People with diabetes are nearly twice as likely as people without diagnosed diabetes to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association is currently funding more than 20 grants focused on understanding and combating cardiovascular disease associated with diabetes.
Researchers have found that one of the major causes of cardiovascular complications in diabetes is the failure of new blood vessels to regenerate. Therefore, several projects are focused on better understanding the process of blood vessel formation and the development of therapies, including stem cell therapies, to help repair and regrow healthy blood vessels. Other projects are focused on how arteries respond to insulin and how molecules involved in cardiovascular disease function in the context of diabetes. Source: American Diabetes Association Research Foundation
Currently, people with type 1 diabetes and advanced type 2 diabetes rely on painful finger pricks and regular insulin shots – often multiple times a day – to manage their blood glucose levels. While such approaches have been essential to improving diabetes care over the last half-century, they are burdensome and less than ideal. They allow people to correct for high blood glucose after it occurs, but not to avoid experiencing high blood glucose levels altogether.
Significant advances in diabetes research over several decades have led to the development of continuous glucose monitors and wearable insulin pumps. Linking such technologies together through computer algorithms, creating a so-called “artificial” or “bionic” pancreas that automatically monitors and corrects high blood glucose has been the focus of substantial efforts to improve diabetes care.
Along these same lines, American Diabetes Association Pathway to Stop Diabetes Scientist Zhen Gu, PhD, a professor in the Joint University of North Carolina/North Carolina State University Department of Biomedical Engineering, recently published a paper describing the development of an innovative “smart insulin” patch that takes a slightly different approach to the artificial pancreas, imitating the body’s beta cells by both sensing blood glucose levels and releasing insulin using a nanotechnology that leverages bioengineering, biochemistry and materials science.
The study, published in the prestigious biomedical journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was highlighted in several national news outlets, including a Washington Post article published on June 22.
Dr. Gu’s research is supported by a $1.625 million grant from the American Diabetes Association’s Pathway to Stop Diabetes program that began in January 2015 and has demonstrated significant progress already.
The design of the thin silicon patch – about the size of a penny – includes more than 100 microneedles – each the size of an eyelash. The microneedles are loaded with enzymes that are able to sense blood glucose levels and trigger rapid release of insulin into the blood stream in response to high glucose.
Dr. Gu and his colleagues have tested this technology in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes where it was able to effectively lower blood glucose levels for up to nine hours – a promising result that sets up additional pre-clinical tests (in animals) and, hopefully, eventual clinical trials (in humans).
In addition, Dr. Gu’s Association-funding supports his plans to expand the capacity of the patches to include glucagon – the hormone that counteracts insulin – in case blood glucose levels go too low. Low blood glucose is a dangerous potential side effect of insulin administration, and the grand plan for Dr. Gu’s efforts is to provide people with diabetes a long-lasting, effortless technology that mimics a healthy pancreas by sensing and responding to both high and low blood glucose levels seamlessly.
Yu J, Zhang Y, Ye Y, DiSanto R, Sun W, Ranson D, Ligler FS, Buse JB, Gu Z. Microneedle-array patches loaded with hypoxia-sensitive vesicles provide fast glucose-responsive insulin delivery. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jun 22.
Don’t fight the force. Accept the challenge!
Methodist Health System is offering a unique opportunity to wellness leaders in our community and their employees to increase their activity, as well as build and reinforce healthy habits. We know that staying physically active is a big part of health, and by bringing innovative and fun ways to do so supports our mission to improve and save lives.
Join us July 30, August 3, or August 6 for a Webinar to learn more about A Step Ahead: Alien Invasion, a FREE 6-week challenge in which corporate teams will race by steps and daily activities from planet to planet as the Aliens chase close behind.
You may have tried a corporate pedometer program before, but you’ve never tried anything like this! A Step Ahead: Alien Invasion is an interactive game played through your smart phone or computer that gives employees a fun theme throughout the activity-based challenge. Attached are details about how you can save the human race.
Spaces are limited, so sign up today!
Company Reservations are due by August 12
Participant Registration opens August 17, 2015
Challenge begins September 14, 2015
Join A Step Ahead: Alien Invasion to save the human race. Register for the introductory webinar here.
Do you have type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes? Register today for the DFW Step Out event on November 7th and you are considered a Red Strider. Among many other gifts and recognitions, all Red Striders that raise $500+ for Step Out automatically receive one of these limited Red Strider long sleeve t-shirts. REGISTER ONLINE TODAY!
Latino Healthfest in Oak Cliff to Offer Free Health Screenings
Join more than 2,000 Dallas residents and receive free health screenings at Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Feria de Salud Saturday, Sept. 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Latino health fair, sponsored by Texas Health Resources and hosted by the American Diabetes Association, will take place at Kidd Springs Park and Rec Center, 711 W. Canty Street in Dallas. Free health screenings include diabetes, cholesterol, vision, dental, foot and blood pressure.
“I am very excited about the event, and I think it’s a great event for the Hispanic community,” said Esteban Mojica, co-chair. “This is an event that brings unity and outreach all in one.”
The Feria de Salud’s entertainment will feature music by Latin House Krew. The kids’ zone, sponsored by YMCA and the City of Dallas, will feature a rock-climbing wall, bounce house, and face painting. This year’s event will also include a soccer demonstration by FC Dallas, sponsored by Novo Nordisk. And the Latino Culinary Institute will be conducting a food demonstration and providing healthy snacks.
Health screenings will be offered by: Walgreens, Dallas Diabetes and Endocrine Center, Baylor Heart and Vascular Center, Carter Blood Care, Prevent Blindness Texas, Parkland, and Women’s Specialty Center. Media sponsors are Univision Television and Radio.
Join one of our healthy education classes, sponsored by Famisalud.
And don’t miss the chance to win prizes like a Nintendo Wii!
Diabetes is a serious illness that affects Latinos in disproportionate numbers: one in seven Latinos has diabetes in comparison to one in twenty non-Latino whites. If trends continue, one in two Hispanic children born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime.
For information about diabetes, please call 1-888-DIABETES, or visit www.diabetes.org.
November 12th, 2015 Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
Inspiring Community Health and Wellness
Inspiring Community Health and Wellness Changing the Diabetes World One Community at a Time
We will also honor our 2015 J. Denis McGarry, The Sylvia & Gary Luskey and the Living Proof Ambassador Winners
We are looking forward to seeing you November 12, 2015 at Lone Star Park!
View more details in the flyers attached
Philipp E. Scherer, PhD, Receives American Diabetes Association’s Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement
The American Diabetes Association has awarded the prestigious Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement to Philipp E. Scherer, PhD, Professor and Director of the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
This award for scientific excellence recognizes significant, long-term contributions to the understanding, treatment or prevention of diabetes. Dr. Scherer was bestowed with this honor at the Association’s 75th Scientific Sessions® June 5-9, 2015, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Scherer Monday in a phone interview. “It’s an award for a whole program in the area of diabetes research. I was very gratified to see our hard work pay off. And it takes our research to the next level, working toward bigger and better things.”
Dr. Scherer is known for the discovery of adiponectin in 1993 and then for defining its physiologic roles as an ADA funded researcher in 1998. Adipose tissue had previously been considered simply as a storage depot for triglycerides, but Dr. Scherer’s studies using cell biological and biochemical approaches, as well as mouse genetics, revealed that adipose tissue is, in fact, a highly responsive endocrine organ that plays a crucial role in metabolism and inflammation.
“Adiponectin is beneficial for insulin control,” Dr. Scherer said. “You maintain better control of glucose and lipids in the system. It is derived from fat cells, but what makes it unique is the more fat you have, the less adiponectin in the body.”
These discoveries, combined with innovative methods he developed to study the individual contributions of specific cells to regulation of metabolism, have defined Dr. Scherer as one of the most noteworthy and creative scientists in the field.
His innovative contributions have been described in more than 320 publications, some of which have been cited more than 1,000 times, and comprise a comprehensive characterization of adipose tissue physiology.
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For the past 75 years, our mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.
How to get started with easy strength training moves at home…
You’re probably aware of the health benefits of aerobic exercise—the kind of movement that gets the heart and lungs working. But you may not realize just how important strength training is, too.
Strength training, also known as resistance training, builds muscle and is part of a balanced fitness routine. To build muscle mass, you must move a part of the body against a force, which could be a weight or a stretchy elastic band. Your own body weight can provide that force—such as when you do a push-up, using your arms to lift and lower your torso. Strength training can be modified for a variety of abilities, and can be adjusted to avoid injuries. An exercise physiologist can help you customize a plan.
Answers to common misperceptions about strength training may help provide that extra push to get you started:
Myth: To build muscles, you need to lift weights at the gym.
Fact: You can do strength-training exercises with weights, exercise bands, even soup cans—at the gym or in your home.
Myth: For best results, you should feel sore after a workout.
Fact: A well-designed strength-training program can help you avoid post-workout muscle aches.
Myth: Strength training is boring.
Fact: Strength training adds variety to your workout program so you don’t get bored. Your muscles will thank you, too—they will like the variety of being asked to move and stretch in different ways.
The benefits of strength training are numerous, for people with diabetes and for those without in all age groups. Generally speaking, resistance-type exercises increase muscle mass. Muscle is an active tissue, which burns calories and thus helps increase your metabolism. The key to a healthy weight is to increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is at rest. This means you burn fat while resting. That’s a good deal.
More muscle mass also helps prevent age-related declines, such as weakness and muscle atrophy (muscle that literally wastes away). Walking up stairs, carrying heavy objects, and getting up off the floor will all be easier when you increase your muscle mass.
Resistance exercise also works to lower blood glucose levels and makes you more sensitive to insulin. This means you transport glucose from your bloodstream to your muscles in a more efficient manner and that you need less insulin to do so. In fact, moving your muscles acts like a pump, pushing glucose into muscle where it can be used as fuel instead of circulating in high levels in your blood. Even better, strength training is free; there’s no co-pay involved.
The American Diabetes Association supports the guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine, recommending resistance training at least twice a week for adults with diabetes. A well-designed session includes at least five exercises that work your major muscle groups, each move performed for 10 to 15 repetitions, until you’re almost fatigued. There may be further health benefits if you increase the intensity or do additional sets (you can do that by repeating the exercise for another 10 to 15 repetitions after a short break or recovery period).
Before you start, speak to your doctor if you have any diabetes-related complications or other health concerns.
Add some sizzle to your summer. Food Editor Robyn Webb, MS, LN, shows us three ways to grill veggies: on a stick, in foil packets, and directly on the grill rack.
Food on a Stick: Balsamic-Orange Shrimp Kebabs
Surprise Packages: Garlic-Vegetable Foil Purses
Rack and Roll: Grilled Eggplant With Tomato, Caper, and Olive Topping