Archive for September, 2014
Weight is a common factor when discussing diabetes. Two unrelated studies released this week, however, show how opposite ends of the weight issue can lead to the development of diabetes. Babies born at low birth weights and adults with higher than normal weights were shown to have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
Boston University researchers studied more than 20,000 black women ranging from age 21 to 69. They looked at many factors and focused on birth weight and cases of type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies born at 5.5 pounds or less were 13 times more likely to develop diabetes. Babies born under or near 3 pounds were 40 percent more likely to develop diabetes in adulthood.
The connection between birth weight and adult-onset diabetes is seen in other demographics. Black women were studied because that group is more likely to have low birth weights and is also seen to have higher than normal cases of diabetes. The researchers feel that low birth weight leads to poor lipid regulation and problems with the pancreas. They also point to theories that low weight at birth and diabetes share the same genetic source.
An unrelated study also released this week looked at the factors linked to the large increase in U.S. diabetes cases. The number of diabetes cases doubled from 1976 to 1980 and doubled again from 1999 to 2004. The team concludes that skyrocketing obesity is the greatest factor in the diabetes epidemic.
Andy Menke, the lead researcher, explained that there has been a substantial increase in obesity in the U.S. population during the study period. Other factors linked to diabetes include race, ethnicity and age.
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Diabetes develops in stages and for many, the state of pre-diabetes will be seen before full-onset diabetes is diagnosed. Researchers in Spain set out to prove that eating pistachios every day will not only slow down this progression, but also reduce the risks associated with diabetes.
Two groups of people with pre-diabetes were followed in a recent study. Both groups were on a reduced calorie diet. One group, however, was given 2 ounces of pistachios a day. The pistachio-eating group showed significant drops in blood sugar and marked improvement in insulin and blood sugar processing. This group also had a dramatic drop in inflammation.
The Spanish study used pistachios, but previous studies and research has found that eating nuts can lead to lower risk of heart disease and drops in cholesterol.
The Diabetes Management & Supplies Web Learning Center includes resources related to pre-diabetes and other forms of diabetes. It explains that pre-diabetes was once called borderline diabetes. A person is pre-diabetic when their fasting blood sugar is between 100 and120. A pre-diabetes diagnosis is also given with an A1c test result between 5.6-6.5%. As its name suggests, left unchecked, pre-diabetes develops into type 2 diabetes.
These higher than normal blood sugars are the result of insulin resistance, a medical term to describe the circumstances of the pancreas producing insulin to lower blood sugar, but the body resisting it. High blood sugar is the result.
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