Posts Tagged ‘living with diabetes’

Risks for kidney disease: How to keep your kidneys healthy this World Kidney Day

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Happy World Kidney Day.

And you should be happy if your kidneys are functioning well.  You can’t live without at least one, you know.  Well, you can with treatment, but it’s such a pain.

Ask the approximately 150,000 Americans who have had to have a transplant, or the roughly 350,000 on dialysis.

And then there are the costs in dollars for treatment of end-stage renal disease (renal failure), over $32 billion per year, with Medicare fronting about $20 billion of that (6.7 percent of its overall expenditures).  The latest estimates are for a 60-percent increase by 2020.  Some of that is those with the disease will be living longer, but here is the take home message:

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The Legacy Effect: Timing counts in type 2 diabetes – control early to prevent disease and death.

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study began in 1997. Little did they know that a twist in their plans would result in some surprising findings a few years later.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Long-term complications of type 2 diabetes can be numerous and severe.  How can you best decrease these?

Treat it hard, fast and early says a new NEJM study, online since September 10, 2008.  Details follow, but the bottom line is, get your sugar under control ASAP after being diagnosed and you will decrease serious complications, even risk of death down the road.   Diet, exercise, oral medicines and insulin, whatever it takes.

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Future Diabetes Treatment? Harvard Scientists Reprogram Pancreas Cells to Make Insulin.

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Scientists have now succeeded in manipulating the DNA in mouse cells to make them become different cells altogether, according to a Nature study, published online on August 27, 2008. They called it reprogramming.

There are two types of cells in the pancreas (which is where these came from).

  • Exocrine cells produce digestive enzymes.
  • Islet beta-cells produce insulin.

They are totally different, never performing the other ones’ function. When the islet beta-cells don’t work correctly, there is no insulin production, hence diabetes. Scientists have transplanted beta cells from another source into a pancreas before. It can work, but the body tries to get rid of (reject) these foreign cells so that’s a big problem. You have to take strong medication to weaken your immune system so your antibodies won’t reject a transplant.

But this is different. Consider the implications.

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Consumer Reports rates blood pressure monitors and glucose meters

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

The blood pressure in some people goes up just thinking about a medical clinic (white-coat hypertension). It is fine otherwise. Others have elevated blood pressures at certain times of the day. If you have hypertension, prehypertension, or at high risk for getting it, you should consider getting your own cuff. Don’t take my word, look at the AHA recommedations that suggest the same.

If you get a cuff, you want one that is accurate, don’t you? Consumer Reportshelps with unbiased recommendations for blood pressure monitors, along with glucose meters, in their September issue, along with tips such as:

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Drug-free diabetes treatment! Safe, effective, proven … and no increased heart risk.

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

With the FDA debating on diabetes drugs and heart disease, what can you do in the meantime to make sure you’re safe? Well, there just happens to be a proven, all-natural, drug-free method–without the extra-risk worries. What is it? You may have guessed.

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FDA panel controversy: Diabetes medicines don’t cause heart disease? Prove it.

Monday, July 7th, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

So you’re diabetic. Your cholesterol is high, and you’re overweight; you’re at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. You start on medicine that lowers your sugar … but increases your risk for cardiovascular disease even more. Not good.

This is the dilemma in which patients, physicians and drug companies find themselves. Some studies have suggested that certain diabetes drugs may be worsening heart-disease risk. What to do?

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