Type 1 Diabetes Research-What You Need to Know

Recently researchers at LJI reported they prevented beta cell deaths in mice by blocking nerve signals to the pancreas. Why is this important? They may be one step closer to understanding what causes diabetes. The hope is that understanding will lead to a cure. This is what you need to know. What is the Pancreas? Your pancreas is about six inches long. It lies in the back of the abdomen, on your right side behind your liver. The pancreas creates a cocktail of juices called enzymes.  These enzymes travel from the pancreas through a duct to the upper part of your intestine. There they break down the food you eat into fats, proteins, and starches. Your pancreas also produces hormones that carry messages to other parts of your body. (Read more about the pancreas.) One hormone the healthy pancreas makes is insulin. It makes insulin in specialized cells called beta cells. What is Type I Diabetes Nearly 1.6 million Americans have a life-threatening, but treatable condition. Their beta cells die. When their beta cells die, their bodies do not produce insulin. It happens in every race, gender, and body size and shape. Even mammals can have type I diabetes. Without […]

Do You Recognize Diabetes, the Invisible Killer?

November 14th is World Diabetes Day and part of Diabetes Awareness Month. Why have a month dedicated to diabetes awareness? Because diabetes or pre-diabetes affects more than 100 million Americans and about 1 in 11 adults worldwide. That’s more than 500 million people worldwide and growing. The symptoms of diabetes are often so subtle that more than 46% of people with diabetes don’t know they have it! Take charge of your health. Be vigilant, know your risk factors, and have regular checkups. Know how to recognize diabetes, the invisible killer.  What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat.  Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells. (Definition from NIH.Gov health information.) What Causes Diabetes? There are different types of diabetes. Each has its own causes.  Type 2 Diabetes is the most common. It affects nearly 90% of all who have the disease.Typically, it […]

Your Gift Could Save a Life or Find a Cure

Finishing my Best Gifts posts, this charity is no surprise: The American Diabetes Association. Readers of this blog know that my niece and my husband are diabetics. Giving to the American Diabetes Association and their research partner, the American Diabetes Association Research Foundation are on my list. Your gift pays forward to the newly diagnosed, those struggling with the disease, and medical personnel who treat the disease. Your donations could save a life or help find the cure for diabetes. History Founded in 1940 by twenty-six physicians, the Association was strictly for medical professionals. Their purpose was to address the increasing incidence of diabetes and the complications that arise from the disease. Membership was $2.00 per year. The first annual meeting of the Association occurred on June 1, 1941. The keynote address was given by the co-discoverer of how to use insulin in treating diabetes, Charles Best. (English physiologist Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer discovered insulin in 1910. In 1921 Doctors Best and Fredrick Banting discovered how to extract insulin and began testing how to use it.) Continuing research developed new forms of monitoring and testing and treating diabetes. The Association brought in local affiliate associations and began to publish periodicals. […]