Researchers Invent New Drug Delivery Device to Treat Diabetes-Related Vision Loss

July 6th, 2011

ScienceDaily (2011-06-29) -- Engineers and scientists have developed a device that can be implanted behind the eye for controlled and on-demand release of drugs to treat retinal damage caused by diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss among patients with diabetes. The disease is caused by the unwanted growth of capillary cells in the retina, which in its advanced stages can result in blindness.

The novel drug delivery mechanism is detailed in the current issue of Lab on a Chip, a multidisciplinary journal on innovative microfluidic and nanofluidic technologies.

Read the full article...

Researcher Links Diabetic Complication to Nerve Damage in Bone Marrow

August 5th, 2011

?ScienceDaily (2010-01-08) -- Scientists have discovered a link between diabetes and bone marrow nerve damage that may help treat one of the most common and potentially blindness-causing diabetes complications - diabetic retinopathy.

The key to better treating retinopathy - damage to blood vessels in the retina that affects up to 80 percent of diabetic patients - lies not in the retina but in damage to the nerves found in bone marrow that leads to the abnormal release of stem cells, said Julia Busik, an associate professor in MSU's Department of Physiology.

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What is Stiff-Person Syndrome?

August 26th, 2011

One very rare and unusual condition associated with diabetes is Stiff-Person syndrome, also referred to as Myotonic Dystrophy. Stiff-Person syndrome (SPS) is a central nervous system disorder characterized by severe muscle stiffness that moves from place to place in the trunk, arms and legs. SPS affects about 1 in 1 million Americans, and about 1 in 10,000 diabetics.

Someone with SPS is exceedingly hypersensitive to normal stimuli such as sound, touch and emotional stress. A sudden noise, tap or worry can trigger muscle spasms that distort the body into hunched over stiff postures. People with SPS suffer from frequent falls when spasms are triggered by commonplace noises like a door slamming or a car horn. Because people with SPS lack normal protective reflexes, spasms and falls can result in serious injuries, including fractures, muscle tears and joint dislocations.

SPS is also referred to as "Stiff Man Syndrome", although - like many autoimmune conditions - it is much more common in women than in men. SPS usually strikes between the ages of 30 and 50, but the syndrome can also occur as Stiff Baby Syndrome in children under three. Commonly, SPS begins with an exaggerated upright posture due to muscle stiffness in the lower back, and then moves into the legs. As the disease progresses the patient must move very slowly, as rapid movements can trigger severe spasms.

The unusual and unfortunate symptoms of SPS can be confused with those of fibromyalgia, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. Sufferers may also be misdiagnosed as having an anxiety or psychosomatic disorder. A diagnosis of SPS is aided by the detection of elevated levels of the antibody glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), which is present in the cerebral spinal fluid of about 80% of SPS cases.

GAD antibodies tests are also an important diagnosis tool for diabetes mellitus. GAD tests are used to differentiate between types of diabetes, to predict the risk and track the progression of the disease, and to predict the need for insulin therapy in type 2 diabetics. GAD reduces the brain's main inhibitory transmitter, GABA. It's theorized that this reduction of GABA interferes with the modulation of spinal cord reflexes, resulting in the hyperactivity and hyperexcitabity that characterizes SPS.

SPS can be treated, but not cured. Symptoms can be eased with a combination of anti-anxiety medications, anti-convulsants, muscle relaxers and pain medication. A recent study proved intravenous immunoglobulin treatment (a therapy for autoimmune diseases and immune deficiencies) effective in reducing stiffness and hypersensitivity in patients with Stiff-Person syndrome. Another study using the arthritis drug rituximab led to disappointing results.

The cause of SPS remains a mystery, but it appears to be an out of kilter autoimmune response in the brain and spinal cord. SPS is associated with other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, pernicious anemia, thyroiditis, and the skin disease vitiligo. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is continuing to both conduct and support research into SPS, focusing on uncovering the cause of this rare and curious condition.

Do You Need a Diabetes Emergency Survival Kit?

September 1st, 2011

Essential Preparedness Products (EPP) is marketing an emergency survival kit designed specifically for diabetics. The Diabetic med-Ecase is light weight, watertight, airtight, crush resistant, and will float in water.

The survival kit comes complete with glucose tablets, alcohol swabs, a syringe container, an ice pack, a log book to track insulin injections, diabetes medication bottles and a 7-day pill dispenser. Water purification tablets can be purchased as an add-on..

The rugged yellow case has customized compartments for insulin vials, insulin syringes, insulin pens, blood sugar meters, glucagon, and blood and ketone testing stripes. Users fill them with their own personal diabetes medication and supplies.

EPP focuses on emergency preparedness for those with serious medical conditions, creating customized med-Ecases containing necessary medications and supplies in preparation for an emergency, natural disaster, or just travel. Their Diabetic med-Ecase can be ordered online through the EPP website for $69.99.

Woman Murders Husband with Massive Insulin Injection

September 29th, 2011

The prosecutor in Alicante, Spain has requested a prison term of 29 years for a woman accused of murdering her husband with a lethal insulin dose.

Fifty-one-year-old Gregoria CS, a Spanish woman on diabetes medication since 1998, was responsible for administering medication to her husband, Juan Antonio GC, diagnosed with HIV.

Gregoria allegedly first dosed her husband with insulin on March 30th, 2007 after a family row, resulting in his admission to hospital in a hypoglycemic crisis. He remained in hospital for a month.

On a second occasion on June 28th, 2010, she injected her sleeping husband in the neck with a massive dose using three insulin pens, and when he woke up smothered his cries for help with a pillow.

The next morning the couple's children raised the alarm when their father would not wake up.He was transferred to hospital in Elche with severe hypoglycemia and was stabilized, but remained in a vegetative state until his death on February 4th, 2011.

The woman had accused her husband of psychological abuse. The prosecutor's requested term of imprisonment comprises 11 years for the first murder attempt and 18 years for the second.

From the online newspaper, RoundTownNews.

Updated Glycemic Index for Diabetic Diet

October 24th, 2011

insulin spike, 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, 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.

Medtronic Takes a Critical Step Towards Developing An Artificial Pancreas

November 3rd, 2011

Medtronic, a world leader in diabetes management systems, including insulin pumps and continuing glucose monitoring systems, has taken a critical step towards its goal of developing an artificial pancreas. The FDA has granted them an Investigational Device Exemption to allow the company to conduct in-home clinical trials of its MiniMed closed loop insulin delivery system. Here is the press release from Medtronic:

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct 28, 2011 - In our continued commitment to develop an artificial pancreas, Medtronic, Inc. today announced FDA approval of its Investigational Device Exemption to conduct a pivotal in-home clinical trial protocol for the ASPIRE study of the MiniMed Paradigm(R) System featuring Low Glucose Suspend (LGS) automation. FDA approval of the IDE makes Medtronic's ASPIRE study the first in-home pivotal trial of a closed loop system for Type 1 diabetes management.

"This study leads an industry-wide effort to close the diabetes treatment loop by tackling the important challenge of reducing the risk of hypoglycemia even when a person is asleep or unable to react," said David Klonoff, Medical Director of the Diabetes Research Institute at Mills-Peninsula Health Services. "The new Low Glucose Suspend integrated system is designed to help improve patients' ability to manage nocturnal hypoglycemia, which can be one of the most frightening aspects of living with Type 1 diabetes. Until now, we have never had a therapy designed to automatically intervene when blood glucose becomes severely low."

"FDA approval of the ASPIRE in-home study is an important milestone toward bringing Low Glucose Suspend technology to the U.S. market," said Dr. Francine Kaufman, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Global Clinical Affairs for the Diabetes business of Medtronic. "It's also a critical step toward our ultimate goal -- the development of an artificial pancreas. We believe this innovation has the potential to provide patients with added protection by lowering the risks associated with nocturnal hypoglycemia."

This is the second phase of the ASPIRE (Automation to Simulate Pancreatic Insulin REsponse) study, following the completion of the in-patient clinical study. ASPIRE is a multi-center, randomized, pivotal in-home study being conducted at multiple investigational centers to determine the safety and efficacy of the Low Glucose Suspend feature in the sensor-augmented MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump. Medtronic's newest continuous glucose sensor, the Enlite(TM) sensor, will be tested as part of the overall system.

ASPIRE will compare hypoglycemic events in a treatment arm with the LGS ON to a control arm that has the LGS OFF in the actual use environment and by the intended use population with Type 1 diabetes. The first study objective is to demonstrate that home use of LGS is safe and is not associated with glycemic deterioration, as measured by a change in HbA1C. The second study objective is to demonstrate that home use of LGS is associated with a reduction in nocturnal hypoglycemia when patients fail to respond. Hypoglycemia is a common occurrence and concern in diabetes management and can result in confusion, unresponsiveness and -- in severe cases -- even death.

"FDA review of the ASPIRE IDE application was conducted through an interactive review process that involved frequent communication with the FDA review team, allowing issues to be resolved quickly and avoiding any unnecessary delays during the review. We appreciate the valuable input provided by members of the FDA's Artificial Pancreas Working Group," added Dr. Kaufman.

Medtronic's MiniMed Paradigm(R) REAL-TimeRevel(TM) System, currently available in the United States, is the second generation of the only insulin pump integrated with continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) cleared by the FDA. With the addition of LGS, Medtronic has designed a first-of-its-kind semi-closed loop system that not only features insulin delivery and CGM, but also advanced software algorithms that enable the Low Glucose Suspend automation.

Low Glucose Suspend works by automatically suspending basal insulin delivery temporarily if glucose levels become too low as defined by the patient and his or her healthcare provider. It is a feature available commercially in Medtronic's Paradigm(R) Veo(TM) System in more than 50 countries outside of the United States. The CGM-integrated system and Low Glucose Suspend automation are the first key steps towards the creation of an artificial pancreas.

Hypoglycemia can be one of the most frightening aspects of living with diabetes. Research has indicated that, on average, a person with diabetes will experience more than one low blood glucose event every two weeks. In addition, each year nearly one in 14 people with insulin dependent diabetes will experience one or more episodes of severe hypoglycemia.

The Diabetes Business at Medtronic is a world leader in advanced diabetes management solutions, including integrated diabetes management systems, insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring systems and therapy management software, as well as world-class, 24/7 expert consumer and professional service and support.

Party Girls Rejoice

December 2nd, 2011

Party Girls Rejoice - Research Shows Moderate Drinking linked to Lower Diabetes Risk in Women

Researchers have followed more than 80, 000 women for over 26 years and found that women who ate a diet high in refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, potatoes, and pasta, had a 30 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes compared to women with a similar diet who didn't partake in moderate drinking.

Refined carbohydrates are commonly known to increase ones chances of developing diabetes; but new research has proven that with women who choose this type of diet but who also tends to drink moderately (about 2 drinks per week) actually have a lower chance of developing diabetes. "If you eat a high carb diet without drinking a moderate amount of alcohol, your risk of developing diabetes is increased by 30 per cent", stated Dr. Frank Hu who studies nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Diabetes can lead to more serious health condition such as heart disease, stroke, nerve damage or even amputations. The new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition doesn't prove that alcohol protects against diabetes, but rather that drinking alcohol might affect the body's release of insulin and other substances after a meal, blunting the blood-sugar spikes that promote diabetes.

Although there are some factors that the study did not take into consideration such as what type of alcohol was consumed and when it was consumed; before or after a meal, etc. Though we are not encouraging people who don't drink to start as a means of diabetes prevention, but it is always good to enjoy a cold bevy a little less guilt free.

So ladies, this weekend, don't hold back on those couple of drinks; indulge in that glass of wine after a hard days work; After all you are just looking out for your health.

Gout and Diabetes Mellitus

August 22nd, 2012

Gout is a form of arthritis common among diabetics. Gout and diabetes mellitus are closely related, although they are different medical conditions. Having one condition can increase the risk of developing the other.

Gout and diabetes are often associated with obesity and high blood pressure; both of them may be genetic inherited or caused by metabolic disease. High uric acid levels not simply leads to arthritis, also increases blood sugar levels for developing diabetes. People with gout have a high prevalence of diabetes mellitus.

Researchers found that a lot of risk factors for type 2 diabetes are the same for gout. By changing these risk factors, you can help prevent or fight both diseases. Here's what you can do:

. A healthier diet. Limit the foods with high purine content; include more fruits and vegetables in the daily diet. Foods can help you with uric acid levels and stabilize the blood sugar.

. Drink water. Drink at least eight glasses of water each day that helps dissolve uric acid crystals.

. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise will help increase blood flow to the limbs, lower your uric acid level and therefore lessen your chance of developing gout. Experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate activity, at least five days a week.

. Lose weight. According to National Institute of Health, a person's body mass index (BMI) is between 20-24 is normal, over 25 is considered overweight, and greater than 30 is considered obese. The waist size becomes very important if a BMI is over 25. Keep your waist size below 40 inches if you are a man and 35 inches if you are a woman.

. Quit smoking. It will provide you with relief from painful symptoms and improve the blood circulation.

. Skip the alcohol. Eliminate beer or hard liquor will lower the risk of diabetes and cut the risk of developing gout.

Gout and diabetes can also be well controlled with certain medications. You doctor may prescribe generic Actos 30mg or Colchicine 0.6mg to improve the circulation and relieve gout symptoms.

Can a Diabetic Have an Occasional Drink?

January 17th, 2013

Not everyone finds abstaining from alcohol to be a huge sacrifice. Yet, there are times when tipping the glass feels almost obligatory, not to mention that there is a growing amount of evidence that a glass of wine may even have health benefits. If you are diabetic, the hype around alcohol consumption may be even more confusing. Do you or don't you have to eliminate alcohol completely from your diet? What is the rule of thumb for drinking with diabetes?

How alcohol is processed in the body gives some insight into the problems that may exist for those with diabetes. In much the same way that fat is processed, alcohol has similar results, providing almost as many calories. If you have diabetes, it can cause your blood sugar to rise. With that in mind, if you are trying to control you diabetes by monitoring calorie intake, one drink should equal about two fat exchanges.

Of course, if your blood sugar is already high, you should wait to indulge in a drink until you have it under control. Also, if you are overweight or are dealing with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you may want to sacrifice the drink. Check with your doctor for the best advice in that case.

A few other things to remember:

? Alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to rise, but too much alcohol can have the opposite effect.

? Beer and sweet wine have more carbohydrates. They could cause blood sugar to rise.

? Alcohol is an appetite stimulant. Beware or you may find yourself also fighting the urge to consume more calories.

? Alcohol can interfere with the positive benefits of prescribed medications.

Having said all of the above, it is appropriate to add that drinking no more than two drinks a day may be tolerated by some diabetics. Make sure to eat something along with the drink. Don't drink too quickly. Sugary drinks, like mixed drinks or sweet wines should be avoided.

More importantly, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is of the utmost importance that you work with your doctor to develop a treatment and management plan for reaching your best outcomes. Diabetes should be taken seriously.

Diabetic Eye Disease is a Leading Cause of Blindness

April 12th, 2013

Our eyes should be two of our most prized possessions! That's why it is shocking to discover that vision care is often overlooked by people. Diabetic eye disease is on the rise. In fact, there has been an increase in eye disease due to diabetes by as much as 89% in the last ten years.

Unfortunately, a good number of people are not aware of the fact that eye problems caused by diabetes often have no visual signs or symptoms. Adding to this unfortunate lack of knowledge is a lack of understanding by many diabetics that an annual comprehensive eye exam is of the utmost importance.

Retina eye exams

A retina eye exam involves a dilation of the eye. Regular retina eye exams are extremely important. Early detection of a progressive eye disease should be the goal. Especially since many of these progressive eye diseases begin without any kind of a warning.

Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, the chances over time of damage to your eyes increases. Certain eye diseases can then begin to develop.

Common Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic retinopathy is a progressive damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye. Diabetic macular edema can follow. This eye disease happens when damaged blood vessels begin to leak fluid which in turn causes swelling. A patient may experience a blurring of their vision, double vision or other eye disturbances.

An alarming 26 million Americans have diabetes. Many of these diagnosed patients will go on to develop DME. Over 50% will not even be aware that they have the disease. African-Americans and Hispanics are a high risk group. Diabetic eye disease is now a leading cause of blindness.

All people with diabetes, type l and type ll, are at risk for developing vision problems. that's why an annual eye exam is imperative. Your doctor can begin treatment sooner rather than later, reducing the chance of blindness by as much as 95 percent.

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 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.