BY CBS NEWS: Theacross the country is forcing some families with type 1 diabetes to go north to buy the medication. From 2012 to 2016, the price of insulin in the U.S. — and last weekend, about a dozen people took a bus 817 miles from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to London, Ontario, to buy the life-saving drug.
“For us, insulin is like air — it’s like oxygen, we need it,” said Deb Souther, who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 46 years.
Souther says she uses three vials of insulin a month. Even with insurance, she’s paying more than $700 a month for medicine she can’t live without. “It is very very worrisome, even with insurance, if you only have one vial or two vials sitting in your refrigerator,” she said. (read more)
BY MICHELE DEBCZAK: Thirty million Americans—about 9 percent of the country’s population—are living with diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes. This chronic condition is characterized by sustained high blood sugar levels. In many patients, symptoms can be managed with insulin injections and lifestyle changes, but in others, the complications can be deadly. Here’s what you need to know about diabetes mellitus.
1. THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF DIABETES.
In healthy people, the pancreas produces enough of the hormone insulin to metabolize sugars into glucose and move the glucose into cells, where it’s used for energy.
But people with type 2 diabetes—the most common form of the disease, accounting for about 95 percent of cases—either can’t produce enough insulin to transport the sugars, or their cells have become insulin-resistant. The result is a buildup of glucose in the blood (a.k.a. high blood sugar or hyperglycemia). Type 2 diabetes typically develops in adults. (read more)
BY JAMIE PITLICK: Wandering through the grocery store, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the numerous brands and health claims on the dozens of sugar substitutes. It can be particularly confusing for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes who must keep their blood sugar in check and control their weight.
With the growing diabetes and obesity epidemic, there has been increasing awareness around the use of added sugars in foods. The most recent edition of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that added sugars should be kept to less than 10% of the calories consumed, which turns out to be roughly 270 calories per day.
This is because “added sugars” add sweetness or flavor but add very little nutritional value. Because of this trend, the food industry has embarked on a quest to find or develop the perfect substitute to replace sugar – with the same taste and none of the calories that lead to weight gain. (read more)
BY THE ENDOCRINE SOCIETY: Antidepressants reduce deaths by more than a third in patients with diabetes and depression, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
People with diabetes are two to three times more likely to have depression than people without diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half to three-quarters of people with diabetes and depression go undiagnosed, despite therapy and medicine being very effective.
“The incidence of major depressive disorder amongst individuals with diabetes is significantly greater than the general population,” said the study’s corresponding author, Vincent Chin-Hung Chen, Professor, of Chiayi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University in Puzi, Taiwan. “Diabetes and depression each independently contribute to increasing total mortality.” (read more)
BY JOSLIN DIABETES CENTER: A Joslin Diabetes Center study among people treated for type 1 diabetes for many years has discovered that a minority may have monogenic diabetes, a non-autoimmune inherited condition that in some cases does not require insulin treatment.
“Our finding has clinical implications,” says George L. King, MD, Joslin Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, and senior author on a paper describing the work published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. “We are recommending that everyone under 18 who is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes be screened for monogenic diabetes, which is not being done at this time.”
This result is part of an ongoing research initiative among Joslin Medalists, who have lived with type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes for at least 50 years. The Joslin team also reported other significant discoveries about the activity of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells over time in this population. (read more)