Thursday March 21, 2019

Diabetes would become a curable disease in the next few years, say researchers

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Washington: Although the way diabetics test their glucose levels has gone through dramatic changes over the past 50 years, there is still a long way to go, say researchers.

Earlier, the only way to assess diabetes control was by testing for the presence of sugar in a person’s urine, today there are numerous, far more accurate ways to test blood glucose levels.

There is a non-invasive A1C method which measures average blood glucose levels over a three-month period.

“This gives us a nice marker for showing whether a person is on the right road or not,” said Fred Whitehouse, division head emeritus at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

“There has been a lot of change, most of it for the better. But what people want is a cure and we don’t have that yet”, he added.

“Despite the enormous growth in our understanding of diabetes and its complications, we are still only able to manage the disease,” noted Robert Ratner, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for the American Diabetes Association.

The reason diabetes is a serious health problem is because of the complications.

“If there were no complications, diabetes would be like hypothyroidism and other easily managed diseases. You would take a tablet to replace the hormone and everything would be fine,” said Michael Brownlee from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Diabetes Research Centre.

New treatments must provide optimal glucose and metabolic control without the risk of hypoglycemia and complications of diabetes should become historical memories.

Also, every person with diabetes needs to create a system for remembering and dealing with his or her own treatment.

“The next 50 years must elucidate the mechanisms by which both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes occur, along with those critical steps at which we might intervene to prevent disease,” the authors emphasized during a special symposium held recently at the American Diabetes Association’s 75th scientific sessions. (IANS)

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Cardiovascular Events Cause 58% Deaths Among Diabetics

The medicine likewise helps lower the amount of sodium in the body and reduce triglyceride levels and blood pressure

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Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

Fifty-eight percent of deaths among people with type 2 diabetes are due to cardiovascular events, a leading Mexican expert has said.

“Patients who live with this disease have a greater risk of premature death or disability derived from cardiovascular events,” Hector Sanchez Mijangos, President of the Mexican Diabetes Federation, told Efe news.

The specialist said that the high glucose levels associated with diabetes damage blood vessels, resulting in problems with blood pressure and vision, joint pain and other maladies.

Data from the World Health Organization indicate that more 442 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Mexico’s Health Secretariat has found that while roughly 13 million inhabitants of the Aztec nation are living with diabetes, only half of those afflicted know they have the disease.

In 2015 alone, according to Mijangos, there were more than 98,000 premature deaths in Mexico related to diabetes and the average age of those who died was 66.7 years old.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

“This is regrettable, because these people could have lived roughly another 15 years,” he said.

According to the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Survey, only 25 percent of Mexicans suffering with diabetes are managing their condition adequately.

That figure illustrates “why our greatest challenge continues to be access and adherence to treatment”, Mijangos said.

Also Read- Researchers Discover Balance of Two Enzymes That May Help Treat Pancreatic Cancer

To improve treatment options, Mexican health authorities in January issued an approval for the use of canagliflozin, a drug that helps reduce the amount of blood glucose reabsorbed by the kidneys, which in turns causes more glucose to be eliminated through urination.

“With this medicine, a person can lose 100 milligrams of glucose per day as well as about 400 kilocalories (4,000 calories) a day, which also helps with weight loss,” Mijangos said.

The medicine likewise helps lower the amount of sodium in the body and reduce triglyceride levels and blood pressure.

A scientific trial involving more than 10,000 patients worldwide showed that when combined with conventional treatment, canagliflozin can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events by up to 18 percent. (IANS)