Carb Neutralizer May Help With Diabetes Control

January 24th, 2011

While you're probably better off spending your money on lottery tickets than most over the counter weight loss products, there's one that actually managed to win the approval of both the FDA and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Phase 2 Carb Controller might be worth looking into, especially for those with diabetes mellitus. Phase 2 is an all natural product extracted from white kidney beans that helps reduce your body's absorption of calories from starchy foods. It works by inhibiting the digestive enzyme alpha-amylase enzyme from breaking the starch in food down into sugar. This allows some of the starch to pass through the intestinal tract undigested. One UCLA study found that phase 2 reduced starch absorption by as much as 66%.

Of special interest to those with diabetes mellitus, Phase 2 also reduces the glycemic index of starchy food, helping to avoid elevated blood sugar spikes after a meal. The optimum time to take the carb controller is just before a meal, with 8 ounces of water. It can also be sprinkled over your food. Phase 2 is largely tasteless, but health expert and pharmacist Sherry Torkos, who recommends the starch neutralizer for both weight management and blood glucose control, says it has a "slightly savory" flavor. Torkos recommends carrying convenient packets of Carb Intercept "sprinkles" to shake on top of your mashed potatoes, rice, bread, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates when eating out.

Phase 2 has been on the market since 2001, and is the active ingredient in a number of weight management supplements, including Carb Intercept, Meta Slim, Starch Blocker Plus and Carb Shredder. It's available in tablet, capsule, powder and chewable form. It has even been added to a weight loss supplement for dogs, called K-9 Slim Down. Phase 2 is heat stable, so it can be used in cooking and baking. More and more manufacturers are adding a form of the carb neutralizer known as StarchLite to their products.

Phase 2 is made from non-genetically modified white beans, and numerous clinical studies have concluded it is safe. The product can't be absorbed by the digestive system, and is simply eliminated from the body. Adverse effects are rare and minimal, and include mild nausea, gas, and low blood sugar in type 1 diabetics.

Phase 2 Carb Controller is not a magic pill that will melt away the pounds with no effort on your part, and people using the product for weight management and diabetes blood glucose control are still encouraged to avoid simple carbohydrates like white bread and eat complex carbs only in moderation. But the FDA does allow the manufacturer to say Phase 2 may assist with weight control along with diet and exercise, and to claim it may reduce the enzymatic digestion of dietary starches. As we all know, weight control plays a huge role in diabetes control.

"Diabesity" Epidemic Leads to Double Digit Growth in Sales of Diabetes Drugs

January 24th, 2011

Two converging epidemics are striking Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum. Diabetes and obesity are so closely connected that health care professionals have coined the term "diabesity" to describe the connection between the two. "I really believe that it is the obesity epidemic that has driven diabetes", says Dr. Christopher Still, obesity expert from the Geisinger Center for Nutrition and Weight Management, "simply because of the increase in insulin resistance."

Excess weight is linked to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the hormone insulin becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar levels. The resulting high blood sugar increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, but can't use it effectively. Ninety to ninety-five percent of diabetics have type 2 diabetes, and about 95% of type 2 diabetics are overweight.

The skyrocketing rate of obesity across the socioeconomic spectrum has been referred to as a "public health time bomb". About one-third of Americans are now considered obese (20% or more above normal weight), including nearly 17% of children and teens. Type 2 diabetes typically strikes in middle age, but as the obesity epidemic spreads to our children, doctors are seeing more diabetes in children and teens. A lot more cases - there has been a ten-fold increase in diabetes in children over the last five years.

As more and more diabetic Americans become insulin dependent, sales of diabetes medication and related products like insulin pumps and insulin pens are soaring. The diabetes products market has been "enjoying" double digit growth for years. Novo Nordisk reported an increase of 24% in sales of insulin products in 2009, and is forecasting continuing increases.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. What health care providers find most frustrating is that both obesity and type 2 diabetes are largely preventable with proper diet and regular exercise. The World Health Organization refers to obesity, diabetes and heart disease as "diseases of affluence," and recommends a low glycemic index diet of foods rich in complex carbohydrates and protein. A US study of 90 years of national data found that the rising consumption of high glycemic index corn syrup (widely used to sweeten soft drinks and processed foods) and decreasing intake of dietary fiber parallels the explosion of type 2 diabetes in America. Dr. Still recommends those with insulin resistance cut sugary beverages like soda and juice out of their diet as a first step. "I tell people who are trying to lose weight to eat their calories, not drink them."

Researchers Study Vinegar as a Preventative Diabetes Medication

January 25th, 2011

apple cider vinegarVinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, has long been prescribed as a natural treatment for various ailments, including acne, allergies, asthma, arthritis, indigestion, insect stings, night time leg cramps, hypertension, warts, sore throat, cold sores, burns, sunburns, and even hiccups. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used vinegar as an antiseptic and antibiotic 1000's of years ago. Diabetics drank vinegar teas for blood glucose control before the invention of modern day diabetes medications.

Professor Carol Johnston, a nutritionist at the Arizona State University, has been studying the benefits of vinegar as a diabetes medication, researching its effect on blood glucose levels. Johnston and her fellow researchers performed three separate studies over a number of years.

In the first study, they gave people with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes (a pre-diabetic state associated with insulin resistance), and healthy controls four teaspoons of apple cider vinegar just before a high carbohydrate breakfast. The vinegar slowed the rise of blood sugar levels in the type 2 diabetics almost 20%. Those with prediabetes experienced an even greater benefit, with their rise in blood sugar slowed almost 35%. Even the healthy study participants experienced lower blood sugar and insulin spikes than the control group that was not given vinegar.

"Both the blood glucose and insulin were better managed after the meal when they consumed vinegar," says Johnston, "It appears that the vinegar mimics the action of both acarbose [generic Precose] and metformin [generic Glucophage], which are two of the commonly prescribed medications for diabetics." Johnston suspects it's the acetic acid in the vinegar that helps with diabetes control. "The acetic acid in vinegar may inhibit enzymes that digest starch, so that carbohydrate molecules aren't available for absorption", she theorizes.

In a follow up study, participants with type 2 diabetes who did not require insulin injections but were taking oral diabetes medications were given either two tablespoons of vinegar or water with an ounce of cheese before going to bed. Those given the vinegar at saw their fasting blood sugar levels reduced an average 4% the next morning. Those with the highest fasting blood sugar levels achieved the most benefit, experiencing a drop of 6%.

In the most recent study, researchers concentrated on the effects of vinegar on healthy participants. They fed both healthy participants and diabetics a standard evening meal, and then a breakfast high in complex carbohydrates with or without vinegar following an overnight fast. The non-diabetics given vinegar with their meals had a 20% reduction in post-meal blood sugar levels compared to those who weren't given vinegar. Two teaspoons of vinegar was determined to be the most effective amount, taken with the meal instead of before eating.

In a welcome but unexpected twist, participants given the vinegar in the longer-term study also lost weight. "The group that got the vinegar lost several pounds on average," said Johnston. Obesity and insulin resistance are closely related to each other, and to diabetes. Unrelated studies have shown that improving insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetics can delay or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. If something as simple as a couple of teaspoons of vinegar before meals could help address both obesity and high blood sugar, vinegar could gain recognition as a cost-effective oral diabetes medication. "Further investigations to determine the efficacy of vinegar as an antidiabetic therapy are warranted, says Johnston." As many who could benefit from vinegar are put off by its strong taste and the quality of existing vinegar supplements such as capsules is inconsistent, Johnston's team is now working on a more palatable medicinal vinegar tablet.

Diabetes Medications May Hold the Clue for New Weight Loss Drugs

March 4th, 2011

Barbie doll with tape measure
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are "one step closer to developing effective, FDA-approved treatments for obesity", according to Matthew Hayes, PhD, of the University's School of Medicine. The researchers say current type 2 diabetes medications may hold the clue for new anti-obesity drugs.

Hayes and his team are the first to identify the body mechanisms that produce the feeling of being full, or satiety. This mechanism helps explain why type 2 diabetes medications which target a hormone for insulin production called GLP-1 often promote weight loss, presumably by causing diabetes patients to feel fuller and eat less.

Read the whole story here>Science Daily<.

International Diabetes Association Supports Bariatric Surgery as Treatment Option in Diabetes Control

March 31st, 2011

surgery

The International Diabetes Association (IDA) has taken the position that bariatric (weight loss) surgery should be considered early on as a cost-effective treatment option to avoid serious complications in type 2 diabetics who are moderately or severely obese.

The IDA 2011 position statement was released around the same time that the FDA expanded the approval of the Lap-Band Adjustable Gastric Banding System procedure for use in a wider range of obese patients, including diabetics.

The Lap-Band procedure was first approved by the FDA in 2001 for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or for those with a BMI of 35 and at least one other serious obesity-related condition, such as diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure.

Lap-Band gastric banding is now approved for those with a BMI of 30 to 35. But bariatric surgery of any kind should only be used when conventional methods weight loss methods such as diet and exercise have failed. Any such surgery must be accompanied by long-term lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise to be successful.

Both gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy are minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries, performed through small incisions in the abdomen. In gastric banding surgery, an inflatable silicone device is place on the top portion of the stomach to create a small pouch.

This pouch will only hold about cup of food, as opposed to the 6 cups a normal stomach will hold. The smaller stomach not only helps the patient eat less by making them feel full sooner, it also slows the passage of food into the rest of the stomach and the digestive tract. As the patient loses (or gains) weight, the band is adjusted to maintain comfort and effectiveness.

In a sleeve gastrectomy, the stomach is surgically reduced to about one-quarter of its normal size, leaving it the shape of a narrow "sleeve" or tube. The portion of the stomach that is removed secretes an appetite hormone called Ghrelin. Once removed, the patient's appetite is said to decrease. The procedure is irreversible.

A gastric bypass is a more complicated irreversible gastrointestinal surgery in which a pouch is created at the top of the stomach, and then connected directly to the middle of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper intestine, or duodenum. The part of the intestines that is bypassed is where vitamins and minerals are the most easily absorbed, meaning patients must guard against nutritional deficiencies following a gastric bypass.

Studies published in the Archives of Surgery comparing the newer laparoscopic gastric banding surgery and sleeve gastrectomy to the conventional gastric bypass surgery found that, while conventional bypass surgery resulted in higher weight loss, the less invasive Lap-Band procedure was "safer", with fewer complications.

Many bariatric surgery experts believe that surgery which bypasses the duodenum is the most effective for diabetes control because the duodenum plays a role in insulin resistance, and bypassing it reduces insulin resistance in patients with diabetes mellitus. A gastric bypass also results in the most weight loss. "It's very clear - bypass is better than band, period," states bariatric surgeon Dr. Guilherme M. Campos from the University of the Wisconsin School of Medicine, "And if you are diabetic with obesity, the best treatment is a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass."

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."

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".

Scientists Discover Why Oral Diabetes Medication Causes Weight Gain

May 3rd, 2011

Thiazolidinediones, also known as glitazones, are a widely prescribed class of oral diabetes medications. The most commonly used thiazolidinedione is prescription Actos, also known as generic pioglitazone. Thiazolidinediones act by binding to a group of receptor molecules called PPAR-y which regulate the production of fat cells, improving their receptivity to insulin and therefore reducing insulin resistance.

Although effective, pioglitazone has a down side - one of Actos side effects is considerable weight gain. This is of particular concern to diabetics, many of whom have been instructed to lose weight to help control their condition.

Before this study, it was believed that weight gain in patients taking oral diabetes medication was due to PPAR-y's effect on fat cells. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have now discovered that the diabetes medication delivers a double-whammy. It not only stimulates the production of fat cells, it also causes changes in the part of the brain which effects appetite, increasing hunger.

The researchers also conducted experiments to see if the PPAR-y molecular system is activated by a high fat diet. Experiments with animals showed that to be the case. This suggests that Americans' fondness for high-fat foods that activate PPAR-y might be contributing to our rising rates of obesity, and the associated increase in diabetes.

According to lead researcher Randy Seeley, PhD, PPAR-y is a system designed to promote eating more and gaining weight. "It tells your brain to eat more, and it tells your fat tissue to add new fat cells to serve as repositories to store those extra calories," explains Seeley, a UC professor.

It's hoped that these discoveries may lead to modified diabetes medications that still lower blood sugar, but without impacting the part of the brain effecting appetite. "If you artificially turn on PPAR-y, you can increase food intake in rats," explained Seeley, "[But] if you block these receptors in animals on high fat diets that make animals obese, they gain less weight."

Seeley stresses the importance of understanding how what we eat affects our bodies. "We know that one way to activate PPAR-y is by exposing cells to fatty acids," he points out, "If we know which ones activate PPAR-y, we could find ways to alter diets so as to limit their ability to turn on this system that drives increased food intake, making it easier for people to avoid weight gain."

Nutrition and Diabetes Control

May 25th, 2011

woman grocery shopping

Nutrition is vitally important in diabetes management and blood sugar control. About.com's Nutrition and Diabetes page editors have compiled a wealth of information on healthy eating for diabetics including facts on carbs, calories, fiber and the all-important glycemic index; advice on surviving restaurant meals and holiday dinners, and even diabetes-friendly recipes and meal plans.

For those with an interest in alternative approaches, the Nutrition and Diabetes page also provides information on less conventional diets such as vegetarian, raw food and vegan. Other articles give you the lowdown on foods believed to have a positive affect on blood sugar and insulin resistance, such as fenugreek, prickly pear cactus and omega 3 fatty acids.

There are articles on sugar substitutes and hidden sugars, and nutrition facts and carb and calorie counts for individual foods like avocados, pomegranates, eggplant and watermelon (warning - very high carb!). The page also links to articles with recommendations for losing weight, specific diet tips for those with kidney disease, and even advice on healthy eating on a budget.

When making any major changes to your diet and/or activity levels, bear in mind they may impact your blood sugar levels and need for diabetes medication. Consult your healthcare provider about possible changes to your insulin dosage or other diabetes medicine.

To view About.com's Nutrition and Diabetes page, >CLICK HERE.<

Insulin has Direct Effects On the Brain

June 9th, 2011

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research (MPINR) claim to have proven that insulin has direct effects on the reward centers of the brain. In a recent article in Cell Metabolism outlining their work the MPINR team explained that they set out to better understand the "reward" aspects of food and how insulin influences brain function.

Unlike earlier studies that had focused on insulin's effect on the feeding behavior related hypothalamus, the team focused on neurons in the brain that release dopamine, a brain chemical that plays a role in reward and motivation. They found that insulin causes the dopamine-releasing neurons to fire more frequently.

Mice whose insulin receptors were inactivated to no longer respond to insulin overate and became obese. They also showed an altered response to sugar and cocaine when their food supply was limited, further suggesting that the brain's reward centers require insulin to function normally.

The findings suggest that insulin resistance may help to explain why many obese individuals find it so difficult to resist food and lose weight. "Insulin resistance may drive a vicious cycle," explains MPINR's Jens Bruning, "There is no evidence that this is the beginning of the road to obesity, but it may be an important contributor to obesity and to the difficulty we have in dealing with it.

The next step is to conduct functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in human subjects who have had insulin artificially delivered to the brain to observe its effects on their reward centers.

To read the article in Cell Metabolism, >CLICK HERE.<

New Protein May Help Treat Diabetes and Obesity

August 10th, 2011

ScienceDaily (2011-08-09) -- A newly-identified protein may hold the key to keeping appetite and blood sugar in check, according to a new study. Researchers found that rats administered with nesfatin-1 ate less, used more stored fat and became more active. In addition, the protein stimulated insulin secretion from the pancreatic beta cells of both rats and mice.

"[The rats] actually ate more frequently but in lesser amounts," says Unniappan, a member of York's neuroscience graduate diploma program, and a recipient of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award. "In addition, they were more active and we found that their fatty acid oxidization was increased. In other words, the energy reserve being preferably used during nesfatin-1 treatment was fat. This suggests more fat loss, which could eventually result in body weight loss," he says. read full article...

Eating Red and Processed Meats Increases Risk of Diabetes

August 15th, 2011

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the more red meat people eat, especially processed meat, the higher their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Processed meats include the American staples bacon, sausage, hot dogs and most packaged sandwich meats. The study did not establish why red and processed meats increased the risk of developing diabetes. One theory is that the high amount of nitrates used as preservatives in processed meats may increase insulin resistance.

Others theorize that the large amount of iron in red meat leads to high iron stores in the body, which have been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. A third theory is that high meat consumption may contribute to obesity - a major risk factor for diabetes. The answer may lie in a combination of these factors.

To read more about the issue on WebMD, >CLICK HERE.<

Updated Glycemic Index for Diabetic Diet

October 24th, 2011

insulin spike chartGlycemicEdge.com, a leading nutrition and health wellness community site, has updated and expanded its popular glycemic index food list and now features food scores from 12 categories of foods and nearly 200 individual foods.

The glycemic index is a scoring system which rates foods on a 0-100 basis according to their impact on digestion and insulin levels, based on the type of carbohydrates used. The glycemic index diet plan has become increasingly popular for wellness, weight loss, and has been particularly well received by pre-diabetics, diabetics, and those following a heart healthy cardiovascular health plan.

According to Wayne Mitchell of GlycemicEdge.com, the best part about the glycemic index diet is it's realistic approach to choosing foods while not banishing carbs. "Low carb and no carb diets are really challenging to follow. They also don't have the health benefits that "low GI" or good carb foods provide. With low glycemic foods, you get the benefit of feeling "fuller" with foods that put much less strain on your digestive system and pancreas, controlling the release of insulin."

Another popular benefit for low glycemic foods is weight loss, as your metabolism adjusts and switches from primarily burning carbs as a fuel source to burning fat. Whole grains and complex carbohydrates are emphasized while simple carbohydrates and foods which result in a sudden, rapid insulin spike during digestion rank high on the GI scale and should be avoided.

"Our users love the ability to compare foods, find some surprising foods that are good low GI choices, and print and take lists with them when they do their shopping and planning for their families. About 70% of our users are moms planning for their families, and the charts and food lists are a great resource to make this easier for them."

Users can print the lists for free and are invited to share questions and submit food scores of their own to help grow community awareness. Also featured are south beach diet food list and printable shopping guides.

Eating Too Quickly Doubles the Risk of Insulin Resistance

November 8th, 2011

Yet another reason to listen to your mother and slow down and chew your food properly - eating too quickly has been associated with a doubled risk of developing impaired glucose tolerance, or pre-diabetes. As the name suggests, pre-diabetes is the forerunner to developing type 2 diabetes. Most diabetics have type 2 diabetes - a form of diabetes where your body no longer responds properly to insulin (called insulin resistance). Type 2 diabetes used to be described as non insulin dependent diabetes.

Insulin is the hormone that moves sugar (glucose) from the blood to the body's cells to provide them with energy. If your cells do not use insulin properly, the pancreas produces more insulin that normal to cope with the body's demands. Eventually, the pancreas cannot keep up, and excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood.

A recent Japanese study followed over 170 healthy individuals for three years, monitoring their eating habits. Snacking, eating late at night, skipping meals and eating out were not associated with developing pre-diabetes. The one and only eating habit associated with the development of insulin resistance was eating too quickly.

The researchers aren't sure why eating faster makes an individual more likely to develop pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, but suspect that eating rapidly results in higher post-meal blood glucose levels. Some doctors also point out that eating too quickly results in an overall increase in the amount of calories taken in. Since it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to receive the signal that the stomach is full, those who eat quickly continue eating without realizing that their stomach is filled.

Previous research has also shown that eating quickly results in increased weight gain. Insulin resistance generally increases with increased body fat, and there is a pronounced connection between obesity and diabetes. The two are so closely connected that it gave rise to the term "diabesity". Diabesity is currently epidemic across the developed world.

Insulin resistance has no symptoms. Pre-diabetes is sometimes called impaired glucose tolerance, and can be diagnosed with a fasting glucose test or a glucose tolerance test. The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults who are overweight and have one or more additional risk factors for diabetes should consider being tested. Additional risk factors include:

  • Having a parent or sibling with diabetes
  • Being physically inactive.
  • Being African American, Alaska native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic or Latino, or a Pacific Islander
  • Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds or being diagnosed with gestational diabetes
  • Having high blood pressure or being treated for high blood pressure
  • Low HDL ("good") cholesterol levels or high triglyceride levels
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Having a history of cardiovascular disease

People with pre-diabetes can avoid becoming diabetic and the need to take diabetes medication by losing weight, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, and, as we now know, not eating too quickly.

TCM Approaches Diabetes Treatment

December 5th, 2011

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient medical system that has been used in diagnosing and curing illness. It has been developed in China based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years. Now, TCM has been systematized in practice and has developed from the east to the western countries. It can effectively treat a variety of chronic illness, the body, mind, and spirit as a single entity.

Diabetes is a chronic disease with the high blood sugar in the body. The exact causes of diabetes are still not known. However, fatigue, lack of exercise, stress may play a role to develop diabetes. Diabetes cannot be cured, but appropriate treatment will help the blood sugar levels as normal as possible to prevent other health problems.

In the terminology of TCM, diabetes is also referred to "Wasting and Thirsting Disease". It is believed to be caused by a collapse of the Yin of the Kidney, the Spleen, or the Lungs. Many researches have shown that TCM can be helpful for treating diabetes mellitus with scientific evidence. For the best practices, it is important to identify which organ is involved by Chinese medical diagnosis.

The Chinese practitioner may choose to use one or combined techniques for the diabetic care. It may depend on the history, causes, symptom, and types of diabetes. The TCM treatment will focus on regulating the Qi and blood and balancing the organ systems in order to improve the function of pancreas and blood sugar levels.

TCM has too much to offer to diabetic patients. A variety of TCM therapies for diabetes and diabetes symptoms include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Dietary therapy
  • Herbal medicine
  • Massage
  • Qigong or Taiji Chuan exercise

For information on conventional treatment for diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association, or National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) . This is not an endorsement of this organization, just a resource guide.

Lower Your Risk of Diabetes; Drink Water

February 6th, 2012

Everyone knows that drinking a good amount of water each day is not just essential to human life, but that it also provides us with a multitude of benefits for our health. Now researchers find another reason to keep guzzling the clear stuff; Drinking water can help lower the risk of diabetes.

Diabetes has become one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States, effecting people of all ages, races and sexes; developing diabetes will drastically alter ones way of life. So if there is anything that we can ever do to enhance our chances of never getting the disease, we need to take heed and follow suite.

As if there are not enough reasons that we should all stay well hydrated, now new research shows that drinking water can help to lower the risk of diabetes. Scientists have discovered that the hormone in our bodies, Vasopressin, which helps to regulate water retention, plays a role in how our bodies regulate blood sugar.

When the body is dehydrated, vasopressin levels rise, prompting the kidneys to hold onto water. At the same time, the hormone pushes the liver to produce blood sugar. So if a person is constantly dehydrated, this may strain the ability to produce or respond to insulin.

French scientists tested this hypothesis and tracked more than 3000 healthy men and women ages 30-65 for almost 10 years. At the beginning of the research all of the participants had normal blood sugar levels.

After nine years, 800 of the subjects had developed Type 2 diabetes or high blood sugar. For those subjects that consumed 17-34 ounces of water a day had a risk around 30 percent lower of developing diabetes than those people who drank less. The researchers did control the amount of other liquids that the subjects could consume (mainly just sugary beverages and alcohol), as well as the amount of exercise one could do. The researchers did not take into consideration eating habits, something that future studies may take into account.

The findings of this research were published last year in Diabetes Care, a publication of the American Diabetes Association.

Water is essentially the key to our preservation; all of us should make it a priority to ensure that our bodies do not become dehydrated. Though there is some evidence to show that proper hydration can help protect against high blood sugar, preventing dehydration will deter a whole slew of other health problems.

Surgery May Reverse Effects of Diabetes

March 30th, 2012

Two new studies have been published stating that gastric bypass surgery may be a useful new tool in diabetes treatment. The results of the two studies show that the surgery drastically reduces the symptoms of diabetes, or in some patients, it disappears altogether. Doctors are unsure why exactly this surgery works so well for Type 2 diabetes sufferers, but some believe it is due to hormone changes. This surgery is only available for diabetic patients with a body mass index of 35 or higher.

A typical woman has a body mass index between 19 and 25. According to researchers on the study, one diabetic woman who underwent the surgery now only uses 10 milligrams of insulin per day; she was taking nine times that pre-surgery. Unfortunately gastric bypass surgery doesn't have the same effect on Type 1 diabetics. This is due to their fundamental differences. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune disorder, whereas type 2 is generally a complication of obesity. While the pounds melt off, so do the symptoms of diabetes.

Gastric bypass surgery uses a band to segregate the stomach into two pouches. The doctors then reattach the small intestine to the upper half of the stomach, which is now significantly smaller. Bariatric surgeons typically only perform this type of surgery on someone who is morbidly obese, which is a body mass index or 40 or more. They will also perform gastric bypass on a patient with a body mass index of 35, if they also have a 'co-morbid condition' such as diabetes.

If you are not currently accepted for this type of surgery, you will have to control your diabetes using long acting insulins such as Lantus or Levemir. We recommend that you buy anti-diabetes medications online, at a Canadian pharmacy. This will significantly reduce the financial burden caused by a long term disease such as diabetes.

To see the original release, click here.