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Type 2 diabetes advances seen in 2011

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
2011 advances found in prevention, management of Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a global health problem. In 2011, several advances in medicine were made that can lead to earlier diagnosis and better management of the disease. Some medications came under fire for use in treating the disease. Researchers also looked at studies to help patients better manage Type 2 diabetes.

One of the biggest stories from 2011 was ongoing studies that that rosiglitazone or Avandia raises cardiovascular risks for patients with diabetes who are already at risk for cardiovascular problems.

In a March, 2011 study, published in the British Medical Journal, researchers found Avandia was associated with a 16% percent increased risk of heart attack, 23% higher chance of congestive heart failure and raised the chances of dying 14%, compared to other drugs in its class. The ongoing research was an important step for patient safety.

Dental visits can help diagnose diabetes
In 2012, don’t be surprised if your dentist suggests diabetic screening. Researchers say two common dental conditions can give clues if a person might have the disease - the number of missing teeth and the percentage of deep periodontal pockets.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Evanthia Lalla, associate professor at the Columbia College of Dental Medicine said the “findings provide a simple approach that can be easily used in all dental-care settings” Type 2 diabetes can remain undiagnosed. Keep your dental visits because more can be learned about your overall health by doing so.

The finding was published July 2011, showing dentists can be valuable for helping with diagnosis of the disease.

Say nuts to diabetes in 2012
Scientists also helped people with Type 2 diabetes by studying food that can lower glucose levels and even prevent diabetes.

Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto found Type 2 diabetics who ditch a carbohydrate that drives blood sugars too high could manage better by eating just 2 ounces of unsalted nuts each day. The simple change can lower the chances of heart disease and help control cholesterol levels that are difficult to manage for people with diabetes.

If you are having trouble controlling your blood sugars, try adding raw almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, or macadamias as a pre-meal or midday snack. You’re less likely to eat large unhealthy portions at your meal with this simple dietary change. In the study, diabetics were able to lower their HgA1C levels and did not lead to weight gain, which any diabetic knows, brings a smile to your doctor’s face.

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Diabetes cancer risk is real
Researchers know Type 2 diabetes ups the risk of cancer. In 2011, they learned how it happens at a molecular level, which could lead to new prevention treatments.

In the study, researchers from Lund University discovered there may be ways to block the action of a gene that is found in 31 percent of diabetics that can lead to cancer. The gene, known as TCF, is activated when blood sugar levels are high.

The finding highlights the importance of losing weight, exercising, adhering to medications and engaging with your physician to keep hemoglobin A1c levels less than 6.0. Make is your New Year’s resolution to keep blood sugar levels normal to prevent cancer.

Get tested for diabetes even if you don't think you're at risk
Keep an eye on your health in 2012 with regular doctor visits and screening. Type 2 diabetes doesn’t just strike people who are overweight or obese.

Thanks to gene studies, an analysis from the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School (HMS), scientists found a gene, called IRS1 that is linked to lower body fat.

The gene is also associated with higher glucose and cholesterol levels, putting individuals with low body weight at risk for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The finding was published June, 2011.

Limit time in front of the TV to fight diabetes
Sitting in front of the TV for 2 to 3 hours can make diabetes worse, and also increases the risk you’ll develop the disease.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that just 2 hours of TV time ups the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 20 percent.

The finding doesn’t mean you can’t watch TV, it just means, get up and move frequently. Sitting is also found to do nothing good for the body – when we sit, we grow fat cells.

Research brought much to information in 2011 that can help fight the global burden of Type 2 diabetes in 2012. Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference in managing and preventing the disease.

Image credit: Morguefile