Posts Tagged "Type 2 Diabetes"


Type 2 diabetes may be preventable, but why isn’t Type 1? – National

by BBG Hub

Around one in three Canadians have diabetes or prediabetes, yet many remain in the dark when it comes to awareness and prevention.

Roughly 2.3 million Canadians aged 12 and older have diabetes, according to the latest government data, with Type 2 accounting for 90 to 95 per cent of diabetes cases.

November 14 is World Diabetes Day, and this year, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) wants to raise awareness of the disease’s warning signs.

According to the federation, one in two people currently living with diabetes is undiagnosed, with the vast majority having Type 2.

READ MORE: With Type 2 diabetes on the rise in kids, what does that say about efforts to encourage healthy living?

This is a huge problem because diabetes can cause serious health consequences — even death — if left untreated. In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes, the World Health Organization noted.

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“Studies show that very few Canadians who don’t have a personal connection to [diabetes] don’t consider it to be a serious disease,” said Kimberley Hanson, the executive director of federal affairs at Diabetes Canada.

“If more Canadians understood how serious diabetes can be, and yet how much power each of us have as individuals to protect against developing diabetes or complications, I think that we would all be acting differently as a society.”

Difference between Type 1 and Type 2

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body either can’t produce insulin, or can’t properly use the insulin it produces, Diabetes Canada reported.

The body needs insulin to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood in order to function properly. Too much blood sugar can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves.

Nearly 1-in-4 Saskatchewan residents impacted by diabetes

Nearly 1-in-4 Saskatchewan residents impacted by diabetes

There are different types of diabetes, with the two major ones being Type 1 and Type 2, and there are key differences between these types of diabetes, Hanson said.

Type 1 is an autoimmune condition in which the body is unable to produce insulin, Hanson says, and it is neither preventable nor curable.

“For reasons that we don’t understand fully, the body’s immune system starts to recognize the cells in our body that produce insulin as foreign, and kills them,” Hanson said.

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“Insulin is a hormone that we need… so people with Type 1 have to take insulin by injection or infusion every day for the rest of their lives or they die.”

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is when a person is either not making enough insulin, or they’re not able to use the insulin they do make effectively, Hanson said.

READ MORE: What it’s like to date while living with diabetes

Unlike Type 1, Type 2 can often be managed or put into remission through changes in diet and lifestyle. Insulin is not always required for Type 2.

There are also certain risk factors for Type 2 diabetes including genetic disposition, obesity, ethnic background and high blood pressure. Certain risk factors make Type 2 preventable.

Symptoms and how to manage diabetes

It’s important people are aware of the warning signs and symptoms of diabetes, experts added.

Symptoms of diabetes include unusual thirst, frequent urination, change in weight change, extreme fatigue, frequent or recurring infections, blurred vision and cuts and bruises that are slow to heal.

The rising cost of insulin in the U.S.

The rising cost of insulin in the U.S.

Because Type 1 is not preventable, its onset is more sudden than Type 2, which is usually more gradual Hanson said. If you suspect Type 1, seek medical attention immediately.

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“Type 1 often presents quite acutely. In fact, about 35 per cent of people present Type 1 in a diabetic crisis,” Hanson said.

“Whereas the onset of Type 2 is really gradual. Because of that, we estimate that a million people have diabetes today and don’t know it.”

For Canadians living with Type 1, insulin is vital and the only medically recognized way to treat the disease, said Dr. Harpreet Bajaj, the principal investigator of the Canadian Diabetes Prevention Program.

That being said, people with Type 1 should also engage in healthy lifestyle habits, like eating well and exercising, to help manage blood sugars.

READ MORE: Diabetes Canada says education is key after teen on Victoria bus denied snack to treat low blood sugar

For people who have Type 2 diabetes, Bajaj says a combined treatment approach is best.

“Treatment is like a three-legged stool,” he said. “Diet and exercise is one leg. Testing [blood sugar] regularly is the second leg… Then the third leg is medications.”

Diabetes medications depend on the person and their overall health, age, and condition, Bajaj said. People with Type 2 may also take insulin.

A healthy diet and regular exercise is also very important for Type 2 diabetes management as well as for overall health, Bajaj said.

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“Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease,” he said.

Calls for B.C. government to fund glucose monitor

Calls for B.C. government to fund glucose monitor

“It starts off where you can control the sugars easily with diet, exercise and maybe a few pills, but then it worsens over time. So that step of diet and exercise, if we use it with people at risk or at the prediabetes stage rather than waiting until somebody develops diabetes, then we can avoid or minimize effects.”

Diabetes prevention and awareness

Hanson says many Canadians underestimate the seriousness of diabetes, pointing to a recent Ipsos survey on the disease.

The survey found that while seven in 10 Canadians agree diabetes is on the rise in Canada, people greatly underestimate the chance of someone who is 20 today being diagnosed with diabetes in their lifetime.

This outcome has 50/50 odds, Diabetes Canada says, but only 5 per cent of Canadians believe people have a 50 per cent or greater chance of developing the disease.

READ MORE: Towards an ‘artificial pancreas’: new technology holds promise for diabetes patients

Education is key, Bajaj says, in reducing the risk of people developing Type 2 diabetes. He encourages Canadians to take an online quiz to see if they’re at risk.

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“They can find out that they are at a low, moderate, or high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, so that at least is a first step,” he said.

“If they are moderate or high risk, or if they have prediabetes, then it’s best to seek advice from public health officials, family doctors, or community education programs.”

Bajaj also says the Canadian Diabetes Prevention Program is a great resource for people interested in learning more and reducing their risk of Type 2.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Reality check: Can you reverse diabetes by changing your diet? – National

by BBG Hub

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects approximately three million Canadians, according to Statistics Canada.

There are two main kinds of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. If left untreated, the illness can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart problems, neuropathic pain and amputations.

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The causes of diabetes have long been debated. Type 1 is typically considered to be hereditary, while Type 2 has been associated with obesity and inactivity.

Historically, both types have been considered inevitably degenerative — but that may no longer be the case.

Some doctors believe Type 2 — which affects 90 per cent of people living with diabetes, according to Diabetes Canada — can be reversed by a dramatic change in diet and activity levels.

WATCH BELOW: The rising cost of insulin in the U.S.

A 2017 study published in the BMJ found that patients who lost a significant amount of weight (about 33 pounds) were able to send diabetes into remission. Researchers define this as “no longer having diabetes, at least for a period.”

A similar 2019 study conducted at the University of British Columbia found that reducing or eliminating a specific protein in the fat cells of mice not only prevents the onset of Type 2 diabetes, but also appears to reverse the disease as well.

That protein, dubbed CD248, was found to be higher in the fat cells of people with diabetes regardless of their shape and size, but would decrease to normal levels when people with obesity-associated diabetes reversed the disease through weight loss.

A new way to treat Type 2 diabetes

“When we talk about diabetes remission or reversal, we’re almost exclusively talking about Type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist at Scarborough Health Network. He calls Type 2 diabetes a “dietary disease.”

“If you think about Type 2 diabetes, the entire disease is essentially too much sugar in the body,” said Fung.

“Sugar is both glucose, which comes from refined carbohydrates, and fructose. Your body is trying to shove all this glucose into the cell, [but if] you have too much of it, some of this glucose basically spills out into the blood.”

READ MORE: Could Type 2 diabetes be reversed by reducing a protein in fat cells? UBC researchers think so

Fung believes doctors have made a “big mistake” in trying to treat Type 2 diabetes with drugs instead of prescribing a low-carbohydrate diet. He compares a human body to a car to draw an analogy.

“Think of glucose or sugar as fuel — the fuel your body uses as energy, just like you use gas in your car,” said Fung.

Imagine pumping gas into your car so frequently that the gas tank overflows into the backseat of your car and makes you sick.

“Now you know what the problem is. Are you going to keep pumping gas into your car? No,” he explained.

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Jeffrey Johnson, a pharmacist and professor at the University of Alberta, agrees.

Lifestyle changes such as “dietary changes and [increased] physical activity” have been shown to prevent — and even reverse — Type 2 diabetes.

“A healthier diet and physical activity, like getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week… was enough to prevent people at risk of developing diabetes from being diagnosed,” said Johnson.

READ MORE: Diabetes, obesity behind 800,000 cancers around the world, study finds

Johnson offered his father as an example.

“He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He was treated with medication, and with time, he changed his lifestyle,” he continued.

“He lost weight, changed his diet and [added] physical activity. He got his blood sugar under control and he was able to stop medication.”

However, Johnson warns that Type 2 diabetes is not always reversible.

“Some people get Type 2 diabetes just as they get older. They might not be overweight or obese,” he said. “For some people, it might not be reversible but for a large portion of the population, it is.”

Diet vs. losing weight?

While weight loss can be a consequence of a low-carbohydrate diet, Fung emphasizes that it doesn’t need to be the end goal.

“Both are important […] but not all types of body fat are equal,” he said. “We’ve focused mostly on getting people better, whether they’re overweight or not.

“There are a lot of people who have Type 2 diabetes who wouldn’t be classified as overweight.”

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In Fung’s practice, he focuses more on getting people “metabolically healthy” as opposed to setting weight loss goals.

Increasing daily activity can help, but changing your diet will have the most impact.

“Burning an extra 150 calories by exercising is minuscule — it’s like five per cent of the 2,000 calories you eat in one day,” he said.

“If you have an exam and 95 per cent is English and five per cent of the exam is math, you don’t study each [for 50 per cent] of the time.”

Finding the diet that’s right for you

“There are a lot of different dietary recommendations that can help people lose weight,” he said.

If you are interested in trying to treat Type 2 diabetes with a new diet, he suggests consulting a dietitian first.

“The most important things are starting to track and notice what you’re eating… It could even just be reduced portion sizes,” he said. “Simple decisions like that.”

— With files from Sean Boynton


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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Reality check: Does drinking coffee really help with weight loss? – National

by BBG Hub

Can coffee affect the body’s fat stores and help boost metabolism? According to new research, it might.

A study out of the University of Nottingham in England found that caffeine may stimulate brown fat reserves, which help determine how fast our bodies burn calories.

The findings, published Monday in the journal Scientific Reports, suggest that caffeine intake may help tackle health issues of obesity and diabetes.

“This is the first study in humans to show that something like a cup of coffee can have a direct effect on our brown fat functions,” Michael Symonds, one of the study’s co-authors and professor at University of Nottingham’s school of medicine, said in a statement.

READ MORE: You can drink up to 25 cups of coffee a day without harming your heart: study

“The potential implications of our results are pretty big, as obesity is a major health concern for society and we also have a growing diabetes epidemic and brown fat could potentially be part of the solution in tackling them.”

Brown fat is also known as brown adipose tissue (BAT), which is one of two main types of fat found in humans. Brown fat’s main purpose is to generate body heat by burning calories. White fat cells, on the other hand, store calories.

“Brown fat works in a different way to other fat in your body and produces heat by burning sugar and fat, often in response to cold,” Symonds said.

“Increasing its activity improves blood sugar control as well as improving blood lipid levels and the extra calories burnt help with weight loss.”

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Researchers first conducted a series of stem cell studies to see how coffee affected brown fat. Once they learned it stimulated the fat cells, they tested on humans using a thermal imaging technique “to trace the body’s brown fat reserves.”

Symonds told Global News that he and his research team believe caffeine affects brown fat by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. This, in turn, affects the body’s metabolism.

He said the researchers looked at the effects of one cup of coffee, which was enough to stimulate brown fat within an hour of consumption.

“We used a sachet of Nescafé, which has about two grams of coffee powder in about 200 millilitres of water,” he said.

READ MORE: Caffeine withdrawal — What happens when you don’t get your coffee fix

While their research only included nine people, Symonds said it was the first study to show brown fat stimulation in all subjects.

“We know that cold exposure stimulates brown fat, and both ourselves and other [researchers] have shown that eating a meal can stimulate brown fat… but this is the first time that anyone’s shown a specific ingredient — coffee — can stimulate brown fat within an hour of having it,” he said.

So does this mean the more coffee you drink the more brown fat is targeted?

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Symonds says more research is needed before making that connection.

“If one coffee works, does two, three, four have a bigger effect? I think it would depend on how long you wait in between coffees, and what other things you do during the day,” he told Global News.

“But potentially, one could make that proposal.”

According to Dr. Donald Hensrud, medical editor of the Mayo Clinic Diet and medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program in Rochester, Minn., the research findings sound probable, but coffee drinkers should be cautious.

READ MORE: ‘I’m tired of hiding’: What it’s like to date while living with diabetes

“While the study is plausible, we already know through population studies and randomized, controlled trials that the effect of caffeine and coffee on metabolic rate and weight loss is relatively small — this research has already been done,” he told Global News.

“Thus, the practical implications of this study are currently small.”

A recent systematic review on the effects of caffeine on weight loss found that “caffeine intake might promote weight, BMI and body fat reduction.”

When it comes to managing diabetes, Hensrud says there is “good evidence” that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee may be effective in preventing Type 2 diabetes.

READ MORE: Could Type 2 diabetes be reversed by reducing a protein in fat cells? UBC researchers think so

“This suggests that something other than caffeine may be responsible for this effect,” he said.

“Coffee has many different compounds and is abundant in antioxidants. However, the effect of coffee on diabetes risk is much less than is weight, and coffee is not effective in treatment of diabetes.”

So though this new study claims to be a source of hope for those wanting to lose weight, it’s still best viewed cautiously until further research is done.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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UBC study reveals cheat day in popular diet may cause some harm

by BBG Hub

A UBC Okanagan study into a popular diet has revealed that a cheat day could be bad for your health.

The researchers said that people on the so-called keto diet should think twice before taking a ‘cheat day.’

According to the researchers, a ‘cheat day’ is a common theme in many diets and the popular ketogenic diet, or keto as it’s better known, is no exception.

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But according to new research from UBC Okanagan researchers, just one 75-gram dose of glucose — the equivalent a large bottle of soda or a plate of fries — while on a high fat, low carbohydrate diet can lead to damaged blood vessels.

“The ketogenic—or keto—diet has become very common for weight loss or to manage diseases like type 2 diabetes,” said Jonathan Little, associate professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBCO and study senior author.

“It consists of eating foods rich in fats, moderate in protein, but very low in carbohydrates and it causes the body to go into a state called ketosis.”

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Little said the diet can be effective because once the body is in ketosis and starved for its preferred fuel, glucose, it begins to aggressively burn its fat stores.

This leads to weight loss and can reverse the symptoms of diseases like Type 2 diabetes.

“We were interested in finding out what happens to the body’s physiology once a dose of glucose is reintroduced,” said Cody Durrer, a UBC Okanagan doctoral student and study first author.

“Since impaired glucose tolerance and spikes in blood sugar levels are known to be associated with an increased risk in cardiovascular disease, it made sense to look at what was happening in the blood vessels after a sugar hit.”

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The researchers used nine healthy young males for their study.  The young men consumed a 75-gram glucose drink before and after a seven-day high fat, low carbohydrate diet. The diet consisted of 70 per cent fat, 10 per cent carbohydrates and 20 per cent protein, similar to that of a modern ketogenic diet.

“We were originally looking for things like an inflammatory response or reduced tolerance to blood glucose,” Durrer said. “What we found instead were biomarkers in the blood suggesting that vessel walls were being damaged by the sudden spike in glucose.”

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The researchers acknowledge that with only nine individuals in the study, more work is needed to verify their findings. But they added the results should give those on a keto diet something to think about when considering a cheat day.

“My concern is that many of the people going on a keto diet—whether it’s to lose weight, to treat Type 2 diabetes, or some other health reason—may be undoing some of the positive impacts on their blood vessels if they suddenly blast them with glucose,” Durrer said.

“Especially if these people are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease in the first place. Our data suggests a ketogenic diet is not something you do for six days a week and take Saturday off.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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