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Researchers craft a plan to get kids to exercise every day
Date: 2013-03-13 00:00:00

Blood tests can diagnose a number of health problems, from the flu to terminal cancer, which is why people should get lab tests regularly. One important condition that a blood test can diagnose is diabetes, which is a growing problem in the U.S. among both children and adults. Kids are eating more and exercising less, increasing their risk of not only developing diabetes, but also heart disease later in life. Recently, researchers from the University of Tennessee set out to combat the problem of childhood obesity head-on, and came up with a comprehensive plan.

The scientists released a report explaining exactly how children can meet the federal recommendation of 60 minutes of physical activity a day - and it's easier than many people may think.

A serious issue... Full Story

Can low blood sugar increase the likelihood of dementia in diabetics?
Date: 2013-06-11 00:00:00

Individuals affected by Type 2 diabetes may be more likely to have low blood sugar than those who are not impacted by the condition. A lab test can help determine whether a person is affected by the condition, as well as his or her insulin levels.

According to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, having Type 2 diabetes may also increase the likelihood of dementia.

Close to 800 people participated in the study, which appeared online on June 10. Researchers found that those impacted by hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, were twice as likely to develop dementia than those without a history of the condition.

"If you had dementia you were also at a greater risk of getting hypoglycemic, compared with people with diabetes who didn't have dementia," said Kristine Yaffe, M.D., a professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

The likelihood of hypoglycemia becomes more evident as people age, HealthDay News reported. Yaffe noted that the most probable source of the connection between mental deterioration and low blood sugar comes from the way hypoglycemia may reduce the brain's supply of sugar, which in turn causes cognitive difficulties.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, shakiness, sweating, hunger, jerky movements, seizures and odd, tingling-like sensations around the mouth.

The best way to prevent hypoglycemia is to make sure to check blood glucose levels often, which individuals can do through blood testing and other forms of monitoring the condition online.

Other natural ways of dealing with hypoglycemia include eating foods with only 15 grams of carbohydrates, which includes drinking 4 ounces of juice or soda, saltine crackers, 4 teaspoons of sugar or 1 tablespoon of honey, the ADA reported.

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More sleep may reduce the risk of diabetes
Date: 2013-06-18 00:00:00

A study by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute has revealed that sleeping more on the weekends may reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, a finding that could help individuals enjoy greater health and less susceptibility to chronic medical issues.

For those who are concerned that they may be vulnerable to diabetes, cholesterol testing can provide conclusive results and give people a more accurate glimpse of their overall health.

According to researchers, sleep can have a tremendous impact on the body's ability to remove sugar from the bloodstream. By enjoying better quality sleep, people may be able to enhance their sensitivity to insulin, HealthDay News reported.

"Our study found extending the hours of sleep can improve the body's use of insulin, thereby reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes in adult men," Peter Liu, M.D., a researcher at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. "Reducing the incidence of this chronic illness is critical for a nation where diabetes affects nearly 26 million people and costs an estimated $174 billion annually."

Less than 20 men with no history of diabetes were recruited for the study, most of whom were 29 years old on average. Researchers noted that the men routinely slept little more than six hours each night, but caught up on their sleep during the weekends, where they typically stayed in bed for up to two and a half hours longer than usual.

The participants were assigned different sleep schedules over the duration of the study - alternating between six and 10 hours per night. Those who enjoyed three consecutive nights of 10 hours of rest had better insulin sensitivity than those who did not sleep for 10 hours routinely, the news source reported.

The findings will be released on June 18 at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in San Francisco, Calif. They shed new light on the potential for lifestyle factors like lack of sleep to determine the development of major conditions like Type 2 diabetes.

Other ways to reduce the likelihood of Type 2 diabetes include taking cholesterol tests regularly, exercising, eating right and watching one's weight, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Can red meat increase the likelihood of Type 2 diabetes?
Date: 2013-06-18 00:00:00

When it comes to Type 2 diabetes, most people believe that excessive consumption of sugar can influence the development of the condition. While sugar intake is a factor people should be mindful of when trying to improve overall wellness, according to a recent study appearing in JAMA Internal Medicine, red meat could actually also increase the risk for developing the condition.

Researchers examined data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses' Health Study, which included findings from roughly 100,000 people after they stopped eating red meat - including hot dogs and bacon, NPR reported.

"Some people [in the study] increased their red meat consumption and other people decreased their consumption," said co-author Frank Hu, M.D., M.P.H., of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Among those who ate about 3.5 servings more per week of red meat over the study period, the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increased by close to 50 percent.

Meanwhile, those who ceased eating bacon, hot dogs and other processed red meats experienced a 14 percent decline in their likelihood of having Type 2 during a follow-up period spanning 10 years.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults are affected by the condition in the U.S., which constitutes about 8.3 percent of the overall population.

Each year, 18.8 million people are diagnosed with the condition, while 79 million people are considered prediabetes, which means they have blood glucose levels that exceed normal rates but are not high enough for diabetes to be considered the cause.

Those with prediabetes are encouraged to monitor their blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Those with low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides are considered to be at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, and should consider the benefits of cholesterol testing. With cholesterol tests, individuals can get a better sense of their overall health and work to reduce or delay the development of the condition.

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AMA classifies obesity as a disease
Date: 2013-06-19 00:00:00

For those who are affected by obesity, health problems including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint or muscle disorders and the threat of heart attack or stroke can be prevalent.

While cholesterol testing is one kind of lab test online that can help a person gain a better picture of your overarching health, it is not the only way individuals can take control of their own wellness. Exercising, eating right and being mindful of calorie intake can be beneficial for those who want to reduce their weight and prevent obesity outright.

Combating obesity has taken on new significance in the wake of the American Medical Association's announcement on June 18 that obesity will now be classified as a disease. Experts with the AMA hope that this shift will enable healthcare providers to offer a higher level of care to those impacted by the condition and give obese men and women the impetus to act, NPR reported.

"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans," AMA board member Patrice Harris, M.D., said in a statement. "The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity."

Treating obesity like a chronic illness is a crucial step toward reducing the impact that it can have on individuals in the years to follow. The AMA's decision, according to Esa Matius Davis, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, will help broaden the resources available to healthcare specialists for the treatment of obesity.

Right now, drugs, nutritional counseling and gastric-bypass surgery are among the options explored by people and their doctors in the battle against the bulge. However, this can be costly if an insurance provider fails to provide adequate compensation, and can limit the help people are able to receive.

In addition, the declaration of the AMA that obesity is a disease may bolster research in the area by academics, which could be beneficial in helping to limit the spread of obesity in future years.

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Medicare program to reduce out-of-pocket costs for seniors
Date: 2013-06-28 00:00:00

Seniors who use blood glucose tests to monitor their health are probably well informed about the kind of work that goes into to ensuring overall wellness, especially when coping with a condition like Type 2 diabetes.

In addition to taking the right treatments and using lab tests online whenever possible to get an overall sense of their health, seniors are often eager to save money where they can in other ways. On July 1, they'll be able to benefit from new measures by Medicare.

Beginning next month, those who qualify for Medicare and who are affected by Type 2 diabetes will qualify for a cost-saving program that helps reduce the price of some much-needed treatments.

In order to reap the benefits of this service, individuals will need to order their supplies through a national mail-order program or a Medicare-approved pharmacy, HealthDay News reported.

"We're hopeful that approved providers for diabetic testing supplies will offer people a better value for their needed mail-order purchases and ensure that consumers and taxpayers are getting the best price for their supplies," said Ariel Gonzalez, director of federal health and family advocacy for AARP.

According to the news source, right now individuals with Type 2 diabetes and Medicare receive about $77.90 worth of medical supplies, including 100 blood sugar test strips and lancets. The latter are needles that people use to draw a drop of blood, per month.

Recipients are expected to pay about 20 percent of this overall expense, which can amount to roughly $15.58 per month. However, with the new program that will take effect, the cost of Medicare supplies will drop to $22.47 and each Medicare recipient will only be expected to pay roughly $4.50.

This is the result of a competitive bidding process that was established in the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003.

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Blood tests reveal hypoglycemia in Type 2 diabetics
Date: 2013-07-30 00:00:00

A joint study from Yale University School of Medicine and Kaiser Permanente discovered that certain types of medications can incite severely low blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics, regardless of how well or poorly they manage their condition.

Lab tests will reveal whether a patient has diabetes - The American Diabetes Association reported that Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is unable to use insulin normally, otherwise known as insulin resistance. This makes the patient's blood sugar levels erratic and hard to control. To avoid further medical complications, diabetics need to monitor their insulin and glucose levels regularly.

According to the Mayo Clinic, increased physical activity can help people control their diabetes, as well as lose weight, lower blood glucose and increase the body's sensitivity to insulin. The source also suggested implementing more fiber into the diet to improve blood sugar levels, in addition to lowering the risk of heart disease and promoting weight loss. People who are at risk for diabetes can use fiber as a potential preventative measure.

Researchers noted that their findings challenge the common belief that severely low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is most often an issue for patients who have well-controlled diabetes, or low-average blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia can cause some discomfort, but is often fixed with some food or drink. However, severe hypoglycemia will usually result in the patient needing assistance. It can incite dizziness, mental confusion, injury, car accident, coma, and, in some rare cases, death.

"Many clinicians may assume that hypoglycemia is not much of a problem in poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes given their high average blood sugar levels," said Andrew Karter, senior author of the report. "This study suggests that we should pay much closer attention to hypoglycemia, even in poorly controlled patients. Providers should explain the symptoms of hypoglycemia, how to treat it, and how to avoid it - for example, by not skipping meals."

Kasia Lipska, lead author of the study noted that hypoglycemia is the most common medical complication of diabetes medications. In clinical trials, those who were heavily medicated and were aiming for perfect control of blood glucose were much more likely to experience the condition. Lipska went on to say that it was not glucose levels that caused hypoglycemia, but rather the medications used to treat it.

Methods used in the study... Full Story

Study shows strong link between fast food, Type 2 diabetes
Date: 2013-11-10 00:00:00

A new study has shown that there is a strong link between regular fast food consumption and the development of Type 2 diabetes. Published in the European Journal of Nutrition, the study showed that eating fast food can increase the risk of diabetes by 70 percent, according to lab tests.

Fast food and diabetes ... Full Story

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