This blog tracks updates to the Blood Sugar 101 Web site.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lots of Little Housekeeping Improvements on Blood Sugar 101

Pages changed: All

It is now more than five years since the original version of Blood Sugar 101 was posted on the old Geocities web site.

Over all this time I've been adding new information to the site every few weeks as new research accumulates. Not surprisingly, as the site has grown to its current size of over 90,000 words, little text errors and formatting mistakes have crept in. In addition, quite a few links have gone dead.

So over this past week I've started going through the site and cleaning it up. You may notice small changes here and there, but mostly the changes are cosmetic.

If you happen to notice something that needs to be fixed while reading the site, just drop me a line using the email associated with this blog profile. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cheaper R and NPH Insulins as Effective for Type 2 as Expensive Analogs

Page changed: Insulin for Type 2

Added reference to a new study of hospitalized people with Type 2 diabetes that found no significant differences in blood sugar control using R and NPH as compared to using the more expensive Levemir and Novolog combination.

Note that the target blood sugar in this study was very high, so it does not entirely answer the question of whether tighter and healthier control is easier with the newer insulins.

Since I have personally gotten very good control using R in the past--better, actually, than I get with analog insulins, my guess is that the only reason that R (regular human) insulin has been dropped from most physicians' prescribing habits is because it is not promoted by drug salespeople. Since R insulins cost less than 1/3 of what the analogs cost, this should be no surprise.

R insulin is an excellent choice for anyone who has poor insurance or who is having serious problems with post-meal hypos since its slightly slower action makes it easier to test and correct before you hypo. It also works very well with a lower carb diet or a diet rich in slow digesting carbs because of the shape of its activity curve.

More Evidence Later Onset LADA Shares Common Gene with Type 2

Page changed: LADA -- Slow Onset Type 1

Added second study that finds that the incidence of the diabetic allele of TCF7L2 is similar in people over the age of 40 diagnosed as being GAD positive (i.e. having autoimmune diabetes) as it is in GAD negative Type 2s. This strengthens the concept that LADA that comes on in middle age may be a combined form of Type 1 and Type 2.

It's worth keeping in mind, though, that the presence of the antibodies mean that an autoimmune attack is present and the person diagnosed with LAD often ends up fully insulin dependent and prone to DKA without insulin.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Study Misleadingly Suggests Actos is Safe

Page changed: Actos and Avandia: Dangerous Diabetes Drugs

Added link to new journal article published in Archives of Internal Medicine which is being reported in the media as if it proves that Actos is safe while Avandia is not.

In fact, the study only compared one dangerous drug, Actos, against another even more dangerous drug, Avandia. It lacked the vital placebo group of people taking neither drug which might have shown that BOTH drugs are more dangerous than placebo re congestive heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

In addition, this study did not track the rate of broken bones or blindness due to macular edema, both of which have been linked to Actos as well as Avandia.

My guess is that this study was funded by Takeda, makers of Actos. Since the conflict of interest paragraph does not appear in the free abstract of this article it is impossible to know. If you have a subscription to this journal, send me the "Conflict of interest" section so I can check it out. Thanks!

Please, people. Actos, like Avanida, is a dangerous drugs with life-ruining side effects that have only become evident in people who have taken them for a long time. They do not make much of a difference in blood sugars while increasing your likelihood of osteoporosis, fractures, congestive heart failure and heart attack. Avoid them!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Study Finds Genes Predict Type 2 Diabetes As Well As or Better than Conventional Risk Factors

Page changed: You Did Not Eat Your Way to Diabetes

Added citation to new large-scale study published in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that testing for alleles of 8 genes associated with Type 2 was predictive of diabetes regardless of classic risk factors and predicted as well as did those risk factors. In addition, the usefulness of the gene test for prediction became greater as time went by while that of the risk factors declined over time.

This is yet more evidence of the genetic nature of Type 2 diabetes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Excellent Summary of Studies Showing Uselessness or Dangerousness of Vitamin Supplements

Page Changed: Bad or Questionable Supplements

Added a link to and discussion of an excellent New York Times article which summarized and linked to a long list of major studies showing that antioxidant vitamins are either useless or even dangerous.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Impact of Abnormal Diabetes Genes on Beta Cell Function is Additive

Page changed: You Did Not Eat Your Way to Diabetes

Added reference to new study published in Diabetologia quantifying the cumulative impact of known diabetes genes on beta cell function which found that the impact of known diabetes genes is additive.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Statins Effective Mostly in People with Elevated CRP

Page changed: A1c and High Post-Meal Blood Sugar Predict Heart Attack

Added link to New York Times study reporting on major new research that shows that statins are effective in people with elevated CRP (C-reactive protein) a measure of inflammation.

Note that as reported in the New York Times HERE this study is being used to argue that EVERYONE should take statins, but in fact, it proves quite the opposite. Get your CRP tested and if it is not elevated, you probably don't need to take statins.

This study appears to confirm what many have begun to suspect--that whatever benefit there is from taking statins has nothing to do with their impact on cholesterol levels, but results from the fact that they have an anti-inflammatory effect on blood vessels.

This probably explains why half of those who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol.