Every year the American Diabetes Association hosts Step Out which is their signature fundraising walk to stop diabetes. For over 20 years this walk has been going strong raising over $175,000,000 to stop diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin converts sugar, starches and other food into energy for daily living. The causes of this disease are currently unknown but events like Step Out are making the necessary steps to fight this disease.
Over 120,000 people took place in last years walk which raised over 24 million dollars for the fight against diabetes. Chances are there is a walk in your town or near you and we encourage you to join in on the fight!
Not only is this walk great for the fight against diabetes but great for your health as well. People living with diabetes are encouraged to maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Insulin pump cases and cooling wristbands are great products that are on the market for people looking to lead a more active lifestyle.
Stop by the official Step Out: Walk to stop diabetes website today and find out where your local meetup for Step Out will take place!
The purpose of insulin produced by the pancreas is to breakdown sugar to release energy. However, if insulin malfunctions, or is not produced at all or in sufficient quantity it remains in the blood stream leading to severe medical complications in the long run if not checked immediately. Lack of glucose assimilation makes a person feel perpetually tired and lethargic.
How insulin works
Insulin can be compared to a lock that unlocks the body cells so that glucose can be assimilated into the body. Insulin is a hormone and hormones play a critical role in metabolic functions of the body. For some reason, insulin production is either completely stopped or partially stopped in the human body leading to high blood sugar levels. However, insulin can be artificially administered externally, so that the metabolic functions in the body begin to take place normally, bringing down the blood glucose levels.
Types of insulin
Insulin, both artificially manufactured and naturally occurring in the human body are of different types. In the US, they are labeled according to their strength. So, they come labeled under U-40 and U-100. In exceptional cases, some people may need U-500. In addition, the naturally occurring insulin is available in two ways. Basal insulin is slow and continuously trickle, while bolus insulin is a burst of insulin released by the pancreas after meals in response to rising blood sugar levels. There are a variety of over the counter glucose tablets and gels that also can help maintain or boost blood sugar in place of meals.
Insulin to make life simple
Insulin makes life easy for diabetics. There are unfounded misconceptions about insulin that it may cause blindness or others will think you are an addict. These are unfounded notions. A large population of the world is insulin dependent. In addition, there are several ways you can administer insulin other than through injections. However, injecting insulin is not difficult or complicated once you learn how to do it. Once you get used to insulin, it will make your life easier and convenient without the threat of complications.
There are two main forms of diabetes that lead to elevated levels of glucose in the patient’s bloodstream – Type 1 and Type 2. In Type 1 Diabetes, the pancreas fails to produce insulin, a hormone needed for proper metabolism. Thus, in this case, insulin needs to be injected into the body to aid metabolism typically using an insulin pump.
Certain acids in food good for Diabetes
A research conducted at Chapel Hill, by the University of North Carolina revealed that acids present in certain foods had the ability to minimize the dependence on insulin supplements in individuals suffering from Type 1 Diabetes in addition to reducing the risks related to the condition. The research concluded that the acids – leucine and omega 3 fatty acids could rekindle the production of insulin by the pancreas for as long as two years, post diagnosis. The study based on observing thirteen hundred people, right from children to adults aged twenty – diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, was published in the July issue of the journal ‘Diabetes Care’.
Food items that help
Leucine and omega 3 fatty acids are food items that could prove to be advantageous to patients suffering from Type 1 Diabetes. Studies have proved that these acids have the ability to stimulate the production of insulin in these individuals, thereby reducing their dependence on insulin supplements for a couple of years after diagnosis.
Eggs, soy proteins and meats are the richest sources of leucine and are highly recommended as part of the diet for a Type 1 Diabetes patient. Nuts, dairy products, whole-wheat products, seaweed and tuna are other good sources of leucine. Seafood such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Sprinkling a pinch of powdered flax seeds over food is also recommended since it is highly nutritious.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that hinders the body’s capacity to metabolize sugar, either caused by the non-production of insulin by the pancreas or through the inability of the body to use the insulin produced. Over the years, patients with Type 1 diabetes have been injected with insulin supplements to keep their blood glucose levels in control. However, this is not a complete cure for diabetes. A new study by the Northwestern University in Illinois has revealed that pig cells may be the solution.
Islet cells present in the Pancreas
Islets of Langerhans or islet cells are present in the pancreas .These are responsible for producing various hormones. The islets are made up of five different types of cells, one type being the Beta cells that are responsible for the production of insulin. Insulin is essential as it is needed for the proper metabolism of food and regulates the blood sugar levels in the body.
In individuals diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the beta cells are attacked by the immune system, leaving them incapable of producing insulin. Hence, a person suffering from this form of diabetes is forced to take insulin supplements.
How pig cells can help
Transplantation of islet cells could be the solution for diabetics. However, human islet transplantation hasn’t been all that successful due to the dearth of donors and the chances of rejection by the patient’s body. In order to avoid rejection, immunosuppressant drugs have to be administered and the entire process could leave the individual feeling rather ill.
This is where pig cells come into the limelight with the Northwestern University of Illinois studying the impact of the use of islets from pigs. They are more readily available as compared to human cells and seem to pose minimal risk of rejection by the patient’s body.
However, it is advisable that only those who are facing major complications with regard to elevated blood sugar levels consider islet transplantation.