Saturday, December 23, 2006

not even a mouse...

Researchers reverse diabetes in mice
By Randall Palmer
Fri Dec 15, 5:57 PM ET

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Nerve cells in the pancreas may be a cause of type-1 diabetes in mice -- a finding that could provide new ways to treat the disease in humans, Canadian and U.S. scientists said on Friday.

Defective nerve endings may attract immune system proteins that mistakenly attack the pancreas, destroying its ability to make insulin, the researchers said. This destruction is what causes diabetes.Injecting a piece of protein, or peptide, to repair the defect cured diabetic mice "overnight," Dr. Hans Michael Dosch of the University of Toronto said in a telephone interview. "It is very effective in reversing diabetes," said Dosch, principal investigator for the study.

Writing in the journal Cell, Dosch and colleagues said the faulty nerve endings did not secrete enough of the peptides to keep enough insulin flowing. Type-1 diabetes, once called juvenile diabetes, affects two million Americans and 200,000 Canadians. There has been no known way of preventing it.

The team will soon begin clinical studies on people whose family history suggests they are at risk of developing type-1 diabetes to see if their sensory nerves work well. If they do not, Dosch said, that would suggest the bad nerve endings were a cause of diabetes, not only an effect as has been widely assumed. Trials could then begin injecting peptides into patients with diabetes or those at high risk. It could take a number of years, Dosch said.

He said the findings might also hold promise for type-2 diabetes -- which affects about 10 times as many people as type-1 -- though the results were not as strong. The researchers found that the peptide injections lowered resistance to insulin, which is used to move blood glucose to the body's cells. People with type-2 diabetes often are obese. By lowering insulin resistance, it might be possible to prevent further obesity and damage from diabetes. "Whether we can reverse the process, I don't know. But I think we can certainly impact on the major physiological problem, and that's insulin sensitivity," Dosch said. "So if these people then have normal insulin, then a little activity, then a little walking would actually help lose weight, and then you stop the vicious circle."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

in the target...

L has been in the target for two days in a row. She has been complaining about headaches, however, so we are keeping a eye on that.

She describes them as painful and they feel "like her eyes are looking at her brain." Curious...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

hi lo...

I mentioned L was at 38 a few nights ago, but I didn't really talk about it. I have been feeling really awful about it and it took this long to feel okay to write a post.

L is a picky eater. I can't blame her - I was worse. My family still makes fun of me and my plate of cherry tomatos that was at my place for every family dinner. I didn't eat salad until I was on a date in highschool and was too embarassed to say I didn't like it, and thought Garlic was a spice until college.

L was the baby who ate everything. She was even the toddler who ate everthing. Then came preschool and something happened. Something like other kids complaining about the food, and so my little parrot thought she could do that too.

The night of the low (NOL...)L refused to eat her dinner. I had it all ready and on the table before I gave her her injection - actually she gave herself her injection that night. The she refused to eat.

The insulin was in and starting to take effect. What do you do? I knew she was just being bratty, and I was tired of it so I told her to eat what she was served. The stand-off went on for an hour when I finally broke down and gave her a poptart. I ate her chicken nuggetts (which were only something like 10 carbs worth) and her cold peas.

I sent her to her room. I needed a break. I invited her to join me about 20 minutes later to work on an art project. We were sitting together and working quietly when she mentioned she felt low. Honestly I thought she was still being bratty so I told her to test. She complained that her test kit was in the kitchen (literally 4 feet from where we were sittin) and that she didn't want to go alone. I was frustrated and told her to bring it to where we were sitting and she could test there.

I really had had enough up to that point that night. I didn't notice any signs of her being low - the other time she was in the mid fortys she was super silly and sweaty. It was quite a shock when her number was 38. That is really low - scary low...I am so happy that she recognised it, because I sure didn't.

The next several days have been the battle of the highs. Her number at bedtime tonight was the first in her target. She had a trace of keytones and I had to go to the movies just to chill out. (T stayed with her at home)

SO much to learn. The symposium yesterday was helpful. More about that soon.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Honeymoon Bouncing

L is in her honeymoon period and according to everything I've read and have been told it can last from two weeks to four years. One of our questions at clinic last week was how we would know when the honeymoon was over.

"Oh, you'll know..." was our answer. Great. Thats crystal clear...not.

I found out another clue today when I frantically called Dr. B. L had two lows at school today and tested over 400 when I picked her up. This must be it, I thought.

When Dr. B answered the phone I greeted him with, "The honeymoon is over." I read him her numbers over the last two days (while I was driving and clicking through her meter and talking on my cell...) He didn't think it was the honeymoon ending because if it was, he said, her numbers would be high consistently and we wouldn't see any lows.

Oh. I missed that memo. Well, he explained she was "bouncing." A very unpleasant variation in highs and lows that he couldn't explain, but assured me was typical. He also mentioned that we "had it easy." If that was meant to help me relax it only made me angry. This disease makes me angry, so basically anything he said other than there was a cure discoverd today would have made me angry.

L had her first scary low last night. 38. The amazing thing was that she knew. I had no idea. We were sitting quietly working on an art project and she said she wanted to test. She tested, treated, and then went back to doing her project.

We could all learn from her how to deal. And she does it gracefully with low blood sugar.