BY MICHAEL O. SCHROEDER: A recent study in the journal Obesity, which was first published online in July, found that women who were overweight or obese who practiced mindfulness-based stress reduction saw not only their stress levels go down, but their fasting blood sugar decrease as well. This was measured at eight weeks, when the MBSR program concluded, and eight weeks after that (or at 16 weeks from when the study began). Study participants in the MBSR group were taught about mindful ways to cope with stress, such as through meditation and paying attention to their breathing. Study participants in a health education group who learned about things like exercises, dietary changes and general stress management did not see their blood sugar levels decrease significantly. Both groups saw some benefits, including lowered psychological distress and decreased sleep-related issues. (read more)
BY LESLIE KRAMER: A recent report from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more than 84 million Americans, or roughly one-third of the population, have prediabetes, a condition marked by higher-than-normal blood sugar. Of that group, 90 percent aren’t aware they have the condition.
The primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes is genetics, but excess weight, obesity and lack of exercise also contribute to this alarming medical trend. “People with prediabetes who don’t change their lifestyle are at a much higher risk of developing heart disease and stroke and can develop type 2 diabetes within five years if left untreated,” said William T. Cefalu, MD, chief scientific, medical & mission officer of the American Diabetes Association. (read more)
BY CHERYL CLARK: Many San Diego doctors are taking their patients off of Invokana, a widely used diabetes drug, after a large industry-sponsored trial found it doubled the risk of lower limb amputations compared with those taking a placebo.
Patients are being switched to other medications even though the study’s authors say the drug’s benefits — a reduced risk of cardiovascular events including death, non-fatal heart attacks and non-fatal strokes — outweigh its risk of amputations. (read more)