Tag Archives: Type 2 diabetes

Gastric Bypass May be a Better Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

A year-long study regarding the connection between weight loss surgery and curing type 2 diabetes was released this week. The study showed that surgery seemed to be more effective than lifestyle change and medication for treating the disease. However, the tradeoff was that those who had the surgery were at a very common risk for complications. Is this just a one step forward and one step back scenario?


The Associated Press reported that a new publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association is stating that gastric bypass surgery can effectively treat type 2 diabetes in patients with mild to moderate obesity. This means people who are about 50 to 70 pounds overweight.

While the glowing light of the words “treatment for diabetes” seems impressive, it was also stated that of those in the study who received surgery, a third of them developed serious problems during the first year after surgery. The typical complications include infections, intestinal blockage, and bleeding. And then there was a much smaller percentage who experienced much more severe complications. (more…)

Invokana is a Revolutionary New Drug Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

Invokana is the newest diabetes drug to hit the market and uses an innovative mechanism to help control blood sugar for type 2 diabetes. Invokana, produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, will make a splash in the market as this is the first drug of its kind.


The statistic for this drug that I’m most interested in is the reduction in A1C percentage. Hemoglobin A1C is the percent of glucose that is bound to red blood cells. It also gives a three-month big picture of the patient’s control of their blood sugar. The higher the number the higher the person’s daily blood sugars will be; the goal is to be under seven percent. Trials have shown that Invokana has lowered A1C percent by approximately 1 percent over 26 weeks with a 300 mg dose and a 0.77 percent decrease with a 100 mg dosage. A one-percent reduction is approximately a decrease of 14 points on an average daily blood glucose reading. Lower blood sugars overall will prevent complications which can include blindness, renal failure and amputations. (more…)

Skinny-Fat Individuals Have Higher Death Rate Than the Obese

Just when you thought you knew what obese looked like, an army of skinny-fat people come marching along with little pot bellies hidden under their pear-shaped shirts. No, we’re not on the cusp of a diet-war, but diabetes and heart disease are waging a silent attack on people with normal weight obesity, also known as “skinny-fat.”pizza

While the term normal weight obesity sounds as absurd as fat-free Twinkie, it’s a new and legitimate condition that, according to the Mayo Clinic, may afflict up to 30 million Americans.

In medical terms, normal weight obesity is typified by a normal Body Mass Index (BMI), usually 18.5-24.9, with a large percentage of body fat. In layman’s terms, people with normal weight obesity appear to be thin and healthy, but have large concentrations of central obesity—pooch bellies—and stores of fat around vital organs.

Led by Dr. Karine Sahakyan, The Mayo Clinic conducted a nearly 15-year study of 12,785 subjects, specifically geared toward determining the significance of central obesity. The doctors used a fun, new scientific measurement called “waist-to-hip ratio”—muffin top to where God intended your jeans to sit—as a means to statistically legitimize belly fat. They found that subjects with a normal BMI and a high waist-to-hip ratio—skinny-fat people—”had the highest cardiovascular death risk and the highest death risk…” out of all other demographics studied. (more…)

Invokana Drug May be Game Changer for Type 2 Diabetes Patients

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first of a new class of drugs to treat Type 2 Diabetes called Invokana.
  • Invokana filters sugar into the kidney as opposed to previous medications which manipulated insulin levels to control blood sugar.
  • Our resident pharmacist Dr. Sarah Kahn says there are some concerns regarding how Invokana will affect the heart. According to Kahn, the current data is inconclusive, so they are conducting a trial called the CANVAS study (Canagliflozin Cardiovascular Assessment Study). Those results won’t be available until 2015. In addition, the FDA is requiring Janssen Pharmaceuticals – Invokana’s manufacturer – to conduct five studies once the drug hits the market. (more…)

Sugar and Salt: The Battle to See Which Kills More of Us

A recent study found a correlation between how high a nation’s sugar consumption is and its type 2 diabetes rate. Now researchers are taking it a grim step further by estimating how many deaths can be directly attributed to sugary drinks.

Researchers at Harvard have linked sugary drinks to the deaths of 25,000 Americans every year and 180,000 deaths worldwide.

“We know that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to obesity, and that a large number of deaths are caused by obesity-related diseases. But until now, nobody had really put these pieces together,” said Gitanjali Singh, the lead author of the five-year study and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

soda and chips

In a not-so-shocking development, The American Beverage Association issued a critical response to the study’s findings.

“It does not show that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages causes chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer – the real causes of death among the studied subjects,” the industry group said in a written statement. “The researchers make a huge leap when they take beverage intake calculations from around the globe and allege that those beverages are the cause of deaths which the authors themselves acknowledge are due to chronic disease.” (more…)

Three New Type 2 Diabetes Drugs Give Patients More Options

Big news dropped for diabetics this week. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three new medications to help control blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.

The FDA press release specifically stated that these three new treatments – Nesina, Kazana, and Oseni – are to be used with diet and exercise to manage blood sugar. Alogliptin is a new active ingredient found in these treatments.

“These new approvals are what I like to call ‘piggy-back’ drugs. They will reap the rewards of their predecessors like Byetta, Januvia and Victoza,” commented our resident pharmacist, Dr. Sarah G. Khan. She explained that these new drugs give patients more options. For instance, patients could receive discount cards to try the new drugs, it may force insurance companies to prefer the older drugs, or if a patient hasn’t found success with one of those they may with the new drugs. (more…)

The High Cost of Diabetes: $2 Billion per Year While 80 Percent of Cases are Reversible

As the American Diabetes Association encourages us to focus on diabetes this month, it’s important to understand just how prevalent it is in our country and get an idea of what a diabetic lives with on a daily basis. Furthermore, it’s also important to look at the cost of this growing disease and try to understand what can be done to change the upward trend of diagnosis.

The most recent assessment was released in 2011. The American Diabetes Association, The National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control completed a comprehensive report describing the impact of diabetes in the United States during 2007. Since the report, the numbers have continued to climb.

The data found that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes; or 8.3 percent of the population. These stats do not breakout the difference between the two kinds of diabetes, type I and type II.

More than 230,000 death certificates in 2007 had diabetes listed as the contributing factor for the death. Those who have diabetes are most susceptible to conditions like heart disease, stroke, hypertension, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.

Nearly $175 billion was spent in 2007 to cover all the costs of diabetes. These expenses included direct medical costs, indirect medical costs, disability, work loss, and premature death. These factors only include the diagnosed cases of the disease. There are millions more people living with the condition yet haven’t been diagnosed, while others are treating the symptoms of pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes. The costs of treating these groups came to about $218 billion in 2007.

So, if we see the staggering costs of this disease, what can be done? First, it’s important to note the major differences between the two types of diabetes. Dr. Josh Umbehr of Altas.MD broke down the differences to the very basic level. (more…)

Alzheimer’s May be Result of Poor Diet; Some Calling it Type 3 Diabetes

There have been many speculations as to the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Currently, there is no cure for the condition and as it progresses it worsens, often causing memory loss, mood swings, aggression and confusion, and eventually leading to death.

Though Alzheimer’s was formerly thought to be a disease of age, a growing body of research now suggests that it may be a metabolic disease – linking it to poor diet. As reported by the Guardian, scientists have even gone so far as to call it type 3 diabetes.

This news is especially concerning as Alzheimer’s currently affects an estimated 35 million people worldwide, and that number is expected to reach 100 million by 2050. Equally alarming are projected growth rates of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. alone, which are also expected to triple in the next several decades.

These speculations are tied to two potential factors: 1) Alzheimer’s causes a lack of natural insulin in the body, or 2) it causes an impairment of the brain’s ability to respond it. Suspicions of the link continue to rise as those who die from Alzheimer’s are often found to have low insulin levels in the brain. This has led researchers to believe that insulin is produced in the brain as well as in the pancreas, explaining why it could play such a crucial role in neuron signaling and cell growth and lifespan, according to Popsci. (more…)

No Plan Presented in Massachusetts Health Director’s Desire to Lower State’s Obesity Rates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new frightening statistics for the obesity rates across the country. Obesity rates in America are climbing rapidly, with an estimated 35.7% of the adult population classified as such. The South has the highest obesity rate and the Midwest is right behind them. Citizens living in Northeast and West have the lowest obesity rates.

As reported by BizJournal.com, Massachusetts is the third lowest obesity rate state. However, Massachusetts should not celebrate their bronze medal in these results. Massachusetts may have a low obesity rate compared to 47 states, but that does not mean there isn’t a problem internally with the state. One-third of Massachusetts children and two-thirds of the adult population are either obese or overweight.

Cheryl Bartlett, director of the Massachusetts Bureau of Community Health and Prevention, speaks out on the state’s health issue. “On a national level, (Massachusetts) looks pretty good. But we’ve got a long way to go.” Bartlett and her organization have a goal for the state of Massachusetts. They want to see obesity levels decrease by 5% within the next 15 years. Plus, a reduction in type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol cases. However, no specific plan to reach that was shared. (more…)

MyNetDiary Diabetes Tracker: An Essential Mobile App for Diabetics

MyNetDiary – one of the top diet apps available to smart phone users – launched a new online and mobile app called Diabetes Tracker that’s specifically designed to help those with diabetes better manage their condition.

Launched in 2007 and now hosting more than 2.5 million members, MyNetDiary wanted to bring a diabetes-friendly app to the market since it’s a disease affecting nearly 26 million people in the U.S. alone.

Sergey Oresko, CEO of MyNetDiary, said in a press release that since launching their initial diet app, the company has received a number of requests for an app that caters specifically to diabetics.

“We’ve been asked by thousands of our members to help them track their battle with diabetes,” he said. “And after a year of work on this, we’re pleased to offer the most user-friendly and easy app for tracking everything related to diabetes, diet and exercise, all wrapped into a single iPhone app.”

We recently chatted with Ryan Newhouse, MyNetDiary marketing director, to get a better understanding of how the app works. First, he explained that the Diabetes Tracker is an educational tool and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any ailment or disease.  (more…)