The CDiabetes News Brief: November 24 to 30, 2014

Compiled and edited by Elizabeth Klein, MPhil


People with sleep apnea may lose kidney function more quickly

sleep-apneaOne common diabetes complication, or health problem connected to diabetes, is kidney disease. This is because high blood glucose levels can damage the small blood vessels in your kidneys, which makes it harder for them to do their jobs. A new study from the Medical University of South Carolina has found that if you have both kidney disease and sleep apnea–another common diabetes complication–you are at a higher risk for kidney failure. This might be because sleep apnea is connected to high blood pressure, a known factor in kidney failure.

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Some people cannot lose weight with exercise

dv1525010If you are trying to lose weight, you have probably heard that you should work more physical activity into your day. But if you’re not seeing the results you want from exercise, you’re not alone. A study recently published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that some might respond to exercise by gaining fat. This could be because of other factors besides activity (like food habits, sleep issues, stress levels and hormones). Still, the researchers noted that despite gaining fat, the study participants were still fitter after exercising more. This might mean that healthcare providers have to stop looking at BMI to see how healthy someone is, and start looking at their fitness levels.

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High fiber meal plans may be best

dietary-fiberMany people benefit from eating more fiber, which is found in fruit, vegetables, beans and whole grains. A new study might have found a surprising reason why this is. The research, which was done at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, showed that just telling people to eat more fiber got them to make other healthy changes on their own. For example, the study participants ate more fish, less salt, less sugar, and fewer overall calories after simply being told to get more fiber in their meal plan.

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High A1C may lower muscle strength

200309515-001If you have diabetes, you know that you have to keep a close eye on your blood glucose and A1C levels. (A1C measures your blood glucose control over the past 2-3 months.) New research might give you yet another reason to get regular blood tests. The study, which was published in Diabetes Care, showed that people with diabetes who often had high blood glucose were more likely to have low muscle strength. This was true even if they had a good amount of muscle mass in their bodies.

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Working at night could cause you to gain weight

working-at-nightSleep patterns, or circadian rhythms, are very important to your overall health. Aside from feeling sleepy during the day, irregular circadian rhythms can put you at risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other serious conditions. A new study has even shown that they might cause you to gain weight. Researchers at CU-Boulder looked into people who regularly work night shifts, and found that they get less physical activity and are more likely to put on weight, no matter how many calories they take in or how many hours of sleep they get. The scientists say that sleeping at night and being active during the day are important for good health.

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Antibiotic use during pregnancy could be an obesity risk factor

pregnancy-antibioticsThere are many risk factors for obesity. Some you can change, like food intake, physical activity and stress. Others you can’t change, like family history. A recent study by Columbia University looked at another risk factor that, unfortunately, we can’t change. The scientists found that people who took antibiotics during their second or third trimester put their kids at risk for obesity later in life. This may be because a good balance of gut bacteria is necessary to maintain a normal weight, and antibiotics throw off this balance before we are even born.

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Apps that keep track of calories may not be much use

phone-app-calorie-counterSmartphone apps that help you keep track of how many calories you take in are very popular weight loss tools. In fact, some healthcare providers are now suggesting one of these apps, called MyFitnessPal, to their patients. But a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has shown that the app does not make a big difference in how much weight people lose. This could be because users find it hard or annoying to type in their calories with everything they eat, and don’t enjoy using it every day. More research is needed to know for sure.

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Type 1 diabetes raises risk of death

type-1-diabetesType 1 diabetes is a serious condition that can put you at high risk for many different health problems, including death. A 14-year Swedish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that those with type 1 diabetes had a much higher risk of early death compared to people without the condition. However, there is some good news. The same study also showed that those who had good blood glucose control had a low risk of death. So, whether you have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or prediabetes, healthy blood glucose levels should be your top priority.

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Kids learn healthy habits from their parents

dv2014043Most parents want to set a great example for their children, and kids learn a lot from their parents. A new study from the Kagoshima Medical Center in Japan showed that this is especially true for healthy lifestyle habits. Parents who spent a lot of time sitting still in front of a TV or computer screen had kids that did the same. But parents who spent a lot of time walking and getting other physical activity also had more active children. In addition, parents and kids who walked a lot also tended to get more and better quality sleep, which is healthy in many different ways.

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Diabetes costs keep going up

diabetes-costsPeople with diabetes know that it can take a lot of money to keep the condition under control. Blood glucose testing supplies, medicines, hospital stays and healthy meal plans can all be very expensive. Diabetes can also be a burden to the healthcare system, as people who have the disease and don’t know it can often end up needing emergency medical care. A new study has shown that these costs are growing by over $300 billion every year, which tells us that it’s very important to diagnose in treat people at risk for diabetes as early as possible.

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