The CDiabetes News Brief: September 29 to October 5, 2014

Compiled and edited by Elizabeth Klein, MPhil


Diabetes complication raises your risk of falling

heelsIf you’re over 50, it’s important for you to make sure that you stay safe and healthy. Lots people over this age seriously hurt themselves when they fall, especially on stairs, and the problem is worse if they have diabetes. New research shows that Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN), a condition that affects your nerves and brain, can cause you to get dizzy or lose balance when climbing stairs. Researchers used special scans to test people’s balance and found that those with DPN had a harder time staying steady when climbing stairs.
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Fewer people are using a special government health program

WIC LogoWIC is a government program designed to help poor parents feed their children. It allows parents to buy healthier food than they would normally be able to afford, and can be used for things like whole wheat bread or high-quality baby formula. However, the number of parents using the service has shrunk, even though they may need it more than ever. Poverty experts say that this is because WIC uses an outdated paper check system, which is sometimes hard for people to use. Some states, like Texas, have switched to an electronic system that has been more successful.
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Metformin connected to thyroid problems in people with diabetes

metformin-pills822Diabetes often causes serious health problems when you also have another condition, like hypothyroidism. A common diabetes medicine, called metformin, has been shown to increase the risk of problems for people who have hypothyroidism. These people have a 55% higher chance of low TSH, a hormone that helps your thyroid work well. In a recent study, people who had this condition and took metformin had dangerously low levels of TSH more often then people with healthy thyroids. However, some experts say the study is not enough proof that metformin is dangerous, so more research is needed.
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Rates of diabetes are going down

line-graph-downType 2 diabetes is becoming more and more common, and healthcare providers consider it a serious problem for people all over the world. Because of this, new ways to slow down or stop the disease from spreading are being looked at all the time. Between 2008 and 2012, the number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes slowed down a lot. Researchers hope this is a sign of more improvement to come, especially for people from poor or minority communities, who showed less improvement than others.
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Intensive blood glucose lowering doesn’t reduce risk of stroke

checking glucoseHaving diabetes increases your chances of having other, serious problems, such as strokes and heart disease. This makes it especially important to take care of yourself if you have diabetes, and special treatment to lower blood pressure is a good way to do that for some people. However, research showed that similar treatments for lowering blood glucose were not as effective, and didn’t lower the risk of stroke or heart attack for the 8,500 people in the test. There were still some benefits to lowering blood glucose, but the method was not good for preventing either strokes or heart attacks.
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Overweight and obesity worsen the effects of stress

woman-hand-squeezing-stress-ballStress is known to make health problems worse, and even increases your chances of getting serious diseases like diabetes or cancer. People who are overweight have bigger problems with stress, as excess weight can make the effects of stress worse. New research has shown that a chemical called IL-6, which was used to measure levels of stress, was higher for people in the study that were overweight. The more overweight someone was, the higher their levels of IL-6. Obesity is a growing problem across the world, and this study shows how important it is to control stress if you are overweight.
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Mixing up physical activities gives the best results for teenagers

teen-joggingOne of the biggest ways that healthcare providers help curb obesity in young people is by looking at how certain kinds of exercise will help them. New research shows that combining different kinds of physical activity during your workout can help to lose weight faster and avoid the health problems that obesity can cause. During the tests, teenagers were split into three groups. Each one did aerobics, strength training, or both together. The last group, which did both types of training together, showed the most improvement over a 26-week period.
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Working too many hours can increase diabetes risk

working-too-longSometimes, your lifestyle can affect your health in ways you don’t expect. Healthcare providers will tell you how important it is to eat well and exercise, but new research shows that your job might be just as important. Researchers looked at over 222,000 people from all over the world and found that people who worked more than 55 hours per week in certain jobs were 30% more likely to get diabetes than those who worked fewer hours. Jobs normally worked by people from poor communities, like manual labor, are those that cause problems, because of the lack of time allowed for healthy exercise and good sleep.
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Full-fat dairy helps prevent type 2 diabetes

full-fat-milkWhat you eat is an important part of staying healthy, but there is so much information out there that it can be hard to know what is right for you. Healthcare providers might now recommend you eat more full-fat dairy products than before if you have a high chance of getting diabetes, as a new study shows that it can lower your risk. 27,000 patients were tested over 14 years, and it was found that those who ate the most fat from dairy had the lowest chance of getting diabetes than others. In some cases, this was lowered by as much as 23%.
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Statins increase risk of diabetes, but might still be worth taking

taking-statinsLots of different medicines have serious side effects that can damage your health if they’re not used carefully. Even important medicines, like statins, which lower cholesterol in people who have a high chance of heart attacks, can have problems. A new study showed that using statins increases your risk of getting type 2 diabetes, though the researchers aren’t sure why this is. However, they also say that the benefits of using statins when you need them are still important. Because of this, they recommend that people who need to use statins get plenty of exercise and eat well.
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