In the News: Inhalable Medicine, Diabetes Prevention, and Depression Treatment
Inhalable diabetes medicine might be as good as insulin injections
A new type of inhaled medicine for people with diabetes might be just as effective as insulin injections. Two separate studies from the Dallas Diabetes and Endocrine Centre have shown that, over 24 weeks, Technosphere Insulin Inhalation Powder (TI for short) keeps A1C at the same levels as insulin shots, and might actually reduce weight gain in some people with type 1 diabetes. The medicine was also effective for people with type 2 diabetes who find that tablets are not enough to help them control their blood glucose.
Treating prediabetes can reduce risk of heart disease
If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, you probably know that it is very important to change your lifestyle to avoid developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that all of your hard work may help even more than healthcare providers had previously thought. Researchers from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine have published the results of a 10-year study of nearly 3,000 people with prediabetes. It showed that acting early to treat high blood glucose levels can lower the risk of heart disease. During the study, people who got treatment and didn’t develop diabetes had a 28% lower chance of getting heart disease than those who did not make healthy lifestyle changes.
ADA makes new recommendation for safe A1C levels in children
The American Diabetes Association has recently changed its blood glucose recommendations for children with type 1 diabetes. It is now suggested that the safest A1C level for those under 19 should be below 7.5%, lower than the previous level of 8.5%. This is because of new findings that show the dangers of higher A1C levels in children, including complications that were once thought to only happen in adults, such as heart and kidney disease. Many healthcare providers, however, still believe that blood glucose management should be individual to each child.
Severe stress during pregnancy might lead to obesity later in a child’s life
Aarhus University in Denmark studied almost 120,000 young men over 5 years to look at the effect that stress during pregnancy has on a child’s future obesity risk. All of the young men in the study had mothers who had experienced the death of a close family member just before or during pregnancy. It was found that those who did not receive good mental health treatment during this time had children that were more likely to gain large amounts of weight later in life. However, much more research is needed to prove this.
More evidence that eating well can prevent diabetes
A study from Harvard School of Public Health confirms that a healthy meal plan is a very important part of avoiding diabetes. The researchers used results from other studies that looked at over 140,000 people. Using a special scoring system, each person was measured based on how well they ate during the study time. Those who ate less healthy foods had as much as a 27% higher chance of getting diabetes. Those who ate better lowered their risk by almost 20%. Researchers even said that it did not matter how they ate to begin with; improving their diet always had health benefits.
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Hormones in food might contribute to high obesity levels in men
A recent study done by the University of Adelaide has shown a connection between weight gain in men and exposure to certain hormones, called xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens, often found in soy-based foods and some plastics, imitate the female hormone estrogen, which is known to cause weight gain when there is an unhealthy level in the body. Soy is found in many different foods and could be the biggest reason for hormone-based weight gain in men living in Western societies.
New text messaging system might help control blood glucose levels
An ongoing study might show the benefits of a text messaging system to help people keep track their blood glucose levels. Right now, 116 Latino people are being asked to test a system called Dulce Digital, which sends them 2 or 3 text messages a day over 6 months, asking for blood glucose levels and offering advice when needed. 35 people in the study are using the system. When compared to the 71 using only regular care, they have already been found to have much healthier A1C levels. As this test is focusing on Latino people, researchers say it could be useful to see if people from other ethnic backgrounds could benefit from this system, too.
Neighborhoods that encourage walking might benefit overall health
Two Canadian studies might point to walking as a useful way to avoid diabetes. The researchers found that people who live in neighborhoods where walking is encouraged are 3 times more likely to either walk or cycle. One of the studies shows that those who lived in these “walkable areas” have an 18% percent lower chance of developing diabetes, compared to areas that do not encourage walking. The other study also shows a lower rate of obesity and diabetes in these areas. Over the course of 10 years, the number of people who actually got diabetes in these areas dropped by 7%.
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New device might be more effective than insulin pumps
A new device being developed by a team of scientists at Boston University has been shown to be effective for controlling blood glucose levels. The device, known as a “Bionic Pancreas,” is a special pump that controls levels of insulin and a hormone called glucagon. Tests were carried out on 32 teenagers over 5 days. Then, the results were compared with regular insulin pumps. When using the device, the patients had better control over their blood glucose and needed far fewer treatments each day. However, the tests have been very small, so much more research is needed.
Depression treatment might be helpful to people with diabetes
A variety of studies over many years are showing that depression in people with type 1 diabetes might be major cause of early death. “Diabetes Distress,” a name for the collection of worries and fears that people with diabetes often feel, is connected with lots of symptoms similar to depression. Some studies show that treatment for handling this can noticeably lower the chances of early death. Though this is already well known for people with type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes patients have not been studied as much in this area, so treatments like this are less common.