Articles on Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the body either does not produce or does not properly use insulin.  Insulin is the hormone that converts sugar, starches and other foods into glucose, the energy needed to fuel the body.  If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood, although the reasons may differ.  Too much glucose can lead to serious health problems.

The cause of diabetes is unknown; however it is thought that genetics and other factors (e.g. obesity and lack of exercise) may be involved. There are four different types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them.
Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency.
Gestational diabetes occurs immediately after pregnancy, and may result in type 2 diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
 

12/02/2011 - Articles
Blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels, blood cholesterol: Know Your Numbers!

Blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels, blood cholesterol: Know Your Numbers!

For a proper understanding of your health, you must know how you stand compared to the normal, healthy condition. Here you can learn about normal blood pressure levels, blood cholesterol levels (and other lipids), and blood sugar levels (also known as blood sugar numbers). Read more

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05/20/2010 - Articles

Combination therapy in type 2 diabetes

The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with type 2 diabetes start on metformin and lifestyle modification after diagnosis. But type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease and so a second drug may need to be added at some stage. There are a number of second drugs that might be used including sulfonylureas, insulin, thiazolidinediones like pioglitazone, and the glucagon-like peptide analog exenatide. The ideal combination is not known so researchers at the University of Connecticut have looked at the evidence on type 2 diabetes drugs. Read more

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05/20/2010 - Articles

When, and how, to screen for type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic, and progressive, condition that may develop silently for many years before symptoms are apparent and a formal diagnosis is made. Diabetes is linked to various long-term complications such as heart disease, impaired circulation and eye problems. It can also be slowed down, or controlled, through lifestyle modification, such as keeping to a healthy weight, and through medication. Therefore, it makes sense to detect diabetes, and its precursor conditions, known as insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance, as soon as possible.  Read more

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04/23/2010 - Articles

Antibody treatment for type 1 diabetes enters trial

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, in which the patient’s immune system attacks the beta-cells in the pancreas which normally produce insulin. Without insulin, blood sugar levels rise and damage many parts of the body. Therefore, the patient with type 1 diabetes is dependent on insulin, either by injection or by pump, for life. Type 1 diabetes often leads to complications like kidney failure, blindness and heart disease, despite insulin treatment. Read more

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04/22/2010 - Articles

Start metformin early in type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease and it is common to have to escalate medication to keep blood sugar under control. Metformin is a cheap, generic drug which is often used as first line therapy for those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A new study, from researchers at Kaiser Permanente, suggests that starting metformin as soon as possible after diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can make a real difference in helping slow the progression of the disease. Read more

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04/13/2010 - Articles

Diabetic retinopathy linked to cognitive problems

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes which can lead to loss of vision and, indeed, it is the leading cause of blindness in the working-age population in the UK. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh now reveal that diabetic retinopathy is linked to cognitive decline. They looked at a group of over 1,000 people aged between 60 and 75 years, giving them a range of tests of memory and concentration to assess their level of brain function. The tests included memory for faces, recall of stories, vocabulary and the ability to re-organize a series of letters. Those who had diabetic retinopathy had worse scores on the tests, on average, and worse overall cognitive ability. The greater the degree of diabetic retinopathy, the worse the participant’s cognitive functioning was. Read more

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03/29/2010 - Articles

Diabetic retinopathy affects over 5 million Americans

Diabetic retinopathy is the abnormal growth of tiny blood vessels on the surface of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. As the name suggests, diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes and it will affect nearly 60% of patients with the condition. According to Thomas C. Lee, director of the Retina Institute in The Vision Center at the Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, there are 5.3 million adults in the United States who have diabetic retinopathy at the moment. And 24,000 of them will lose their sight because of diabetic retinopathy. Read more

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03/17/2010 - Articles

Kidney failure linked to silent stroke in people with diabetes

Kidney failure is one of the major health problems that people with type 2 diabetes may face as their disease progresses. A new study shows that so-called silent cerebral infarctions (SCIs), otherwise known as ‘silent strokes,’ could be an indicator of kidney failure among diabetics. The study, from researchers at Shiga University School of Medicine, Japan, involved 608 patients with type 2 diabetes who had no obvious symptoms of kidney failure like protein in the urine. Nor did they have complications like stroke or heart disease. They underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain which showed that about 29% had SCI. Read more

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03/08/2010 - Articles

What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of risk factors like hypertension (high blood pressure), larger waist circumference, high cholesterol and impaired fasting glucose which may identify individuals at greater risk of diabetes and heart disease. Although the metabolic syndrome concept itself has been around for more than 80 years, there has been controversy and debate over what it actually is and what it means in practice. There have been too many different definitions of metabolic syndrome, so people are now confused as to whether they have it or not. Moreover, there seems to be no evidence that metabolic syndrome is a better predictor of heart attack or stroke than the sum of the risk factors. You could even argue that there is really no such thing as metabolic syndrome – it is just a list of risk factors! Read more

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02/09/2010 - Articles
Milk Benefits More Than Just Bones

Milk Benefits More Than Just Bones

Can a diet that includes plenty of dairy foods cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes? Read more

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