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

How Much Sleep Is Right for You?

April 10th, 2015 · No Comments

People have the smallest risk of getting type 2 diabetes when they get 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night, a new study concludes. Many of us get less than that, and it’s not hard to accept that we need that much. But what’s hard for me to accept is their finding that more than 8 hours of sleep is as bad for us as getting too little sleep.

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This study is a meta-analysis of 10 previous studies that Diabetes Care (a professional journal of the American Diabetes Association) just published in its March 2015 issue. Only the abstract of the study, “Sleep Duration and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes,” is available free online, but my friend and colleague, Dr. Bill Quick, sent me the full-text.

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Too Little Sleep Means Insulin Works Poorly

April 9th, 2015 · 4 Comments

Research published February 19 in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, shows that lack of sleep can elevate levels of free fatty acids in the blood. The full-text of the study, “Sleep restriction increases free fatty acids in healthy men,” is available free online. An earlier study, “Fatty Acids, Obesity, and Insulin Resistance,” connected the dots between fatty acids and diabetes.

They Discover the Cause

This is an important study because it found how and why enough sleep is important for managing our diabetes. When scientists know the mechanism, we can have more confidence in their conclusions.

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The New Breakfast for People with Diabetes

March 26th, 2015 · 25 Comments

The usual food that I eat for breakfast has changed because of my new diet. But it’s better for me than the smoked salmon that I ate before. It also tastes even better.

More than seven years ago when I began to follow a very-low carb diet, people told me that it would be hard to stay on. Shortly after I started on it I wrote “Why I Low-carb” for a diabetes magazine. But for me it was no challenge. I still follow a plan of eating no more than six grams of carbohydrate for breakfast, 12 grams for lunch, and 12 grams for dinner — unless I skip dinner altogether on an “Intermittent Fast.”

But even I believed it would be difficult to combine my very low-carb diet with one that is also vegetarian — for ethical reasons I began to do both last November. I wrote about that experiment here at “Vegetarian and Low-Carb Diets for Diabetes.”

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Diabetes Support Groups Connect Us

March 16th, 2015 · 13 Comments

When we get diabetes we are even more isolated from our culture than most people are. While this makes finding a solution more difficult for us, but we have a way to get out.

People around the world are fast losing their cultural ties, as I wrote in my most recent articles here, “Diabetes Lessons from Indigenous Cultures” and “Separation from Our Culture Leads to Diabetes.”

Most of us are becoming more isolated from our cultural roots. Consequently, we are losing our sense of community: Community and culture go together.

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Separation from Our Culture Leads to Diabetes

March 12th, 2015 · 6 Comments

The diabetes epidemic in the developed  world is a result of separation from our culture. While the evidence is in plain sight, we have largely ignored it.

Those of us in here who have diabetes are as much subject to the breakdown of culture as the indigenous peoples of the world whose cultural ties broke when they came into contact with us. “Diabetes Lessons from Indigenous Cultures” shows three examples of that collective trauma.

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Diabetes Lessons from Indigenous Cultures

March 8th, 2015 · No Comments

One big reason why you and I have type 2 diabetes may be because we have broken ties to our culture. Another way of saying this is that our Western culture is itself broken.

This remains an hypothesis, but it’s one that follows from research into the basic cause of diabetes among First Nations people of Canada, the Aboriginal Australians, and the Pima Indians of Arizona. Studies are finding a link between cultural collapse and diabetes among indigenous peoples around the world.

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The Trouble with Fructose for Diabetes

March 1st, 2015 · 45 Comments

Now that our doctors and scientists have begun to realize how big a danger that fructose is for us we can hope that the twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity can finally be halted. But for each of us individually the more important message is that we can still save our health if we avoid added fructose.

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The phrase “added fructose” means the fructose that we add to what we eat. The sugar in fruit is of course fructose, but essentially all experts agree that it isn’t a problem because we get that fructose along with fiber, antioxidants, and the other good stuff in whole foods.

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Diabetes Scams and How to Foil Them

February 23rd, 2015 · 2 Comments

If you wanted to make a lot of money fast and weren’t limited by any ethics like honesty, I can’t think of any better target than those of us who have diabetes. I don’t think that we are any more gullible than other people. But we have all the characteristics that scammers value the most:

1. We are a sitting duck. Because diabetes is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured, it is by definition a chronic disease. Scammers have plenty of time try to tempt us.

2. We represent a big audience for anyone who wants to get into our pockets. One of every 11 Americans have diabetes, a total of about 29 million people. About 21 million of us know that we have diabetes.

3. Diabetes is a growth industry. From 1980 through 2011, the crude prevalence of diagnosed diabetes increased 176 percent.

4. We know that we have to take charge of our health every day and can’t rely on our doctors who we see only every few months. This do-it-yourself ethic leaves us much more vulnerable to unethical people who want our money than people with other health conditions who simply rely on their doctors.

But we aren’t helpless prey. We have an excellent tool that will protect us: our minds. In this post I am trying to add a few tips for you to consider. This post won’t be telling you about the scams that I have encountered. For one thing, I have read literally thousands of these phony pitches. For another, some of the scammers operate on the basis that any publicity is good publicity.

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New Diabetes Test Sites That Work

February 16th, 2015 · No Comments

The usual problem with using one of our fingertips to check our blood sugar is that it hurts. Our fingertips need to have lots of nerve endings because we use our fingers as fine sensing devices.

That’s why people with diabetes got excited about using alternative test sites about 15 years ago when blood glucose meters that require just 1 microliter or less of our blood first became available. These sites have far fewer nerve endings, so any pain from testing there is uncommon. But researchers soon discovered that the alternative test sites we were using, like the forearm, had one serious limitation.

Our fingertips detect a change in our blood sugar level first, and these alternative sites can sometimes lag by more than a quarter of an hour, as I reported in an article, “Lag Time in Alternativeland,” on my website in 2001. While that wouldn’t matter much when our blood sugar is steady, if it were falling into the hypoglycemic range, the consequences could be serious. That’s why some meter manufacturers have generally recommended since then that we don’t use alternative sites if our blood sugar is likely to be falling. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to know if we are going hypo unless we test.

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Journaling for Our Diabetes Health

February 9th, 2015 · No Comments

A couple of years ago I wrote here about how keeping a journal of positive things in our lives can make those of us who have diabetes happier. But writing down the worst things that we experience might help even more.

When we get a diagnosis that we have diabetes, it can be one of our most traumatic experiences. No wonder then that so many of us either go into denial that it’s anything of importance or otherwise panic at the thought of it.

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