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Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Following up on my posting yesterday, I just finished reading the July issue of Scientific American.  Among the topics possibly destined to become future articles in this blog included:
The most surprising was:

Diabetes mellitus (or diabetes) is a metabolic disorder involving high blood sugar levels, resulting in frequent urination, thirst and hunger.  Not to scare you, but other symptoms include fatigue, headache, blurry vision, slow healing of cuts, itchy skin and rashes. 

Diabetes is an epidemic, with more than 400 million ailing around the world, with an expected 650 million by 2040.  What is diabetes?
  • There are two types:
    • Type 1 usually affects the youth, where the body's immune system destroys the cells that release insulin, and requires insulin injections.
    • Type 2 can develop at any age, but usually occurs during adulthood, where the pancreas makes less and less insulin, but can be controlled through medication.
    • Actually, there is a third type affecting pregnant women.
  • Type 2 accounts for 90-95% of those affected.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure, but also is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke and amputations.
Prevention and treatment call for a healthy diet, physical exercise, maintaining normal body weight (this ailment can result in serious weight loss), controlling hypertension and avoiding the use of tobacco.  Amazingly enough, moderate drinking of wine can reduce diabetes risk by 30%.  This is my favorite solution.  Interesting that a now obsolete graphic is this one:

The medical profession has long known that reducing the surface of your gastrointestinal (GI) tact works more effectively on diabetes than medication.  Why this works is still speculation, with a range of interacting factors involving gut bacteria, hormones (especially ghrelin), bile acids, neural circuits and other parameters.

Last year 45 medical societies endorsed GI surgery as a standard diabetes treatment option, for 89% of surgery patients with diabetes were not taking insulin five years after operation.  This procedure is considered to be low risk on the order of gallbladder surgery or hysterectomy.  The cost ranges from $20,000-$25,000.

However, there are other nonsurgical approaches:
  • The usual target is the small intestine.
  • Insertion of a small sleeve into the intestines through the mouth and alimentary canal.
  • Pacing a balloon into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine closest to the stomach), then filling with hot water to burn away some of the cells that interact with nutrients.
Thus, while the conventional wisdom is that diabetes cannot be cured, and that you need to take pills all your life, now, perhaps not:

With two disastrous hurricanes causing major damage, you would think our economy would be negatively affected.  I guess the relief that Hurricane Irma went a bit east over Florida has encouraged the stock market, for the Dow Jones Industrial Average has the past couple of days almost reached its all-time high of 22,182.

Hurricane Jose in the Atlantic continues to confuse our weather people.  Who knows what is coming or going:

There is a similar shifting of projections in the West Pacific with Typhoon Talim, now said to be moving northward over Okinawa:


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