Diabetes America News

/ August 12th, 2010/ Posted in Health News / No Comments »

Easy way for people to assess their diabetes risk

An easy way for people to assess their risk of having diabetes has been developed by a team from the University of Leicester.

Working in partnership with Diabetes UK, the largest diabetes charity in the country, and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, they have produced the first diabetes risk assessment that can be used in a multi-ethnic population.

The Diabetes Risk Score uses 7 questions to identify how high a risk someone is of getting diabetes.

These are age, ethnicity, sex, family history of diabetes, waist size, body mass index and any history or treatment for high blood pressure.

Answering these does not tell someone whether they have diabetes, just what their risk of having it is. Their GP needs to be seen to provide a firm diagnosis.

Professor Melanie Davies, HonoraryConsultant Physician in Diabetes at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “There are an estimated 2.6m people in England with diabetes with 500,000 of them not diagnosed. The impact of diabetes on individuals and their families can be profound. The costs to the NHS are also significant with diabetes prescriptions alone costing £500m a year. I, and my team, are proud that the Diabetes Risk Score will enable people to quickly and easily find out what their chance of having diabetes is and take action accordingly. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed the earlier effective treatment can start.”

Brain surgery may help against diabetes

A small study of 10 patients by Allegheny General Hospital physicians led by neurosurgeon Peter Jannetta suggests that a type of brain surgery can lead to significant improvement against the onset and progression of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease marked by high levels of glucose, or sugar, in the blood. Uncontrolled by medical intervention, it can lead to serious cardiovascular, vision and renal problems, amputations related to circulation problems, and even death.

The study about the effects of surgery to decompress an artery pressing on a section of the brain called the medulla oblongata was published today in the journal Surgical Neurology International. Lead author was Dr. Jannetta, who is known for his work developing the surgery, called microvascular decompression, which is used for such debilitating cranial nerve diseases as vertigo and spasmodic torticollis, a movement disorder. In the surgery, the compressive artery is repositioned and a protective pad is placed between it and the nerve.

The medulla oblongata is responsible for, among other things, function of the pancreas, which is involved in the production of insulin. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by a resistance to insulin, which helps the body effectively use glucose for energy.

Dr. Jannetta noted that an earlier group of his patients had both type 2 diabetes and what was considered unrelated cranial nerve disease. They were given the surgery to relieve arterial compression in the medulla oblongata. In enrolling type 2 diabetes patients for the latest study, he hypothesized that the nerve compression affected the pancreas and surgery could mitigate the disease.

The new study’s 10 patients had both steadily progressive type 2 diabetes and medullary compression, which had been detected through MRI scans. They underwent microvascular decompression and were followed for a year, during which time they were not permitted to make any changes in diet, weight or activity.

Seven of the 10 showed significant improvement in their glucose control, demonstrated by measurement of diabetes markers and decreased medication dosages. One patient went off medication altogether.

The three who did not improve had higher body mass indexes, falling into the obese category. The other seven had BMIs in the overweight class.

A further, much larger study now is needed to corroborate the findings, Dr. Jannetta said in an AGH news release.

Get involved to help stop diabetes

(ARA) – This fall, thousands of people nationwide will join the movement to Stop Diabetes as they walk in the American Diabetes Association’s Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes. Rain or shine, walkers will join together to change the future of this growing epidemic that is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country.

Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes is the Association’s signature fundraising walk event. With strong support from the business community including sponsorship and corporate teams, this event raises more than $18 million to support the Association’s mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

People with diabetes can choose to walk as a Red Strider. A Red Strider is someone who has diabetes – type 1, type 2 or gestational – who can proudly walk as an individual or create a team and walk with friends, family and co-workers. The purpose of the Red Strider program is to support everyone who lives with diabetes and showcase the courage it takes to live with this serious disease.

Christine Schaeberle is one of the many walkers who will join the movement to Stop Diabetes and step out as a Red Strider this year. Red Striders are distinguished at Step Out events by wearing a red hat. “On the day of Step Out, it is very important to recognize all the people with diabetes,” says Schaeberle. “By wearing the red hats, we are able to do that.”

Schaeberle is the founder of the Red Strider program and launched the first Red Strider program in Colorado. The program has since gone national.

“The Red Strider program opened our eyes to how many people have diabetes. It also made us realize how important it is for us to recognize them and how we need to raise money to cure this disease,” says Schaeberle. “On walk day, I felt particularly supported as I was able to recognize other people with diabetes. All the walkers encouraged us to keep fighting this challenging disease.”

Reasons why you should Step Out and walk to stop diabetes:

* By walking in a Step Out event in your area, you are joining the American Diabetes Association’s movement to Stop Diabetes and helping to change the future of diabetes.

* You are showing support for the nearly 24 million children and adults in the U.S with diabetes and the millions more at risk. Most people are either affected by diabetes or know someone who is affected.

* There is no fundraising minimum, although it is strongly encouraged to raise funds and awareness to support the American Diabetes Association and its mission. As a reward, incentives are given to walkers for varying levels of fundraising.

* Routes are for everyone regardless of age or athletic ability. They range from two to six miles.

* The day of the event is a party to celebrate the accomplishments of all the teams and individual participants as well as an opportunity to promote awareness about diabetes and the American Diabetes Association.

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