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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

Israel Start-Up’s Anti-Obesity Pill Set to Go Big Time

Monday, March 11th, 2013

The Israeli start-up Gelesis is in advanced talks with a large pharmaceutical company to develop its pill that makes fat people feel their stomachs are full, resulting in less food intake and a loss in weight.

The pharma company was not identified by Israel’s Globes business newspaper, which said that Gelesis soon will publish results of a recent clinical trial of the pill.

Instead of asking the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to consider the product as a nutritional supplement or medical device, the Israeli company wants to offer it is a medicine to increase its market appeal.

The value of the deal with the foreign pharmaceutical company could reach hundreds of millions of dollars. The unidentified company will invest millions of dollars for developing the pill and will pay royalties on sales, Globes added.

The slim-down pill is made from indigestible edible fiber taken before a meal. The pills, after coming in contact with water, inflate and  make food more viscous, keeping it in the stomach longer, and creating the sense of being sated.

A study of the pill’s effects several years ago showed a high rate of those who said they felt they had enough to eat, while only 16 percent reported they suffered side effects of discomfort, which Gelesis may be able to reduce by changing the dosage for certain individuals.

Obesity is a leading cause of death, and the leading treatment for obesity is through surgery.

The obesity treatment market currently includes various appetite suppressants, but the leading solution for morbid obesity is stomach bypass or reduction surgery. Although other products for filling the stomach are under development, Gelesis’ edge is that its product works with food.

A small number of diet drugs are on the market or are being studied by the FDA, but their success has been limited.

Besides Gelesis, at least one other company, EntroMedics, has developed a system to limit the expansion of the stomach and control hunger sensations. However, clinical trials last month were disappointing.

Gun Control, Thought Control and People Control

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

The gun control debate, like all debates with the Left, is reducible to the question of whether we are individuals who make our own decisions or a great squishy social mass that helplessly responds to stimuli. Do people kill with guns or does the availability of guns kill people? Do bad eating habits kill people or does the availability of junk food kill people?

To the Left these are distinctions without a difference. If a thing is available then it is the cause of the problem. The individual cannot be held accountable for shooting someone if there are guns for sale. Individuals have no role to play because they are not moral actors, only members of a mob responding to stimuli.

You wouldn’t blame a dog for overeating; you blame the owners for overfeeding him. Nor do you blame a dog for biting a neighbor. You might punish him, but the punishment is training, not a recognition of authentic responsibility on the part of the canine. And the way that you think of a dog, is the way that the Left thinks of you. When you misbehave, the Left looks around for your owner.

The cult of the Left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been “liberated” to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it’s because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it’s because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem.

Individual behavior is a symptom of a social problem. Identify the social problem and you fix the behavior. The individual is nothing, the crowd is everything. Control the mass and you control the individual.

That is how the Left approached this election. Instead of appealing to individual interests, they went after identity groups. They targeted low-information voters and used behavioral science to find ways to manipulate people. The Right treated voters like human beings. The Left treated them like lab monkeys. And the lab monkey approach is triumphantly toted by progressives as proof that the Left is more intelligent than the right. And what better proof of intelligence can there be than treating half the country like buttons of unthinking responses that you can push to get them to do what you want.

Would you let a lab monkey own a gun? Hell no. Would you let it choose what to eat? Only as an experiment. Would you let it vote for laws in a referendum? Not unless it’s trained to push the right button. Would you let it drive a car? Nope. Maybe a bicycle. And if it has to travel a long way, you’ll encourage it to use mass transit. Does a monkey have freedom of speech? Only until it annoys you.

You’ll take away most of the monkey’s bananas, which you’re too lazy to go and find for yourself because you have more important things to do than fetch bananas. You train monkeys to fetch bananas for you. That is how the enlightened elites of the Left see the workers whose taxes they harvest; as monkeys that they taught in their schools and created jobs for with their stimulus plans for. And the least that the monkeys could do is pay their taxes, because the monkeys didn’t build that. You did.

You do plan to take care of monkey’s medical expenses, at least until they get too high, and spay and neuter it with free birth control. You will train it to be the smartest and most well-behaved monkey it can be. And when it gets too sick, you plan to have it mercifully put down so it doesn’t hang around spreading diseases and depressing you with its misery.

And what’s wrong with any of that? Human beings are just evolved monkeys. It’s not as if you’re being cruel to the monkey. You’re engaged in what you might charitably think of as a symbiotic relationship with the monkey. If the monkey were smart, it might think of you as a parasite. But you have a whole lot of rounds of ammunition stockpiled in case of a Planet of the Apes scenario.

If you assume that there is as much of a substantive difference the elite and the common man as there is between a man and a monkey, there is nothing particularly inappropriate about such behavior. We herd animals. Liberals herd people. The human being is the livestock of the liberal animal farm.

The Nazis believed that they were the master race because they were genetically superior. Liberals believe that they are the master race on account of their superior empathy and intelligence. There’s an obvious paradox in believing that you have the right to enslave and kill people because you care more, but that didn’t stop millions of people from joining in with revolutions that led to a century of bloodshed in the name of movements that cared more.

The defining American code is freedom. The defining liberal code is compassion. Conservatives have attempted to counter that by defining freedom as compassionate, as George W. Bush did. Liberals counter by attempting to define compassion as liberating, the way that FDR did by classing freedoms with entitlements in his Four Freedoms.

On one side stands the individual with his rights and responsibilities. On the other side is the remorseless state machinery of supreme compassion. And there is no bridging this gap.

Liberal compassion is not the compassion of equals. It is a revolutionary pity that uses empathy only as fuel for outrage. It is the sort of compassion practiced by people who like to be angry and who like to pretend that their anger makes them better people. It is the sort of compassion that eats like poison into the bones of a man or a society, even while swelling their egos with their own wonderfulness.

Compassion of this sort is outrage fuel. It is hatred toward people masquerading as love. And that hatred is a desire for power masquerading as outrage which in turn is dressed up as a deep love for others and empathy for all living creatures. Peel away the mask of compassion and all that is underneath is a terrible lust for power. And the only way to truly justify the kind of total power summoned by such lusts is by reducing the people you would rule over to the status of non-persons.

The clash that will define the future of America is this collision between the individual and the state, between disorganized freedom and organized compassion, between a self-directed experiment in self-government and an experiment conducted by trained experts on a lab monkey population. And the defining idea of this conflict is accountability.

To understand the Left’s position on nearly any issue, imagine a 20th Century American and then take away accountability. Assume that the individual is helpless and stupid, has little to no control over his own behavior and is only responding to stimuli and functions in a purely reactive capacity. Then use that data to come up with a response to anything from kids getting fat to a football player shooting his wife to terrorists firing rockets at Israel. The only possible answer to reactive behavior is to find the thing being reacted to and condemn it.

If you want to fake being a member of the Left on any topic and in any setting, master this simple phrase. “But we have to look at the root causes to see who is really responsible.” Congratulations, you can now get by anywhere from Caracas to Brussels to Berkeley.

The root cause is a perpetual search for an accountability vested in systems rather than people. That search always ends up with systems and ideologies, rather than mere people, because it justifies the destruction of those systems and ideologies. And destroying systems and ideologies allows them to be replaced by their progressive replacements.

The final failure of accountability for the Left is a failure of moral organization, while for the right it is a failure of personal character. The right asks, “Why did you kill?” The Left asks, “Who let him have a gun?” “Who didn’t provide him with a job” and “Who neglected his self-esteem?”

Freedom goes hand in hand with personal moral organization of the individual by the individual. Organized compassion however requires the moral organization of the society as a whole. A shooting is not a failure of the character of one man alone, or even his family and social circle, it is the total failure of our entire society and perhaps even the world, for not leveraging a sufficient level of moral organization that would have made such a crime impossible. No man is an island. Every man is a traffic jam.

Social accountability on this scale requires the nullification of the personhood and accountability of the individual, just as the moral organization that it mandates requires removing the freedom of choice of the individual, to assure a truly moral society. When compassion and morality are collective, then everyone and no one is moral and compassionate at the same time. And that is the society of the welfare state where compassion is administered by a salaried bureaucracy.

Choice is what makes us moral creatures and collective compassion leaves us less than human. The collective society of mass movements and mass decisions leaves us little better than lab monkeys trying to compose Shakespeare without understanding language, meaning or ideas, or anything more than the rote feel of our fingers hitting the keyboard.

This is the society that the Left is creating, a place filled with as many social problems as there are people, where everyone is a lab monkey except the experts running the experiments, and where no one has any rights because freedom is the enemy of a system whose moral code derives from creating a perfect society by replacing the individual with the mass. It is a society where there is no accountability, only constant compulsion. It is a society where you are a social problem and there are highly paid experts working day and night to figure out how to solve you.

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

Butter Lovers, Rejoice – Hebrew U Study Shows High-Fat Could Lower Weight

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Lovers of butter, rejoice – eating a high-fat diet on a schedule may keep you svelter than eating a low-fat diet at random intervals, according to a researcher at Hebrew University.

Professor Oren Froy of the Agriculture, Food, and Environment department posits that regularly scheduling meals regulates metabolism and reduces weight gain.

The results were published in the academic journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Mice fed a high-fat diet on a fixed schedule for 18 weeks gained less weight than counterparts fed either a low-fat diet on a fixed schedule, a low-fat diet on no schedule, and a high-fat diet on no schedule.

Additionally, the high-fat eaters seemed to metabolize what they ate better, rather than storing the fat in their bodies.

According to Froy, the findings reveal the importance of timing food consumption as a way of preventing obesity.

Broader Lessons from Genetic Studies of the Ashkenazi Jewish Population

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the influential paper published by a Mount Sinai physician, Dr. Burrill Crohn, and his colleagues that for the first time characterized a disease associated with severe inflammation of the intestine. Patients with what was later named Crohn’s disease develop diarrhea, fever, stomach pain, and often lose weight. Crohn’s is now classified as an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks its own healthy tissue in the gastrointestinal tract, causing chronic inflammation. It affects young individuals, and, even though it is not curable, it can be treated and controlled by medications and surgery.

Epidemiology and origination of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s is considered to be a complex disease with both genetic and environmental risk factors. There is extensive evidence to support the role of genetics in the development of Crohn’s disease. Having a relative with Crohn’s disease is the greatest risk factor for other family members. Also, studies of twins have shown that identical twins, who share almost 100% of their genetic information, were more likely to both have the disease than fraternal twins.  The differences in the prevalence of Crohn’s in various racial and ethnic groups further indicate that genetic factors contribute to the risk, even though shared cultural factors, such as diet and lifestyle, might also explain these differences. Specifically, the prevalence of Crohn’s disease in European countries ranges between 1 and 12 per 100,000 individuals, whereas this disease was until recently virtually unknown in the developing countries.

The major genetic risk for Crohn’s disease identified so far is conferred by 3 rare mutations in the NOD2 gene. NOD2 plays an important role in the immune system, as it enables immune cells to recognize bacterial molecules and stimulates an immune reaction. While the frequency of these mutations ranges between 1% and 4.5% in the general population, about 40% of Crohn’s disease patients carry at least one copy. This translates to a 2 to 4-fold risk of developing the disease in carriers of one copy and a 10 to 40-fold risk in those who carry multiple copies of these mutations. Recent advances in the field of genetics have allowed identification of an additional 160 genetic variants associated with Crohn’s disease in individuals of European ancestry. However,  a sharp increase in the occurrence of the disease in children of immigrants from the developing countries who move to Western countries, as well as the well- established effect of smoking on Crohn’s disease risk, suggest a prominent role for environmental factors as well, most likely diet and lifestyle.

Crohn’s Disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish Population

Interestingly, Jews of European descent (Ashkenazim) have a 4 to 7-fold increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease compared to non-Jewish Europeans. Genetic risks alone could not explain why the prevalence of Crohn’s disease is so much higher in Ashkenazim than in surrounding populations. To investigate this phenomenon, researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine have recently conducted the largest study which compared 1,878 Ashkenazi Jews with Crohn’s disease to 4,469 Jews without the disease, using DNA samples to evaluate their genetic make-up. They discovered five new genetic risk regions associated with Crohn’s disease in Ashkenazim. Armed with this new information, they can begin to pinpoint additional causal genetic mutations, discover the nature of the malfunctions they create,  and hopefully eventually develop new treatment approaches. That study also demonstrates the value of genetic studies in isolated populations, like Ashkenazi Jews.

 

The Role of Commensal Bacteria in Crohn’s Disease Risk

One possible explanation for the origination of Crohn’s disease is the hygiene hypothesis which suggests that a lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents causes the immune system to wrongfully recognize its own non-pathogenic microorganisms as imminent risks and to act against them, causing substantial damage. This notion is particularly interesting in light of accumulating evidence suggesting that the identity and relative abundance of members of bacterial communities, or microbiota, normally residing in the human body and referred to as “commensal”, or non-harmful, bacteria, can be associated with different disease states. Microbial cells that live on (skin, eyes) and inside the human body (digestive system) may outnumber the quantity of human cells by 10-fold. This means that we may be carrying more bacterial genes than our own. Some commensal bacteria are essential for our health and provide a wide range of metabolic functions that the human body lacks. They help break down, absorb and store nutrients that otherwise cannot be digested, fight pathogenic bacteria, and play an important role in the development of the immune system.

The Fat Nanny State

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/fat-nanny-state.html

It’s easy to dismiss New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s latest nanny state hiccup as the control-freak antics of a powerful man –but that would be missing the point. Bloomberg did not come up with the idea of banning sodas during a spa session on his private island. His implementation of it may be more overtly obnoxious, but the idea that there is a national health crisis that can only be solved by getting people to stop eating sugary foods, is ubiquitous among social policy wonks and national experts on telling people what to do.

In 2007, a conference on obesity was held at George Washington University, sponsored by the Stop Obesity Alliance and the Obesity Association. The Stop Obesity Alliance may sound like a silly afterthought of a group, but its steering committee members include AHIP, the trade group for the health insurance industry; AMGA, the trade association for health care groups; SEIU, one of the largest unions in the country; and NBGH, a business health group representing major companies like Apple, FedEx, Kellogg, Unilever and Walmart.

It was no wonder then that virtually every Democratic and Republican candidate running for office either showed up in person, or sent a proxy to explain how their administration was going to fight obesity.

“The next president must commit to fighting America’s obesity problem and possess the experience to win the fight,” Governor Bill Richardson said, and vowed to make fighting obesity one of his top priorities.

You might be laughing, but don’t. The obesity epidemic buzzword has penetrated every major company, as well as every level of government and academia. That translates into a policy bulldozer with private-public partnerships that will control every aspect of your life.

When think-tanks convince corporations that they’re losing money because of obesity, they sponsor trade associations that invite politicians down to explain what they’re going to do about it. Health insurance companies have crunched the numbers and decided that they can save billions if the government manages to make people lose weight. Corporations that employ a lot of people and pay for their health insurance think they can save a fortune on health insurance if employee obesity is cut. They have their own employee incentives, but mostly they want the government to do something about it.

Why do you think the 2012 election came down to a race between ObamaCare and RomneyCare? Because the power players agree that we need national health care; they only disagree over what kind of national health care we need. Just like they agree that we need “immigration reform,” tolerance for Islam, and a War on Terror that doesn’t disrupt international trade. We don’t need those things, but they do, and they are determined to force them down our throats.

To understand the genesis of Bloomberg’s lunacy, you have to go back to groups like the Stop Obesity Alliance. And it’s not the only such group. There’s the Campaign to End Obesity, whose board includes executives from major health companies and non-profits, including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Humana. Every time you hear another talking head going on about the dangers of obesity to America, he’s repeating talking points lifted from “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future”, a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the country’s largest health care foundation, which doles out 400 million dollars a year in grants. Its primary focus… obesity.

“F as in Fat” includes extensive material on government legislation, everything from soda taxes to menu labeling to “complete streets programs,” which New Yorkers will recognize as the melange of bike lanes that squeeze out cars; what they don’t know is that it is used to fight obesity. HR 1780: The Safe and Complete Streets Act is a congressional bill that would turn every city into the same nightmare of snarled traffic and no parking.

Around the same time that policy men and women were telling the Stop Obesity Alliance what they would do about fat people, there were warnings in the U.K. that obesity would bankrupt the NHS, and Australia’s Labor Party vowed to tackle the “national obesity crisis” as a study claimed that 95 percent of Australians were “unfit.” The hysteria is worldwide.

Israelis Among ‘Most Satisfied’ in Developed World

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

A recent survey of the OECD’s (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) 34 countries suggests that Israelis are enjoying a Scandinavian-level quality of life, with Israel ranking sixth in ‘life satisfaction.’

The site Daily Finance analyzed data compiled by the OECD, examining variables like ‘self-reported good health,’ ’life expectancy,’ ’employment rate,’ ‘employees working long hours,’ and ‘educational attainment.’

Israelis are among the healthiest in the developed world, with a low obesity rate (13.8%) and life expectancy of nearly 82 years old. By comparison, the obesity rate in the U.S. – which ranked 11th overall in the survey – is 20% higher than Israel, and has an average life expectancy of 79 years.

In spite of the seemingly-ubiquitous security concerns, 70% of Israelis surveyed reported feeling safe walking home at night, while the homicide rate in Israel is comparable to the OECD average (2.1 murders/100,000 people).

Still, the survey found that Israel ranked 24th in employment rate (with 60% of eligible workforce employed), while of those Israelis that are employed, nearly 20% of work long hours (defined in the survey as working at least 50 hours a week).

Denmark was rated as having the most satisfied citizens in the developed world, followed by Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Austria. After Israel, Finland, Australia, Canada, and Sweden rounded out the top 10.

 JTA Contributed to this report

Orthodoxy And Obesity: Is There A Correlation?

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

It’s beautiful how much emphasis there is on Shabbat and holiday celebration in the Orthodox community. However, celebration of the values of health and exercise is sorely lacking. Parents often don’t stress health and exercise for their children, and day schools fall short when it comes to creating rigorous health programs.

Happily, though, religious celebration need not compromise our commitment to health. Obesity is a major problem in the United States and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and Type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 36 percent of American adults are obese, and the problem is getting worse.

As of 2010, every state had at least a 20 percent obesity rate, and twelve had a rate of 30 percent or higher. Even more alarming, 17 percent of children ages 2-19 are obese, and physicians are now seeing Type 2 diabetes (a disease with a normal onset age of 40) in this population. Although today about 7 percent of our population has diabetes (almost all with Type 2), the CDC predicts that one in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes during his or her lifetime – in large part due to obesity.

U.S. statistics do not record data based on religion, but Israeli data confirm the high incidence of obesity in the Orthodox community. The Israel Health Ministry has reported that haredim are seven times more likely to be obese as other Israelis. The ministry noted, “The haredi lifestyle focuses on the dinner table…. At the same time, they don’t engage in any physical exercise.”

Other factors included a lack of practical health education in haredi schools and the poverty of many within this community, which leads to consumption of cheaper, simple carbohydrate-based foods (such as potatoes, pasta, rice, and sugar) combined with high-fat meat rather than more expensive complex carbohydrates and protein-rich foods.

There are many excuses people use to deny the seriousness of this problem, such as the claim that professional athletes are often “obese,” using current BMI charts. However, there are relatively few professional athletes among us, so in the overwhelming majority of cases obesity is a critical risk factor for many diseases.

Others do not think they are obese. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that 80 percent of individuals in the normal weight range correctly reported their weight as normal. But an alarming 58 percent of overweight individuals incorrectly categorized themselves as of a normal weight. In the overweight category, only 10 percent accurately described their body size.

Judaism addresses this issue; the sages even joke about the correlation between religiosity and health. Reish Lakish was in great shape until he became pious and lost his athletic ability, missing his typical leap over the river. Further, the great sage Hillel explains that we must take care of our bodies, since we are created in the image of God (Leviticus Rabbah 34:3).

Rav Kook (Orot HaTechiya33) suggests that exercise is actually a mitzvah. We not only sustain our lives but prepare our bodies to serve:We need a healthy body. We have dealt much in soulfulness; we forgot the holiness of the body. We neglected physical health and strength; we forgot that we have holy flesh no less than holy spirit…

Our return (teshuvah) will succeed only if it will be – with all its splendid spirituality – also a physical return, which produces healthy blood, healthy flesh, mighty, solid bodies, a fiery spirit radiating over powerful muscles….

The exercise the Jewish youths in the Land of Israel engage in to strengthen their bodies, in order to be powerful children of the nation, enhances the spiritual prowess of the exalted righteous, who engage in mystical unifications of divine names, to increase the accentuation of divine light in the world. And neither revelation of light can stand without the other.

In addition to neglect of exercise and over-consumption of meat and sugars, we should be concerned about the Jewish prohibition of achilah gasah (overeating). By learning moderation, improving our diets, and taking care of our bodies, we not only fulfill the mitzvah of preserving our lives and caring for our loaned bodies created in the image of God, we also teach our children the importance of living a balanced, holy lifestyle.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz is founder and president of Uri L’Tzedek; director of Jewish life and senior Jewish educator at the UCLA Hillel; and a sixth -year doctoral candidate at Columbia University in moral psychology & epistemology. His book “Jewish Ethics & Social Justice: A Guide for the 21st Century” is available on Amazon. In April, Newsweek named him one of the most influential rabbis in America.

Diabetes – The Silent Killer

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The worldwide diabetes epidemic and its related precursor, obesity, are the fastest growing public health menaces of the 21st century.

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition resulting from the body’s inability to properly control blood sugar (glucose). Normally, the body controls the glucose level with a hormone produced in the pancreas called insulin. Those who have diabetes have either lost the ability to produce enough insulin, or the cells in their body no longer respond properly to the insulin that is being produced.

More than 90% of diabetes cases in the US today are Type 2, and less than 10% are Type1.

Diabetes was well known to the ancients, but the current epidemic of Type 2 diabetes is a phenomenon of modern living. It is largely the result of eating an unhealthy diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle. As a result, diabetes is nearly four times as common today as all types of cancer combined, and it causes more deaths each year than breast and prostate cancer combined.

More than 25 million Americans already have diabetes, and more than double that number have blood sugar numbers high enough to classify them as suffering from pre-diabetes. That means that they are likely to develop the full blown Type 2 diabetes in the near future if they do not make the necessary changes in their diet and lifestyles to prevent it.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have many of the same symptoms and potentially deadly consequences, but different causes. Type 1 diabetes is also known as “juvenile diabetes” because in most cases it appears in childhood, in contrast with Type 2, which used to occur only in adults, which is why it was formerly known as adult-onset diabetes.

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease, like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus, in which something triggers the body’s own immune system to attack the insulin-producing beta cells in the part of the pancreas known as the islets of Langerhans.

Type 1 cannot be cured, but it can be effectively managed. Proper insulin therapy, combined with regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, can allow people with Type 1 diabetes to lead a normal and healthy life.

One of the most insidious aspects of Type 2 diabetes is that by the time people are diagnosed with it, they may have already developed a serious long term complication of the condition. Type 2 doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease, which ultimately kills 52% of people with diabetes. People diagnosed with Type 2 also have double the risk of suffering a stroke within 5 years. Almost one in three will eventually develop kidney disease, and diabetes is one of the leading causes of adult blindness.

Diabetes is also associated with circulation problems in the lower extremities. This can result in the slow healing or infection of wounds on the feet and legs. This is further complicated by the fact that high blood sugar due to diabetes can cause damage to the nerves that sense pain. This means that diabetes patients may not realize that they have a wound on their leg or foot until after it has become dangerously infected. This can ultimately lead to the need for amputation.

Type 2 diabetes is also a condition related to aging. Approximately 20% of the population over 60 have the condition, and an equal number have its precursor. It is no longer called “juvenile” diabetes because of the shocking relatively recent result of the obesity epidemic, the discovery of Type 2 diabetes, for the first time, in grossly overweight teenagers and young adults.

Type 2 is typically treated with oral medications such as metformin, and it, too, requires the monitoring of blood sugar levels. The good news is that pre-diabetes or mild cases of Type 2 can also be controlled through appropriate changes in diet and lifestyle and weight loss. These are more effective, but require a lot more work and discipline, than taking pills. In fact, there is evidence that Type 2 diabetes can actually be reversed, in at least some cases, with sufficiently aggressive and strictly observed diet and lifestyle changes and weight loss.

There are other types of diabetes, the most common being gestational diabetes, a temporary condition which affects 2-5% of pregnant women and generally subsides after the baby is born. The symptoms are similar to those of Type 2 diabetes, and women who have had gestational diabetes are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Women with gestational diabetes must be treated and closely monitored, because of the potential danger from the diabetes to the health of both the mother and the fetus. Gestational diabetes in the mother puts the baby at greater risk for high birth weight, cardiac and central nervous system problems, respiratory distress and skeletal muscle malformations. The damage done to blood vessels could impair the function of the placenta, causing fetal distress requiring early delivery through the induction of labor or cesarean section.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/diabetes-the-silent-killer/2012/03/14/

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