Until now our doctors have lacked an effective way to predict who is at the greatest risk of neuropathy. Usually we find out too late — when irreversible nerve damage has already occurred.
Diabetic neuropathy is the most common microvascular complication we have. More than half of all people with diabetes develop neuropathy. It is a complication in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
In the past few years the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved two drugs — Cymbalta and Lyrica — for managing the pain of diabetic neuropathy. These drug help many of us. But wouldn’t it be a lot better for us if we could prevent diabetic neuropathy?
We now have an early warning that can help people with diabetes prevent heart attacks and strokes. Until now, for many people the first symptom of a heart attack has been having one.
I don’t think that I have ever written about the complications of diabetes without offering some way to deal with them. That would be just too negative for either you or me, and I am not going to start being negative now.
Heart attacks are serious business, but we can prevent them. People with diabetes especially need to prevent them.
A single research report that found risks in one of the medications that we take to control our diabetes would warrant our attention. But when three separate studies find serious side effects from all our major drugs, the time is right for us to reconsider how we control our blood glucose levels.
Most of us think of our diabetes drugs, diet, and exercise as the three basic ways we do that. But drugs come first. Maybe they should come last, at least for all of us with type 2 diabetes, who unlike type 1s have a choice.
Since March 10, studies have called into question the side effects of metformin, the glitazones, insulin, and the sulfonylureas.
When you consider how many of us have problems with our feet, you might expect to find lots of resources full of good advice. Then, when you reflect that peripheral neuropathy is one of the most serious complication of diabetes, you could hope to find a book that could help you to keep the legs you stand on.
Until now I have looked in vain for such a book. But I just read it.
Dr. Mark Hinkes, a podiatrist and amputation prevention specialist, wrote Keep the Legs You Stand On and sent me a copy. This big book — 537 pages — is the definitive guide for those of us with diabetes who want to keep both of our legs.
When my friend Joe Anderson told me a couple of years ago that he prefers glucose to fructose, I thought he was nuts. After all, glucose has a glycemic index of 103, while that of fructose is only 15.
I had never seen a scientific study showing that using fructose was worse for us than using glucose. I have now.
A study team led by Karen Teff, Ph.D., of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia reported its findings a few days ago in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The Monell Center sent me a copy of the full text of the study, “Endocrine and metabolic effects of consuming fructose- and glucose-sweetened beverages with meals in obese men and women: influence of insulin resistance on plasma triglyceride responses.” The abstract is free online.
Researchers finally know why people with diabetes are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease. That alone would be big news. The huge news is that we now know what we have to do to break the link.
Did you miss the growing number of reports in the past few years about how those of us who have diabetes are more likely to get Alzheimer’s as we age? I can understand, because until last year I ignored the evidence myself. We have enough on our plate already without worrying about a possible complication many years down the road that until now nobody knew how to prevent anyway.