Archive | Diabetes Information

Non Invasive Glucose Meter Wins FDA Approval

Freestyle Libre ‘Flash’ Glucose Monitoring System.

The United States Food and Drug Administration  (FDA) recently announced the long-awaited approval of Abbott Labs’ FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System (Bloodless Glucose Meter). This is a meaningful development both for the company and Diabetes patients especially in the United States. However, it was expected. Abbott is already marketing this new non invasive glucose meter and it was just a matter of time before the device received U.S. FDA approval.

When Can we Expect it in Major Retail Pharmacies?

Earlier this year, the company presented data from 50,000 Freestyle Libre users which show that patients are checking their blood sugar levels at least 16 times per day. This frequency is significantly higher compared to other monitoring systems. The high frequency of checking blood glucose levels is largely attributable to the fact that the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System does not require any finger pricking.

Since more frequent monitoring is usually associated with better health outcomes particularly for diabetes patients, you can expect high demand for the device in the United States especially after winning FDA approval.

We expect the device to be launched in major pharmacies in the United States by the end of 2017. However, IN the United States, FreeStyle Libre Flash is approved only for adults with diabetes. The FreeStyle Libre sensor can be considered a ‘replacement’ for fingersticks because it provides real time readings and clear trends that are used for insulin dosing. Therefore, this device eliminates the need for any fingerstick calibrations.

In the United States, FreeStyle Libre Flash has three main differences:

  • A shorter wear time (10 days).
  • It will require a physician’s prescription.
  • A significantly longer warm-up period after installation (12 hours).

Outside the United States, the device does not require a prescription, has a longer wear time of 14 days and requires just 1-hour warm-up.

One of the biggest changes is the longer war-up period which means that when you insert a new sensor, it will not provide any real-time blood glucose readings for the first 12 hours. Therefore, some users must go back to fingersticks during the warm-up period. Therefore, it’s recommended that you put a new sensor on before bed in order to get through much of the warm-up period. The other option is to buy two readers, overlap sensor wear times in order to avoid going for 12 hours without glucose data.

FreeStyle Libre Flash is a Continuous Glucose Monitor because it collects glucose data every minute and displays the reading and trend arrow. However, it’s essential to understand that it does not have an alarm and it does not communicate continuously with the reader device as other Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices do.

The sensor must be scanned within 1.5 inches using the hand-held reader to get real-time glucose data. You can scan the sensor even through clothing making the process far less painful, visible and obtrusive than a fingerstick.

FreeStyle libre Flash is approved to be worn on the upper arm, is fully disposable, is waterproof (for swimming and showering), is not affected by acetaminophen (Tylenol) and can store 8 hours of recent data. Remember, if more than 8 hours have passed between scans, the device will only capture the most recent 8 hours of data.

This approval comes one year after being submitted to the FDA for approval and a year since FreeStyle Libre Pro was launched in the US. This real-time version of FreeStyle Libre will expand the US Continuous Glucose Monitoring market significantly. The lower price, small on-body footprint, pharmacy distribution, no need for fingersticks, and ease of insertion are all very welcome improvements especially for diabetes patients.

FreeStyle Libre Flash is similar to convention CGM devices in that it measures the glucose levels in interstitial fluid in real time. However the device offers various advantages such as lower cost and longer sensor wear. Moreover in contrast to other CGM devices, FreeStyle Libre is factory calibrated meaning it doesn’t require fingerstick measurements for calibration.

At the initial United States launch, the device will only communicate with the reader device and this means that it won’t support smartphone connectivity. However, we all hope that Abbott will submit the LibreLinkUP (remote monitoring) and LibreLink (android) apps for approval by the FDA soon. Most people are excited to see this version of FreeStyle Libre Glucose Monitoring System coming to the United States. Diabetes patients globally have responded positively to this device and it’s now being used by at least 400,000 people in more than 41 countries.

More on Glucose monitoring on your phone!

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New Type 2 Diabetes Drug

New medication for Diabetes – What is Ertugliflozin?

FDA Approves Ertugliflozin (Steglatro) For Treatment of Diabetes

Ertugliflozin, which will be sold under the brand name Steglatro, is a drug for treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Although more than 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes, about 90% of these patients have type 2 diabetes.

Ertugliflozin is a sodium-glucose co transporter (SGLT2) Inhibitor. It was developed by Merck &Co and Pfizer Inc. and it is classified under drugs commonly known as glifloins. Ertugliflozin recently won USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) for treatment of type  2 diabetes.

How does Ertugliflozin Work?

what drug is used to treat diabetes Being a sodium- glucose co-transporter (SGLT2) inhibitor, Ertugliflozin works by increasing secretion of glucose in the urine.

It mainly works  as part of two fixed-dose combinations which will constitute – dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor sitagliptin (Steglujan) ; available as five milligram of Ertugliflozin per a hundred milligram of sitagliptin and fifteen milligram per a hundred milligram of sitagliptin ) to be taken once daily and with metformin ( Segluromet ; two and half milligram of Ertugliflozin per five hundred milligram of metformin; two and a half milligram per a thousand milligrams) to be taken twice daily.

For the drug to get approval by the FDA two trials have been conducted; the VERTIS MET and VERTIS SITA trials. These trials show that Ertugliflozin has been able to meet its primary goals and is actually able to regulate blood sugar in the patients who participated in the study.

VERTIS MET was conducted over a twenty six week period. It evaluated the efficiency and safety of the drug in patients with Type 2 diabetes. The study was conducted by administering Ertugliflozin in combination with metformin in comparison to taking placebo and metformin alongside those taking just metformin.

Patients who took Ertugliflozin had lower blood sugar, had lost more weight and had low blood pressure.

In the VERTIS SITA trial, Ertugliflozin was administered in combination with sitagliptin in comparison to placebo with sitagliptin. Lower blood sugars were reported in Diabetes Type 2 patients who were taking Ertugliflozin.

Do the Drugs have any Side Effects?

Patients treated using drugs in Ertugliflozin’s class, sliflozin, have exhibited a few side effects. One of the effects reported is a condition known as KETOACIDOSIS. This is a serious life-threatening condition reported in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients. This is a condition that also requires urgent hospitalization.

If Ketoacidosis is detected, Ertugliflozin (Steglatro) should not be administered again. Patients should undergo keen examination before Steglatro is administered. Before initiating Steglatro risk factors such as pancreatic insulin deficiency from any cause, caloric restriction, and alcohol abuse should be taken into account.

Moreover, intravascular volume contraction has been reported in patients using Steglatro. It can also cause renal impairment. Acute kidney injury has also been reported in patients receiving sodium- glucose co-transporter (SGLT2) inhibitors. Factors that may predispose patients to acute kidney injury have to be considered before initiating steglatro. Ertugliflozin (Steglatro) should be discontinued immediately if acute kidney injury occurs and treatment should also be administered urgently.

Renal function should be evaluated before Ertugliflozin (Steglatro) is administered. This is because Ertugliflozin (Steglatro) increases serum creatinine and decreases eGFR which causes renal impairment.

Serious urinary tract infections including urosepsis and pyelonephritis have been reported in patient treated with Ertugliflozin (Steglatro) in clinical trials. Patients should be examined for urinary tract infection symptoms and should be treated urgently.

Even though Ertugliflozin (Steglatro) has not been linked to increased risk of lower limb amputation, factors that may predispose a patient to lower limb amputation should be considered and patients should be informed about it. This is because it has been observed that there is an increased risk of lower limb amputation in patients using SGLT2 inhibitors.

A lower dose of insulin or insulin secretagogue should be administered. This is because Ertugliflozin (Steglatro) may increase the risk of hypoglycemia when used in combination with insulin and/or an insulin secretagogue. Other risks and side effects include genital mycotic infections.

European Medicines Agency is still reviewing Ertugliflozin (Steglatro). However, it’s expected to be available in the USA in early 2018.

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Benefits of Chia Seeds for Diabetes

Several reports suggest that chia seeds are highly beneficial for diabetics. But, how does it really work?

If you have a loved one who is diabetic or you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you must have heard about the importance of exercise and diet for diabetes. There are numerous reports and evidence about people who have been able to control type 2 diabetes or at least improve their health by adhering to the right diet and exercise. Therefore, we cannot deny the fact that proper nutrition helps improve the health of diabetics.

What is Chia Seed?

Chia is one of a few complete protein plants and is commonly found growing naturally in Central America, Guatemala, and Mexico. It is also known as California Sage, California Chia or Salvia Hispanic.

Benefits of Chia SeedsChia seeds are very rich in minerals, proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, omega-3 fats and fiber. This is the main reason why it’s considered a super-food. This basically means that it’s a nutrient-rich food with numerous health benefits. More and more people are consuming chia seeds as they come aware of its benefits resulting from its nutritional value.

The number of people (including children) being diagnosed with diabetes worldwide is growing at an alarming rate. However, rather than resigning yourself to simply live with this debilitating disease, you should understand that there are ways to control and manage this diabetes and eating chia seeds is just one of them.

Chia Seeds Nutritional Profile

One of the main reasons why chia is so beneficial is because it’s rich in minerals, omega-3, vitamins, protein and fiber.

For instance 28 grams (one ounce) of chia seeds contains:

  • 6 grams fiber
  • 137 calories
  • 4 grams protein
  • 3 grams carbohydrates
  • 6 grams fat
  • 65 milligrams phosphorus (27% DV)
  • 6 milligram manganese (30% DV)
  • 1 milligram copper (% DV)
  • 8 milligrams potassium (1% DV)
  • 1 milligram copper (3% DV)

Chia seeds are also a rich source of antioxidants and they also contain essential fatty acids linoleic and alpha-linoleic acid; vitamins A, B, E and D; mucin; strontium; and minerals including magnesium, niacin, manganese, iodine, sulphur and iron.

What are the Benefits of Chia Seeds for Diabetes?

  • Improves Insulin and Glucose Tolerance

In a study in diet-induced obese rats, a high fructose, high fat diet was fed to one group of rats and the other group of rats was fed a high fructose, high fat diet along with chia oil and chia seeds. The group of rats that was fed a high fat, high fructose (sugar) diet developed insulin resistance, oxidative stress and glucose intolerance just like humans would if they fed on a typical diet high in sugar and processed foods.

However, the other group which was fed a high fructose, high fat diet along with chia oil and chia seeds didn’t develop such problems. In fact, it was the opposite and quite remarkable. Chia seeds helped improve insulin and glucose resistance and restore their bodies’ antioxidant system.

  • Reduce Diabetes Swelling – Chia Reduces Inflammation

Numerous studies show that inflammation is the main cause of many health conditions including diabetes. One of the main nutrients that have been extensively studied for anti-inflammatory effects is omega-3. Chia seed is rich in Omega -3 which comes from alpha-linoleic acid. Although alpha-linoleic acid does not convert to EPA and DHA (usable forms), as well as eating fish such as salmon, it still provides benefits.

On the other hand, chia is rich in dietary fiber which is also an anti-inflammatory agent and this contributes to chia’s anti-inflammatory power.

  • Rich in Anti-Oxidants

The high antioxidant capacity of chia seeds prevents the sensitive fats from going rancid. Anti-oxidants also help prevent oxidative stress and free radicals and damage to the body. Remember, free radicals damage body cells and lead to the development of various conditions. Chia seeds donate stable molecules to free radicals in order to make them normal once again and prevent further damage and decline in health.

  • Improves Cardiovascular Risk Factors

A randomized control trial conducted in 2007 took two groups of people with type 2 diabetes and gave one group 37 grams of wheat and the other group was given 37 grams of chia seeds per day for 12 weeks.

The group that was given chia had a reduction hs—CRP of 40 percent (an inflammatory agent that is commonly seen in cardiovascular disease), a reduction in SBP (systolic blood pressure) and a decrease in A1C. Reductions in CRP and SBP indicate significant improvements especially in cardiovascular risk factors.

Research shows that chia does not have any harmful effects for diabetics. Therefore, it’s perfectly fine to include it in your every other day or every day diet routine.

Check out some other natural remedies for diabetes here!

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Symptoms of Diabetes in Toddlers

Diabetes in toddlers is a serious condition which occurs when their pancreas is not producing enough insulin. Insulin is a very important hormone in transportation and absorption of glucose in an infant’s body. This in turn leads to excess glucose and sugar levels in the toddler’s body. Signs of diabetes in babies are hard to pinpoint because it’s hard for toddlers to let their parents know that something is wrong. Therefore, as a parent you should be on the lookout for various signs that may indicate that your baby has diabetes.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Toddlers

  • Fatigue When a child is suffering from diabetes, sugar in their blood stream is not being converted to energy. Therefore, the baby remains constantly tired or fatigued.
  • Increased urination. This occurs because the child’s body needs to get rid of excess glucose and sugar through urine. You will notice that your baby may be urinating more than usual or even started wetting the bed again for older babies.
  • Excessive thirst. Body tissues of a child suffering from undiagnosed diabetes lose a lot of fluid. This leads to the baby having excessive thirst. Some may crave for sweet, cold drinks.
  • Weight loss. A child with undiagnosed diabetes may experience sudden and rapid weight loss. This is because the body can’t use energy from sugar thus experiencing muscle and fat loss.
  • Increased appetite. A diabetic child’s body is deprived of energy because of the low insulin. This registers in the brain as starvation so the undiagnosed child experiences the feeling of extreme hunger so he/she tends to eat excessively.
  • Eyesight problems. An undiagnosed child may experience blurred vision. High blood sugar level causes fluids to be pulled from body tissues such as eye lenses. This will cause eyesight problems though a toddler may not know this because they still don’t know what normal is.
  • Yeast infections. This may show up as a very bad diaper rash especially in girls.
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis. This is the buildup of ketones which are acidic by products. It happens when the body starts to burn far for energy because the child’s body can’t break down glucose due to low insulin.

Other advanced signs and symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes to look out for may include vomiting, stomach pains, fast breathing, rapid heart rate, low body temperature flushed face and loss of consciousness. It’s also essential for parents to check for fruity breath odor. Undiagnosed diabetes in a child can also make them irritable or even exhibit quick mood changes.

symptoms of diabetes in toddlersIf you notice some of these symptoms in your child you should consult a doctor immediately. This is because the sooner it is diagnosed the earlier the treatment will start thus increasing the chances of your baby to live a normal, healthy life.

What is a Normal Blood Sugar Level for a Toddler?

Diabetes in Toddlers Warning SignsRandom blood sugar test. This is the main screening test to check whether your toddler has diabetes Type 1. A sample of blood is taken at a random time in the day, not taking into account the last time they ate. A random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 11.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), or higher suggests diabetes.

diabetes in toddlers warning signsGlycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. The A1C test gives an indication of your toddler’s average blood sugar level over the past few months. This test specifically measures the blood sugar percentage attached to the oxygen carrying protein in the red blood cells. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates diabetes.

symptoms of diabetes in babies infantsFasting blood sugar test. You child will fast over night prior to this blood sample is taken. A fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) or higher indicates type 1 diabetes.

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Worms for Treatment of Diabetes

Worms Could Be The Weapon In The Fight Against Diabetes

Parasitic worms (helminths) could help fight autoimmune diseases such as lupus, type 1 diabetes (TID), rheumatoid arthritis, and crohn’s disease. Worms are small multicellular organisms that reside in human intestines.

Rutgers immunologist William Gause published an article in Nature Reviews Immunology reporting that the presence of the worms through centuries of human evolution has led to humans developing an immune response known as type 2 immunity.

This immune response includes immune regulator pathways that control harmful inflammatory responses that can contribute to various autoimmune diseases.

 How can Parasitic Worms help Prevent Autoimmune Diseases?

According to the researchers, the immune response seems to have developed as a way for the body to rapidly heal wounds caused by the parasites. Components of type 2 immunity may be the future weapon for enhancing the wound healing process. This response also triggers vital regulatory networks that prevent harmful immune responses and inflammation that tend to worsen tissue injury.

The researchers now want to find a way to harness the components of type 2 immunity in order to target the control of inflammation that contributes to autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes.

Gause says that the harmful inflammation responses also contribute to other diseases such as metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease. Inflammation has also been linked to fibrosis and allergic reactions that may be caused by titanium shavings flaking away from artificial joints and settling in the body.

Therefore, finding a new way to stimulate the regulatory components of type 2 immunity may provide a new set of tools to prevent and control harmful inflammatory responses associated with different diseases.

New Treatments for Diabetes The Hygiene Hypothesis

According to the study by Gause and his colleagues, helminth byproducts or even live helminthes may be introduced into the patient’s body on a short-term basis in order to train weak or compromised immune systems. According to a study conducted by Gause and his colleagues in 2012, the introduction of parasitic helminthes in mice for 2 weeks stimulated their immune systems to produce signaling molecules or cytokines which gave them protection against T1D (Type 1 Diabetes).

These findings mirror human experience especially in developing world where worm (helminth) infection is quite common but the incidence if type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases is extremely low.

Best Natural Cures for DiabetesThis means that the low incidence of helminth infection in industrialized nations may compromise the development of vital regulatory networks that are responsible for controlling harmful inflammation.

According to Gause, the end result of this process is increased incidence of a wide variety of diseases associated with harmful inflammatory responses.

Therefore, if we find a controlled and effective way to tap the benefits that worms seem to provide to the immune system, it’s possible that we wouldn’t have to endure the tradeoff between inflammatory diseases and clean living.

Latest Treatments for Diabetes World-first Clinical Trial to Cure Diabetes with Hookworms

This word-first clinical trial will be conducted in Cairns and it aims to combat type 2 diabetes by infecting young overweight women with parasitic worms.

Researches from James Cook University are recruiting young female volunteers for this new research project in which hookworms will be used as possible therapy to improve the overall health for people at risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. This comes after research in mice found that infecting the animals with helminth can protect them against diabetes by stimulating the immune system to release anti-inflammatory molecules.

The 2-year study will be carried out by scientists from the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and JCU’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine. The study aims to examine the effect of hookworm infestation on young women at risk of diabetes in an attempt to replicate similar results in humans.

The researchers will inoculate young overweight women (aged 18 to 44) with hookworm larva and monitor their health through regular medical assessments.

According to Dr. Paul Giacomin, the worms are masters of controlling inflammation. He believes that this clinical trial is critical especially for determining whether researchers should start studying the active molecules that helminth release into the body to help control metabolism and whether these molecules can be used as a drug for preventing metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

The researchers also said that type 2 diabetes and obesity are increasing at an alarming rate in Australia’s population hence leading to disability and death from infections, kidney failure and heart disease.

Read about the Best Natural cures for Diabetes HERE!

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Top 5 New Diabetes Devices Expected In 2017

The soon-to-launch diabetes products have made this period quite exciting especially in diabetes history. Progress is happening faster that we had anticipated. This new slew of products will make living with diabetes less of a hassle by improving glucose outcomes with fewer fingersticks and injections, less data overload, less math less worry and less pain.

New diabetes Technology 2017 Most emerging diabetes technology shows great potential in improving the quality of life for people with diabetes. We were astonished in September, 2016 when the FDA approved the world’s first sensor/pump system that doses insulin on its own. This new system known as Medtronic Diabetes’ MiniMed 670G has paved the path for new diabetes technology and many similar products. Most emerging diabetes technology and devices show great potential especially in improving glucose outcomes that really matter, among them hyperglycemia, time-in-range, A1c and hypoglycemia.

Therefore, we highly anticipate that this year will bring a number of milestone devices such as the OneTouch Via and the Medtronic MiniMed 670G system. Let’s explore some of the most exciting devices and tech expected to be available to the public in 2017:

  1. Abbott’s Freestyle Libre and Freestyle Libre Pro

The novel FreeStyle Libre FGM (Flash Glucose Monitoring) technology is expected to hit the United States market in 2017. The real-time version is already available in Europe and the Pro (blinded) version of the 14-day glucose sensor that doesn’t require any fingersticks is expected to come to the United States imminently. Once inserted, the sensor measures glucose levels every 15 minutes without the need for patient interaction or the need to do fingerpricks manually in order to calibrate the device. This will enable doctors to better understand blood sugar patterns. Abbott Freestyle Libre combines non-invasive technology with existing continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and fingerstick testing.

Freestyle Libre also uses a sensor but it comes with a small hand held device to view trends and data in real time. Therefore, the system consists of a round white sensor that can be conveniently worn on the skin and a small receiver which is waved over the sensor in order to wirelessly pick up blood glucose readings.

This eliminates the need for test strips which can be very expensive. The Professional Version of Abbot Freestyle version received FDA clearance for doctor’s offices in 2016. The patient’s community is also quite psyched up because the

  1. Dexcom Touchscreen Receiver with Android capability

In a bid to improve the G5 CGM experience, Dexcom has submitted a handful of new exciting tools to the FDA for approval. These tools include:

  • Reduced-size G5 transmitter: The new transmitter will be smaller and more compact than the current version.
  • Touchscreen receiver: This is an upgraded version of what Dexcom is currently offering. The new Dexcom receiver will improve on speaker and durability issues.
  • One button insertion device: The prototype images available show that the new one-button insertion device resembles the Medtronic Enlite Sensor Inserter and it can also be operated with just one hand.
  • Next Generation G6 sensor: The G6 might be launched in late 2017. This will be a significant step forward in continuous glucose monitoring technology with 10 days of comfortable wear instead of 7 and one day calibration instead of the current two. Next Generation G6 Sensor will also have improved reliability and accuracy. We are quite optimistic given how fast the FDA has approved D-tech especially in recent years.

With the new Dexcom Touchscreen Receiver, android users will be able to view and analyze their CGm data on their phones via an Android app.

  1. Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G

This revolutionary insulin pump uses a hybrid closed loop system to obtain data from CGM in order to tweak the basal rates via the pump. Although the system is not fully automated, it eases the burden associated with the care and management of diabetes by reducing the frequency of low and high blood sugar events. Minimed 670G received FDA approval in September 2016. It features BD FlowSmart technology which comes with a new side opening to the system’s catheter in order for insulin to flow better.

The two openings help prevent insulin flow interruptions and silent occlusions, which cause high blood glucose but usually go unnoticed. It also comes with key changes including a smaller insertion needle, a multi-position connector for connecting the on-body set to the tubing and a sliding needle that prevents accidental needlesticks.

This first-of-a-kind system adjusts insulin delivery according to CGM values in order to keep the patient as close as possible to the set target (120 mg/dl). Minimed 670G has a color screen and vertical design.

  1. Tandem’s t:slim X2 Insulin Pump

This is a new insulin pump that resembles the t:slim. However it comes with a manufacturing change, a new two way Bluetooth radio and it’s also capable of remote online updates. Therefore, users will be able to add the new Dexcom G5 integration once the FDA approves it. Once Tandem’s automated insulin delivery algorithms get approval, they will also be added to t:slim X2 pump without paying an upgrade fee or waiting for years for a new system.

The Bluetooth radio enables the device to talk to multiple external devices, for example, a smartphone app and G5 CGM transmitter. The system also includes the predictive low blood sugar capacity which enables users to update their devices in order to allow that functionality.

  1. One Touch Via

LifeScan’s One Touch Via is a super slim, bolus only wearable device that holds up to 200 units of insulin. The device can be worn for 3 days and by simply squeezing two buttons you’ll discreetly deliver a 2-unit bolus. This on-demand insulin delivery system allows type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients to deliver meal time dosages of insulin anywhere, anytime. Reports indicate that it’s a water-resistant patch that allows you to take 2-unit boluses of fast acting insulin without the need for separate controller units. Expect to see LifeScan’s One Touch via by end-year.

There’s a lot more happening for the diabetes community in 2017 especially on the research and advocacy side when it comes to critical issues like affordability and access. We are fully committed to keeping you posted.

Turn your Smart Phone into a Glucose Meter!

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Top 5 Benefits of Turmeric Milk for Diabetes

What Spices Help Lower Blood Sugar?

Studies show that turmeric may lower cholesterol and blood sugar, relieve pain, protect your kidneys and eyes, improve your sex life and prevent cancer. About 2 to 5% of this spice is the orange/yellow powder known as curcumin. Turmeric, which is derived from the root of Curcuma Longa (ginger family), has been used for centuries in chinese and Indian (Ayurvedic) medicine. Although turmeric tastes good especially with the right recipe, the taste usually has a bite to it. However, turmeric milk is a good option especially for people who are not curry fans. It is commonly used for improved liver function, digestion, pain relief, and for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

What is Turmeric Milk?

what spices help lower blood sugar, what spices are good for Diabetes Turmeric milk (golden milk) is an infusion of fresh turmeric root or turmeric powder in milk. It is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for specific diseases. Besides being easy to prepare, turmeric milk is also highly palatable because the milk takes most of the spiciness (the bold flavor) out of turmeric.

Curcumin May Treat Aspects of Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

A scientific study from McGill University and the Beijing University of Chinese medicine reviewed numerous studies of Curcumin. Amazingly, studies on diabetic mice and rats show that curcumin could improve Type 2 Diabetes through at least 10 different mechanisms, including:

  • Reducing liver glycogen production
  • Reducing liver glucose production
  • Stimulating increased glucose uptake
  • Increasing activation of AMPK
  • Suppressing the inflammatory state induced by hyperglycemia
  • Improving pancreatic cell function
  • Increasing AKT phosphorylation
  • Stimulating secretion of insulin from pancreatic tissue
  • Promoting PPAR-gamma ligand-binding activity
  • Reducing insulin resistance and increasing insulin receptor β

Human clinical research conducted on pre-diabetic and diabetic patients show that curcumin has the following benefits:

  • Improving beta cell function
  • Glucose lowering effect
  • Improved oxidation and utilization of fatty acids

How does Turmeric Milk help Prevent or Manage Diabetes?

Let’s explore the medicinal properties of turmeric milk and how they help treat and manage diabetes:

  1. Turmeric milk Counteracts Inflammation

Turmeric milk demonstrates anti-inflammatory properties by modulating activity of various proteins. The mechanisms involved include:

  • Down-regulating the activity of COX-2 by suppressing nuclear factor Kappa B.
  • Reducing activity of proteins and enzymes that promote inflammation.
  • Inhibiting production of various inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 beta, IL-6, and TNF- α

These mechanisms suppress inflammation caused by diabetes hence preventing its proliferation. According to a study published in 2014 by Biomedical and Environmental sciences, supplementation with curcuminoids leads to reduction in proteins and enzymes associated with inflammation especially in diabetic patients. Therefore, turmeric milk is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that reduces inflammation in chronic illnesses including diabetes.

  1. Reducing oxidative stress

Oxidative stress plays a great role in the pathogenesis of the complications of diabetes and other macro and micro-vascular diseases. Oxidative stress is caused by imbalance between the body’s antioxidant defenses and the overall production of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). Reactive Oxygen Species are chemically reactive species that contain oxygen and are vital to the normal functioning of cells in the body. However, ROS levels tend to increase drastically under adverse conditions hence causing inflammation and cell death.

Diabetes causes increased uptake of glucose in adipose tissue and endothelial cells. However under high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemic) conditions, increased glucose uptake leads to excess production of Reactive Oxygen Species which initiates inflammatory pathways, causes oxidative damage to fats and lipid peroxidation (oxidative degeneration of fats).

Turmeric scavenges ROS, increases the level of antioxidant enzymes in the body and inhibits lipid peroxidation. This antioxidant property of turmeric reduces oxidative stress which is commonly observed in diabetes. Studies in humans have proven that curcumin is a strong antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of heart diseases and oxidative stress in diabetes.

  1. Lowering blood sugar levels

Curcumin is an anti-hyperglycemic agent (lowers elevated blood glucose levels in diabetes). A study by ghorbani et.al shows that curcumin works in different ways to lower elevated blood sugar levels. Some of these ways are:

  • Stimulating production of insulin
  • Improving the activity of pancreatic cells
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving insulin sensitivity
  • Stimulating insulin utilization by the body
  • Reducing insulin production by the liver

Curcumin regulates metabolic disorders by acting on and reducing Adipocyte fatty-acid binding protein.

The same research group conducted another study where overweight diabetes patients were given 300 mg curcuminoids or a placebo for three months. Curcumin reduced insulin resistance index and blood sugar supplementation. Nano-curcumin supplementation also helps in reducing triglyceride levels, blood sugar levels, BMI and even glycated hemoglobin levels.

  1. Regenerate and repair pancreas cells

Recent experimental studies show that curcumin in turmeric milk is beneficial in auto-immune diabetes because it regulates the action of basic immune cells that destroy pancreatic beta cells that are necessary for the production of insulin. Besides helping lower blood sugar levels, studies show that curcumin also helps to repair and regenerate damages islet cells in the pancreas and this is very beneficial especially in T1D (Type 1 Diabetes).

  1. It improves wound healing

Curcumin is a wound healing agent which speeds up the wound healing process in diabetics even when applied to wounds topically. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin help speed up impaired wound healing even in diabetic foot ulcers.

Turmeric is a natural antibacterial, antiseptic agent and a great disinfectant. Therefore, you can speed up the healing process by simply sprinkling turmeric powder on wounds. Turmeric milk helps heal wounds from the inside too.

Although curcumin offers numerous benefits for diabetes, it is rather hard for the body to absorb. Moreover, it is easily cleared from the body. Adding black pepper to turmeric milk is highly beneficial because it contains piperine which keeps curcumin in the body longer.

More Homeopathic Treatments for Diabetes.

What Spices help lower Blood Sugar.

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Type 1 Diabetes Vaccine headed For Human Trials

A Vaccine for Type 1 Diabetes – Clinical Trials to begin 2018!

It is estimated that by the year 2050 in the United States alone, more than 5 million people will be living with Type 1 Diabetes. Since this condition is neither curable nor preventable, people who have been diagnosed with the condition must monitor their blood sugar levels constantly and manage them through activity, diet and insulin injections in order to avoid complications which are usually life-threatening.

Is Preventing Diabetes Actually Possible?

Although preventing or reversing diabetes might sound like a dream, the idea of a diabetes vaccine has been around for decades. However, a truly effective vaccine for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) has remained out of scientists’ grasp. In order to understand the search for a Type 1 Diabetes vaccine, it’s essential to first understand how Type 1 Diabetes works. T1D was initially known as juvenile diabetes mainly because it usually shows up within the early years of life when the body’s immune system destroys beta cells in pancreatic tissue.

Diabetes Vaccine and Our Immune System

Our immune system is a very essential part especially when it comes to our survival in the biosphere which is filled with dangerous toxins, viruses and bacteria. When our immune cells detect an invader, they immediately attack and destroy the foreign cells. However, in some cases, specialized immune cells go haywire and mistake beta cells for invaders. This misguided assault is responsible for type 1 diabetes. Over time, the body’s ability to produce insulin is also impaired.

A vaccine that could prevent this autoimmune disease in children has been in the making for decades and is ready to start clinical trials in the year 2018. Although this is not a cure that will eliminate this disease, the vaccine might reduce the number of new diabetes cases.

Researchers at the University of Tampere in Finland have provided evidence linking a virus known as coxsackievirus B1 to the autoimmune reaction that triggers the body’s own immune system to destroy beta cells in pancreatic tissue. Type 1 Diabetes is the decreased ability of the pancreas to produce insulin which helps our cells to absorb sugar out of the blood. This is usually the result of beta cells being destroyed by the immune system early in life.

There are various ways this process can be triggered and one example in infection by enteroviruses which can also cause meningitis, myocarditis, hand, foot and mouth disease, and polio. In 2014, a team of virologists from the University of Tampere led by Heikki Hyoty conducted a pair of studies on children with T1D to show that a coxsackievirus in the B group was associated with Type 1 Diabetes.

Studies have shown that enteroviruses are very common in newborns. On the other hand, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has established that about 25% of the 444 enterovirus infections in the United States are caused by CVB1 (coxsackievirus B1). For some of these children, it’s the start of an incurable condition.

vaccine for Type 1 DiabetesAn estimate from the data shows that less than 5% of the children infected with CVB1 go on to develop T1D (Type 1 Diabetes). Although this does not seem like a lot, it suggests that hundreds of children around the world develop T1D each year. Additionally if the other CVB members also contribute to the condition, which they might, this number could be much higher. However, this newly developed diabetes vaccine might put a stop to this. In fact, Hyoty says that this vaccine has already been proven to be safe and effective on mice. Therefore, the process has taken a huge leap forward because the next stage is simply studying this new vaccine on humans.

Although the pre-clinical trials for Diabetes Type 1 Vaccine is the first step, the next step involves testing the vaccine on healthy humans to help identify any potential complications. This newly developed vaccine might also reduce other dangerous enterovirus infections.

“As a bonus, the vaccine might protect patients from infections and diseases that are caused by enteroviruses including myocarditis, ear infection, meningitis and common cold,“ says Hyoty.

However, it could take another 8 years before we know whether the vaccine actually does what it is supposed to do. Meanwhile, groups such as the JDRF (juvenile Diabetes research Foundation) are funding research into discovery of better ways to treat and prevent T1D by finding new ways to regenerate cells that produce insulin or by improving modern technology that can mimic the function of the pancreas.

Researchers recently identified immature cells in the human pancreas which can be stimulated to take up the job of beta cells that have been destroyed.

If people are given the vaccine early enough, it might actually prevent them from developing diabetes by teaching the immune system not to kill the beta cells. Researchers have also identified warning signs at the molecular level that can be used to tell when the immune system is getting ready to attack the pancreas even before the symptoms appear. This makes it possible for physicians to screen people who are categorized as high risk individuals.

It is also possible that a diabetes vaccine could reverse or halt beta cell decline in type 1 diabetes patients in order to reduce their need for insulin injections. Let’s hope there’s some good news on this soon!

Read on to Help your Child with Diabetes, live a normal life!

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Top 10 Signs and Symptoms of Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia is a condition where a person’s blood sugar level is too high. Although this can happen to anyone, it is of particular concern to diabetes patients. Hyperglycemia is caused by resistance to insulin or loss of insulin producing cells. In most cases, the body is usually unable to produce an adequate amount of insulin to metabolize glucose in the bloodstream. This can happen when people with diabetes eats to much of the wrong food or forget to take their diabetes medication.

Self-monitoring and good management of blood sugar levels is the key to preventing hyperglycemia especially for people who’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes. If you’ve not been diagnosed with diabetes, you should report any symptoms of hyperglycemia to a doctor in order to be tested for diabetes and other conditions that can lead to hyperglycemia. High blood sugar should be controlled in order to prevent chronic hyperglycemia and complications that may be caused by the condition.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Hyperglycemia Include:

  1. Increased Hunger

symptoms of high blood sugar

This condition is also known as polyphagia and it simply means that you’re experiencing increased hunger. Therefore, you may find yourself feeling hungry and wanting to snack shortly after eating even when you had previously managed to easily limit your snacking especially between meals. Polyphagia is caused by the reduced ability of your body to metabolize glucose. Since glucose is a very important nutrient for all cells in our bodies, when they become malnourished, they usually signal the body that they need more food to maintain proper functioning, resulting in feelings of hunger.

  1. Increased thirst

The medical term for this symptom is polydipsia. The kidneys normally absorb sugar in the bloodstream in order to recycle it and make it readily available to supply our blood cells. However, when there’s too much sugar in the blood stream, the kidneys are overworked but they may still be unable to keep up. When the kidneys are unable to absorb glucose, they discard it by simply excreting it in urine. This usually results in increased urination which often causes dehydration and you may end up feeling thirsty.

  1. Increased Urination

This symptoms that is impossible or very difficult to ignore. The medical term for increased urination is polyuria. It simply refers to a noticeable increase in the volume of urine passed, frequency of urination, or both. Hyperglycemia results in excess sugar in the blood stream causing the kidneys to discard it in urine. Therefore, the kidneys must work extra hard and this inevitably results in more urine or frequent urination.

  1. Blurred Vision and Eye Damage

High blood sugar levels cause the lenses in our eyes to swell. On the other hand any change in the size or shape of the lenses causes significant changes in vision which usually result in blurry vision. This problem should be addressed as soon as it arises because it can cause permanent changes in your vision.

  1. Weight Loss

Although weight loss does not sound like a logical outcome especially when you think of excess glucose in the bloodstream, it can actually happen and it makes sense when the process is broken down. Remember, the body is unable to process the glucose in the bloodstream. Therefore, the cells that need nourishment in form of glucose do not get it. The body responds by tapping into the fat reserves stored in different area in order to use it for energy. As these reserves are gradually depleted, weight loss occurs.

  1. Slow Healing Cuts and Wounds

The healing function for people with hyperglycemia can be slowed quite dramatically. Healing can be slower than normal for more than one reason. Blood vessels can become narrowed due to high glucose levels and this can reduce blood flow hence causing slower healing. The negative effect of high glucose on red blood cells can also slow the healing process. This is a very dangerous condition because wounds that take longer to heal are more susceptible to other infections.

  1. Dry Mouth

This condition is also known as xerostomia. Dry mouth can result due to the negative impact of high blood sugar levels on the salivary glands. It can cause significant difficulty with both eating and swallowing. For people who wear dentures, this condition can make it very difficult for them to keep their dentures in place and they are also more likely to develop sores. Moreover, since saliva is very important for the health of gums and teeth, people with dry moth are also more likely to develop other dental problems.

  1. Itchy or dry skin

Dry skin can be caused by the reduction of moisture due to high blood sugar levels. Since nerve damage is also another potential complication of high blood sugar levels, it can also interfere with the body’s ability to perspire and this also dries the skin. It is very important to understand that dry skin is generally more prone to itching and cracking, which increases the risk of injury. The reduced ability of the patient’s body to heal itself can make this a very serious condition because of the high risk of infection.

  1. Irregular Heartbeat

Irregular heartbeat is also known as cardiac arrhythmia. High blood glucose levels can deplete the supply of potassium, which is very important especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy and regular heartbeat. This is the primary reason that higher blood sugar levels can cause cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

  1. Seizures

This is a potentially dangerous and frightening symptom. Seizures are triggered by hyperglycemia in some people. Since normal brain function mainly relies on a steady supply of nutrient-rich and oxygen-rich blood, hyperglycemia can interfere with the delivery of oxygen and vital nutrients hence triggering seizures in some individuals. However, it’s essential to understand that the likelihood of seizures varies from person to person.

Your blood sugar level may rise if you forget or skip your oral glucose-lowering medication or insulin, eat too many carbohydrates, are ill, are under stress, have an infection, exercise less or become inactive, or when you engage in strenuous physical activity when your insulin levels are low and blood glucose levels are high. However, you shouldn’t worry about hyperglycemia if you keep your blood glucose levels under control by following your exercise program, meal plan and medicine schedule.

Read here for more on Blood Sugar Levels!

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Can Moderate Consumption of Alcohol Lower Diabetes Risk?

According to researchers in Denmark, drinking alcohol – three to four days per week, can reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Researchers in Denmark examined alcohol consumption patterns and found that people who drink moderately on three to four days per week are less likely to develop diabetes compared with abstainers. Wine is particularly beneficial because it is rich in compounds that help maintain blood sugar balance. The findings were published in the journal Diabetologia and the study was conducted by researchers from the University of Southern Denmark.

Diabetes arises when the body’s ability to use or make insulin is impaired. If this chronic disease is not controlled, it can result in hyperglycemia and this can cause serious damage to various organs in the body especially the eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels. The proportion of people living with diabetes worldwide has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to .5% in 2014.

In 2015, 1.6 million deaths were directly attributed to diabetes and high blood sugar was responsible for another 2.2 million deaths.

So Can Alcohol Lower Diabetes Risk?

can alcohol lower diabetes risk

Studies that have explored the relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of developing diabetes have established that moderate to light consumption is linked to lower risk compared to abstaining. However, most of these studies have only examined the volume of consumption without looking at how the volume of consumption is spread over time.

The Danish researches also noted that although other studies explored drinking patterns such as number of drinking days each week and the effects of various types of alcoholic, their findings were inconclusive. Therefore, they decided to examine the link between alcohol consumption patterns and the risk of developing diabetes in the Danish population. The researchers analyzed responses from a total of 70,551 participants (41,847 women and 28,704 men) without diabetes. All the participants had answered questions about health and lifestyle and provided detailed reports abouts their alcohol drinking habits.

The participants were keenly followed until 2012 (for an average of 4.9 years) during which the researchers found out from the national diabetes register that 87 women and 859 men had developed diabetes.

Yes – The Types of alcoholic Drink Matters!

From the information, the researchers also determined drinking patterns, average weekly intake, consumption of different beverages and binge drinking. The team asked participants about their consumption patterns of specific types of beverages and their frequency of consuming alcohol.

Therefore, the researchers were able to classify participants into categories:

  • current and lifetime abstainers;
  • people who drank on 5 to 7 days each week;
  • on 3 to 4 days per week;
  • on 1 to 2 days each week;
  • and on less than 1 day each week.

A standard alcoholic drink in Denmark contains 12 grams of pure alcohol. This is less than the standard drink in the U.S which is 0.6 ounces (14 grams) of ethanol. The team also assessed binge drinking (drinking 5 or more drinks in one session). Binge drinking was classified into 3 categories:

  • more than one day per week,
  • less than 1 day per week,
  • and never.

The team also categorized drinking patterns for 3 types of alcoholic drinks: spirits, beer and wine. These drinks were assessed as: 7 or more drinks per week; between 1 and 6 drinks per week; and less than 1 drink each week. However, for men this category was further divided into: 7 to 13 drinks per week, and 14 or more alcoholic drinks each week.

When analyzing the data to determine the link with diabetes, the team adjusted the information to make allowance for the effect of other aspects that might influence it. Some of these factors include:

  • sex,
  • age,
  • smoking,
  • education level,
  • BMI (Body Mass Index),
  • blood pressure (previous or current),
  • leisure activities,
  • family history of diabetes,
  • and type of diet (such as fiber levels, fish, vegetables and fruit).

The study showed that participants who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol in terms of average consumption per week had the lowest diabetes risk.

Women who drank 9 drinks per week had a 58% lower risk of developing diabetes, and men who consumed an average of 14 alcoholic drinks each week had 43% lower diabetes risk compared with abstainers.

After analyzing drinking patterns, the researchers also found that participants who drank alcohol on three to four days each week had the lowest risk of diabetes. For women, the risk of developing diabetes was 32% lower and for men it was 27% lower compared with participants who only consumed alcohol on less than one day per week.

However, analysis of binge drinking data did not show any clear link to the risk of developing diabetes. The Danish researchers say that this might be due to the low number of participants who actually reported binge drinking. This made it difficult for the team to produce meaningful statistical result.

So – Which Alcoholic Drink is Best for Diabetes?               

WINE

When it comes to the type of alcoholic drink, just as previous studies have found out, the team also discovered that high to moderate wine consumption is linked to a significantly lower diabetes risk.

They attributed this to the fact that red wine contains polyphenols, which help control blood sugar.

Compared with consuming less than one each week, drinking at least 7 drinks of wine per week is linked to a 25% to 30% lower risk of diabetes.

BEER

On the other hand, in terms of drinking beer, the study showed that men who drink between 1 and 6 per week had a 21% lower risk of diabetes, compared with men who drink less than one drink per week. However, for women, the study showed no ties to the risk of diabetes.

SPIRITS

In terms of spirit consumption, the team established that there’s no significant tie between the amount of spirits men drank and the risk of developing diabetes. The study also found that women who consume 7 or more drinks of spirits each week had an 83% higher risk of diabetes compared with those who had less than one drink each week.

These finding suggest that the frequency of drinking alcohol is linked with the risk of developing diabetes. Moreover, consuming alcohol over 3 to 4 days is linked with the lowest diabetes risk.

Learn more about Alcohol and Diabetes!

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