March 20, 2018

Health Roundup - Diabetes Edition

Type 2 Diabetes Was Misdiagnosed All Along, It Could Actually Be Several Diseases

That's the conclusion of new research, and it could revolutionize the way we detect and treat diabetes in the future.  Analyzing past studies covering a total of 14,775 type 1 and type 2 adult-onset diabetes patients across Sweden and Finland, scientists have found five different and distinct disease profiles, including three severe and two mild forms of the condition.
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Instead of splitting diabetes simply into type 1 and type 2, the researchers came up with five different disease profiles - one autoimmune type of diabetes and four other distinct subtypes. All five types were found to be genetically distinct, with no shared mutations. One of the three more serious forms was a group of people with severe insulin resistance and a significantly higher risk of kidney disease. Another more mild type was seen mostly in elderly people.

You can see how those distinctions could improve the way we tackle diabetes – by identifying the types of patients involved and the complications they're at risk from, doctors could work out more personalized courses of treatment. Indeed, the researchers found that many in the study weren't being given the right treatment for the particular characteristics of the diabetes they had.

Could diabetes be triggered by a virus? Alert as scientists identify pathogens that could derail insulin in the body

The exact cause of types 1 and 2 diabetes is not known. Proteins in viruses that mimic insulin may trigger type 1 by tricking the body into thinking the hormone is an invader. Tissues may become resistant to insulin due to the similar viral proteins, causing type 2 diabetes. The Harvard researchers found the insulin-like proteins in four viruses, but think their research could be 'the tip of the iceberg'....Viruses could cause this phenomenon in one of two ways: 'It could cause abnormalities in metabolism itself because they have insulin-like effects, but they are weak, and not fully active,' offers Dr Kahn. 'Or, it could affect the ability of our own cells to respond to our own insulin, a form of insulin resistance,' he says.

This Common Medication Can Actually Prevent Type 1 Diabetes

There's new hope for stopping Type 1 diabetes in its tracks after researchers discovered an existing drug can prevent the condition from developing – and the same techniques used here could also be applied to other diseases.  The drug in question is methyldopa, currently on the World Health Organization's list of essential drugs having been used for more than 50 years to treat high blood pressure in pregnant women and children.
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"We can now predict with almost 100 percent accuracy who is likely to get Type 1 diabetes," says Michels. "The goal with this drug is to delay or prevent the onset of the disease among those at risk." That 100 percent prediction rate is made possible by looking at a variety of genetic and biological markers, including autoantibodies in the blood. Those at risk could now be put on a course of treatment to ward of the development of diabetes.

Poor oral health may increase your risk of diabetes, study warns

It's well-known that people with poorly controlled diabetes have a greater risk of developing dental problems like gum disease and decaying teeth, but new research suggests that poor oral health could also signify an onset of the disease. The current study, done by researchers at City of Hope National Medical Center, suggests dental exams may be a tool for diagnosing a person's risk for developing diabetes.  Researchers found oral health may indicate a person's diabetes risk.  A relationship was found between the number of missing teeth and glucose intolerance
Posted by Jill Fallon at March 20, 2018 12:15 PM | Permalink