Tuesday, September 28, 2010

5 Reasons That May Explain Why Type 1 Diabetes Is on the Rise

Type 1 diabetes rates are increasing in children. Here are possible reasons why...

It's no secret that type 1 diabetes is on the rise in children. If current trends continue, new cases in kids younger than 5 could double by 2020, according to a study published last year in The Lancet. What's up for debate are the reasons for this increase. Is it environmental? Genetic? Something preventable? Scientists aren't sure just yet, but a book published in January, called Diabetes Rising: How a Rare Disease Became a Modern Pandemic, and What to Do About It (Kaplan Publishing), by freelance medical journalist Dan Hurley, explores the possibilities.

"Type 1 diabetes seems to be going up at a level of 3 percent a year in the United States," says Hurley, himself a longtime type 1 diabetes sufferer. "If we can find out what is causing that, we can prevent a lot of people from getting it." Clearly, he says, there is something going on in the environment—in the way people live—that is partly responsible. U.S. News asked Hurley, of Montclair, N.J., to discuss the leading theories scientists have for explaining why more kids are falling prey to type 1 diabetes and why more are expected to in the future. Below are 5 hypotheses he includes in the book. All of them presume that the person has some genetic tendency towards developing type 1 diabetes, Hurley says. "Think of these things—growth, sunlight, cow's milk in infancy, etc.—as fertilizers. With them, the underlying genetic risk is boosted."

Read entire article here

Monday, September 27, 2010

Price Chopper expands Diabetes AdvantEdge program with free offerings

Insulin-dependent diabetics will be eligible to receive free syringes and pen needles from Price Chopper, the Northeast supermarket chain said.

Price Chopper said the expansion of its Diabetes AdvantEdge program meant that it could serve 100% of the population that manages diabetes with increased access to medication, supplies, support and information, as well as education on food, nutrition and diabetes management.

Read more here

Friday, September 24, 2010

National Limb Loss Information Center - Fact Sheet

In the United States, there are approximately 1.7 million people living with limb loss. It is estimated that one out of every 200 people in the U.S. has had an amputation.

Each year, the majority of new amputations occur due to complications of the vascular system (of or pertaining to the blood vessels), especially from diabetes. These types of amputations are known as dysvascular. Although rates of cancer and trauma-related amputations are decreasing, rates for dysvascular amputations are on the rise. Incidence of congenital (present at birth) limb difference has seen little or no change.

Incidence data represents the occurrence or number of people who become an amputee each year. This fact sheet represents this type of data. Prevalence data represents the total estimated number of people living with limb loss, both new cases of amputation and those living with the limb loss for many years. 

To view recent trends and read the entire article, click here

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Peripheral Arterial Disease/ABI Screening

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is more commonly known as hardening of the arteries. Peripheral arterial disease screening is done by using the ankle-brachial index (ABI). This ABI screening is painless, quick, and non-invasive. It will identify most cases of peripheral arterial disease.

What you can learn

The ankle-brachial index measures the ratio between the pressure in your arms and that in your legs. This ratio indicates how well blood flows to the legs. A ratio of less than 0.90 indicates plaque buildup and possible peripheral arterial disease. A ratio of 0.90 or greater is considered normal.

The ABI screening is simple and painless. After removing your socks and shoes, you will have pressure cuffs placed around your upper arms and ankles. A small ultrasound device will then measure the systolic blood pressures in your limbs.

Read more

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Ischemic Foot

The term "ischemic foot" refers to a lack of adequate arterial blood flow from the heart to the foot. There are a wide variety of possible causes for poor arterial circulation into the foot including arterial blockage from cholesterol deposits, arterial blood clots, arterial spasm, or arterial injury. The ischemic foot is also referred to as having arterial insufficiency, meaning there is not enough blood reaching the foot to provide the oxygen and nutrient needs required for the cells to continue to function.
The result of insufficient blood supply to the foot can manifest itself in a variety of ways depending upon how severe the impairment to circulation. Early symptoms may include cold feet, purple or red discoloration of the toes, or muscle cramping after walking short distances (intermittent claudication). Later findings may include a sore that won't heal (ischemic ulcer), pain at night while resting in bed, or tissue death to part of the foot (gangrene).
The diagnosis of ischemia is made by reviewing the patient's symptoms, examination of the foot, and special testing to evaluate the circulation. The examination should reveal cold skin temperature, and skin atrophy that causes the skin to appear shiny or paper thin with loss of normal hair on tops of the toes and on the lower leg. There is often a color change associated with ischemic feet. This may show as a purple discoloration of the toes, white blanching of the toes when the foot is elevated, and red discoloration when the foot is hanging down. Additionally the two arterial pulses in the foot will not be as strong as normal, or may be entirely absent. Certainly the presence of a pale looking ulcer, or black gangrenous toes would be an ominous sign of poor circulation.

Learn more about The Ischemic Foot here

Monday, September 20, 2010

What is P.A.D.?

P.A.D. is short for Peripheral Arterial Disease. People have P.A.D. when the arteries in their legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits, or plaque. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow, which is called atherosclerosis. When leg arteries are hardened and clogged, blood flow to the legs and feet is reduced. Some people call this poor circulation.

P.A.D. occurs most often in the arteries in the legs, but it also can affect other arteries that carry blood outside the heart. This includes arteries that go to the aorta, the brain, the arms, the kidneys and the stomach. When arteries inside the heart are hardened or narrowed, it is called coronary artery disease or cardiovascular disease.

The good news is that like other diseases related to the arteries, P.A.D. can be treated by making lifestyle changes, by taking medicines, or by having endovascular or surgical procedures, if needed.

Is P.A.D. serious?  Read more here

American Diabetes Association teams up with HearPO

A national strategic partnership between the American Diabetes Association and HearPO will provide additional resources to educate people with diabetes, medical practitioners and the general public about the connection between diabetes and hearing loss.

Read more here

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Green Leafy Vegetables Can Cut Risk of Diabetes

Eating more green leafy vegetables can significantly cut the risk of developing diabetes, British scientists have confirmed. The researchers reviewed six earlier studies on links between diabetes and the consumption of fruits and vegetables and found eating an extra serving a day of vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and broccoli reduced adults’ risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 14 percent. The findings don’t prove that the veggies themselves prevent type 2 diabetes which is often linked to poor diet and lack of exercise and is reaching epidemic levels as obesity rates rise.

People who eat more green leafy vegetables may also have a healthier diet overall, exercise more, or may be better off financially and any of those factors could affect how likely they are to get diabetes. But, "the data suggest that green leafy vegetables are key," said researcher Patrice Carter of the diabetes research unit at Leicester University. The review, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at six studies, which covered more than 200,000 people between 30 and 74 years old, in the United States, China and Finland. "Fruit and vegetables are all good, but the data significantly show that green leafy vegetables are particularly interesting, so further investigation is warranted," Carter said in a telephone interview. Green leafy vegetables contain antioxidants, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids – all of which have been shown to have health benefits, she added. Each of the studies that Carter and her colleagues analyzed followed a group of adults over periods of 4-and-a-half to 23 years, recording how many servings of fruits and vegetables each participant ate on a daily basis then examining who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Read entire article here

Friday, September 17, 2010

Symptoms and Diagnosis of PAD

The most common symptom of PAD is a painful muscle cramping in the hips, thighs or calves when walking, climbing stairs or exercising.

The pain of PAD usually goes away when you stop exercising, although this may take a few minutes. Working muscles need more blood flow. Resting muscles can get by with less. If there's a blood-flow blockage due to plaque buildup, the muscles won't get enough blood during exercise to meet the needs. The "crampy" pain (called "intermittent claudication"), when caused by PAD, is the muscles' way of warning the body that it isn't receiving enough blood during exercise to meet the increased demand.

Many people with PAD have no symptoms or mistake their symptoms for something else.

To see the symptoms of severe PAD, click here

Monday, September 13, 2010

Are the days of kidney dialysis numbered?

There's no gentle way to put it. Chronic kidney failure is ugly and often deadly, and more people in the States are suffering from it every year, with increasing rates of diabetes and hypertension contributing to the problem.

What's more, the treatment that keeps many waiting for kidney transplants alive--dialysis--involves several sessions per week, at several hours per session, during which blood pumps through an external circuit for filtration to replace just 13 percent of kidney function, leaving many patients exhausted both physically and financially.

View entire article here

Friday, September 10, 2010

Study Finds Differences in Care for Patients Beginning on Dialysis

A study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN)says that kidney disease patients
insured by some federally sponsored national health care organizations are more likely to undergo an important predialysis procedure than patients with other types of insurance.

The results may provide insights into ways to improve kidney-related care for patients before they go on dialysis.

To read entire article, click here

Monday, September 6, 2010

Daily Hemodialysis Improves Depression and Recovery Time

Hemodialysis patients who transitioned from in-center to daily home dialysis regimens experienced significant improvements in depressive symptoms and post-dialysis recovery times, according to a new report published today in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation.

Patients who made the switch from the normal, thrice weekly in-center treatment regimen to a daily schedule, defined as six times per week, reported more than a 30% decline in depressive symptoms and an 87% drop in post-dialysis recovery time over a 12 month period.

The research team assessed 128 patients making the treatment regimen switch. Patients were assessed upon enrollment and then again four months and 12 months afterward. The average training period to complete the transition was 27 days.

Click here to read entire article