Tag Archives: Diabetes

Obama Care, Just what we all needed, right?

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I live in Massachusetts, USA. I am disabled and on a very limited income but I have been fortunate that with Mitt Romney signing in our comprehensive health care insurance system, I was able to obtain a quality plan for a very modest payment. This plan has paid for all of my past surgeries, tests, doctors, pharmacies during the last 6 years. This included my c2-c5 fusion at a prestigious hospital done by a top surgeon with little wait time. My co-pays have been as high as $5.00 for brand name drugs and doctor visits. A plan as good as any major health provider!
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How I cured my Diabetes

Got your attention? good, If you have been reading my blog then you know I have been going through a tough time with my daughter almost being killed in an auto accident. After almost 9 weeks in the hospital she came home, we had to keep running for doctors appointments and then more appointments. A little at a time she has gotten better and just a week ago she had taken a shower and forgot to put on her eye patch and later realized that her vision had come back !! Another small miracle, small compared to the other ones she already received.Then my wife took sick and after 2 weeks of misery they finally decided that her gallbladder had to come out. No sweat easy scope operation but painful. Well when they inserted the scope and pumped her up with co2 her heart rate fell and went lower and lower so they stopped and reduced the pressure. Her heart rate came back so they restarted the procedure only this time her heart stopped! Continue reading

Doc’s Fibromyalgia Story Part 2

This entry is part of a series, docs story»

Many things have been going on since I last updated my post. After7 months or so the Imipramine stopped working for my fibro pain. I hate when that happens, you just get use to something and bam, you have to start over.
We decided to give Cymbalta a try. The doctor more than me, I have heard many bad stories about Cymbalta, but we are all different so I went along with trying it.

At 30 mg twice a day, the pain had lessened to a 4/5 but after a few months I was starting to get a little bitchy. The doc upped it to 60 mg twice a day and the feeling bitchy went away but I was not feeling anything but my pain. I was numb, a zombie …

After fighting so hard to get the insurance to pay for the Cymbalta, I now new I would have to stop using it and try again..

In the mean time, my blood sugar levels, which had been fine for years are now running very high, My doctor has added medication, pills for now to help control the glucose levels and I cant seem to shake this extra 30 lbs I am carrying

On the Fibro front, I am now taking the newest medication, Savella 50mg twice daily, this med has been approved and used in Europe for 5 or more years, but it is new here in the States.

I must admit, the Fibro and Neuropathy pains are almost gone !!!!! My head is a lot clearer, and I feel like myself not some Zombie.. I get angry, I get happy.. this is good!

The Cymbalta required a withdrawal, that the makers do not admit to. I had to reduce the amount slowly to avoid the painful headaches and stomach aches. Then there is the brain zaps ! don’t know what else to call them, all of a sudden its like an electric shock in the brain, happens more when you twist your head or even your eyes! Well they are not as frequent now, It has been a month! that’s it for now!

Entries in this series:
  1. Docs Fibromyalgia Story
  2. Doc's Fibromyalgia Story Part 2
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New Treatment for Diabetic Eye Complications

by Jay Stockman

Diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States with more then 26 million Americans currently suffering with this serious disease. The most common of the eye complications are bleeding in the retina and macular swelling. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in young Americans, and the swelling of the retina is due to chronic, long term retinal inflammation.

In an attempt to treat this very serious inflammatory condition, steroid injections have been given directly into the affected eye. It should be noted that this therapeutic modality in not FDA approved, but doctors have continued to employ it since it has been effective in reducing the swelling. The problem has long been that this treatment has substantially increased risk of ocular complications. In addition, frequent injections every few months are required in order for the therapy to be effective.

The steroid injections reduce retinal thickness thus improving vision. The steroids inhibit this inflammation by suppressing the endothelial growth factor. This in turn decreases the vascular damage. These beneficial results only last about 3 months, but the potential side effects include cataracts, increased pressure in the eye, endophthalmitis (severe inflammation) and uveitis.

The goal is to increase the effectiveness of the steroid without increasing the negative side effects. Intraocular implants have been employed near the front of the eye, behind the natural lens, for treating multiple retinal conditions. These include cytomegalovirus (CMV) and posterior retinitis. These implants require sutures and thus have an increased risk of infection when used.

Iluvien is an injectable steroid that is currently under FDA investigation for Diabetic Macular Edema and will last up to 3 years after injection. It is injected with a 25 gauge needle which seals itself; not requiring any sutures. It can also be placed more posterior in the eye for higher effectively and thus better results; this will also decrease the chances of bad side effects so common with the other steroid injections.

This article is written by Dr. Jay Stockman, contributing consultant to Vision Update. Dr. Jay Stockman has co-managed a significant number of refractive surgery patients. Advise, and medical questions can be directed to New York Vision Associates

Article Source: New Treatment for Diabetic Eye Complications

Diabetes is not the only Unhealthy Consequence of Obesity

by Ray Ricardo

The location of body fat stores is directly related to disease risk factors. Abdominal fat is particularly dangerous. People with excess levels of abdominal fat are at markedly increased risk of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and type2 diabetes both of which are closely related to the metabolic syndrome. Recent studies have also shown that the potent endocrine function of abdominal body fat may explain the relationship between abdominal fat and cognitive decline, such as that seen in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Abdominal fat is not just a problem in adults—new studies have established a relationship between fat distribution in early childhood and adolescence and serious chronic disease in early to mid-adulthood. Even within the abdomen, the location of fat stores matters. People with excessive amounts of fat in their livers (fatty liver disease) are at even higher risk for all of these chronic conditions, compared with those who have lower levels of liver fat. Indeed, damage to liver cells, as measured by increased levels of liver-based enzymes in the bloodstream, is closely associated with decreased insulin sensitivity and is a risk factor for development of type 2 diabetes.

Because of its chemical nature, fat is readily oxidized by free radicals—and it is the oxidized form of many lipids that triggers the blood vessel damage and eventual plaque formation that leads to atherosclerosis and its deadly consequences. The bottom line is that people with excessive adipose tissue are walking “oxidant factories” whose bodies must cope with enormous loads of these violently destructive molecules. The metabolic syndrome and its related conditions all derive from increased levels of inflammatory molecules called cytokines—and inflammatory cytokines are more prominent in people with excessive stores of body fat. Physicians now commonly measure certain markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP) as a means of screening for people at risk for cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, reductions in body fat content (through exercise, diet, and appropriate supplementation) are associated with healthy reductions in inflammatory markers such as CRP—and that means a reduction in the many risk factors associated with obesity-related inflammation.

Excess body fat not only increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, it also increases the risk of deadly cancers. Studies have shown a powerful association between body fat content and kidney and liver cancers. By now, it should be no surprise to learn that weight loss, specifically body fat reduction, can lead to lowered risks for cancers just as it does for other devastating conditions. One study has estimated a reduction of 45% in the risk of breast cancer in women who lost more than about nine pounds.

Visit our website Antioxidants Inc

Article Source: Diabetes is not the only Unhealthy Consequence of Obesity

Ground-breaking study to cap the growing trend of type 2 diabetes in overweight adolescents

Researchers at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead are embarking on a ground-breaking new study to investigate whether a different dietary approach to insulin resistance in overweight adolescents can put the brakes on its progression to type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes affects 85 to 90 per cent of all people with diabetes. While it usually affects mature adults, younger people and children are increasingly being diagnosed. Often people with type 2 diabetes also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and are overweight or obese.

The MBF Foundation funded the three-year $400,000 project recognising increased medical and community concern about the growing number of overweight children being diagnosed with insulin resistance.

Currently adolescents with insulin resistance are managed through a combination of exercise, diet in line with the Australian Dietary Guidelines and medication, with the aim of preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Clinicians at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead are evaluating two diets, combined with an exercise program, for their effectiveness in turning the risk of this condition around. As a result of a growing body of evidence that amongst adults higher protein diets can more effectively reduce body fat and help control insulin levels, dietitians will investigate whether young people can similarly benefit from a high protein diet.

Dr Christine Bennett, MBF Foundation Steering Committee Chair and Chief Medical Officer of Bupa Australia*, says that one in four young Australians are now overweight or obese** and some of these will go on to develop type 2 diabetes if urgent action is not taken to manage this increasing problem.

“Type 2 diabetes can be difficult to control and needs to be managed effectively. Complications are often present at diagnosis and can lead to heart and kidney disease appear later in life. We can potentially save thousands of adolescents from this serious long term chronic condition,” she said.

“We want to give our young people the best possible start to life and find the best way to help them deal with a difficult problem. With early intervention insulin resistance is potentially reversible, or at least the progression to type 2 diabetes can be delayed.”

The program will see 108 adolescents aged between 10 and 18 take part in a diet and exercise regime.

Participants will follow one of two diets. The first will be based on the currently recommended Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, which is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. The second will follow a lower carbohydrate and increased protein diet.

“Teen-friendly diet models will be used to enhance compliance with the aim of reducing insulin levels and helping young participants lose weight,” said Dr Sarah Garnett Principal Researcher from the Westmead Children’s Hospital.

“We believe the project is the first of its kind. There is little evidence currently available to establish the best diet to control insulin resistance in adolescents and the role of protein in the diet,’ said Dr Garnett. “This will tell us the advice we can give these kids that will actually work.”

The program involves an intensive three month dietary intervention and a three month intensive gym and home based exercise program. The participants will be followed up for six months to measure the program’s effectiveness.

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Recruitment for the three year-study is already underway, with the first participants having started their exercise session at Fitness First in Parramatta. There is no cost to families in participating in the fitness program at Fitness First.

About the MBF Foundation

The MBF Foundation is a charitable institution set up by MBF to support and manage important health initiatives for the community using a portion of MBF Group’s investment income each year. The Foundation is focussing on three key areas – wellness and obesity, supporting healthy ageing and keeping healthcare affordable.

For more information, or to arrange an interview or images, please contact:

Jackie Crossman or Renea Murphy
Crossman Communications
02 9361 0519 or 0402 218 662

Diabetes drug shows promise against multiple sclerosis

A drug currently FDA-approved for use in diabetes shows some protective effects in the brains of patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine report in a study currently available online in the Journal of Neuroimmunology.

In a small, double-blinded clinical trial, patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis were assigned to take pioglitazone (a drug commercially known as Actos used to treat type-2 diabetes) or a placebo. Patients continued their normal course of therapy during the trial.

Standard neurological tests were done initially, as were MRI scans to provide baseline values for lesions typically seen in MS patients. The patients were evaluated every two months, and blood samples were taken. Repeat MRI scans were done after five months and again after one year.

Patients taking pioglitazone showed significantly less loss of gray matter over the course of the one-year trial than patients taking placebo. Of the 21 patients who finished the study, patients taking pioglitazone had no adverse reactions and, further, found taking pioglitazone, which is administered in an oral tablet, easy.

“This is very encouraging,” said Douglas Feinstein, research professor of anesthesiology at UIC. “Gray matter in the brain is the part that is rich in neurons. These preliminary results suggest that the drug has important effects on neuronal survival.”

Feinstein’s lab has been interested in the class of drugs called thiazolidinediones, or TZDs. Several TZDs have been approved for use in the treatment of type-2 diabetes because of the drugs’ effect on the body’s response to insulin.


The researchers focused on pioglitazone because of its known anti-inflammatory effects, Feinstein said. They used primary cultures of brain cells to show that pioglitazone reduced the production of toxic chemicals called cytokines and reactive oxygen species. These molecules are believed to be important in the development of symptoms in MS.

Feinstein’s lab proceeded to test pioglitazone in an animal model of MS. They and others showed that pioglitazone and other TZDs “can significantly reduce the clinical signs in mice with an MS-type disease,” said Feinstein.

“More importantly, when mice who are already ill are treated with pioglitazone, the clinical signs of the disease go away,” he said. “We were able to induce almost complete remissions in a number of mice.”

“We are now working to determine the mechanisms to explain the protective effect on neurons that we see in our studies,” said Feinstein. “We hope to expand into a larger trial to confirm these preliminary results.”

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Claudia C. Kaiser, who was a post-doctoral student at UIC, is first author on the paper. Other authors are Dinesh Shukla and Demetrios Shias of UIC; Glen Stebbins, Dusan Stefoski and George Katsamakis of Rush University Medical Center; and Douglas Jeffrey of Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Takeda Pharmaceuticals funded the study and provided the drug but had no other involvement in the study.

For more information about UIC, visit www.uic.edu.

[Editors Note: An MP3 podcast on this topic is available https://blackboard.uic.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/web/news/podcasts/PdCst61-May26%2709-Feinstein.mp3 ]

Diabetics’ heart attack risk can be reduced, research finds

People with diabetes who maintain intensive, low blood sugar levels are significantly less likely to suffer heart attacks and coronary heart disease, new research published today in The Lancet has shown.

By undertaking a meta-analysis which pooled information from five large trials, researchers at the University of Cambridge were for the first time able to provide reliable evidence linking intensive blood sugar level (or glucose) control with fewer heart attacks.

The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation, pointed to a 17 % reduction in heart attacks and a 15 % reduction in coronary heart disease. However, the study found a more modest trend towards reduction in strokes with intensive control of glucose levels compared to standard care. Importantly, in contrast to smaller studies which had suggested possible harm from better blood sugar control, there were no adverse effects on deaths from any cause.

It is well documented that diabetics are at increased risk of heart disease. Even though patients can reduce their risk by maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and cholesterol reduction, the risk remains high.

Dr Kausik Ray of the University of Cambridge, lead author of the study, said: “Previous studies have been inconclusive, leaving diabetics and their doctors unsure as to whether maintaining lower blood sugar levels actually benefitted the patients. Although additional research needs to be conducted, our findings provide insight into the importance of improving glucose levels which should include lifestyle changes as well as medication.”


The five trials involved more than 33,000 individuals, including 1497 heart attack cases, 2,318 cases of coronary heart disease, and 1227 strokes. In order to assess the possible risk of various heart conditions, Dr Ray and his team analyzed the data collected on the glucose levels in blood, specifically a long-term marker of glucose control called HbA1c. In healthy individuals, HbA1c levels average between 4-5%. However, diabetics often have levels above 6.5%.

In the present study, those taking a standard treatment maintained a HbA1c level of 7.5%. Individuals who underwent intensive treatment to lower their blood sugar level were 0.9% lower than those who underwent standard treatment (average 6.6%), thereby dramatically reducing their risk of disease in large blood vessels.

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation said: “It is well established that carefully controlling blood sugar in people with diabetes can help prevent disease in small blood vessels that leads to kidney failure and blindness. This collective analysis of several large clinical trials suggests that careful blood sugar control also protects against heart attacks and strokes, the major causes of death in people with diabetes.

“These findings emphasise the importance of detecting and treating diabetes as early as possible, thus preventing the chances of developing heart and circulatory disease.”

Dr Ray concluded: “The present findings reinforce the need for diabetic patients to achieve and maintain better control of blood sugars long-term, as a means to reduce risk of heart disease.”

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For additional information please contact:
Genevieve Maul, Office of Communications, University of Cambridge
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 332300, +44 (0) 1223 765542
Mob: +44 (0) 7774 017464
Email: Genevieve.maul@admin.cam.ac.uk

Docs Fibromyalgia Story

This entry is part of a series, docs story»

Hello, My name is Bob Smith although everyone calls me “Doc” . I am the creator and web master of Fibronews.com and I thought that maybe my story should be told here as well.

I am a 57 year old male with Fibromyalgia, CFS, Diabetes, Hemochromatosis, and some degenerative disk disease. My story goes back to the late 1990′s I had been living with pain in my arms, legs, shoulders and sometimes just where ever it felt like happening. I assumed it was due to aging and not having been very good to my body when I was younger.

I was working long hours, making good money, and for the most part enjoying my life, except for the nagging pains. I noticed I did not go play golf much, when asked I always had an excuse. Same with snow skiing and a lot of other sports. I really didn’t think much of it.

Well around the time I hit 50 my dear wife decided I needed a physical and I thought it would be a good time to get a referral to have my ear rebuilt (another long story) so off I went to my brand new Primary Care Physician thinking this wont take long. He ran a bunch of tests, poked , prodded and generally embarrassed the heck out of me. I didn’t mention the pains because I still thought it was aging.

Well 3 days later I get a call to come back to his office. He informs me that I have Diabetes, blood in my urine, and I had failed the ECG. Now where the Diabetes came from I don’t know, I told him I always suffered from LOW blood sugar, so how could I have High sugar. Seems you can have both! Off I go to the Diabetes clinic, The Urologist and a heart specialist. Just made my day. Long story short, heart was ok, bladder was ok, diabetes controlled by diet alone.

This whole thing went on for about 2 years before Doc said I was healthy enough for the ear operation, and in the mean time I started to mention all the pains I was having because they were getting worse, I was finding it hard to work, my concentration was terrible, my IQ seemed to be dropping a point a week.

I had my operation and it was a failure, right ear totally deaf, not enough left inside to rebuild, an infection had destroyed the hearing bone and stapes. After the operation, I was getting worse and the next time I saw my PCP I told him it was time to address the pain, once and for all. He did concentrate on it, did more tests for Lyme Disease and other bad things, did some more very painful poking and concluded I had Fibromyalgia.

I had what???? Never heard of it! and I also had Peripheral neuropathy from the diabetes. He gave me a script for Lyrica, also never heard of it either.. I took the new med and quickly degraded to a moron, but not too much pain. this was good! I then spent a month or two combing the web for everything I could find about Fibro and Lyrica, I was not thrilled about either. I quickly added 27 pounds, could barely remember how to get home, I have driven past my driveway at least a dozen times!!! To be fair I have only lived here 20 years lol .

Time marches on, I see a top Lupus and Rheumatologist Doctor at the Women and Brigham Hospital in Boston, He confers with my PCP and increases the Lyrica, It had not been working too well lately. So I have a reaction to the Lyrica, my body went into spasms, I fell off a chair I was jerking so badly. Well it was time to stop the Lyrica and move on to Amitripiline, Prozac and something else.. No good, I couldn’t get up and its just as well because I wanted to kill or maim someone..

The doctors decided that I was a little in-tolerant with medications, Brilliant deduction ! So now I am on Imapramine a 50 year old med used for bed wetters, but it does help a little, I don’t sleep hardly at all, then I cant stay awake.. But all in all with the help from my fibro friends on the web, a decent diet limiting gluten, some nutrients and vitamins I am doing ok.

I can’t work full time, or do the things I use to, but I have found away to stay close to my friends and family and to do that which I can, when I can. I have learnt to pace myself and to keep tract of my spoons (spoon theory, read it) My family is understanding.. It is hard dealing with the guys. Just can’t say I am in pain 24/7 so I can’t do something with them.. Guys don’t talk about pains when together, we talk about sports, Casino’s, Girls ect. At least we can discuss things on the web thought.

Fibro is forever it seems, but we can live full enjoyable life’s once we come to terms with it and discover how to keep it from interfering. I know my attitudes have changed, I have more compassion for people, I see and smell the roses now, I longer run them down with the lawnmower :)

Regulating the sugar factory in diabetes

Scientists in Sydney and Boston believe they may have identified a gene that controls abnormal production of sugar in the liver, a very troublesome problem for people with diabetes.

The liver is the sugar factory for the body – when blood sugar (glucose) levels fall, the liver makes and releases more. In people with diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes, the liver doesn’t stop making sugar when it should, so blood sugar levels can rise overnight while they sleep even though they haven’t eaten.

Dr Jenny Gunton, diabetes specialist and endocrinologist from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, in collaboration with Dr Xiao Hui Wang and Professor Ronald Kahn from Harvard Medical School and Joslin Diabetes Centre in Boston, have published their findings in the journal Cell Metabolism, now online.

“A lot of my patients will complain that they go to bed with a blood sugar of 5 and wake up with a blood sugar of 12,” said Dr Gunton.

“It upsets people when their blood sugar behaves as if they’re getting up in the night and having a really big snack. I have to tell them it’s just one of those unfair things about having diabetes.”

People with Type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin in the pancreas after a meal. At the same time, they are less able to use that insulin to move glucose into fat and muscle cells, a condition known as ‘insulin resistance’.


With her colleagues in Boston, Gunton has been studying a transcription factor, or kind of ‘master regulator’, called ARNT, which controls expression of other genes involved in processes like glucose breakdown and insulin production. In an earlier study, the group showed that there is 90% less ARNT in insulin-producing cells of people with Type 2 diabetes.

The current study looks at how ARNT might be affecting the liver, and its results confirmed Dr Gunton’s suspicions. “We’ve shown that there’s likely to be decreased ARNT in the liver of people with Type 2 diabetes compared to people without Type 2 diabetes,” she said.

“Working with mice, we found that glucose levels were elevated and there was glucose production from a ‘precursor’, a source not normally metabolised.”

Other results in the study show that to some extent ARNT is regulated by insulin, so that insulin resistance in itself will contribute to a decrease in ARNT. If liver cells are treated with insulin, there will be a small increase in ARNT protein. The insulin will also help move the ARNT into the nucleus of the cell, where it does its job as a master regulator.

The paper concludes that a decline in ARNT isn’t limited to the beta cells of people with Type 2 diabetes. ARNT is also reduced in other important diabetes-related tissues like the liver.

Dr Gunton believes that if a new drug could be developed to increase ARNT activity in the liver, then it may be possible to shut down abnormal sugar production and improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

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ABOUT GARVAN

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research was founded in 1963. Initially a research department of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, it is now one of Australia’s largest medical research institutions with nearly 500 scientists, students and support staff. Garvan’s main research programs are: Cancer, Diabetes & Obesity, Immunology and Inflammation, Osteoporosis and Bone Biology, and Neuroscience. The Garvan’s mission is to make significant contributions to medical science that will change the directions of science and medicine and have major impacts on human health. The outcome of Garvan’s discoveries is the development of better methods of diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately, prevention of disease.

All media enquiries should be directed to:
Alison Heather
Science Communications Manager
+61 2 9980 1224
+61 434 071 326
a.heather@garvan.org.au