carbs and the danger of complication risk, it is no wonder some diabetic can become frustrated and depressed. Some are lucky to be able to control their condition through diet and exercise.

Others need medication in addition to diet and exercise. Still others, especially those who are already disciplined in following all the advice, need more. So with the researchers exploring new options, let’s make sure we hear of them, especially this surgery for diabetes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Diabetes Monitored with Alert Dog's Help

Diabetes monitored with the help of a dog? The dog will help monitor the blood sugar level. This may be a good idea, but $5000 for an alert dog? Perhaps it's good to compare that with the continuous monitoring system. Mind you there have been reports of dogs saving the life of some with a hypoglycemic attack.

Let us take the example of Kristin Rogers who is from North Carolina. She has been a longtime diabetics so she knows the danger of low blood sugar. There are other high tech methods in the market to monitor it but she relies on a golden retriever named Maggie.

It helps that Kristin likes dogs . This helps so it was easy for her to decide to get a golden retriever. After a few months of working with Maggie, Kristin learned to read the signals the alert dog sends her. One time she was cross because the dog kept coming up to the bed where Maggie was. Kristin therefore decided to check her blood sugar and sure enough found she was low.

So while science has not really proven that alert dogs can be such a help, the companies that breed and train them say the dogs are so sensitive to smell that they are able to detect the blood sugar level. Dr. Jean Dostou, the endocrinologist at UNC Health Care said that longtime diabetics can fail to see the signs of low blood sugar.

Dr. Dostou said that the longtime diabetics have lost their epinephrine response so are unable to get the same kind of symptoms that can warn them of low blood sugar. Sometimes her parents have to call her in the middle of the night to remind her to check her blood sugar level.

Kristin Rogers said it happened to her several times that she did not recognize any warning and so she did not wake up to go to work. She didn't even wake up to take her son to school because she was very low. She did not like that to happen to her so she opted to use an alert dog.

Dr. Dostou said that Kristin is the first one she knows who used the alert dog so she cannot say that dogs are effective just like the other methods of monitoring devices. She did admit that dogs can possibly be attuned to her owner's behavior and that may be a warning sign.

Kristin did encounter some challenges with Maggie. For one thing, she had to undergo three weeks of intensive training. Then there is the fact that Maggie is another mouth to feed. Then there is the extra energetic person she has to keep up with. But she needs the exercise so she does not mind this.

There are not too many companies that train dogs to recognize the low blood sugar level. And the cost as mentioned above is around $5000. Insurance may pay for part of the cost. In this case then it may be a good idea to have an alert dog trained in recognizing the symptoms of low sugar in diabetes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sleep Duration May be Affected by Inflammation

Sleep duration, either too much or too little may be affected by inflammation as shown in the U.S. study that included 614 participants. In the past, studies had linked both long and short duration with a higher risk for diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity and death.

The same thing has been noted linking chronic elevations in inflammation-regulating cytokines with an increased risk of health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. Thus the researchers found the association between inflammation and sleep duration.

Participants in this particular study were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their sleep habits. To do this, the participants were asked to spend one night in a sleep lab. The mean sleep duration calculated in the sleep lab was 6.2 hours while the mean sleep duration reported by the participants was 7.6 hours.

Every additional hour of sleep duration that was reported by the participants was associated with a 7% increase in levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) as well as an 8 percent increase in levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). Both of these are inflammation-regulating cytokines.

As for every additional hour of sleep reduction that was verified in the sleep lab, it was found to be associated with an 8% increase in tumor necrosis factor. The tumor necrosis factor is another inflammation-regulating cytokine which affirms the previous finding.

They also found that those who had longer sleep duration were considerably younger and whereas the short sleep duration was linked with an increased incidence of hypertension, diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea. This fact alone will encourage people to have longer sleep duration.

Assistant professor of medicine, Dr. Sanjay R. Patel who was also the lead author of the study said that the most surprising finding was that there were different relationships that were based on how sleep was measured. Let us see how this will affect the way it was covered.

Patel and associates said the different patterns of association with cytokine levels may indicate that the sleep duration reported seems to show chronic (long term) sleep while sleep duration reported in the lab show sleep pattern were acute or short term.

There is also concern that the two ways of measuring the duration of sleep may be affected in different ways by some underlying factors like mood or stress, sleep habits. These of course will have a direct effect on the cytokine levels. There is more information on sleep and diabetes in this article.
Another study reported that those who do not have enough sleep and those who have too much sleep may become at high risk for diabetes and other diseases. This is quite a surprise to me as I thought people have different needs for sleep.

Some can get by with five hours while others need more. So does this mean those who require only five hours of sleep are at risk to develop those conditions? This of course does not clarify very well these relationships as it is said at the end that too much sleep will also increase the risk for diabetes. Thus ends my research on sleep duration.