Is Diabetes a Hormonal Matter?

July 3rd, 2013

Diabetes is a very complex disease. Even with recent studies and medical breakthrough regarding the cure and cause of diabetes, this disease is becoming more complex over the years.

There are studies conducted and still being conducted showing the link of diabetes to the hormones being produced by the body or the lack of it. Studies like these help medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies develop medical procedures and medication to cure and prevent this dreaded disease.

Closer Look on the Cause of Diabetes

At present, there are three officially recognized types of diabetes mellitus. First is the Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Type 1 is the result of the body's inability or failure to produce insulin. As a cure, people suffering from Type 1 diabetes are recommended to inject insulin or even wear insulin pumps. The second type of diabetes mellitus is Type 2 diabetes which results from insulin resistance. The third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes suffered by pregnant women. Among these types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 can be associated with hormones that affect the generation or resistance of the body to insulin substance.

The Link of Diabetes and Hormones

Diabetes mellitus is caused by high blood sugar. High blood sugar can either be attributed to a condition where the pancreas do not produce sufficient insulin or the body cells do not respond to the insulin being produced by the body. One hormone affecting the production of insulin in the body is glucoregulatory hormones. Glucoregulatory hormones increase blood glucose levels which in effect increase the production of insulin in the body affecting the risk of diabetes in a person. This fact alone shows that the development of diabetes is a hormonal matter.

In some recent studies, there are naturally occurring hormones in the body that could possibly lead to the cure of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Victims of Type 2 diabetes suffer from the condition where their body is unable to produce or process enough insulin which the body needs to absorb glucose. Glucose is needed for the body's overall energy supply; thus, the lack of glucose often increases the risk of the development of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Several studies show that an intestinal hormone medically known as glucagon-like peptide or GLP-1 is a possible treatment for Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Glucagon-like peptide is a hormone produced by the body that is associated with insulin production. In a controlled study conducted by Danish researchers, it was discovered that patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes injected with glucagon-like peptide have experienced improvements without any reported side-effects. One of the major improvement by people injected with glucagon-like peptide are decrease in blood glucose levels; loss in body weight; reduction of appetite; and overall insulin sensitivity and cell function improvement.

Conclusion

Hormones can be the key to curing diabetes because hormones are also responsible for increasing the risk of diabetes. There is indeed an underlying reason why diabetes can be a hormonal matter.

When to Use Eye Drops to Treat Elevated Ocular Pressure

July 10th, 2013

Many ophthalmologists treat patients who have elevated eye pressures with eye drops, especially if the patient is considered to be at high risk for developing glaucoma in the future. However, there has also been a long-standing argument within the medical community as to whether or not this early treatment made a difference. Some ophthalmologists actually preferred to withhold treatment until there were some early signs of damage within the eye.

Is there an answer to the confusion?

According to one study, prescription eye drops when used to treat elevated pressure may not only delay the onset of glaucoma but also prevent it entirely. Until now there has no studies supporting the benefits of doing so. This could be a game changer.

A lot of Americans have elevated eye pressures, perhaps as many as 10 million. Another 2.5 million actually encounter damage to the optic nerve caused by glaucoma. We must never forget that glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss.

What is elevated eye pressure?

Pressure in the eyes occurs due to fluid flowing in and out of the eye. When that fluid drains too slowly, it can begin to back up and gradually raises the pressure inside the eye. For those patients who go on to develop glaucoma, the end result is most often damage to the optic nerve. This damage results in vision loss and can even cause blindness. In fact, glaucoma is the number one cause of blindness among African-Americans.

Although this study does shed some important light on the treatment of elevated pressures prior to a diagnosis of glaucoma, there are still those who emphasize that treatment for moderately high pressures can remain an optional choice.

As we age, it is important to get regular eye exams. Health of our eyes should be monitored by a professional. if you have high pressures, you may want to discuss with your ye doctor whether or not eye drops are a good option for you.

Can Type 1 Diabetes Increase the CVD Risk?

July 26th, 2013

Type 1 diabetes can cause many other health problems for its sufferers, and it is a constant battle for some people with diabetes to keep up with their symptoms and treatments. According to some studies, patients with type 1 diabetes may be as much as 10 times more likely to develop a cardiovascular disease, or CVD.

For those who suffer with type 1 diabetes, there is a shortage of insulin in their cells, which is brought on by a malfunctioning immune system. The immune system attacks the pancreas cells that produce insulin, and as a result, the diabetes patient will end up with too much sugar in the bloodstream, as it travels there instead of the cells where it should go. Although genetics plays a role in who gets type 1 diabetes, there are also environmental factors, although the exact causes have yet to be pinned down.

CVD is a generic term that covers illnesses that may take place throughout the circulatory system, whether it is a heart disease such as angina or coronary artery disease, or a vascular disease, which affects the blood vessels, like aneurism or blood clotting disorders. Of course there are many other examples of CVD, and heredity as well as being overweight or obese, lacking in exercise, and eating the wrong foods can cause or contribute to most of these conditions.

Type 1 diabetes can make arteries harden at a quicker rate than normal, a condition known as atherosclerosis, and diabetes sufferers often have lower levels of HDL, the "good" cholesterol. Type 1 diabetes also affects the kidneys, which can bring about dangerously high blood pressure, or hypertension. The combination of these effects can add up to be a recipe for disaster, as these conditions are often contributors to heart attack or stroke.

In order to stay as healthy as possible, and to try and avoid developing CVD, those who have diabetes should try to be vigilant about their diets. Eating whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, and cutting back on fat can go a long way. It also pays to make your calories count, by avoiding drinks that are high in sugar and low in nutrients. They do nothing to curb your hunger or fill you up, yet they contribute greatly to weight gain and other problems. Soda is obviously an issue, but fruit juice isn't as good for you as just eating fruits and it can pack more calories.

Lean proteins, which can be found in fish and nuts, are also preferable over red meats. And cutting back on salt will help keep you from elevating your blood pressure as well.

Another major help in the fight against CVD is exercise. You don't have to spend hours at the gym every day to make yourself healthier. However, trying to walk more each day, along with lifting weights can not only make you look better, but may help you relieve some stress as well. And stress, of course, is another contributor to CVD issues, so anything you can do to alleviate that will help as well.