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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

When You Control Your Diabetes, You Aren’t at Risk for Dementia

October 26th, 2015 · 2 Comments

One of the largest studies of the connection between diabetes and dementia has just confirmed what we have suspected for several years. There isn’t one.

But high blood glucose levels are connected to dementia, according to a new study of 353,214 people with type 2 diabetes. Researchers reported that people with type 2 diabetes who had A1C levels of 10.5 percent or higher were 50 percent more likely to get a diagnosis of dementia than those with levels of 6.5 percent or less. The higher the A1C level the greater the risk of dementia.

Hypoglycemia is also connected with dementia, according to studies. A recent meta-analysis in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism shows a bi-directional relationship between cognitive impairment and hypoglycemia in older people who have diabetes. Another new study, a population-based study in Canada reported in Diabetes Care, found that preexisting vascular disease and severe hypoglycemia were the greatest risk factors for dementia in seniors with diabetes.

Glucose Meter

Aidin Rawshani, M.D., of Sweden’s University of Gothenburg, and his colleagues identified everyone with type 2 diabetes who was registered in the Swedish National Diabetes Registry between 2003 and 2012 and who did not have dementia at enrollment. Their observational study adjusted for factors such as age, gender, and weight.

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→ 2 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Complications

NPH Insulin Works Well — If You Mix It Enough

October 25th, 2015 · 1 Comment

The variability from day to day might alarm you if you manage your diabetes with one of the intermediate acting insulins. The problem could be that you aren’t mixing it well enough.

The type of insulin that we call NPH can take one to three hours to start working. But it lasts for 12 to 16 hours.

Its generic name is NPH; Novo Nordisk sells it as Novolin N and Lilly as Humulin N. NPH is also available premixed with short acting insulin.

insulin-syringe

But NPH insulin is itself a mixture, and that’s the problem. Its cloudy part is rich in insulin crystals while its clear part isn’t. Before you inject it, you have to mix these parts.

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→ 1 CommentPosted in: Diabetes Medication

If Pesticides Cause Diabetes, Will Organics Help Us?

October 24th, 2015 · 1 Comment

The pesticides in our food may explain why some of us have diabetes, a new study suggests. You still have time to switch to eating organic food, which has much less pesticide residue in it than conventionally grown food does. Pesticides that you eat seem to explain why some of us have diabetes, according to a new study.

usda organic

Even when we have diabetes we can benefit from eating organically grown food. What leads to our diabetes in the first place can make it harder to control when we have to manage it.

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→ 1 CommentPosted in: Diabetes Diet

The Food Insulin Index Trumps Carb Counting

October 19th, 2015 · 22 Comments

The new food insulin index can work much better than carbohydrate counting, which for years has been considered to be the gold standard for improving glycemic control. For those of us who have diabetes, this index is also a more comprehensive guide to blood sugar control than the glycemic index.

For years the limitation of the food insulin index (also known as just the insulin index) was the few foods tested. The original 1997 study, which in 2003 I reviewed in detail for the first time in the article “Insulin Index”on my personal website, tested only 38 foods.

We had to wait until 2011 for the index to grow to about 120 foods in “Prediction of postprandial glycemia and insulinemia in lean, young, healthy adults.” I reviewed that study here at “Manage Your Blood Sugar Better with the Insulin Index.”

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→ 22 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Diet

Use this Device if Needles Frighten You

October 18th, 2015 · 8 Comments

Does your fear of needles makes it difficult or impossible for you to manage your diabetes? Do you have a child who is afraid of them? Many of us have this fear, but we now have a way to cope with it.

All of us who have diabetes need to draw blood regularly with lancets for our blood glucose meters and for A1C testing. Everyone who has type 1 diabetes and about one-fourth of people with type 2 need to inject insulin at least once a day. A growing proportion of us are injecting GLP-1 analogues like Bydureon and Victoza to help keep blood glucose levels in check.

But many adults and even more children don’t do this often enough because of pain. As a result, they needlessly suffer.

insulin

Now, an inexpensive device called the Buzzy can block that pain. Some hospitals are already using it, and you can buy one without a prescription to use anywhere.

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→ 8 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Testing

Deprescribing Diabetes Drugs

October 11th, 2015 · 14 Comments

Do you wonder why your doctor keeps telling you to take more and more drugs to manage your diabetes? Many people with diabetes take three or even more prescriptions for it every day.

A new article in the BMJ, which is the journal of the British Medical Association, reviewed the case of a British man who has had diabetes for 14 years and wondered if his stomach upset problems might be from the drugs he was taking for diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. He “asked if he could cut down on any if they weren’t all needed,” but didn’t want to jeopardize his diabetes control.

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In the article by Doctors David Unwin and Simon Tobin, “A patient request for some ‘deprescribing’” they reported what happened next. They felt that “none of his drugs is essential — they have all been prescribed to reduce his risk of cardiovascular events and the complications of diabetes, not to treat an actual disease.” They appreciated that a better diet and more exercise were alternatives to the drugs.

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→ 14 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Medication

Watch Out for Dangerous Drug Interactions

September 29th, 2015 · No Comments

Do you take drugs? I’m asking mainly about the prescriptions that your doctor prescribed. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg for some of us.

It’s easy to forget to consider some of the drugs that you take. Of course you included your prescriptions, but did you remember to include those that you buy over the counter? Also, some people don’t realize that herbal supplements are drugs. When you include these sources, it’s not uncommon for some people with diabetes to be taking three or even more drugs for their condition.

drugs

Drugs in any of these categories have side effects, some of which nobody discovers until many people start taking them. For example, half a million people were taking the prescription diabetes drug Rezulin 15 years ago when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned it after at least 63 of us died from the liver failure that it caused.

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Seeking Medically Accurate Videos? An Innovative Diabetes Video Portal

September 27th, 2015 · 2 Comments

When you look for high-quality videos about diabetes health topics, it’s frustrating and often unsuccessful. Yet finding the right information at the right time is critical to staying in control of your health.

A friend of mine with deep ties to the diabetes community, Dr. Dirk Boecker, is developing a new medical video portal: Lucy’s Cabinet — Top Medical Videos. He has brought together experts in the field of diabetes to select the highest-quality videos across a wide spectrum of diabetes topics.

medical videos

Dr. Boecker is inviting us to beta test the portal. I checked out the portal, saw some of my favorite videos there, and even suggested a new category, a passion of mine, as you know — low-carb.

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→ 2 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Basics

Fear or Denial about Diabetes

September 25th, 2015 · 4 Comments

When you found out that you have diabetes, you might have been awfully scared. That’s good.

“My numbers are 6.1,” Tina wrote me recently. “Where should I start? I’m so scared!”

scared

Tina has type 2 diabetes, and this may be the most important question she ever asked. So I answered her carefully:

When people get diagnosed with diabetes, Tina, they are either scared or in denial about it. Being scared is better. But even being scared doesn’t help.

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→ 4 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Basics

This Is the Only Bad Fat Now

September 21st, 2015 · 19 Comments

We were wrong about saturated fat, which was probably the most terrible mistake in the history of nutrition. Not long ago we called trans fat the worst fat, as I wrote in 2002 at “New Label for Worst Fat” for Diabetes Wellness News. But now we know that it is the only bad fat, because saturated fat is off the hook.

food label

Nutrition Facts for Pop Secret “Jumbo Pop Movie Theater Butter”

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→ 19 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Diet

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