Frequently Asked Questions About Insulin Pumps

April 1st, 2011

insulin pump
About.com type 1 diabetes guide Gary Gilles believes that insulin pump therapy has changed the way people with insulin dependent diabetes handle their condition. Gilles, a health writer and diabetes counselor, has put together a helpful list of FAQ's on insulin pump therapy, answering inquiries from the basic "What is an insulin pump?" to questions about their safety, effectiveness and how to program and troubleshoot an insulin pump.

Click >HERE< to read Gilles' insulin pump FAQ's on About.com. Gilles' article links to related posts on the pros and cons of insulin pump therapy, types of insulin pumps, and the latest research.

Six Simple Tips for Parents of Children with Diabetes

April 5th, 2011

boy playing

Juvenile diabetes can make it difficult for a child to live a "normal" life. With diabetes medication, insulin injections, diet restrictions, and all the symptoms that can accompany diabetes, it may feel like your kid's life is ruined, but there are some simple things you can do to make his life easier.

1. Snacks: setting a no-snack rule is likely going to backfire, so encourage healthy but tasty snacks. Try low fat crackers with peanut butter, apple slices with low fat cheese, or fruit smoothies with berries and milk. Make an effort to combine grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables at every meal, and talk to your kid about the importance of controlling blood glucose levels. He should be able to make healthy food decisions when you are not there to guide him, so help him learn.

2. Create a routine. Eating at regular times will help to keep your child's glucose levels under control. Use this opportunity to build in fun activities to get the whole family moving, like going for a walk after supper or riding bikes to school. It will be easier to keep track of spikes or drops in glucose levels this way, and it is less likely that you or he will forget something like his diabetes medication, insulin injections, or even a meal.

3. Exercise. Don't make exercise a burden, instead take advantage of children's natural desire to move. Play soccer, play tag, climb trees, ride bikes- If it gets your kid moving, have fun with it. If your kid sees you having fun while being active, he'll be more inclined to join in.

4. Talk to other parents so that your child can participate in sleepovers, birthday parties and other activities, just like any other kid. With the right tools and information, it shouldn't be too hard for them to accommodate your child's needs. Offer to send healthy snacks that everyone can enjoy, or just send something for your child.

5. Set an example. Eat healthy meals and exercise, and your kids will follow your lead. On top of that, you will be healthier and able to enjoy spending time with your kids for longer.

6. Educate your child about juvenile diabetes. Make sure he understands the nature of his condition, the importance of monitoring his blood glucose levels, and the genuine need for insulin for diabetics.

Actos Lowers Risk of Developing Diabetes in Those with Prediabetes

April 5th, 2011

prescription actosA commonly prescribed diabetes medication dramatically lowered the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in a recent study of over 600 people with prediabetes, or high blood sugar. Study participants taking the oral diabetes medication Actos experienced a 72 percent reduction in diabetes risk.

Actos, or generic pioglitazone, helps control blood sugar by decreasing insulin resistance. Increasing insulin sensitivity can have a dramatic impact on diabetes risk, according to the researchers.

To read the entire story online on WebMD, click >HERE<.

Diabetes Medication May Treat Alcohol Addiction

April 6th, 2011

empty alcohol bottle

Actos, an oral diabetes medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, may play a future role in combating alcohol addiction. Actos belongs to a class of medications called thiazolidinediones, or TZDs (also known as glitazones). TZDs reduce insulin resistance by binding to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, or PPARs. They also activate PPAR-g, a sub-class receptor which may play a role in the brain's reward circuits involved in addiction.

"As we learn more about the brain, we are seeing a growing number of examples where medications developed initially for purposes unrelated to psychiatry may have new and otherwise unexpected applications," writes Dr. John Krystal, the Editor of Biological Psychiatry, "New data in animal models suggest that TZDs might be promising agents in the fight against addiction."

Research is also ongoing in the use of commonly prescribed cholesterol medications in fighting nicotine addiction. To read the whole article in Science Daily, click >HERE<.

Olestra - A Diabetic's Dream or Nightmare?

April 7th, 2011

It's been called both a "dieter's dream" and a "health expert's nightmare". Marketed by Proctor & Gamble (P&G) as a fat replacer, Olestra is a chemical combination of table sugar and soy bean oil, creating a substance called "sucrose polyester". Olestra has the same texture as fat, but no calories or cholesterol, and its molecules are so large that they pass through the body undigested and unabsorbed.

Olestra has been on the US market as a food additive under the brand name Olean since 1998, when it received FDA approval for use in "light" and "fat free" versions of savory snack foods such a potato chips, tortilla chips, popcorn, and crackers. In late 2008, the FDA expanded the approval to include the use of Olestra in pre-packaged cookies.

Olestra has been refused approval in Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other countries, largely because it depletes the body of fat soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K, and natural substances called carotenoids. Carotenoids are pigments believed to protect against heart disease, cancer, stroke and blindness. As a result, the FDA requires that Olean-containing products be fortified with vitamins A, D, E and K.

But Olestra's biggest downside remains the more than 20,000 reports of adverse gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea, cramps, fecal incontinence and "oily" bowel movements that flooded in during the product's first years on the market.

The FDA required that products containing Olestra carry warning labels stating the product may cause "cramping and loose stools" until 2003. P&G claims to have eliminated these problems by modifying the Olestra structure, but the best known of these gastrointestinal disturbances, the infamous "anal leakage", (fecal incontinence) gave the product a public black eye it's never really recovered from.

According the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Olestra is "the most complained about food additive ever", with 7% of people complaining of symptoms after eating snacks containing the fat replacer. The benefits of Olestra simply don't outweigh the risks, the CSPI insists.

The American public seems to agree. Once referred to by a prominent stock analyst as "the single most important development in the history of the food industry", Olestra never really caught on with consumers, and sales have been steadily declining for years.

Today, P&G continues to market Olestra as suitable for "today's health conscious lifestyles", targeting diabetics, heart patients and the weight-conscious. The CSPI remains vociferously opposed to the product, and public health experts voice concerns that, while eating Olestra-laden versions of foods can reduce the amount of fat in your diet, the product will tempt people to eat more empty-calorie snack foods.

The last word goes to P&G, who point out that eating too much of any food may cause gastrointestinal upset. "Olean is a replacement for fat," a P&G spokesperson said succinctly, "Not for common sense."

Linda Wilson's Diabetic Friendly Lemon Cheesecake

April 8th, 2011

diabetic cheesecake

Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes usually means a change in lifestyle and diet. If you are like me - I have a terrible sweet tooth - I had this mental image of all things sweet and good disappearing from my diet. Imagine my surprise to discover this is not true. In fact, doctors and nutritionists recommend eating fresh fruit. And there are many ways to make delicious diabetic desserts.

As with all foods, we diabetics have to watch our portions, and even more so with sweets. Do not make this cheesecake and eat it all before bedtime! But incorporated into a healthy diet, you should be able to enjoy it. With its sugar-free ingredients and fresh fruits, it is healthy and tasty enough for anyone!

DIABETIC'S LEMON CHEESECAKE

1 1/4 graham cracker crumbs*

1/4 cup Splenda granular

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 pkg (3-oz) sugar-free lemon gelatin mix

2/3 cup boiling water

2 bars (8-oz each) light cream cheese

6-oz. lite/firm silken tofu

grated rind of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon

1 cup sugar-free frozen whipped topping, thawed

Fresh fruit of your choice, optional

In a small mixing bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, Splenda, and melted butter until mixed together well. Using the back of a large spoon, press the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of an 8-inch springform pan. Chill the crust for about ten minutes.

In a blender container mix the lemon gelatin mix and the hot water; slowly add in the cream cheese and the tofu. Continue to mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the lemon rind, lemon juice and the thawed topping. Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Chill for 4 hours or more. Before serving garnish with more whipped topping and fresh fruit/fruits of your choice, if desired.

*If you cannot use crumbs made from graham crackers, make your crumbs from sugar-free butter cookies or sugar-free vanilla wafers.

Serves 12. Enjoy!

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/desserts-articles/how-to-make-a-yummy-lemon-cheesecake-that-is-diabetic-friendly-2246584.html

About the Author

A grandmother with diabetes, Linda enjoys sharing her recipes and diabetic tips on her blog at http://diabeticenjoyingfood.squarespace.com

Juvenile Diabetes: How to Talk to Your Child about a Diabetes Diagnosis

April 11th, 2011

insulin injection

Finding out that your child needs insulin injections can be shocking and terrifying. It is easy to go into panic mode and think about all the worst case scenarios, but it is important to stay calm, especially in front of your child. Children take their cues from the adults around them, and if your child sees you panicking about his illness he will likely panic too. Acknowledge that this is scary for him, and that things are going to change, but let him know with your voice and your actions that it will be okay and that you will be there to help him every step of the way.

Stay Calm

Once you have a diabetes diagnosis for your child you will want to sit down and talk to him and help him understand what is going on. Nurses and doctors may explain certain things to him at his appointment or at the hospital, but he will likely be overwhelmed by everything that is going on and will need to have things explained again. There are a few important things to remember when having this conversation, but above all else show your child that you love and support him.

Focus on the Positives

Don't start out with a list of things your child is not allowed to do or eat. Let him know that there will be changes, but that he will still be able to play with his friends and participate in the activities he loves. Talking to your child about his illness in a positive and encouraging way will reassure him it is not the end of his world as he knows it. Remind him that he is not alone, that there are many other children with diabetes, and that his family and friends will be there to support him.

Talk about Diabetes Medications

Talking about diabetes medications and insulin for diabetics can be difficult, especially with younger children. While it is tempting to just tell your child to take it "because it will make him better", or "because the doctor says so", it is important that your child knows why he is taking the medication. Keep the explanations of the diabetes medications simple, so that he is not overwhelmed or confused; he does not need to know the complex science, only what the drugs do to keep him healthy and why they are so important. If he understands the changes he is making in his life he will be able to make decisions on his own when you are not there.

You or another adult will need to give you child his insulin injections until he is old enough to do it himself. Remain firm, calm and matter of fact when giving insulin injections. Long acting insulin has a different pH than types of insulin, and some children complain that long acting insulin shots "sting" if given too quickly. Some parents use an ice cube to numb the injection site. Many prefer using the smaller, more convenient insulin pens over insulin syringes.

Ten Percent of European Type 2 Diabetics have Gene Mutation

April 12th, 2011

dna

An international study found that nearly ten percent of Europeans with Type 2 diabetes have a mutation in a gene called HMGA1. HMGA1 regulates how the body responds to insulin. The gene mutation causes insulin resistance, a condition where the body can no longer use insulin effectively.

This finding, which was published in the March 2011 Journal of the American Medical Association, has important significance in screening for and treating type 2 diabetes in the future, and may lead to better diabetes medications. To read the whole story online at WebMD,click >HERE<.

Insulin Therapy Changing With New and Improved Insulin Delivery Methods

April 14th, 2011

An old insulin syringe
Not that long ago, being insulin dependent meant you had to carry around a syringe and a vial of insulin to deliver your insulin injections, making sure to keep them refrigerated. There are now a variety of methods for insulin delivery on the market, and some promising new developments on the horizon. These include:

1) Insulin pens. Most types of insulin are now available in convenient prefilled pens. Some insulin pens are entirely disposable when empty, and others use a replaceable insulin cartridge, usually containing 300 units. There is a dial on one end to set your desired dose. The pens offer discreet, push button insulin delivery. Some claim the injections are more comfortable than from a needle that has already been dulled by insertion into an insulin vial. Many people prefer to use an insulin pen if they are caring for a diabetic child or pet.

2) Insulin pumps. Insulin pumps are a device about the size of a pager that adhere to the skin and are worn 24/7. Insulin pumps contain an insulin reservoir, a battery powered pump, and a programmable computer chip that allows the user to control insulin dosing.

The pumps is attached to a thin plastic tube called a cannula, which is inserted just under the skin to deliver insulin subcutaneously and continuously. Insulin pump technology is constantly being improved upon. The newer pumps are smaller, and can "communicate" and interact with a continuous blood glucose monitor and computer software for state of the art blood sugar control.

3) Insulin jet injectors. Insulin jet injectors deliver a fine jet of high pressure insulin directly through the skin. The main advantage is that that the insulin delivery system requires no needles. The major disadvantage is that many diabetics find the force required for the insulin to permeate the skin is painful, and may cause bruising. Jet injectors have been on the market since 1979, but have yet to become popular.

4) Insulin patch. The FDA has just approved a new insulin delivery patch. The new device, Finesse, is a small plastic patch-pen roughly 2 inches long and an inch wide that is attached to the skin like a bandage. It can be worn under your clothes, and remains attached during routine activities like sleeping, exercising and even showering.

Patients use a syringe to pre-fill the patch-pen with a three-day supply of insulin, and simply push two buttons to dispense a dose of fast-acting insulin when needed. The insulin is delivered in seconds through a miniature, flexible plastic tube inserted painlessly into the skin. The manufacturer, Calibra is also working on a patch-pen that would deliver a .05 unit insulin dose for children.

5) Inhaled insulin. The FDA approved the first insulin inhaler, Exubera, in 2006. It was a short-acting insulin delivered to the lungs through a device similar to an asthma inhaler. But it never achieved market success, and was discontinued a year later.

But research on inhaled insulin continued, and two new forms are poised to hit the market. One is an insulin inhaler, AFREZZA, which is awaiting FDA approval. The other is an insulin spray which is absorbed through the mouth, called Oral-Lyn. Oral-Lyn is in Phase 111 clinical trials in Europe and North America.

Despite some obvious advantages to the new insulin delivery methods, tried and true insulin syringes remain the most popular way to deliver insulin injections with most insulin dependent diabetics, who no longer consider injections a big deal.

Insulin pens, insulin pumps, and insulin jet injectors are all more costly than insulin syringes, and not always covered by medical insurance.Not all types of insulin are available in insulin pens, and you can't mix insulin types in a pen.

Insulin pumps can kink or otherwise malfunction, posing the danger of inaccurate insulin dosing, and are just too "high tech" for some diabetics. Many diabetics remain skeptical of devices like insulin inhalers and sprays after Exubera's spectacular lack of success.

Still, with the advances being made in insulin pumps, and the pending introduction of an improved inhaled insulin and the insulin patch, the world of insulin therapy is definitely changing - and most would say for the better.

The Top Ten Diabetes Research Stories of 2010

April 14th, 2011

neon news sign

According to Gary Gilles, About.com's Diabetes Guide and a health writer, educator and counselor, 2010 was an auspicious year in diabetes research and treatment, with many exciting developments.

Gilles has compiled what he considers to be the Top Ten Diabetes Research Stories of 2010. They include the first generation artificial pancreas, an implantable blood glucose sensor, the world's smallest insulin pen needle, a potential diabetes vaccine, and an organ-like insulin-producing cell pouch implant.

To read more about Gilles top picks in his article on About.com, click >HERE<.

Artificial Pancreas Performs Well in British Trials

April 15th, 2011

model of a pancreas
Pancreas model. Photo: Suleyman Habib
There's good news coming out of Britain for type 1 diabetics. Researchers conducting tests with a closed loop system artificial pancreas were able to better stabilize blood sugar in two groups of study participants than with a conventional insulin pump and - most importantly - to keep their blood sugar from dipping overnight.

An artificial pancreas combines an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitoring system, and a high tech that provides sophisticated instructions to the insulin pump and glucose monitor depending on blood sugar readings. For example, the computer algorithm computes insulin doses according to rising or falling blood sugar levels, and sends instructions to the insulin pump to deliver the optimum dose. The goal is to have the system act as much as a normal pancreas as possible.

The researchers tested the artificial pancreas in 24 insulin dependent diabetics in two real-life scenarios - an evening meal eaten at home, and a dinner eaten out, including alcohol. Half of the diners were given the artificial pancreas system, while the other half used conventional insulin pump therapy.

To read more on this story online at WebMD, >CLICK HERE.<

Six Signs You May Have Gastroparesis

April 18th, 2011

stomach
Gastroparesis sounds like a long and scary word. In laymen's terms, it's a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. Normally, the stomach contracts to move food down into the small intestine for digestion, using the vagus nerve, which controls the movement of food from the stomach through the digestive tract.

Gastroparesis happens when the vagus nerve is damaged, and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work normally. Food then moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract. So, if your stomach has been feeling sluggish, read on for some common gastroparesis symptoms.

Are you diabetic? It doesn't seem fair to add yet another ailment to your list when you're already dealing with diabetes, but unfortunately the most common cause of gastroparesis is diabetes. Why? People with diabetes have high blood glucose, or blood sugar, which in turn causes chemical changes in nerves, and damages the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. Over time, high blood glucose can damage the vagus nerve.

  • Do you have heartburn or pain in your upper abdomen?
  • Are you nauseous after eating a meal?
  • Do you vomit up undigested food—sometimes several hours after a meal?

  • Do you have an early feeling of fullness after only a few bites of food?

These are all signs you may have gastroparesis, as if the meal you've just devoured is at a stomach standstill, it can easily come back up.

  • Are you experiencing unexpected weight loss?This could be due to poor absorption of nutrients or low calorie intake, common side affects of gastroparesis.

  • Other common symptoms to take note of are abdominal bloating, a lack of appetite and gastroesophageal reflux.

Keep in mind that the symptoms of gastroparesis may be mild or severe, depending on the person. Many people with gastroparesis experience a wide range of symptoms, which makes the disorder difficult for the physician to diagnose. If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, the best strategy is to keep a food diary with a detailed list of symptoms that arise after certain meals have been ingested. Once you have some documentation to show your doctor, schedule an appointment.

As far as easing of suffering goes, the treatment of gastroparesis depends on the severity of the symptoms. Treatment helps you manage the condition so you can be as healthy and comfortable as possible, as in most cases, treatment does not cure gastroparesis.

A common medication prescribed in many countries for gastroparesis is prescription medication Motilium, or its cheaper form, generic domperidone. The FDA has not approved prescription domperidone for sale in the US, but you can buy prescription domperidone online through a licensed online Canadian pharmacy with a valid doctor's prescription. With any health uncertainties, the key to finding answers is to listen to your body and then report your findings to a trusted doctor.

Experimental Weight Loss and Diabetes Drug in Clinical Trials

April 19th, 2011

overweight male
Diabetes and obesity are closely linked, and many diabetics struggle to follow their doctor's orders to lose weight. The biopharmaceutical company Vivus hopes to market an investigational new drug, Qnexa, as both a weight loss drug and a diabetes medication.

Qnexa is in phase 3 clinical trials to treat obesity, and in phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. The most recent clinical trial of Qnexa as a weight loss drug resulted in an average 10 percent weight loss in study participants.

Qnexa is a combination of the appetite suppressant phentermine, (best known as the "phen" in fen-phen, a controversial weight loss drug that was pulled off the market in 1997), and the anticonvulsant topiramate, prescribed to treat epilepsy and prevent migraine headaches.

Qnexa was denied approval in late 2010, when the FDA expressed concerns about a slightly increased risk of adverse psychiatric and cardiovascular events, and questioned the possibility of birth defects in pregnant women taking the drug.

More than 2400 patients took part in the latest study. Study participants were all clinically obese, and also suffered from two or more secondary medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Patients also saw improvements in high blood pressure, cholesterol and A1C levels (glycated hemoglobin). High A1C levels indicate high levels of blood glucose in diabetics.

Shares of Vivus have increased up to sixteen percent in value since the latest study results were released. If approved, Qnexa would be the first new weight loss drug on the market in more than ten years. Currently, the only FDA approved prescription weight loss drug is orlistat (Zenical). Orlistat prevents the body from absorbing the fat in food, and is known for unpleasant side effects such as loose, oily stools, fecal incontinence and flatulence.

A second weight-loss drug manufacturer, Orexigen, is also struggling to get FDA approval for their new diet drug, Contrave. Contrave is a combination of bupropion (the antidepressant Wellbutrin, also marketed as the smoking cessation aid Zyban) and naltrexone, an opiate antagonist prescribed to treat narcotic and alcohol addiction. Contrave is designed to curb food cravings, and proved effective than Qnexa in terms of weight loss.

Contrave passed a major hurdle in late 2010 when an FDA advisory committee voted 13-7 for its approval, but the FDA disagreed in early 2011, asking for a new clinical trial evaluating the drug's cardiovascular risks.

Arena Pharmaceutical's Lorcaserin was the third diet drug to fail to win FDA approval in 2010, when the FDA deemed that safety concerns outweighed the drug's "marginal effectiveness".

Foot Care Fundamental for Diabetics

April 20th, 2011

bare foot

Uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes can allow too much glucose to build up in your blood. Over time, high glucose levels can damage nerves and blood vessels. People who have diabetes often have trouble with their feet because of nerve and blood vessel damage, and about one in ten will develop foot ulcers. Two main concerns for diabetics are:

Sensory diabetic neuropathy: If you have damaged nerves in your legs and feet, you might not feel heat, cold, or pain. You may not feel a cut or sore on your foot, which could lead to its being ignored and getting infected. Check your feet regularly for cuts, cracks and blisters.

Peripheral vascular disease: Damaged blood vessels can lead to poor circulation, especially in the extremities. Poor blood flow impedes healing and puts diabetics at risk of developing foot ulcers, or even gangrene.

If you're diabetic, you should avoid going barefoot, wear well-padded socks and comfortable shoes, wash your feet and apply lotion daily, and keep your feet warm and dry. Follow your doctor's advice on diet and exercise, and take your diabetes medication exactly as prescribed to help control your blood glucose.

WebMD has created an informative Diabetes and Foot Problems Slideshow which includeshelpful advice on foot care. To view it, >CLICK HERE<.

Promising New Drug to Treat Diabetic Kidney Disease

April 25th, 2011

There's a promising new drug to treat a common complication of diabetes, diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy is kidney disease or damage resulting from high blood sugar levels damaging kidney cells. Diabetic kidney disease is the most common type of kidney disease.

The experimental anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory drug, pirfenidone, not only stopped kidney deterioration, it actually improved kidney function in study participants. A randomized, double-blind of 77 diabetes patients showed dramatic results in the group receiving the lowest dose of pirfenidone.

Pirfenidone works differently than the diabetes drugs currently in use, which treat high blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels. Pirfenidone seems to work by shutting down the growth factors that cause fibrosis, or scarring in blood vessels.

The next step is to perform larger clinical trials. To read more about this exciting potential advance in treating kidney disease online at Science Daily, >CLICK HERE<.

Type 2 Diabetes Slideshow

April 26th, 2011

WebMD has put together a slideshow with a wealth of information for type 2 diabetes patients, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and complications. The overview will be of value to newly diagnosed and veteran diabetics, from those managing their diabetes with diet and exercise, through those using oral diabetes medications, to those relying on insulin injections to control their blood sugar.

To see the slideshow on WebMD, >CLICK HERE.<

Antibodies Associated with Insulin Resistance Raise Hope of a Diabetes Vaccine

April 28th, 2011

Doctors and researchers have known for a while that excess weight, diet and lack of exercise can all be contributing factors in the development of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is known as an immune disease, type 2 diabetes is generally considered a metabolic disorder, and is attributed to poor lifestyle choices. A new study shifts some of the responsibility for the development of their condition away from the patients by shedding light on other possible influences.

For this study, the results of which were published in Nature Medicine, researchers tested blood samples of 32 obese people, and found that the half who had insulin resistance had antibodies that were not present in the half who were obese but not insulin resistant. This suggests that type 2 diabetes may be an immune disorder, and that there is a possibility of developing a vaccine for the condition.

When fat developing in the abdomen runs out of space and becomes constricted the fat cells eventually die, and the immune system sends in cells to clean up the dead fat cells. Among the immune system response cells are T-cells and B-cells, which are responsible for remembering threats to the body and creating antibodies. The antibodies then attack the fat cells, which makes them insulin resistant. This immune response against fat cells is also connected to fatty liver disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The study also tested the effects on mice of an immune-modifying drug called anti-CD20. Mice were fed a diet that was 60% fat, and after six and seven weeks some of the mice received the drug. The mice who were given the drug had normal blood sugar levels, and did not develop insulin resistance, whereas the control mice did become insulin resistant. However, anti-CD20 can have serious side effects and can negatively affect the immune system, so it is likely that it will not be used any time soon as a diabetes medication.

While the findings of this study are promising, more research needs to be done. The mice and human subjects were all male, so it is not known whether the results apply to females. Currently, type 2 diabetes is treated first with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, sometimes combined with oral diabetes medication. Over time, many type 2 diabetics require insulin injections to control their blood sugar.

Diabetic Friendly Pita Chips

April 29th, 2011

DiabeticLifestyle.com has upgraded its website to provide even more advice and information on living and thriving with diabetes. Here's a recipe for diabetic friendly pita chips courtesy of the new site:

Baked Pita Chips

Servings: 12

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

? 6 6-inch pita breads

? cooking spray

? Mrs. Dash or various spices to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. With a sharp knife, cut each pita bread into 6 wedges. Gently pull apart each triangle to separate it into 2 pieces, getting 12 triangles per pita bread.

3. Lay the triangles in a single layer on a large non-stick baking sheet. You can use parchment paper, if you want. (Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you make need to bake them in two batches.)

4. Lightly coat triangles with cooking spray and sprinkle on spices.

5. Bake for about 7 minutes, until pita begins to color. Turn pitas over and continue to bake until crisp and golden brown (about another 5 minutes).

6. Store in airtight containers. Terrific with guacamole or hummus.

Nutrition Information

Per 6 Chip Serving:

83 calories (4% calories from fat)

0 total fat (0 saturated fat)

3 g protein

17 g carbohydrates

1 g dietary fiber

0 cholesterol

161 mg sodium

36 mg potassium

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 carbohydrate