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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thyroid Diseases

Located in the neck in front of the throat is an endocrine gland medically known as thyroid gland. It's approximately 12-20 grams in typical size and has an ample blood stream. The thyroid gland generates 2 hormones, thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3) that are often adjusted by negative response to the brain specifically by thyroid stimulating hormone from the anterior pituitary and thyrotropin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus. Thyroid problems take place when these hormones exceed or slip behind the typical range.

Iodine, acquired by thyroid gland off the blood, is regarded as a key element in the production of thyroid hormones in the body. The blood iodine content is definitely a reflection of iodine adequacy in the diet. It really is extremely important in the normal formation of the thyroid hormones. It can cause thyroid ailments whenever deranged from usual level.

Nearly all organs of the body are influenced by thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormone is needed in the correct growth and development of the baby during pregnancy and in teens during their growth and development. These hormones also influence the metabolic process of adults.

Thyroid hormones exert various effects in the liver and influences many processes in the body which includes energy production and metabolism of nutrients. Thyroid hormones can accelerate the metabolism of stored fat and guards towards toxins.

The heart is also affected by thyroid hormones. Abnormal thyroid hormones are associated with heart problems that include decreased or increased heart rate, heart failure and rhythm irregularities.

Thyroid Problem Symptoms

Symptoms include unexplained weight loss or weight gain, palpitations, body weakness, apathy, changes in bowel movement, heat or cold intolerance and more. These symptoms depend on the abnormality of the thyroid hormone levels.

Types of Thyroid Disorders

Overactive Thyroid

This illness is usually considered as "hyperthyroidism" wherein the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. It's normally affiliated with diffuse thyroid gland enlargement.

overactive thyroid

Underactive Thyroid

It's also recognized as "hypothyroidism". It is the condition of having an underactive thyroid. This is a condition of low thyroid hormones or thyroid hormone deficiency.

underactive thyroid

Thyroid Cancer

It is an uncommon type of cancer. They can be classified whether they are benign or malignant.

thyroid cancer

Autoimmune Thyroid

It implies some sort of disorder from the human body's protection mechanism, wherein the body refuses to recognize its very own tissues and organs, and rejects them, triggering irritation and often times deterioration. It can develop either as underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scientists believe proteins targeted by Botox hold diabetes answer

Scientists: It is hoped the research will lead to a treatment for diabetes.© STV

Scientists believe the proteins targeted by Botox could hold the answer to treating type two diabetes.

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh are using molecular microscopic techniques on SNARE proteins to see how insulin release is regulated.

It is hoped they will identify how the regulation changes during type two diabetes.

SNARE proteins are targeted by Botox, preventing them from helping muscles contract.

They are also used in the pancreas to help release insulin. Type two diabetes happens when the cells cannot cope with prolonged high glucose levels of obese patients and releases less insulin. The reasons for this are still unclear.

It is hoped that by monitoring SNARE proteins they can determine why this happens.

Dr Colin Rickman said: "The human body has a system for storing glucose and releasing it when the body needs energy. This system controlled by the release of insulin.

"When a person is obese, which a worryingly high and increasing number of people in the UK are, this system is put under pressure and eventually fails. This leads to Type 2 diabetes. We know SNARE proteins are responsible for insulin secretion, but it's still not understood exactly how they do it.

"Once we can understand how these proteins behave in 'normal' circumstances, how they move, how they are arranged in the cell, how they interact with other proteins, we can then compare it with what happens under Type 2 diabetic conditions. This is the first time these proteins have ever been observed in such detail.

"Ultimately this could lead to new methods of diagnosis, prevention of the cells' failure that leads to diabetes and also treatments for Type 2 diabetes."

25.8 Million Diabetes Patients Need What Grove Instruments Is Developing

Grove Instruments is developing a pocket-sized device so diabetes patients can measure their glucose levels without taking their own blood. If clinical trials go well in 2013, its CEO expects to initiate the process of seeking Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the device in 2014. And if that goes well, Worcester, Mass.-based Grove Instruments' product could become available for use by the 25.8 million U.S. children and adults with diabetes by 2015 or 2016.

In a July 24 interview with CEO, Arthur Combs, I learned that his previous experience makes him a very strong leader for Grove Instruments. Combs was a critical care physician in the intensive care unit during a very invasive phase of medicine - e.g., cutting open peoples' chests to do heart surgery - before joining Mallinckrodt where he rose to Executive VP, R&D. He then led three medical device start-ups before joining Grove Instruments in 2007.

By the time Combs joined, Grove Instruments had been around for 16 years. "Grove's Chief Scientist, Dr. Hannu Harjunmaa of Finland and now-retired Worcester Polytechnic Institute professor, Robert A. Peura, independently identified the importance of the Optical Bridge approach to noninvasive glucose determination. Peura has a personal passion for this because two of his children have Type 1 diabetes and lance their fingers to test their blood sugar 10 to 12 times daily. But the company was run more like a science project until the early 2000s," explained Combs.

By the time Combs joined the company, it was much closer to commercialization. "Grove had developed two devices - for the earlobe and fingertip. It was getting good clinical results even though they were not up to FDA or international standards. But they had done enough to convince me that the technology could be commercialized. The first thing I did when I joined was to build Grove Instruments' organization. I built the team from four people to 14 plus consultants and five full-time interns and we now have 5,000 square feet of office space," said Combs.

It was the optical bridge technology that makes Grove Instruments' product so much better than the competition. According to Combs, "Many companies are using a laser to send out light with a specific wavelength to detect glucose in the blood. The laser generates a specific wavelength of light that is absorbed in a stoichiometric fashion by glucose molecules - the more glucose molecules; the more photons are absorbed. The problem is that people are at least 50 percent water which absorbs the light and is not useful for detecting glucose. But our Optical Bridge technology - which has nine issued patents and four pending - negates that background water and increases the signal to noise ratio by a factor of 1,500."

Grove Instruments' product is therefore much more effective than competitors'. But Grove Instruments' product is not yet ready to be sold to the public. As Combs explained, "We have completed a trial at U Mass Medical Center and are starting another trial at Yale University. We will do more trials at Yale, U Mass and other places in 2013."

This would set the stage for FDA approval efforts. "If those trials go well, we should be in a position to begin FDA testing starting in 2014. The FDA has very specific requirements including making sure that we test the exact product we will be selling - instead of a prototype; that we follow Good Manufacturing Practice standards; that we test the product under FDA clinical practice standards; and that we follow FDA design standards. Depending on whether we form a partnership to do this testing, we could complete the FDA approval process in 2015 or 2016," said Combs.

Grove Instruments is burning through cash and needs to raise more. According to Combs, "Throughout the company's history it has raised about $25 million to $30 million. This includes grants from the National Institute of Health and a prize from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Collaborative. I am raising funds now from private equity investors that should last us through June 2014. Wealthy individuals in 12 states are willing to invest because they have a personal connection with diabetes - regardless of the general economic climate."

If Grove Instruments succeeds, the number of daily finger lances by the U.S.'s diabetes patients would plunge below its current 310 million. And that would be a big step in the right direction for non-invasive medicine.

Diabetic kidney disease

With an aging society and increase in obesity, the number of diabetes patients is increasing each year. This is associated with an increase in chronic complications of diabetes.

Diabetic kidney disease is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease, and is the most serious complication of diabetic patients. Therefore, the presence of diabetic kidney disease is an important prognostic factor for diabetic patients. Here, I will discuss the risks, prevention and management of diabetic kidney disease.

How is diabetes related to the kidneys?

The chronic elevation of blood glucose in diabetic patients leads to various complications. The complications of diabetes can be divided into macrovascular and microvascular complications. The kidneys contain small blood vessels, and are the main organ affected by diabetes.

(Illustration by Park Gee-young)

Diabetic kidney disease leads to proteinuria in the early stages, and gradually leads to declining kidney function. This in turn leads to various problems including accumulation of waste products, electrolyte disturbance and anemia.

Who develops diabetic kidney disease and how can it be prevented?

The prevalence of diabetic kidney disease in type 1 and 2 diabetic patients is approximately 30 percent. Diabetic kidney disease usually arises after five years of having diabetes. Those with type 2 diabetes have a higher chance of developing the disease earlier, which is why they should be aware of kidney disease from the diagnosis of diabetes.

Diabetic kidney disease is more common in those with higher blood glucose levels, those with obesity, and those who are smokers. The disease tends to progress more quickly in these people. Therefore, it is important to manage these risk factors to prevent diabetic kidney disease. Strict management of blood glucose, weight control and not smoking can help prevent the progression of diabetic kidney disease.

How can kidney complications be identified in diabetic patients?

There are no objective symptoms of early kidney disease. Often, in diabetic kidney disease, the absence of symptoms does not necessarily indicate the absence of any kidney problems. Therefore, diabetic patients need regular tests for complications.

The earliest indication of diabetic kidney disease is microalbuminuria, which can be identified by urine tests. Patients with type 1 diabetes should have tests for microalbuminurias every year starting 5 years after diabetes diagnosis, whereas patients with type 2 diabetes should be tested every year from the time of diagnosis. The presence of albumin in urine suggests diabetic kidney disease.

However, some people may have declining kidney function without albuminuria, which is why serum creatinine levels are also measured to assess kidney function. Patients with diabetic kidney disease often also develop hypertension, so the diabetic patients with hypertension should be observed closely for the development of diabetic kidney disease. Diabetic kidney disease can lead to edema and nocturia in its late stages. However, these are also caused by other diseases, which is why the patient needs to be tested further to make the diagnosis.

I have been diagnosed with kidney complications while under management for diabetes. What do I need to do now?

Once you develop diabetic kidney disease, efforts should be made to delay its progression rather than trying to achieve a cure. Diabetic kidney disease progresses gradually, but the rate of progression varies widely. It can be delayed by using appropriate medication and making lifestyle changes. The most important thing is to manage your blood glucose levels.

Hyperglycemia increases the risk of developing diabetic kidney disease, and contributes to the progression of the disease, which is why it is so important to manage blood glucose levels. To do this, you should maintain a regular and appropriate diet, as well as regular exercise. You should also be prescribed diabetic medications and insulin by your doctor. The target blood glucose level is 70-130 fasting, under 180 two hours after a meal, and HbA1c of 7 or less.

The second important thing is managing your blood pressure. Patients with diabetic kidney disease often have hypertension, and uncontrolled hypertension can lead to worsening of proteinuria and significant decline in kidney function. Control of blood pressure may be easier than controlling diabetes, and the effect of blood glucose is more significant on the kidneys, which is why managing blood glucose may be more important than managing hypertension. For effective control of blood pressure, it is important to maintain a low-salt diet, exercise regularly and lose weight. The salt intake per day should be 2.3 grams or less for a low-salt diet. You can try the following to eat a low-salt diet: use soy sauce, garlic, onions or lemon instead of salt when cooking. Cook food without using salt, then add salt as needed before eating. Check the salt content of foods when purchasing foods, and write a food diary.

It is also important to use antihypertensive medicines together with dietary modification. A certain class of antihypertensive agents may be helpful, so you should discuss this with your doctor. Often, a single type of antihypertensive may not be sufficient to reach the target blood pressure, so you may need several types of antihypertensives. The target blood pressure is 130 mmHg systolic, and 80 mmHg diastolic.

Smoking is a major factor that contributes to the progression of diabetic kidney disease and can cause cardiovascular complications, so you should stop smoking. The aim of diabetic kidney disease treatment is to prevent the progression of renal failure, while also preventing the development of cardiovascular complications. For this, you should manage blood pressure and blood glucose, and make lifestyle modifications. There is no definitive treatment for diabetic kidney disease, so you should avoid using untested treatments without discussing this with your doctor.

Lastly, if you already have late-stage renal failure from diabetic kidney disease, it is recommended that you undergo dialysis treatment at an appropriate time. This is because renal failure leads to accumulation of waste products that can cause serious problems in not only the kidneys, but also other organs. A kidney transplant is another option for diabetic patients, so make sure that you discuss all the options with your specialist doctor.

Lee Jung-eun

By Lee Jung-eun

The author is a doctor in the Division of Nephrology at Samsung Medical Center and a professor of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine. ― Ed.

Baxter the diabetes dog will get his life

Baxter the black lab is Ali Saber's lifeline - alerting her when her blood sugar dips dangerously low - and now, thanks to generous donations, he will soon begin cancer treatments.

Saber and Baxter have been together for ten years. When Saber is sleeping and her blood sugar dips dangerously low, Baxter can smell it on her breath and nudges her awake so she can check her blood sugar.

"About two and a half months ago, I noticed a lump on his side," she said. "Sure enough the report came back and it's cancer."

Saber borrowed the money to have the tumor removed. But Baxter still needs injections and medication she can't afford. So she took the story public and donations began coming in.

"The response has been great and is very heart warming," veterinarian Lisa Parshley said Wednesday. Parshley said enough money has been raised to provide therapy for the next 6 months. "It is hard to know before starting how Baxter will respond to therapy and how long he might need to be on therapy. If he responds he has a chance at several years," she said.

Anyone interested in making a donation can do so through the Paws Against Cancer charity or contact Dr. Tom Allen at Olympia Veterinary Cancer Center at (360) 339-3596.

Pets and Animals Video More Video

Baxter the diabetes dog will get his life

Baxter the black lab is Ali Saber's lifeline - alerting her when her blood sugar dips dangerously low - and now, thanks to generous donations, he will soon begin cancer treatments.

Saber and Baxter have been together for ten years. When Saber is sleeping and her blood sugar dips dangerously low, Baxter can smell it on her breath and nudges her awake so she can check her blood sugar.

"About two and a half months ago, I noticed a lump on his side," she said. "Sure enough the report came back and it's cancer."

Saber borrowed the money to have the tumor removed. But Baxter still needs injections and medication she can't afford. So she took the story public and donations began coming in.

"The response has been great and is very heart warming," veterinarian Lisa Parshley said Wednesday. Parshley said enough money has been raised to provide therapy for the next 6 months. "It is hard to know before starting how Baxter will respond to therapy and how long he might need to be on therapy. If he responds he has a chance at several years," she said.

Anyone interested in making a donation can do so through the Paws Against Cancer charity or contact Dr. Tom Allen at Olympia Veterinary Cancer Center at (360) 339-3596.

Pets and Animals Video More Video

All welcome at diabetes hui

Arowhenua Health Clinic nurse Maree Rowley knows that diabetes is a disease that steals quality of life.

She also knows that educating people is key to understanding, and understanding is key to improving health.

That is why the health clinic is holding a hui on the subject, and everyone is invited - Maori and non-Maori, people with or without diabetes, young and old.

Mrs Rowley said diabetes is a lifestyle disease.

"Smoking, not exercising, diet, weight, age, ethnicity are all contributing factors," she said.

"Until I started studying my post-graduate certificate in diabetes I didn't realise it is such a huge disease.

"You hear adverts drone on about diabetes, but I didn't realise how it robs people of their quality of life. It robs people not just personally, but it costs their contribution to the workforce, their families and communities,- personally and financially.

"I'll do anything I can to reduce that cost.

"The more information people have the more they can manage themselves and trip-ups become fewer. It's about giving them information and letting them make choices."

Small hui have been held monthly and attendance had mostly been gained through word of mouth, but the upcoming meeting is expected to be bigger and better.

Community dietician Tim Brosnahan will be speaking about packaging labels.

"Food labels can sometimes be helpful and not so helpful," Mrs Rowley said.

Arowhenua Health Clinic GP Dr Tahir Ayub will also be speaking and answering questions.

"Knowing what the concerns are and education is king, we need to be proactive rather than reactive. This opportunity is free, it's open to anybody, and anyone who is educated about diabetes and makes changes and choices to improve their overall health, that has to be a good thing," Mrs Rowley said.

Although Arowhenua Whanau Services is Maori-based, Mrs Rowley wants to make it clear that it is open to everyone.

"It's absolutely not exclusive. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry is more than welcome, so is their family, their whanau, friends ... anyone.

"I think some people feel that if they come out to Arowhenua they're unsure, they feel like they might do something wrong.

"I've always found everyone welcoming and warm and wonderful really. And I've never been frightened to ask if I'm unsure," Mrs Rowley said.

Arowhenua Whanau Services is funded by the South Canterbury District Health Board, and is a nurse-led clinic that provides free healthcare to anyone who needs it.

Mrs Rowley encourages more people to make the most of the service.

The Hui will be held at the Arowhenua Marae from 2pm to 4pm on August 14. Attendees are asked to bring a can or a packet of non-perishable food to study the label.

It will then be collected and donated to families in need.

SOUTH CANTERBURY HERALD - © Fairfax NZ News Comments

Summer camp a reality for children with diabetes

Children diagnosed with diabetes at Camp Easter Seal in Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan this week. Brent McGillivray / Global News

WATROUS, Sask. - For over 50 years, 64 kids diagnosed with type 1 diabetes from around Saskatchewan have had the opportunity to go to camp at Manitou Beach.

The camp gives them a summer experience with other kids who understand the day to day challenges of diabetes.

"Dr. Best is my doctor in Saskatoon. So I go see him once a year and he showed me a photo book of kids having fun at camp and I didn't know there was a camp special for diabetics, so I thought I'd come try it out and I've loved it ever since," said Joseph Hodgson, 12-year-old diabetic.

The Canadian Diabetes Association has been making summer camps a reality for kids with diabetes for over 50 years.

"They learn how to test their blood sugars themselves, they learn how to adjust their insulin levels, depending on their activity levels and what they're going to be eating that day, how much to eat. All that kind of thing, that probably their parents managed and this is the opportunity for them to learn on their own," said Brie Hnetka, Canadian Diabetes Association.

Over 80,000 people in Saskatchewan are dealing with type 1 or 2 diabetes, according to the Canadian Diabetes Assocation.

It's estimated that by 2020, the number could reach over 110,000, equivalent to 10 percent of the population.

Hi-Tech Pharmacal gets FDA warning on diabetes meds

Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co. said Wednesday it would comply with a federal warning about three of its medicinal creams for diabetics.

The Amityville-based manufacturer of generic and brand-name drugs said it had received a "warning letter" from the federal Food and Drug Administration on July 15. The letter "related to certain statements that appear in labeling" on the creams, the company said.

In the letter, the FDA said Hi-Tech's claims about the creams make them drugs subject to FDA approval, which has not been granted.

The FDA said sale of the creams across state lines was prohibited without first receiving federal approval.

The creams are Diabeti-Derm Antifungal Cream and Zostrix Diabetic Foot Pain Relief Cream and Diabetic Joint & Arthritis Pain Relief Cream.

The three generated $1.1 million in sales for the fiscal year ended April 30. Hi-Tech's total sales for the year were $232 million.

Hi-Tech is one of 15 companies accused by the FDA Tuesday of marketing illegal treatments for diabetes. In announcing the nationwide crackdown, the FDA said, "consumers should exercise caution before using products claiming to be herbal or all-natural alternatives to FDA-approved prescription drugs. These products should be considered unsafe and should not be used."

Hi-Tech made its announcement came this morning's stock market's opening. In early trading, Hi-Tech shares were down 43 cents, or more than 1 percent, to $36.15.

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16% of Qatar's adult population suffers from diabetes

People taking part in the diabetes screening.

About 16% of the adult Qatari population between the age of 20 and 79 suffers from diabetes, according to a statement issued by Action on Diabetes (AOD). AOD is a joint initiative by the Supreme Council of Health, Hamad Medical Corporation ( HMC), Qatar Diabetes Association, Maersk Oil and world leader in diabetes care Novo Nordisk.Action on Diabetes (AOD) recently completed the public screening campaigns that have been running across malls in Doha last month. As a reaction to these growing numbers, the AOD public screening campaign focused on reaching out to Qatar's local population and providing free diabetes testing as well as guidance by professional dieticians from the Qatar Diabetes Association and Hamad Medical Corporation through a specialist screening booth placed in various malls across Qatar.The results of the screenings suggest that a high percentage of Qatar's residents have too high blood sugar levels. Out of the 2,785 individuals that were screened during the campaign, 553 individuals had diabetes or showed abnormal high levels of blood sugar. The alarming fact was that 86% of the individuals tested, were unaware that they had abnormal high blood sugar. All individuals at risk of developing diabetes had a consultation with a diabetes educator and were referred to adequate health care at assigned centres and physicians.Raising awareness about diabetes and the need to be regularly screened was one of the main objectives of the campaign as early detection is able to stop the onset of the disease which is currently rising at record rates in Qatar. Dr Mahmoud Zirie, head of Endorcinology at HMC, said: "The campaign highlighted that the number of people in Qatar who are unaware of their diabetes condition or are pre-diabetic is rather high. By 2030, it is estimated that the number of people with diabetes will almost double. However, with initiatives such as the screening campaign, we are trying to significantly lower these numbers through education, early detection and intervention."Working to raise the general awareness of diabetes, with particular focus on increasing public knowledge and understanding of the risk factors involved, AOD aims at informing and encouraging the community in Qatar to make real life-style changes that make a difference both to those who already have diabetes, but also in preventing those at risk from developing it in the future.Dr Abdulla al-Hamaq, director of Qatar Diabetes Association, member of Qatar Foundation, commented, "Diabetes prevention is in your hands - this is the message we want to deliver and hope that this screening campaign has gone someway in really making this point. Diabetes screening tests are a good preventive method for catching the development of diabetes at an early stage."AOD has also launched a 'Fasting & Health' daily programme running throughout the holy month of Ramadan on the Qur'an station 103.4FM, from Sunday to Thursday at 13:00. The hour-long programme aims at giving medical lessons on how to deal with difficult health situations during Ramadan.