Today’s Top Stories in Diabetes News!

Abbott wins FDA approval for diabetes device that doesn’t require routine finger pricks

BY LISA SCHENCKER: Abbott Laboratories gained clearance Wednesday to start selling in the U.S. the first continuous glucose monitor that does not require people with diabetes to routinely prick their fingers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System for adults, which already is sold in 41 other countries.

The device consists of a small sensor, about the size of a quarter, that’s worn on the back of the upper arm to continuously track glucose levels. The sensor, unlike other wearable sensors, does not require patients to prick their fingers for calibration. Patients can place a hand-held reader near the device to see their current glucose levels, trends, patterns and where those levels might be headed. They can then use those readings to figure out how much insulin to take to manage their diabetes. (read more)



OPINION: Why does obesity cause diabetes? You asked Google – here’s the answer

BY THOMAS BARBER: “Cause” is a strong word. It means that A results in B happening. Causality is also surprisingly difficult to prove. Most medical studies only show association between A and B, while causality often remains speculative and frustratingly elusive. Obesity and diabetes are no exception.

There are many types of diabetes. All are unified by elevated levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes accounts for less than 10% of cases and results from autoimmune destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce and release insulin. (In an autoimmune process, antibodies that normally target and fight infection instead target one’s own cells). Type 3c (secondary) diabetes can occur when there has been destruction of the pancreatic beta cells through some other process, such as excessive alcohol, inflammation or surgical resection. (read more)

Diabetes: Effective relief for nerve pain steps closer

BY MARY CAFFREY: Drugs that block a protein called HCN2 may have the potential to provide much-needed relief for people with diabetes who have chronic nerve pain.

So concludes a study by researchers from King’s College London in the United Kingdom, who report their work in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Diabetes is a long-lasting disease that arises when the body either cannot use or does not make enough insulin, which is a hormone that helps cells to turn blood sugar into energy.

The global burden of diabetes is rising. In 1980, around 4.7 percent of adults (108 million people) had diabetes. By 2014, this proportion had risen to 8.5 percent (422 million). (read more)