Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Diabetes Epidemic Getting Younger.

What Are the Ramifications?
As recently as the mid-1990s, type 2 diabetes was almost exclusively a disease of adults. But apparently fueled by the childhood obesity epidemic, cases in people younger than 20 have ramped up from virtually zero to tens of thousands in the United States in little more than a decade. The children who have it are breaking new scientific ground: No one has any idea how they will fare over the course of a lifetime. Will these children suffer heart attacks in their 20s, need kidney dialysis in their 30s or go blind before they see their own children graduate from high school? Major lifestyle changes can control the disease. By exercising and cutting back on carbohydrates with high glycemic index, one can shed weight and reduce the number of daily injections, and ultimately, just use an oral drug, metformin or no drug at all.

While more than 25 million Americans have diabetes (more than 90 percent have type 2), according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - an additional 79 million have a condition called pre-diabetes, in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not as high as in diabetes. If a large portion of these Americans become diabetic, it is likely that our healthy system will be unable to sustain care for this many.

Diabetes Shrapnel
Among the many ancillary maladies that accompany blood sugar diseases,
a new study found that subjects with type 2 diabetes are 52% more likely to develop major depressive disorder (MDD), according to the Annals of Family Medicine.

New Data on Carbohydrate Control in Diabetics
Carbohydrate content might be less important for blood sugar control than glycemic load, according to a new study of healthy adults in
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study questions the way patients with type 1 diabetes determine how much insulin they should take before meals. Researchers took finger-prick blood samples from healthy young people who ate a total of 120 different types of food -- all with the same calorie content. The glycemic load repeatedly trumped the carb count in predicting the blood sugar and insulin rise after a meal.

The glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the amount of carbs in grams per serving by the food's glycemic index divided by 100. Foods with a low glycemic index cause the blood sugar to rise slowly.

No comments: