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plate next to blood vials; fasting before blood draw harmful

Top Diabetes News of Today

Diabetes: Fasting before a blood test might actually be harmful

BY MARIA COHUT: People with diabetes tend to have higher levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol.”

This can lead to the excessive buildup of fat in the arteries.

For this reason, doctors may recommend that these people have regular blood cholesterol tests.

Current guidelines recommend that people do not eat or drink anything but water before a blood test, in order to not skew its results. (read more)

Can Cannabis Treat, Or Even Prevent Diabetes?

BY ANDRE BOURQUE: The legalization of recreational marijuana has dominated the news, recently, but medical marijuana research continues to advance apace. Earlier this year, the FDA approved the first prescription drug derived from cannabis to treat epilepsy. This approval marks a watershed moment for legitimizing the active ingredients of medical marijuana as a viable treatment for diseases, even though marijuana advocates have been promoting myriad treatment possibilities for decades.

One of the most promising—and pressing—areas of research has to do with the effects of medical marijuana on people with diabetes. Millions of people suffering from the disease are looking for relief from both the symptoms and the high costs healthcare associated with treating the disease. (read more)

Does Diabetes Damage Brain Health?

BY SERENA GORDON: Diabetes has been tied to a number of complications such as kidney disease, but new research has found that older people with type 2 diabetes can also have more difficulties with thinking and memory.

During a five-year study, participants with diabetes showed a decline in verbal memory and fluency. Using MRI scans, researchers saw that the participants’ brains were smaller at the start of the study — but the rates of decline in brain size did not differ over the years the patients were followed. The investigators didn’t find a connection between brain size and the thinking and memory troubles. (read more)

Do Migraines Lower A Woman’s Chances for Diabetes?2 Types of Diabetes Meds May Raise Heart Risk

BY SERENA GORDON: Two common classes of type 2 diabetes drugs may lower blood sugar levels, but new research suggests those same drugs might boost the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

The drug classes in question are sulfonylureas and basal insulin. Sulfonylureas cause the body to release more insulin. They’re taken orally and have been used since the 1950s. Basal insulin is given as an injection, and it’s engineered to be released slowly throughout the day. (read more)

Plant Hallucinogen Holds Hope for Diabetes Treatment

BY DR JOETTE GIOVINCO: Four years ago, medication kept Denise Menendez’s Type 2 diabetes under control. Then something changed.

“It was just awful,” she recalled. “I’d get up in the morning and I would feel awful.”

At age 58, she had a stroke when her sugars spiraled out of control.  Her left side became numb and weak.

Despite large doses of insulin, her glucose skyrocketed five times the normal level. She only had months to live, according to her doctor. (read more)