USA Today Examines Diabetes Treatment Options, Diet

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USA Today on Tuesday published two articleson issues related to diabetes as part of a four-day series titled "TheFight Against Diabetes." Headlines and summaries appear below.

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  • "Islets Could Be a Key to Diabetes Cure": Researchers at the University of Minnesota and six other institutions in the U.S., Canada and Sweden plan to conduct a large study on how to improve islet transplants in type 1 diabetes patients who have had kidney transplants and take immunosuppressants, USA Today reports. According to a previous study, transplants of islets -- small organs in the pancreas that contain several types of cells, such as those that produce insulin -- can reduce or eliminate the need for insulin injections in diabetes patients and restore the ability of patients to sense low blood sugar levels in 95% of cases. In the event that islet transplants prove effective, "it is fair to assume that within a few years from now, this will be an approved treatment for type 1 diabetes," Bernhard Hering, director of the Islet Transplant Program at the Diabetes Institute for Immunology and Transplantation at the University of Minnesota, said, adding, "The doctor (will be able) to prescribe human islets like he prescribes insulin" (Manning, USA Today, 11/14).

  • "Think Tasty, but Healthful: People With Diabetes Should Tailor Their Diets, Watch Carbs": "Healthful eating and regular physical activity are crucial" for diabetes patients because of the need to control blood sugar levels to prevent complications such as heart disease and kidney failure, but "there's no one single diet that works for everyone," experts say, USA Today reports. Most diabetes patients must limit their consumption of carbohydrates, which have the largest effects on blood sugar levels, as well as their consumption of saturated and trans fats, according to Ann Albright, head of the diabetes division at CDC and president of Healthcare and Education at the American Diabetes Association. Albright said, "The more people learn about their choices, the more flexibility and enjoyment they will have" (Hellmich, USA Today, 11/14).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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