Entries in Diabetes (61)


New Insulin Pump Could Prevent Hypoglycemia in Diabetes Patients

Jeffrey Hamilton/Lifesize/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new device attached to an insulin pump may help prevent dangerous low blood sugar levels in diabetes patients during the night.

According to HealthDay News, the pump would deliver insulin when necessary, but stop pumping when the patient's blood sugar levels are low. In studies, the pump reportedly decreased overnight episodes of hypoglycemia by nearly one-third.

Hypoglycemia, which can cause dizziness, seizures, coma and death, is a serious concern for diabetes patients.

The device, funded by Medtronic Inc., and tested in Europe is pending approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The results of a study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, studied 247 patients with type-1 diabetes who were randomly assigned to use either the new device or a standard insulin pump.

Use of the new device was linked to a decrease in hypoglycemic attacks during both the day and night of approximately 32 percent. The device did not impact patients' blood sugar levels.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Diabulimia: The Dangerous Way Diabetics Drop Pounds

Courtesy of Erin Williams(NEW YORK) -- At age 14, Erin Williams was tired of medicine.  Williams was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic at age 11, and after three years of enduring a never-ending regimen of insulin shots and strict diet restrictions, she was frustrated.

Embarrassed by her disease, she kept it a secret from everyone but her closest family and friends.  At birthday parties, she made up excuses about why she couldn't have soda or cake.  When a classmate saw her drinking juice boxes in the nurses office, she endured weeks of being called the "juice box thief" rather than just tell her classmates she had low blood sugar because of diabetes.

Eventually, Williams rebelled the only way she could, she decided not take her insulin.  She just didn't want to adhere to the strict diet and medical regimen even though it was vital to her health.

The next morning when Williams woke up, she felt fine.  Emboldened by her experiment, she continued to restrict her insulin.  

Without a regimented amount of insulin in her body to process glucose, Williams' body started to burn through fat and muscle.  She lost weight very quickly even as she ate all the same foods.  Classmates started commenting on her weight loss and remarked that she looked great.

After living with type 1 diabetes for three years, Williams was exhibiting the first signs of a disorder often called diabulimia.  The term refers to the dual diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder.

Many type 1 diabetics with eating disorders will not take their prescribed insulin so they can lose weight.  Deprived of insulin, the body cannot break down sugars from food to use as energy.  Instead, the body's cells break down fat already stored and try to flush out the excess sugar through the urine.

While it leads to weight loss, it can also lead to nerve damage, damaged eyesight, kidney damage and osteoporosis, among a host of other ailments.

A study from 2007 that followed diabetics who restricted their insulin over 11 years found their mortality risk was three times higher than those who did not restrict their insulin.

While anorexia or bulimia are familiar terms, diabulimia is little known, even though it can affect a significant portion of the type 1 diabetic population.  Studies and research into diabulimia are not comprehensive, but a 1994 study found that up to 30 percent of type 1 diabetic women will intentionally stop taking their insulin at some point in their lives to lose weight.

When Williams was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11, she became one of the approximately three million Americans to suffer from the autoimmune disorder in which the pancreas does not produce insulin.  According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease every year.

Her diagnosis also meant that her chances of developing an eating disorder more than doubled.  A study from the University of Toronto found that adolescent girls with type 1 diabetes were 2.4 times more likely to suffer from an eating disorder than girls without diabetes.

Ann Goebel-Fabbri, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has worked with many type 1 diabetic patients suffering from eating disorders at the Joslin Diabetes Center.

She said that there isn't a clear reason why type 1 diabetics have an increased risk for having an eating disorder, but she suspects that part of the problem is the way diabetics have to focus on food intake, their carb level and calories.

"The treatment itself [means] paying close attention to food and time of eating," said Goebel-Fabbri.  "Oftentimes, that can mirror an eating disorder mindset."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Twenty Minutes of Exercise Cuts Kids' Diabetes Risk

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AUGUSTA, Ga.) -- Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can protect kids from diabetes, according to a new study.

This clinical trial, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, randomly assigned 222 overweight, inactive kids to one of three activity groups for 13 weeks.

The first two groups underwent 20 or 40 minutes of daily aerobic exercise in an after-school program. The third group went about their usual routines.

The researchers found that 20 minutes of exercise for just a few months was helpful compared to no exercise at all, said the lead author of the study, Catherine L. Davis, a professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia.

Those kids who were active for just 20 minutes a day were more fit, had less body fat, and had better markers for diabetes risk when compared to kids who weren't active.

The authors also found that health effects of exercise were the same for boys and girls and for different races.

Predictably enough, the study also found that more exercise is better. Kids who exercised longer had even less body fat and better values for markers of diabetes risk.

What was surprising is that these benefits occurred even without changing what kids ate.

"This study helps to isolate the benefit of exercise in cutting down on diabetes risk and obesity in kids," said study co-author, Dr. B. Adam Dennis, an endocrinology fellow at Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, Ga.

More research is needed to see if these results last, caution the researchers.

Dr. David L. Katz, editor-in-chief of the journal Childhood Obesity, said the study shows "even a little bit of physical activity might be the difference between a child developing diabetes or not." Katz was not involved with the study.

These findings could help policymakers when it comes to redesigning physical activity opportunities at the local, national and global level.

This school-based study suggests that the "physical" may need to be put back into "education." Davis suggested that schools are a natural focus for exercise programs. While the creation of after-school exercise programs might be necessary to ensure 40 minutes of daily exercise, she said, 20 minutes a day of exercise can be achieved during regular school activities, like recess and gym class. She added that exercise is not just useful in cutting back diabetes risk and obesity, but it is also good for kids' brains. She cited a related study that showed that exercise improved cognition and math skills in kids.

Short exercise breaks in the classroom can easily be included during the school day, said Katz, who is also the co-creator of an in-class exercise program that offers online, free resources for educators.

This study had an unusually low drop-out rate -- perhaps because the activities were simple, fun and appealing to kids of all athletic abilities, Davis said. The researchers also used low-cost prizes to reward kids for effort rather than performance.

"We purposely de-emphasized performance," said Davis, adding that it didn't really matter if they got the ball in the hoop as long as they achieved their target heart rate.

Their findings have important implications for designing school exercise programs in the future, she said, because many other programs tend to weed out less physically skilled kids and focus on a smaller group of more athletic kids.

One-third of American elementary school kids are overweight or obese, according to 2008 statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most deadly and devastating consequences of obesity -- hence the importance of finding out how much exercise kids should get in order to prevent it.

Katz said the study shows that when it comes to how much exercise is helpful in cutting diabetes risk, "some is better none; more is better than some."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


What’s the Secret to Paula Deen’s Weight Loss?

Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Paula Deen made a name for herself, and made herself a small fortune, by dishing up indulgent treats like a doughnut-topped bacon burger and deep-fried anything on her Food Network TV show, in her magazine and even aboard cruise ships with her fans.

When in January she announced she had type 2 diabetes, she was hit hard by critics who denounced her for hiding her diagnosis from the public for three years and only coming forward after signing a deal with diabetes drug-maker Novo Nordisk.

Now the Southern chef is firing back, on the scale, announcing to People magazine that she has lost 30 pounds in six months, and she’s not stopping.

“It took me a couple of years to get to this point,” Deen tells the magazine in this week’s cover story out Friday.  “If you make a few small changes, they can add up to big results.”

So how did the 65-year-old chef lose the equivalent of 120 sticks of her beloved, and well-used, butter? For one thing, instead of hitting the deep fryer, she started hitting the weights.

“For the first time since she was a high school cheerleader, Paula has started working out,” People magazine’s Lesley Messer told ABC News.  “She says it’s really helping her feel better.”

Deen herself visited the ABC food show The Chew to show off her new figure and reveal her diet secrets. “It’s really about moderation,” she said on the show.  “I’ve said it for so long but I really started to practice that.

“I double my salad, double my green beans and the carbs are like this,” she said, pointing to a small portion size.  “I wasn’t about to change my life but I have made simple changes in my life.”

After she went public with her diabetes in January, Deen launched a new campaign, “Diabetes in a New Light,” a partnership with Novo Nordisk. Deen reportedly takes the company’s drug Victoza to help her maintain proper blood-sugar levels.

Deen, who says she has gone from a size 18 to a size 10, told People the key to her weight-loss success has been dropping white foods like potatoes from her diet, and swapping out others, like using mustard instead of ketchup.

Now, instead of skipping breakfast altogether, Deen says she’ll enjoy a fruit smoothie.  For dinner, instead of fried chicken or worse, baked chicken or fish and Greek salad instead of chips are on the table at the Deen household.

The woman famous for making Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies now enjoys sugar-free ice cream for dessert instead. “I do think differently now” about food,” Deen said. “I’m more aware.”

While it remains to be seen what kind of inspiration Deen is providing to her fans who loyally tuned in to see what kind of over-the-top indulgences she had cooked up, her weight loss is forcing her own family to keep up.

Her husband, Michael Groover, is reportedly drinking four shakes per day to lose 100 pounds and her oldest son, Jamie, 44, has dropped 40 pounds himself.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study: Lifestyle Changes and Meds for Prediabetes May Prevent Full-Blown Disease 

(NEW YORK) -- A recent study found that treating prediabetes with lifestyle changes and medicine might prevent it from developing into full-blown diabetes, Health Day reports.

Researchers said that people with prediabetes whose blood sugar returned to normal were 56 percent less likely to develop diabetes within five years following treatment. Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not as high as fully-developed diabetes.

Dr. Leigh Perreault, lead researcher of the study, said that about 70 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 79 million Americans--35 percent of the adult population--have prediabetes. The agency says that about 11 percent of those people develop full diabetes annually, according to Health Day.

For the study, the researchers looked at over 3,000 patients with prediabetes and used data from the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study.

The study was published in the June 9 online edition of The Lancet.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Report: Diabetics Living Longer, But Diabetes Rates in US Are Still Rising

Jeffrey Hamilton/Lifesize/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- People with diabetes are living longer, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report credits healthier lifestyles and better management of the disease as reasons for the extended lifespan. People are less likely to smoke and more inclined to be physically active, reports My Health News Daily.
Between 1997 and 2004, the percentage of people who have died from diabetes has dropped 23 percent, says the report.
Despite these promising numbers, the number of people with diabetes has tripled since 1980, especially in cases of type 2. This has been linked to the rise in obesity, inactivity, and older age, according to My Health News Daily.
The CDC estimates that 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, and seven million of those carriers are not even aware of it.
Longer life spans are promising for those currently living with the disease, and Ann Albright, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation says “taking care of your heart through healthy lifestyle choices is making a difference.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study: Type 2 Diabetes in Children Harder to Treat

Fuse/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that Type 2 diabetes progresses more rapidly in children than in adults and is harder to treat.

The study, which was released Monday, found the usual oral medicine for Type 2 diabetes stopped working in about half of the young patients within a few years. Doctors also had to add daily shots of insulin to control their blood sugar. Researchers said that they were shocked by how poorly the oral drugs performed because they work much better in adults.

“It’s frightening how severe this metabolic disease is in children,” Dr. David M. Nathan, an author of the study and director of the diabetes center at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the New York Times. “It’s really got a hold on them, and it’s hard to turn around.”

While researchers say aggressive forms of treatment can lower the risks, doctors are still unclear as to why it is so much harder to control in children and teenagers. Researchers say rapid growth and intense hormonal changes are likely factors in how diabetes effects teens.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Weight-Loss Surgery Cuts Type 2 Diabetes 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ROME) -- Bariatric surgery may be the best treatment for obese people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the Archives of Surgery that found that the procedure improved diabetes outcomes when compared to patients who received standard medication therapy for the disease.

Researchers from the University of Rome in Italy conducted a study that included 60 morbidly obese patients with Type 2 diabetes. Half the patients underwent sleeve gastrectomy, a surgical procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 25 percent of its original size.  The other half of the study participants received conventional medical therapy for type 2 diabetes.

Eighty percent of patients who underwent the surgery were cured of diabetes 18 months after the surgery, and their BMI, which averaged 41.3 before the procedure among the participants, was reduced to 28.3 after the study period.  A BMI of 30 or above is considered obese. But patients who received medication for the disease did not show improvement, and remained diabetic during and after the study period.

Researchers also noted that patients who underwent surgery saw improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels and obstructive sleep apnea.

Medically treated patients required more medication for blood pressure and cholesterol control over time.

“Midterm and long-term results are needed to confirm the positive effect (remission and/or improvement) of [laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy] on diabetes and, overall, on the chronic complications of the disease,” the authors wrote in the study. “Most importantly, the longer-term results will allow us to compare the costs and benefits of bariatric surgery vs conventional medical treatments.”

But the patients in the study who simply received medication for treatment were not newly diagnosed patients, and Dr. Vivian Fonseca, president of the division of Medicine and Science with the American Diabetes Association, said it would have been better to see how newly diagnosed patients responded to the medications versus the bariatric candidates.

“They selected people who were already obviously not doing well on medication therapy, so it’s unrealistic expectation that the medication therapy is going to be able to stop after a while,” Fonseca said. “It would have been better to see newly diagnosed patients who seemed to be doing well on medications.”

The Italian study comes on the heels of two studies published last month that found bariatric surgery lowers blood sugar levels almost immediately in patients with type 2 diabetes even before patients lost weight. One study found 42 percent of patients who underwent the gastric procedure showed no evidence of diabetes one year later, compared to 12 percent who received medication.

There are currently 25.8 million adults and children in the United States living with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, and about 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people 20 and older in 2010.

By 2020, the ADA estimates that the annual cost in caring for diabetic patients will near $192 billion. A typical bariatric surgery runs between $10,000 and $15,000 in the United States.

Only about 2 percent of these patients are currently treated with bariatric surgeries, but experts say the cost-effectiveness must be studied further to understand whether these surgeries are appropriate for the masses.

“There are a variety of treatments available in terms of altering the GI tract,” said Dr. Gerald Bernstein, director of the Diabetes Management Program at the Friedman Diabetes Institute at New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center.

Nevertheless, Bernstein said, given the tens of millions of people who have diabetes, it is economically impossible to offer the surgery to everyone. But it is important for primary care physicians, endocrinologists and surgeons to work together to decide which Type 2 diabetes patients would benefit most from these surgeries.

“Doctors need to be sure they find patients who will make this surgery worthwhile,” Bernstein said. “If you’re going to do something like this that significantly changes the body, you need to make sure they have the motivation to follow doctor’s recommendations.”

“Right now, this is another tool and option in the arsenal for diabetes treatment,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sleep Problems Linked to Obesity, Diabetes

Comstock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Lack of sleep puts people at greater risk of obesity and diabetes, a new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine confirmed. Sporadic and irregular sleep may cause a decreased metabolic rate, which could contribute to weight gain and a myriad of long-term health problems.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that disrupted sleep patterns raised blood sugar levels and slowed the body’s metabolic rate, or the rate at which the body burns calories while at rest.

While several studies have analyzed sleep patterns in humans through observational epidemiological studies, this is the first to examine sleep behaviors in a completely controlled laboratory environment by mimicking jet lag and typical shift work sleep hours over a significant period of time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paula Deen Responds to 'Cruel' Criticism Regarding Her Diabetes

Serg Alexander/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Bacon burgers sandwiched between two donuts and fried cheesecake was what Paula Deen was known for — until news of her type 2 diabetes diagnosis was made public.

Since then, the 67-year-old Food Network host has received backlash from critics, including chef Anthony Bourdain, for not being upfront about her 3-year-old diagnosis until she made a paid endorsement commercial with pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk.

Bourdain, host of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations, went public with his criticism in January tweeting, “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.”

“When your signature dish is a hamburger in between a doughnut, and you’ve been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you’ve got type 2 diabetes. … It’s in bad taste if nothing else,” he told Eater.

Responding to Bourdain’s remarks in the May edition of Prevention Magazine, Deen said:  “I thought, oh my gosh, what hospital did he just get out of?…People out there with diabetes haven’t chosen this. It’s not their fault.  I thought that was very, very cruel.”

Bourdain first expressed his disdain for Deen a year before her diabetes announcement, telling TV Guide that her artery-clogging ways made her the “worst, most dangerous person in America.”

But Deen says she’s made changes to her diet by cutting out carbs and eating in moderation. In her ad for Novo Nordisk she says, “I have made simple changes like cutting back on one of my favorite things… sweet tea.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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