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Monthly archive for January 2018

100 Years of Insulin Treatments Save Countless Lives

100 Years of Insulin Treatments Save Countless Lives

100 Years of Insulin Treatments Save Countless Lives

The disease diabetes has been identified for thousands of years, but only in the last 100, has there been a truly life-saving treatment: Insulin.

Insulin was discovered in 1921 at the University of Toronto.

Its discovery was one of the most sensational developments in medicine, effectively treating a disease that relentlessly reduced millions to blindness, coma and death. In his book, The Discovery of Insulin, author Michael Bliss, writes that the first attempts to use insulin on the comatose diabetics created what seemed to be a miracle: Comatose patients awoke and returned to life.

Until insulin was identified, there were many different types of treatment, all mainly useless. The most effective was a extreme diet. Patients managed to live a few years longer after starting the diet, but ultimately died of starvation. Doctors who used the diet in the 1920s, were later reminded of their patients when they saw pictures of inmates at Nazi death camps. Some people managed to live on the diet long enough to raise a child, for example. But even one morsel off the diet could kill them. Bliss gives the example of a messenger boy who managed to exist on the diet until one day he couldn’t resist picking and eating a handful of cherries. He was dead in a week.

It is generally agreed that insulin was first identified by Dr. Fred Banting, but many years of research before and after by many other scientists and doctors contributed to making insulin a reality.

Making it readily available was another problem. Insulin could not have been provided in quantity to the thousands, if not millions, of people who desperately needed it without the participation of drug companies such as Eli Lilly and Connaught Laboratories, to name just two.

During the time insulin was known, but could not be manufactured in sufficient quantity, patients died, knowing a treatment existed but that it just could not be made fast enough.

Child Food Allergies are on the Rise

Child Food Allergies are on the Rise

Child Food Allergies are on the Rise

As modern medicine continues to find ways to treat and prevent illnesses from occurring, at least one issue affecting children is on the rise, allergies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, food allergies in children have risen by 50 percent over the past couple of decades with peanut or tree nut allergies more than tripling during roughly the same period. Complicating matters further, about 30 percent of children with one food allergy are allergic to more than one type of food.

It’s important to identify food allergies so that steps can be taken to avoid that food and prevent harmful reactions. Food allergies can be cause severe reactions, like anaphylaxis, a serious, fast acting reaction that causes itchy rash, swelling of the throat and tongue, breathing problems, vomiting and light-headedness. A dose of epinephrine is usually required to mediate the symptoms.

About 200,000 people seek medical attention for food allergies each year, and roughly 40 percent of children with allergies will experience a serious incident at some point. Events are most common outside of the home when it is more difficult to determine the ingredients of prepped food and cross-contamination is more likely.

There are a lot of theories for why allergies are on the rise and one idea gaining traction is the hygiene hypothesis. CNBC explains that this theory speculates that a lack of exposure to allergens, bacteria, and other infectious agents early in a child’s life can cause the immune system to register food proteins as a germ in the body. Although not conclusive, the FDA is currently investigating the issue, along with others, to help explain the sudden rise in allergies among American children.

It is possible for many allergies, such as milk, wheat, and eggs, to resolve themselves during childhood but it is uncommon for those to tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, and fish to go away on their own. As of yet, there is no medical cure for food allergies at any age, and the only real way to avoid issues is to avoid the problem foods.

10 ways to curb overeating

10 ways to curb overeating

10 Ways to Curb Overeating

It is a little known fact that people with type 1 diabetes lose production of what is called Amylin.  Amylin is a hormone secreted by beta cells that are responsible for making us feel full after a meal.  It also impedes the emptying of the stomach along with regulating rising glucose levels.

There are various factors involved that causes one to overeat such as habit, nutritional deficiencies, and food addictions/disorders.  For those with type 1 diabetes the loss of Amilyn can be a compounding issue when it comes to staving off hunger to reduce overeating.

Healthy Solutions

Here are ten things we can do to mitigate the chances of overindulging on meals, although some suggestions might work better for some than others:

  1. Start off by tracking the foods they eat and weather they provide sufficient nutrients, so that those deficiencies don’t contribute to hunger and overeating.
  2. Increasing Protein intake can promote satiety leading to an overall feeling of “fullness” after meals.
  3. During low-carb diets your body excretes more salt which can lead to lower sodium levels which in turn leads to cravings for sodium, usually mistaken for hunger and food cravings.
  4. Regular lab work during checkups can screen out potential Iron-deficiencies such as in Anemia and hormone imbalances such as in Hypothyroidism, which cause the urge to continue eating.
  5. We can often confuse dehydration for hunger, for this reason drinking plenty of water such as a large glass before eating can help you feel more full.
  6. Measuring food intake by pre-storing them into separate containers helps control portions, which can reduce temptations for second servings.
  7. Staying active, especially with outdoor activities, can distract you from wanting to eat unnecessarily.  Avoid the kitchen where it is most  likely  to tempt you to eat more.
  8. Intermittent fasting can help your body feel actual hunger and re-set your body. Just take into account glucose levels if you are diabetic and adjust basal insulin dosage properly.
  9. Eat slowly and pay close attention to what you are eating, notice the details such as color, texture, smell, & taste.  It can be benificial to focus on what exactly are you putting into your body.
  10. There are medications such as Contrave and/or Symlin can help lower appetite, lower blood glucose levels, and in turn lose weight.


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