The Link between Diabetes and Disability

August 6th, 2013

A new study done by the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia has found that elderly people with diabetes have an increased risk of disability when compared to elderly persons without diabetes. Over the last thirty years, diabetes rates around the world have more than doubled. There are nearly 350 million adults who have diabetes, per an estimate from the World Health Organization. Common afflictions associated with diabetes include kidney problems, vision problems, and heart disease.

Specifically, those seniors that suffered from diabetes were found to have more than a fifty percent higher risk of also suffering from a disability. Anna Peeters, who serves as the head of obesity and population health at the Institute stated, "We found that diabetes increased the risk of disability by 50 percent to 80 percent compared to those without diabetes, and this result was consistent across all types of disability. The results of this study are particularly important in the context of an aging population and increasing diabetes prevalence over time. In combination, this suggests a substantial increase in the burden of disability in the elderly in coming decades."

The study defined disability as including things like managing a check book, running errands (called instrumental activities of daily life), difficulty in walking or with movement (called impaired mobility in the study), and troubles with daily functions (called activities of daily living in the study) such as bathing or eating. The study involved a review of data and information from over twenty-five prior studies that analyzed disability in people that suffered from diabetes, and disability in people that did not suffer from diabetes. The various studies reviewed and analyzed conducted post-study visits for anywhere from eighteen months to nearly ten years. The smaller studies reviewed and analyzed had as few as 369 participants, while the larger studies had as many as 66,000 participants. Most of the individuals in the studies were aged fifty-five years or older. Participants in the reviewed studies were often asked to go through physical examinations and tests regarding how fast they could walk or how well they could balance.

Many of the studies did not distinguish between type I and type II diabetes, but Peeters stated that most of the patients likely suffered from type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is often called adult onset diabetes. Type I diabetes is often called juvenile diabetes because of when it develops. Approximately ninety percent of those suffering from diabetes today suffer from type II diabetes - the type often associated with being overweight and inactive.

Peeters also indicated that most of the studies did not determine how managing a person's diabetes would affect their risk of developing a disability. Although the study was not crystal clear as to the link between diabetes and the increased rates of disability in the elderly, it was theorized that those persons suffering from each share common attributes, such as being overweight and a fairly non-active lifestyle. The review by the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute included those factors, as well as other factors that are seen in both persons with diabetes and disabilities. Peeters also opined that other conditions associated with having a high blood sugar, such as inflammation, contribute to the potential to develop a disability.

Does Type2 Diabetes Increase Your Risk of Getting Dementia?

August 14th, 2013

The link between old age and forgetfulness is truism enough to be the subject of greeting cards, sitcoms and jokes. We take it for granted so often that very few of us take the time to question why does it happen? Is this a fluke, or the first sign of dementia?

Dementia is not a disease; it is a collection of symptoms, which include memory loss and a group of cognitive dysfunctions including personality changes, mood changes and problems with communication and reasoning. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, but it is not the only factor. Dementia strikes individuals with poorly controlled diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is also considered as a risk factor for dementia.

Dementia affects the way the brain normally functions, and the commencement of the condition can adversely affect an individual's memory, speech and ability to successfully complete daily activities. Though not every research confirms the connection, many studies indicate that people with diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes, are at higher risk of ultimately developing dementia. Some past studies have found that diabetes can increase the risk of dementia, but having the disease doesn't mean that you will build up Alzheimer's. Similarly many people who develop Alzheimer's do not have diabetes. Untreated diabetes over time can lead to blood vessel disease. This increases the risk of dementia because your brain needs healthy blood vessels to keep brain cells functioning well.

Type 2 diabetes is slow to develop, and the symptoms are milder and often go unrecognized at first. Type 2 Diabetes may also contribute to the build up of plaques and tangles in the brain, soreness in the brain and oxidation in brain cells; all these increase the risk of dementia. Some studies indicate that patients with type 2 diabetes, especially those who have brutal instances of low blood sugar, face a higher than an average risk of embryonic dementia. Type 2 diabetes may contribute to pitiable memory, confusion, wandering and diminished mental function in various ways.

Don't let dementia deprive your loved one of their enjoyment for life. If you notice any of the warning signs above, immediately:

1. Schedule an appointment with doctor. Ask the physician what physical and mental function tests can be done to diagnose the possible dementia as well as the underlying causes.

2. Obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, so it is important to try and maintain a healthy body weight.

3. Exercise 30 minutes five days each week.

As per the latest The Rotterdam study, there are strong signs which suggest that diabetes may have contributed to the clinical syndrome in a substantial proportion of all dementia patients.

Researchers persist to study the connections between diabetes and dementia, and potential way to cure or treat diabetes and dementia. The researchers recommended that professional activity may contribute to higher levels of social engagement, which may be shielding against dementia, though more research is needed in this area.

Can Adult Acne Be A Sign Of Diabetes?

August 27th, 2013

It is a common belief that acne occurs only during one's teenage years and gets resolved eventually. However, American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has stated otherwise. The AAD says that adult acne is far more obstinate than teenage ones. Adult acne can pop up with an individual experiencing any health complains but rather as an indicator of underlying health issue. Adult acne can be a warning sign that the individual is diabetic. If patients who are in their 30's or 40's, experience a sudden outbreak of pimples, then it is time to visit a physician.

Let's understand the relation between Adult Acne and Diabetes. Diabetes is a condition when our body is not able to use the amount of insulin available which results in an increase in the amount of insulin in the body. The symptom of this kind of diabetes goes out as boils, acne and wounds. Such types of skin impurities not only take longer to heal but are also quite painful.

Acne occurs due to blocked skin follicles which result in pimples. This is quite common in teenage years due to hormonal changes. However, diabetes patients suffer from acne post adolescence, again, due to hormonal changes. Diabetes impacts on the skin's capability to heal itself. Therefore, not only does the acne take time to heal but there is increased possibility of repeated occurrence. Therefore, people older than 40 years who are facing a severe case of occurrence of acne should take consultation from a physician for a diabetes test.

Diabetes mellitus is a non- insulin dependent type of diabetes. Patient suffering from diabetes mellitus often suffer from occurrence of acne right throughout their adulthood. This diabetes related acne is due to an overproduction of insulin in our body.

The remedy for such acne outburst is to discover the underlying health problem which is a possible cause. It is important to note that Diabetes is just one of the many metabolic disorders. Therefore, it is essential to consult a physician as soon as a person experiences adult acne occurrence to find out the possible cause.

Adult acne can be taken care of with the use of antibiotics. However, if the cause of your acne not healing is diabetes, then it is directly related to the blood sugar. It is necessary that the blood sugar is bought under control. As soon as the blood sugar levels are under control, your acne will start healing on its own. But during such time of the outburst of acne, the patient has to be extremely meticulous about bacterial infection. Bacterial infection worsens your acne condition thereby reduces the chances of it being cured quickly.

If a person experiences sudden outburst of acne in his adult hood and also has a family history of diabetes, the sensible thing to do is approach a physician and get tested for diabetes. If the occurrence of acne is related to diabetes then it is quintessential that the patient keeps their blood sugar in control to avoid further occurrence.