Weekly Diabetes News: Heart Disease Risk, Metformin the Wonder Drug and Good Old Meat

it´s whats for dinnerWhat do meat, Metformin and heart disease have in common?  They’re all showing up in diabetes headlines this week, and for good reason.  Could meat really be connected to diabetes?  Will Metformin, the wonder drug, shine again through this new research?  Read on to see the top diabetes news stories for the week.

Diabetes Dramatically Increased the Chance of Heart Attack

A UK study discovered that diabetes increased the risk of having a heart attack by a whopping 48 percent.  If that wasn’t dismal enough, the study:

“also found people with diabetes were 65% more likely to have heart failure, 144% more at risk of needing kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant, 210% more likely to have a leg amputated above or below the knee , 331% more likely to need part of a foot removed and 25% more at risk of suffering a stroke.”

This study highlights once more how important it is to keep your blood sugar under control.

Does Meat Cause Diabetes?

According to an article on Diabetes Self Management, meat could well be one of the reasons we have diabetes, or at least a lack of meat can be the answer to reversing it.  I think this is a case at grasping at any straw.  What we really need to do is go back to the way of life we had before we started having a diabetes epidemic – more activity, no processed foods (Ma and Pa Ingles never jaunted down to the local KFC when they didn’t feel like cooking) and no chemicals in our food.

If there is a clear and definable link between meat and diabetes, I expect it’s a connection between the high amounts of GMO grain commercial animals are fed and the way our bodies process those genetically modified foods.  I know highly sensitive folks who cannot have milk from grain-fed animals, so it doesn’t seem inconceivable that our bodies are responding to the high concentrations of these foods in our food.

Metformin Helps with Depression Risk

Type 2 diabetics have more than twice the risk of developing mood disorders.  The prevalent drug, Metformin, is shown in studies to reduce this risk by half, so does that mean it puts diabetics at the same risk percentage as those without?  Perhaps the point to underline here is that once again, control is critical to staying healthy in the face of diabetes.  If you’re not already on Metformin, try some other things to reduce your risk of depression, which, incidentally, helps lower your risk of diabetes and also control blood sugar:

  • stay active, making daily activity, from walks to gym workouts, a priority in your life
  • refrain from eating processed foods – food dyes and other artificial ingredients are known to affect mood
  • look at what you’re putting on your skin – this doesn’t get much news coverage, but the chemical compounds in many cosmetics, shampoos and body care products can also affect hormone balance and mood (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/)
  • consider meditationif you are already suffering from depression, it can be powerfully effective

Metformin Can Also Help Prevent Diabetes in Obese Children

Am I the only one thinking Metformin is becoming a wonder drug?  Studies now show that it can help reduce body mass index and blood glucose levels in children who already had impaired fasting glucose and glucose tolerance.  While more research is needed to see if it really does reduce the risk of diabetes, it can at least help lower one main risk factor: body mass.  My second child, carried through uncontrolled gestational diabetes, has a high risk and is overweight, so you can bet I’ll be watching this one closely.

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