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Number of Americans with Diabetes Rises to Nearly 26 Million

More than a third of adults estimated to have prediabetes

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, an estimated 79 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes raises a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Diabetes affects 8.3 percent of Americans of all ages, and 11.3 percent of adults aged 20 and older, according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet for 2011. About 27 percent of those with diabetes—7 million Americans—do not know they have the disease. Prediabetes affects 35 percent of adults aged 20 and older.

“These distressing numbers show how important it is to prevent type 2 diabetes and to help those who have diabetes manage the disease to prevent serious complications such as kidney failure and blindness,” said Ann Albright, Ph.D, R.D., director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “We know that a structured lifestyle program that includes losing weight and increasing physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.”

CDC is working on the National Diabetes Prevention Program, as stated in the Affordable Care Act. This program, based on the NIH-led Diabetes Prevention Program research study, is aimed at helping people reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

In 2008, CDC estimated that 23.6 million Americans, or 7.8 percent of the population, had diabetes and another 57 million adults had prediabetes. The 2011 estimates have increased for several reasons:

  • More people are developing diabetes.
  • Many people are living longer with diabetes, which raises the total number of those with the disease. Better management of the disease is improving cardiovascular disease risk factors and reducing complications such as kidney failure and amputations.
  • Hemoglobin A1c is now used as a diagnostic test, and was therefore incorporated into calculations of national prevalence for the first time. The test, also called glycated hemoglobin, measures levels of blood glucose (sugar) over a period of two to three months. Because of this change, estimates of populations with diabetes and prediabetes in the 2011 fact sheet are not directly comparable to estimates in previous fact sheets.

In a study published last year, CDC projected that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue. Type 2 diabetes, in which the body gradually loses its ability to use and produce insulin, accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of diabetes cases. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history, having diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes), a sedentary lifestyle, and race/ethnicity. Groups at higher risk for the disease are African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and some Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Other data from the fact sheet:

  • About 215,000 Americans younger than age 20 have diabetes. Most cases of diabetes among children and adolescents are type 1, which develops when the body can no longer make insulin, a hormone that controls the amount of blood glucose.
  • An estimated 1.9 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes in 2010.
  • Racial and ethnic minorities continue to have higher rates of diabetes after adjusting for population age differences. For adults, diabetes rates were 16.1 percent for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 12.6 percent for blacks, 11.8 percent for Hispanics, 8.4 percent for Asian-Americans, and 7.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites.
  • Half of Americans aged 65 and older have prediabetes, and nearly 27 percent have diabetes.

The fact sheet estimates are drawn from a variety of sources, including CDC surveys, the Indian Health Service National Patient Information Reporting System, the U.S. Renal Data System of the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Census Bureau, and published studies. The fact sheet was prepared in collaboration with a number of agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, other federal agencies, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators, theAmerican Diabetes Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from complications such as heart attacksstrokeshigh blood pressure, kidney failure, blindness and amputations of feet and legs. Diabetes costs $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical expenses.

The fact sheet is available at www.cdc.gov/diabetes. Information on diabetes prevention and control from the National Diabetes Education Program—a joint effort of CDC and NIH—is available at www.yourdiabetesinfo.org.


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Cellular Signaling as a Type 2 Diabetes Controller

The Center for Disease Control recently reported in 2010 that about 26 million Americans have diabetes. Unfortunately the number of people developing Type 2 Diabetes continues to rise. While there are many drugs available to help diabetics, most do little to nothing at helping the body at a cellular level. In addition, drugs are costly and have negative side effects that end up causing more damage.

The body’s health depends on how well cells can communicate with each other. This is done through a process called cellular signaling. Cellular signaling is involved in virtually every function of the body including burning fat, healing, and regeneration of cells. MediPure Products has designed a special program that helps the body control Type 2 Diabetes through supporting cellular signaling to help you lose weight and heal damage. The program includes M.P.H. For LifeAquaLift ™ and T.M. Essentials.

M.P.H. For Life includes a weight loss supplement and audio coaching program to help you manage your weight and improve other areas of heath. It is used along with T.M. Essentials and AquaLift which provide important nutrients and trace minerals that your body uses to help repair damage. Once you have finished using M.P.H. For Life, continue using T.M. Essentials and AquaLift to maintain improved health.


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The History of a Wonderful Thing We Call Insulin

Since the dawn of time, we have searched for ways to make life easier for us. The modern age has given us some amazing technological advances—what we would do without the internet, our iPhones or high-speed travel?

For many people, surviving life without these things sounds rough. However, if you have diabetes, no doubt you’re also a big fan of one particular 20th-century discovery: insulin.

Before insulin was discovered in 1921, people with diabetesdidn’t live for long; there wasn’t much doctors could do for them. The most effective treatment was to put patients with diabetes on very strict diets with minimal carbohydrate intake. This could buy patients a few extra years but couldn’t save them. Harsh diets (some prescribed as little as 450 calories a day!) sometimes even caused patients to die of starvation.

So how did this wonderful breakthrough blossom? Let’s travel back a little more than 100 years ago.…

In 1889, two German researchers, Oskar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering, found that when the pancreas gland was removed from dogs, the animals developed symptoms of diabetes and died soon afterward. This led to the idea that the pancreas was the site where “pancreatic substances” (insulin) were produced.

Later experimenters narrowed this search to the islets of Langerhans (a fancy name for clusters of specialized cells in the pancreas). In 1910, Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Shafer suggested only one chemical was missing from the pancreas in people with diabetes. He decided to call this chemical insulin, which comes for the Latin word insula, meaning “island.”

So what happened next? Something truly miraculous. In 1921, a young surgeon named Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best figured out how to remove insulin from a dog’s pancreas. Skeptical colleagues said the stuff looked like “thick brown muck,” but little did they know this would lead to life and hope for millions of people with diabetes.

With this murky concoction, Banting and Best kept another dog with severe diabetes alive for 70 days—the dog died only when there was no more extract. With this success, the researchers, along with the help of colleagues J.B. Collip and John Macleod, went a step further. A more refined and pure form of insulin was developed, this time from the pancreases of cattle.

In January 1922, Leonard Thompson, a 14-year-old boy dying from diabetes in a Toronto hospital, became the first person to receive an injection of insulin. Within 24 hours, Leonard’s dangerously high blood glucose levels dropped to near-normal levels.

The news about insulin spread around the world like wildfire. In 1923, Banting and Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine, which they shared with Best and Collip. Thank you, diabetes researchers!

Soon after, the medical firm Eli Lilly started large-scale production of insulin. It wasn’t long before there was enough insulin to supply the entire North American continent. In the decades to follow, manufacturers developed a variety of slower-acting insulins, the first introduced by Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in 1936.

Insulin from cattle and pigs was used for many years to treat diabetes and saved millions of lives, but it wasn’t perfect, as it caused allergic reactions in many patients. The first genetically engineered, synthetic “human” insulin was produced in 1978 using E. coli bacteria to produce the insulin. Eli Lilly went on in 1982 to sell the first commercially available biosynthetic human insulin under the brand name Humulin.

Insulin now comes in many forms, from regular human insulin identical to what the body produces on its own, to ultra-rapid and ultra-long acting insulins. Thanks to decades of research, people with diabetes can choose from a variety of formulas and ways to take their insulin based on their personal needs and lifestyles. From Humalog to Novolog and insulin pens to pumps, insulin has come a long way. It may not be a cure for diabetes, but it’s literally a life saver.

So, what’s next for insulin? Scientists aren’t sure (though they’re working hard on it!), but one thing is certain: insulin is a medical marvel in the world of diabetes.

For more interesting information about insulin, we suggest reading The Discovery of Insulin by Michael Bliss.


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Breastfeeding and Diabetes: What’s the Connection?

Posted on August 28, 2012 by 

Did you know August is National Breastfeeding Month? Launched in 2011 by the United States Breastfeeding Committee through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this campaign aims to highlight research that demonstrates the benefits of breastfeeding for infants and mothers.

In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month, we’re offering new and soon-to-be mothers with diabetes some tips for breastfeeding and the advantages it may provide both you and your child.

Benefits for Your Baby

Breast milk is widely considered to be the most beneficial source of nutrition for infants. Studies have shown breastfeeding offers many advantages to newborns, including decreased risks of high respiratory infections, high blood pressure, asthma, atopy (a disorder marked by the tendency to develop allergic reactions) and diabetes.

A mom who has gestational diabetes during pregnancy increases the risk that her child will become obese during childhood. However, one study found that breastfeeding a baby for at least six months neutralizes that risk. Breastfed children of mothers with diabetes were no more likely to be overweight at ages six to 13 than kids whose moms didn’t have diabetes. Breastfeeding for less than six months, though, showed no benefit in reducing obesity.

Some people believe baby formula can lead to infant weight gain, but the bottle itself may be part of the problem. Another study found that babies who get breast milk only from bottles gain weight more rapidly than those who get it exclusively from mothers’ breasts—three ounces more per month during their first year. This could be because babies can control how much milk they swallow during breastfeeding, while parents often take the lead with bottles. Looking to babies for hunger cues may help parents avoid overfeeding when using bottles.

Benefits for You

Babies aren’t the only ones getting something out of breastfeeding—it improves the health of moms, too!

Childbearing may be linked with an increased risk of obesity, but a study published this summer found breastfeeding cuts that risk by about one percent for every six months of nursing. Researchers have several ideas as to why this happens, including the “reset” hypothesis, which suggests breastfeeding may be involved in changing various metabolic control centers in the mother’s brain after childbirth.

Mothers who breastfeed decrease their risks not only of obesity, but also heart disease and type 2 diabetes. And the longer they breastfeed, the lower their risks. In one 20-year study of 704 women, those who didn’t have gestational diabetes lowered their risk for these conditions by 39 to 56 percent, depending on how long they breastfed. For women who had gestational diabetes, the risk was reduced even more: from 44 to 86 percent.

Along with this, mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis later in life and have a lower risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

Breastfeeding also can help new moms recover from childbirth more quickly and easily. The hormone oxytocin, released during breastfeeding, will help a mom feel better physically and emotionally. Stress can aggravate diabetes, so this is a big plus!

And if you have gestational diabetes, breastfeeding can help lower your blood glucose levels in the period soon after birth.

Tips for Mothers with Diabetes

Breastfeeding is good for women with diabetes, but it may make your blood glucose a little harder to predict. To help prevent low blood glucose levels, try these tips:

  • Plan to have a snack before or during nursing
  • Drink enough fluids (plan to sip a glass of water or a caffeine-free drink while nursing)
  • Keep something to treat low blood glucose nearby when you nurse, so you don’t have to stop your child’s feeding

There’s a good chance you’ll want to get rid of any extra baby weight as soon as possible, and breastfeeding does burn extra calories, but you shouldn’t try to lose pounds too quickly. It’s important that you get the right amounts of fluids, protein, vitamins and minerals while breastfeeding. Develop a meal plan with your health care provider or dietitian that will allow you to achieve gradual weight loss and still be successful at breastfeeding.

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and use either insulin or oral blood glucose-lowering medications, it’s important to understand their safety while breastfeeding. Most medications used to treat diabetes can be safely used during nursing, but be sure to check with your doctor.

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 While breastfeeding is a wonderful option for new mothers, both physically and emotionally, it may not be possible for all women. For many moms, the decision to breastfeed or formula-feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle and specific medical considerations.

Whatever your decision, make sure it is the right one for you and your child. For women who are able to breastfeed or who would like to, now is a great time to learn more about the benefits of this part of new motherhood.