Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Insulin Shots As Effective as Pumps

pump

 

Insulin Shots as Effective as Pumps

 

Adults with type 1 diabetes may be able to manage their blood sugar levels just as well with multiple daily insulin injections as they can with continuous insulin pumps, a recent study suggests.

In type 1 diabetes, a lifelong condition, the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow blood sugar to enter cells and produce energy. People with the condition usually have to test their own blood sugar level throughout the day and inject insulin to manage it; otherwise they risk complications like heart disease and kidney damage.

 

Some previous research has suggested pumps may help patients get better blood sugar control than they can achieve by giving themselves multiple daily insulin injections. But patients tend to get more intensive training on managing their blood sugar with pumps than they do with injections, so some doctors have questioned whether better patient education might be the reason pumps get better results.

 

For the current study, researchers set out to answer this question. They offered 260 adults with type 1 diabetes the same education on how to manage their blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, and then randomly assigned participants to use pumps or daily injections.

 

“What the trial shows fairly unequivocally is that education/training can produce considerable benefit, although it leaves many patients still a long way from current glucose targets,” said lead study investigator Dr. Simon Heller, a diabetes researcher at the University of Sheffield in the UK.

 

To compare pumps to injections, researchers examined average blood sugar levels over the course of several months by measuring changes to the hemoglobin molecule in red blood cells. The hemoglobin A1c test measures the percentage of hemoglobin that is coated with sugar, with readings of 6.5 percent or above signaling diabetes.

 

 

At the start of the study, participants had average A1c readings of 9.1 percent, indicating poorly controlled blood sugar with an increased risk of serious complications.

 

After two years of follow-up, most patients still had poorly controlled blood sugar. People using the pumps achieved average A1c reductions of 0.85 percentage points, compared with 0.42 percentage points with multiple daily injections, researchers report in the BMJ.

 

Once researchers accounted for other factors that can influence blood sugar such as age, sex and treatment center, the difference in A1c for pump versus injection patients was too small to rule out the possibility that it was due to chance.

 

There are many different types of pumps and injection devices on the market, and one limitation of the study is that researchers didn’t examine how specific design features might influence how well patients succeeded in managing their blood sugar, the authors note.

 

It’s also possible that the effort to give pump and injection patients the same level of education may have skewed the results because in real life, patients might get more education when they start using pumps than they would for injections, said Dr. Roman Hovorka, director of research at the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories in the UK.

 

Pumps also have a technological advantage that wasn’t addressed in the study, Hovorka, who wasn’t involved in the research, said by email. These devices can collect data on insulin delivery and blood sugar levels and transmit that information to clinicians, enabling doctors to adjust treatment based on the results.

 

But because pumps are much more expensive than injections, it doesn’t make sense to use them unless they have a proven advantage for blood sugar control, said Dr. Edwin Gale, emeritus professor of diabetes at the University of Bristol in the UK.

 

In the UK, pumps cost about 2,500 pounds ($3,116.25) a year plus an additional 1,500 pounds ($1,869.75) for batteries and other supplies, researchers note.

 

“I think the take-home message for patients is that pumps won’t do the job for you,” Gale said by email. “They are not for everyone, and many people can do just as well on multiple injections.”

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Pancreatic Cancer A Silent Killer

pancreaticcancer

Pancreatic cancer:

What are the symptoms of ‘silent killer’ set to kill more than breast tumors?

 

Pancreatic cancer will claim an increasing number of lives over the next decade and overtake breast cancer to become the fourth most deadly form of the disease overall, a charity has warned.

It is often difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer early enough to stop it from spreading, because the symptoms are so vague.

A lack of new diagnosis methods means that by 2026, 11,279 people are predicted to die every year from the disease – a 28 per cent rise on the 8,817 in 2014, said Pancreatic Cancer UK.

The only live-saving treatment available for pancreatic cancer is an operation to remove the tumor.

However, in 92 per cent of cases, the cancer is not caught early enough for surgery, meaning it has the lowest survival rate of all cancers.

The signs of pancreatic cancer, sometimes called the ‘silent killer’, may come and go at first. These are the most common symptoms.

 

Jaundice

 

Anyone with jaundice – yellow skin and whites of the eyes – should see their GP straight away. People who develop jaundice may also feel itchy and notice pale feces and dark urine.

 

Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (Rex Features)

The yellow pigmentation is caused by a build-up of a substance called bilirubin.

 

It can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions such as hepatitis and gallstones, but should always be taken seriously and everyone over 40 with the condition is referred to a specialist for testing.

 

Abdominal pain

 

The pancreas is a large gland buried deep inside the body and a common symptom of pancreatic cancer is pain the tummy area, which can come and go and spread to the back.

The pain is often worse when lying down or after eating.

Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite

Sudden, unintentional weight loss can be the sign of a serious illness like pancreatic cancer, although it can also take place after a stressful event.

Weight loss can take place because the pancreas plays an important role in the digestive system, which can be disrupted by the cancer, so food is not properly absorbed by the body.

 

Indigestion

 

Indigestion is a symptom of pancreatic cancer but has many other causes and isn’t usually linked to the disease – making it more difficult for doctors to diagnose.

Changes to bowel habits

Because digestion is affected by pancreatic cancer, the body can stop breaking down fat in food, which is then excreted in large amounts.

This can make stools large, pale and oily, with a particularly disgusting smell. They can also be difficult to flush down the toilet.

 

Diarrhea and constipation can also be caused by the disease.

Difficulty swallowing

Another symptom that can be caused by other health problems, some people with pancreatic cancer find it difficult to swallow and may find themselves coughing, choking or feeling as if food is stuck in their throat.

 

Nausea

 

Pancreatic cancer can make you vomit and feel sick.

Recently diagnosed diabetes

The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels, but cancer can interrupt this process.

Diabetes occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels become too high. This can be caused by a lack of insulin, so it is recommended that GPs refer patients over 60 who have lost weight and have recently been diagnosed with diabetes for a scan.

 

Any one of these symptoms can be just that.  One Symptom!

 

If you have any questions, please call us, and we can work with you on a personalized health care plan, and hopefully take those worries away from you.

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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