Researchers have found a way to engineer pancreatic beta cells that can enhance production of Insulin in response to glucose levels when these cells are “switched on” by light.
The study, published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology, shows that glucose levels can be controlled in a mouse model of diabetes without pharmacological intervention.
The researchers found that transplanting the engineered pancreatic beta cells under the skin of diabetic mice led to improved tolerance and regulation of glucose, reduced hyperglycemia, and higher levels of plasma insulin when subjected to illumination with blue light.
“It’s a backwards analogy, but we are actually using light to turn on and off a biological switch,” said Emmanuel Tzanakakis, Professor at Tufts University in the US and corresponding author of the study.
“In this way, we can help in a diabetic context to better control and maintain appropriate levels of glucose without pharmacological intervention. The cells do the work of insulin production naturally and the regulatory circuits within them work the same.”
The blue light simply flips the switch from normal to boost mode. Such approaches utilising light-activitable proteins for modulating the function of cells are being explored in many biological systems and have fuelled efforts toward the development of a new genre of treatments.
As per the latest data, India has around 62 million diabetic patients. It is the disease that is capable enough to disrupt your financials. You have to keep a good amount of money to spend on tests, medicines, customized diet, doctor’s visits, and more regularly. Diabetes is categorized as a pre-existing disease and exempted from health insurance coverage for many years. But, due to a sedentary lifestyle and increased number of cases, many health insurances companies have introduced health insurance policies for diabetes as well. Diabetics Health Insurance serves as blessings to the diabetic population of the country. Let’s understand how you can opt for health insurance for diabetes patients.
Diabetes Health Insurance
Diabetes is a chronic disorder that occurs when the pancreas produces very less or no insulin in the body. Insulin is the hormone that moves sugar from the blood into cells for storage and produces energy. It’s of three types- Type1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. It can immensely damage eyes, kidneys, and liver irrespective of age. Due to the related complications, it requires continuous management and treatment. These days where the medical costs are skyrocketing, dealing with the financial impact of diabetes is equally vital. Therefore, diabetic health insurance offers a cover to diabetes patients.
Diabetes Health Insurance Coverage
It includes expenses related to in-patient hospitalization, pre and post hospitalization expenses, provides day care treatments, domiciliary hospitalization, and preventive health check-up annually. The unique feature of this health insurance plan is that you can avail cashless treatment facility at the network hospitals. It means that if any medical complexity occurs due to diabetes, you or any of your insured family members can admit in the network hospitals and start the treatment without being worried about money.
How to Choose a Right Diabetes Health Insurance Plan?
It is a chronic disease that not only affects the pancreas but also damages the other organs of the body. Therefore, comprehensive health insurance is required so that you can avail of the best possible treatment. However, there are different health insurance companies like HDFC Ergo, IFFCO Tokio, Religare Health Insurance, ICICI Lombard, etc. that offer a plethora of health insurance for diabetes. So, here are some nifty factors that you should consider while making your buying decision.
Look for Wide Coverage– You should look for the plan that provides you wide coverage. From pre- and post-hospitalization to dialysis, daycare treatment to an ambulance cover, and ICU charges, everything should be covered under your health insurance.
Add-ons- Renowned health insurance companies like Religare Health Insurance offer add-ons like no claim bonus, reduction in a waiting period in case of pre-existing disease, OPD care, international second opinion, and so on. Check if you can enhance the coverage of your basic health insurance plan with these add-ons.
Premium Amount- You can compare the premium amount of the health insurance plan offered by different health insurance companies. An online health insurance premium calculator is a tool available on the official website of the companies that help you to calculate the premium. So, pick the plan that gives you maximum coverage at an affordable premium.
Read Exclusions– Exclusions are the situations/diseases/medical procedures that are not covered under health insurance policies, and you will not get a claim for the same. Therefore, you should check the exclusions list to see what diseases are not included and opt for the health insurance that has minimal exclusions.
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Waiting Period- It is the time frame after which the coverage of the policy begins. For pre-existing diseases, like diabetes, it is for 4 years. However, you can opt for an add-on to reduce this waiting period to 2 years. So, check which health insurance companies offer this feature.
Check Eligibility– Before you finalize the plan, you should also check the age criteria for eligibility. Some plans have specified age limits and some offer health insurance for diabetes with no age limit for enrolment. Thus, a plan with a maximum renewal age is the ideal one.
India has become a global diabetes capital. The long working hours, lack of physical exercise, and unhealthy food habits have trigger diabetes amongst people at an early age. However, a positive approach, disease management, and Diabetics health insurance help patients to live easy with this prolonged disease.
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Eating higher intake of high-quality carbohydrates, especially from whole grains, are associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, say researchers.
“High intake of carbohydrates has been suggested to be associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes,” said study lead author Kim Braun from Harvard University in the US.
For the findings, the research team looked at whether this effect is different for high-quality carbohydrates and low-quality carbohydrates, which include refined grains, sugary foods and potatoes.
In the study, the research team analysed data from three studies that followed health professionals in the US over time.
These included 69,949 women from the Nurses’ Health Study, 90,239 women from the Nurses’ Health Study 2 and 40,539 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
Collectively, the studies represented over four million years of follow-up, during which almost 12,000 cases of type 2 diabetes cases were documented.
The researchers observed a lower risk of type 2 diabetes when high-quality carbohydrates replaced calories from saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, animal protein and vegetable protein.
They also found that replacing low-quality carbohydrates with saturated fats, but not with other nutrients, was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Early exposure to anaesthetics in life may make adolescents more susceptible to developing alcohol use disorder (AUD), warn researchers. Anaesthetics are commonly used drugs in the healthcare field and are often administered to children to induce unconsciousness and immobility during surgeries.
For the findings, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, the research team examined whether exposure to anesthetics during adolescence could affect a person’s response to alcohol in adulthood, especially the development of AUD.
Researchers discovered that anaesthetic exposure during adolescence may be an environmental risk factor that leads to an increased susceptibility to developing AUD later in life. Although not all adolescents who drink alcohol develop AUDs, the research team said it’s important to identify risk factors that contribute to an increased susceptibility to alcohol abuse
“This is highly concerning. Given that although the age of initiation and subsequent binging during adolescence are linked to alcoholism later in life, apart from stress, it was not clear what other environmental factors may play a role,” said study author David Werner from Binghamton University, New York in the US. During the study, researchers exposed early-adolescent male rats to isoflurane, a general anaesthetic, in short durations and tested them on various alcohol-induced behaviours later in adolescence or adulthood.
The team found that exposure to anaesthetics in adolescence had extremely similar behavioural and neural effects as adolescent chronic alcohol exposure. In the study, the adolescent rats exposed to isoflurane had a decreased sensitivity to the negative effects of alcohol, such as its aversive, sedative and socially suppressive effects. These rats also showed an increase in voluntary alcohol consumption and cognitive impairment, and certain behaviours continued into adulthood after their initial anaesthetic exposure.
These results further suggest that exposure to anaesthetics during adolescence, while in some cases is necessary, may have unintended consequences that incubate over time. “Apart from infancy to early childhood, adolescence can be considered the most critical developmental stage following birth,” Werner said. (IANS)