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From victim to protector – what the brain does with hypoglycaemia

The human brain depends on glucose to fuel all its functions. Although the brain can use other metabolic substrates, and babies’ brains do, glucose is its  normal energy source. As the brain stores very little glucose, its proper function depends on a reliable supply from its circulation. If blood glucose concentrations fall too low, then brain malfunction results. But what is the plasma glucose concentration that is ‘too low’? Stephaine Amiel looks into this surprisingly controversial topic.


Solidarity with Haiti: the global diabetes response

On 12 January 2010, a violent earthquake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, rocked the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and its surroundings. The exact number of victims remains unclear, but the Haitian Government has put the death toll at 230,000 people; 250,000 more were injured and more than 1.5 million reported homeless in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. The Haitian Foundation for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases (FHADIMAC) launched a major campaign to help all people with diabetes and hypertension in the region. Nancy Larco and René Charles report from Port-au-Prince.

Low testosterone in men with type 2 diabetes - a growing public health concern

Testosterone is the principal sex hormone in men. It is important not only for normal sexual function but also for maintaining bone and muscle strength, mental and physical energy, and overall well-being. Low testosterone is associated with diminished libido, erectile dysfunction, increased fat mass, decreased muscle, bone mass and energy, depression, and anaemia. Type 2 diabetes may be one of the commonest causes of  hypogonadism – a lack of function in the testes, which adversely affects testosterone production.

Asthma, obesity and type 2 diabetes - mechanisms, management and prevention

Obesity, currently a worldwide epidemic, is associated with a number of conditions, including coronary artery disease, lipid abnormalities, gallstones, cancer and type 2  diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, and obesity hypoventilation. Recently, studies have shown that asthma may also be associated with, and perhaps worsened by, obesity. Ongoing research suggests that type 2 diabetes and asthma may be linked to obesity through chronic systemic inflammation.

Diabetes and depression in older women - double the risk, double the burden

In the USA, approximately 24 million people have diabetes; more than half are women, and projections to 2050 suggest that women of all ages will continue to represent more than half of all cases. A growing concern  for  women with diabetes is the increased risk to many of developing major depression. The results from a recent meta-analysis of 42 studies showed that women with diabetes have a higher prevalence of depression (28%) than men with diabetes (18%).

Hearing impairment - an under-recognized complication of diabetes?

Diabetes-related sensorineural hearing impairment affects people’s ability to hear and understand sounds. Although evidence from as early as the mid-19th century linked diabetes with hearing loss, a degree of controversy has surrounded this association. However, recent research findings suggest that impaired hearing is not only very common among older and middle-aged people with diabetes but affects young people with diabetes to a greater degree than those without the condition.

Obesity stigma - causes, effects and some practical solutions

Obesity has become a pandemic, affecting adults and children around the world.  Considerable medical, scientific and lifestyle-related knowledge and resources are being channelled into the identification of strategies to combat this major public health problem. Despite these multidisciplinary efforts, however, little attention has been paid to the damaging social and psychological consequences of obesity.

Obstructive sleep apnoea and type 2 diabetes - the IDF consensus

Recent years have seen an expansion in the number of conditions that are recognized as having a link with diabetes. In people with sleep apnoea breathing stops briefly but repeatedly during sleep. It is commonly associated with obesity, and therefore frequently occurs in people with type 2 diabetes. However, recent research demonstrates the likelihood of a relationship between obstructive sleep apnoea and diabetes that is independent of obesity. The links between the conditions are particularly important as both increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The key to preventing burnout: understanding the burden of diabetes treatment

Type 2 diabetes significantly increases a person’s risk of developing multiple health complications, but the risk of these complications can be significantly reduced with modern, comprehensive diabetes care. This care is inherently complex because of its use of multiple medications in conjunction with lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, and blood glucose self-monitoring.

Sharing future hopes

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