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Top Diabetes News of Today

Tattoo developed that changes colour in response to blood glucose levels 

BY JACK WOODFIELD: A tattoo which changes colour to reflect movements in blood glucose levels has been created by German scientists.

So far, the team from Technical University of Munich have successfully tested out the concept on the skin of pigs.

Led by Dr Ali Yetisen, a chemical engineer, the team used a colour-changing dye to pick up changes in blood glucose levels, with a view to helping people manage diabetes. They also experimented on picking up albumin, a marker of kidney disease, and used another dye to measure the pH level in blood.

The dyes react to changes in the three biomarkers in the interstitial fluid. This fluid acts as a reservoir of nutrients including glucose. The level of glucose in interstitial fluid rises and falls in response to increases and decreases in blood glucose levels. (read more)

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Asthma drug slows down early stages of diabetic retinopathy, US study finds 

BY JACK WOODFIELD:  An asthma drug could prevent changes caused in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, US scientists report.

Montelukast (marketed as Singulair) was shown to inhibit the impact of diabetic retinopathy in mice with type 1 diabetes, with clinical trials now planned to test the findings in humans.

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood glucose levels damaging the back of the eye. This can be prevented to some degree by maintaining normal blood glucose through eating a healthy diet.

The drugs available to treat retinopathy are mostly geared towards treating the later stages of the condition, but these findings indicate early symptoms could be treated too.

Asthma drugs, which help to reduce inflammation, have previously been associated with benefits for blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.  (read more)

Baqsimi is first nasal glucagon product to receive US approval to treat severe hypoglycemia

BY JACK WOODFIELD:  The first nasally administered glucagon product has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat severe hypoglycemia.

Baqsimi is first nasal glucagon product to receive US approval to treat severe hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels fall very low, and can lead to seizures or coma if not treated quickly.

The glucagon treatments that have been approved, to date, involve a mixing process followed by an injection into muscle.

Baqsimi, developed by Eli Lilly, is the first licensed glucagon product that is not delivered by injection and does not require a multistep mixing process, which can be daunting for people administering glucagon via injection.

This drug has been approved for people with diabetes as young as four years old, and could help parents treat their children more easily due to its simple-to-use process.  (read more)

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Can you eat grits if you have diabetes?

BY ELIZABETH STREIT: Grits are a creamy, thick porridge made from dried, ground corn that’s cooked with hot water, milk, or broth.

They’re widely consumed in the Southern United States and typically served with breakfast.

Since grits are high in carbs, you may wonder if they’re acceptable for a diabetes-friendly diet.

This article tells you whether you can eat grits if you have diabetes.

Grits are made from corn, a starchy vegetable, and are thus high in carbs. One cup (242 grams) of cooked grits packs 24 grams of carbs (1).

During digestion, carbs break down into sugars that enter your blood.

The hormone insulin then removes these sugars so that they can be used for energy. However, people with diabetes do not produce or respond well to insulin and may experience potentially dangerous blood sugar spikes after eating lots of carbs (2).

As such, they’re advised to limit large portions of high-carb foods and aim for meals that balance all three macronutrients — carbs, protein, and fat. (read more)

High blood sugar levels and BMI linked to stillbirth in mothers with diabetes 

BY DIABETOLOGIA: A discovery involving an enzyme could help experts develop future treatments for diabetes-related foot wounds.

Using mice models with type 2 diabetes, researchers identified a vital compound called Setdb2 which when, missing in people with diabetes, might explain why wounds do not heal as quickly.

Dr Katherine Gallagher, vascular surgeon and an Associate Professor in Michigan Medicine’s Departments of Surgery and Microbiology/Immunology, led the study which aimed to shed light on the natural healing process.

Her team identified that Setdb2 is a crucial enzyme that helps repair inflammatory wounds. However in mice with type 2 diabetes it did not increase when it should have done, leaving the wound inflamed.

Through their work, they also discovered Setdb2 is important in the metabolism of uric acid which can be higher among people who have diabetes. (read more)