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

Incompatible Kidney Transplants Offer Survival Benefits

April 16th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Credit: Tareq Salahuddin

Kidney failure is one of the most devastating complications of uncontrolled diabetes. A kidney transplant is the best hope for long-term survival, but finding a compatible donor is almost impossible for some people whose kidneys have failed.

Now, a study that experts have described as “revolutionary” shows that a transplant from an incompatible donor saves many lives. Just last week The New England Journal of Medicine published a long-term study of more than 1,000 transplants of incompatible kidneys that were performed in the past few years at 22 centers. While only the abstract of the study is online, the lead author Dorry Segev, MD, PhD, associate professor of surgery at the Hopkins School of Medicine, sent me the full text upon my request.

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→ 1 CommentPosted in: Diabetes Complications

The High Cost of Diabetes

April 13th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Diabetes isn’t especially expensive because it causes nothing. But uncontrolled diabetes can be one of the most expensive diseases anybody can get.

The visits you have to make to your doctor, the blood glucose meters that you require to check your level, and the prescription medications that most people with diabetes need are only a small part of the economic costs of diabetes.  But all together, these essential components of diabetes management were just one-third of the estimated direct costs of diagnosed diabetes in 2012, the most recent year for which we have data.

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→ 1 CommentPosted in: Diabetes Medication

Four Ways to Make Vegetarian Sandwiches Without Bread

April 12th, 2016 · 13 Comments

If you follow a very low-carb diet, you may have assumed that sandwiches were off limits for you. And if you are also a vegetarian, you were probably certain that they were out of bounds.

Because a sandwich by definition is a light meal made of two pieces of bread with some filling, it’s got to have far too many carbohydrates for those of us who have diabetes. Eating so much bread would blow up our blood glucose level.

Bread is high-carb

Two slices of the typical whole-wheat bread sold in the United States have 24 grams of carbohydrate, and that’s not counting what we put between the slices. Those two slices alone would provide nearly half of the 50 grams of carbohydrates per day in a very low-carb diet.

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→ 13 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Diet

With Fewer Carbs Means You Take Less Medicine

April 11th, 2016 · 7 Comments

When people with type 2 diabetes follow a low-carb diet, they can substantially reduce how much medicine they need in order to manage this chronic disease. In a new study they needed 40 percent less medicine than a matched group of people who were following the standard high-carb diet.

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→ 7 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Diet

A New Meter with Something for All of Us

March 25th, 2016 · 2 Comments

Credit: LifeScan Inc.

Here is a new blood glucose meter that is quick and easy for everyone to use. But it also offers personalized connectivity without wires in a small package that promises to be accurate and precise.

LifeScan just introduced its OneTouch Verio Flex blood glucose meter. I learned a lot about it in a pre-announcement press briefing and received one of these exciting new meters for testing. While my experience with it is limited, I think it will give any of us who have health insurance almost everything that we dream of for our meters.

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→ 2 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Testing

Avoid Diabetes by Eating Colorful Food

March 24th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Credit: pitchengine.com

People with prediabetes who eat a lot of vegetables and fruits that are high in carotenoids cut their risk of getting type 2 diabetes. This is what three studies published in respected professional journals have concluded.

When we regularly eat vegetables and fruit, they can help us to manage our weight better. When we eat fast food and other stuff high in starch, we are more likely to be too heavy, and being overweight is one of the factors connected with getting diabetes.

But now we know that the antioxidants in the food we eat prevents the oxidation that can damage the cells of our body. Oxidative stress can lead to aging and to serious chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

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→ 1 CommentPosted in: Diabetes Diet

The Most Accurate Blood Glucose Meter

March 16th, 2016 · 27 Comments

Credit: Accu-chek.com

The Accu-Chek Aviva was first in an evaluation of a dozen meters conducted by a team of testing experts at Germany’s University of Ulm led by Guido Freckmann, M.D. It led the field in accuracy and precision.

Few studies of meter accuracy have appeared in the more than 20 years that I have been writing about diabetes. Dr. Freckmann and his team of researchers have been the most relevant, reliable, and prolific in testing our meters. But some of the meters that they evaluated aren’t available in the United States.

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→ 27 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Testing

Start Taking Insulin Now

March 14th, 2016 · 11 Comments

You can avoid the worst consequences of diabetes if you take insulin soon after a doctor tells you that you have the disease, recent studies show. You can even drive your diabetes into remission and preserve the beta cell function of your pancreas that you otherwise could lose. When your beta cells don’t work well, it’s even harder to manage your diabetes.

While everyone who has type 1 diabetes has to take insulin, of course, only one-fourth of people with type 2 diabetes do so far, usually after years of failure on oral diabetes drugs. After you have tried one of them after another, and your blood glucose is still too high, people may have to go on insulin, although usually with reluctance. You still hear people with diabetes telling you with pride, “I don’t have to take insulin.”

Shape Up

Even worse is that some doctors even use it as a threat, saying something like, “If you don’t shape up, I’m going to make you inject insulin.” But by that time most of the beta cells of your pancreas that store and release your own body’s insulin into the bloodstream have also failed.

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→ 11 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Medication

How You Can Lose Weight When You Take a Non-insulin Injectable

March 11th, 2016 · 7 Comments

Credit: NDEI.org

You will probably gain weight when you take most diabetes medicines to help you manage your blood glucose level. This in turn makes your diabetes harder to manage. But one relatively new class of diabetes medicine will often help you to lose weight.

Most people who have diabetes need to lose weight. More than 85 percent of adults with diabetes were overweight in the U.S. government’s Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. And 54.8 percent of the adults with diabetes were obese.

The shining exception to this sad story is a relatively new type or class of drugs that helps those of us who have type 2 diabetes to reduce our blood glucose level and at the same time also helps us to lose weight. These drugs have the technical name “glucagon-like peptide receptor agonists.” Because this is a mouthful, we often call them GLP-1 agonists or incretin mimetics.

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→ 7 CommentsPosted in: Diabetes Medication

Stop Walking the 10,000 Steps!

March 10th, 2016 · 11 Comments

Credit: pedometersaustralia-blog.com

It’s a myth that we should walk 10,000 steps every day. Yet walking is the easiest and best physical activity for almost all of us who have diabetes. More is almost certainly better.

Do you know why and when the 10,000 figure originated? Way back in the 1960s a Japanese company was trying to sell pedometers. Some really smart people came up with that number for its extremely successful marketing campaign.

This advertisement didn’t have its roots in research, and my search of the U.S. National Library of Medicine didn’t turn up any scientific basis for it. While some studies have used the 10,000 step figure as a benchmark in the past few years, they are taking it for granted rather than as a fact.

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→ 11 CommentsPosted in: Exercise For Diabetes

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