25 December 2010

Non-Communicable Diseases

In an article presented by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance is calling on the global development community to step up and answer the call for assistance. NCDs cause 60 percent of all global deaths. They say that 80 percent of the deaths are in the developing countries, but receive 2.3 percent of international development assistance.

The non-communicable diseases are cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. This is a great call by the IDF.

Now I would like to turn this to the USA and turn up the heat on the American Diabetes Association. With the fact that diabetes kills more people than AIDS and breast cancer combined, why is there not more funds being raised by the ADA? Since there are many types of diabetes, and they are increasing in the US and around the world, we should expect to see our ADA doing more.

Considering that the ADA has finally accepted World Diabetes Day and World Diabetes Month, now we need to work on them to accept the World Diabetes Blue Circle and then have them work more diligently in getting funds to combat diabetes.

There are many areas that the ADA could work to educate people, but has chosen to bury its head in the sand of non-action and leave important activities languish because it is collectively afraid to offend a few of its more prominent doctor members.

Read the article here.

24 December 2010

Homeopathic Medicines – GOOD or BAD?

Whatever you call it, homeopathy, complementary, or alternative medicines, they have a certain amount of dangers associated with them when used for children. The dangers come from parents not knowing the side effects and problems of the combinations of medicines. Not only this, these parents do not communicate with doctors.

Two different articles describe what can happen and they do present both sides to a fair degree. The study only included 39 cases in Australia. The study stated that changes made by CAM (complementary alternative medicines) practitioners caused the adverse events.

The study group included all ages from birth to the age of 16. The study determined that the parents were the ones believing in CAM and the naturalness of the medications. They may have overdosed because of these medicines being natural. Most went against medical advice. They also assumed that “natural” meant “safe and harmless” which isn't always the case.

Most US pediatricians know that the types of complementary and alternative medicine varies greatly from country to country and feel that the US is better on most fronts. All agree that if CAM is used as a complement to conventional medications and not as an alternative, the outcomes are mostly positive. They also stressed that parents of children need to stay in contact with their pediatricians to get the best results and to be aware of drug interactions and how to avoid problems.

Please read this article from WebMD as it has some excellent thoughts. The other article is here. The BBC also has the article here.

23 December 2010

FDA Targets Tainted Supplements

This is not about diabetes, but just a well be. Many people with Type 2 diabetes are looking for natural, homeopathic supplements that will help them manage their diabetes. They do not check with their doctors. They seek out these remedies to let them continue to live the good life.

What they don't understand and are often found wanting is not the cure they thought they were having, but the complications of diabetes. Last week I witnessed an acquaintance that had Type 2 diabetes succumb to the complications. He had diabetes for about 13 years, but chose the path of homeopathic supplements for the first 11 years. About 2 years ago, he lost his eyesight and about 3 months later his left foot and leg below the knee. About eight months ago, his kidneys failed and he had been on dialysis until he quit the treatments.

I am not sure what supplements or medications (if any) he was taking, but said he had gone the homeopathic route for treatment for diabetes. The articles of December 16 and 17 about the FDA announcement to target harmful products marketed as dietary supplements was welcome news. The FDA is currently targeting tainted products sold as dietary supplements for weight loss, sexual enhancement, or body building.

Five trade associations are supporting the FDA letter and are planning to share the information widely. The associations are: Council for Responsible Nutrition, Natural Products Association, United Natural Products Alliance, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, and the American Herbal Products Association.

I doubt that what the gentleman was taking (if anything) was not among what the FDA is after, but I would hope that eventually some of these supplements claiming a cure of diabetes will be exposed and stopped as well.

Read two of the articles here and here.

22 December 2010

Update Family Health History During Holidays

Are you getting together with the relatives, in-laws, and out-laws for the holidays? This would be an excellent time to talk with grandparents, or aunts and uncles to find out about the health history in their immediate family.

This could be especially helpful if you don't have the history whether it be health history or just family history. Too many people just don't have this information which could be valuable at a later date. You may know your grandparents and your parent's siblings, but you may not have all the history.

If your parents happen to be like mine, I was never able to get much information. My father knew his family, but would not talk about anyone else. My mother knew her family, but you did not ask about other relatives. You did not ask health questions because you would be told it was impolite and that would be the last it was mentioned. Hopefully, you are able to get the history that could be invaluable later.

In addition to names, relationships, birth dates, and date of death, this information may lead to other information that you will need to ask more about privately. Remember, some relatives are more sensitive about health information and will not share in a group. Be sure to ask about different health issues like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental health disorders and other possible medical conditions.

Once you have as much family health history as possible, share it with your doctor. Your doctor may want to do some medical tests for certain potential conditions. So don't bury this information as it could save your life. Remember, ask the reasons behind early deaths, and about unusual things that may have happened.

Read about other information here (sorry - link is broken).

21 December 2010

Have Diabetes – Expect Shorter Life-Span?

This article has has some traction on a couple of diabetes forums. On one the person was lamenting about why go to all the effort to manage diabetes if they were going to have a shorter life anyway. On the other, there was some consternation, but most were saying that by managing their diabetes, they expected to beat these predictions.

This shows what can happen. One person was in a manner of speaking – throwing in the towel, while the other looked at this as a challenge to be proven wrong. That is somewhat the difference between the forums, one is pessimistic and the other is very positive in attitude. There should be little doubt about which one I participate on more actively.

With the medical advance being made today, people with diabetes can expect to live longer than in the past. Studies are still making us wonder why there is still so much doubt. On average, a 50-year-old with diabetes can expect to live 8.5 fewer years than a person without diabetes. A 60-year-old can expect to live 5.4 fewer years. By age 90, the difference is one year.

These numbers are not encouraging, but considering the number of people that do little to manage their diabetes, it is understandable. I wish there were studies that followed or tracked people that did tightly manage diabetes. I feel that these numbers on average would be better.

It would also be interesting to track the costs of diabetes between those that tightly manage diabetes to those that do little or nothing to manage diabetes. This is why I support efforts to use intervention to assist people and the use of peer to peer groups that can help people better manage diabetes. We need to totally debunk the myth that diabetes is a death sentence.

The article may be read here.

Seasons Greetings

To all my readers

May you have a happy holiday season

Have a Merry Christmas


A Happy New Year

The blog will continue during the holidays. I wanted to take this opportunity to greet everyone and wish you happy holidays.

20 December 2010

Do You Need Your Beauty Sleep?

Think mother was kidding you about needing your beauty sleep. Most of us probably smiled and ignored her. When I read this in the BBC Health News, I had to smile. This was a favor phrase my mother used for all three of her children.

Now there is some clinical proof that mother was right on. Shame on us for doubting her. Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have revealed in the British Medical Journal conclusive proof of getting plenty of sleep does wonders for beauty and health.

The study does not identify the sex of the study volunteers, but I would guess they were all female and be wrong. The objective of the study was to determine if there was a link between attractiveness and health, and sleep. There was 23 volunteers in the study.

The study is talked about here and here. Read it for yourself and see what you think and keep smiling.

19 December 2010

Rebuttal on the Genetics of Diabetes

Sometimes you think you are doing the right thing, but later find that oops, this was possibly a mistake. So folks, the post here deserves some corrections. Even the good people make mistakes especially when some people with an agenda possibly have set out to mislead others.

You must read the article here by another geneticist when he rebuts an article in Diabetes in Control dot com that appeared a week earlier. My take on the first article is here. Now that the pot has been stirred, I can almost guess that the discussion is not over.

The author makes some good points, but before I make another mistake and a further fool of myself, I am going to wait until we hear more. I am sure that others will weigh in on this and that the discussion has not ended.

I will try to post all discussions that I find.