A New Cure For Diabetes! (Again)

Every month or two, this blog likes to highlight the latest cure-all for diabetes. Often, it involves only Type II diabetics, and usually nothing comes of it in the long run.

So goes another cure. This time, it’s extreme dieting:

Eleven people with diabetes took part in the study, which was funded by Diabetes UK. They had to slash their food intake to just 600 calories a day for two months. But three months later seven of the 11 were free of diabetes.

Still nothing’s been done for those of us who got screwed genetically, not just from eating too much damned McDonalds…

Five Years Later, Diabetes Fail

Let’s flash back now to this very blog, January 20, 2006:

Pfizer Inc. hopes to begin selling Exubera, the first inhalable version of insulin to win federal approval, by midyear.

To which I wrote:

I’ll believe it when I see it, and not even then. I’ll believe it when there isn’t a class action suit a year later.


The promise of inhalable insulin has been around for as long as I’ve been diabetic — almost 19 years now. It’s right up there with the watch that will keep constant track of your blood sugar without taking blood. (That’s sorta out now, too, but with its own cavaets.)

In case you’re wondering what happened to this wonder drug, let’s consult Wikipedia:

As of October 18, 2007, Pfizer has announced that it will no longer manufacture or market Exubera. According to Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Kindler this is because Exubera “failed to gain acceptance among patients and physicians.”

At the time of Exubera’s discontinuation, several other companies were pursuing inhaled insulin… However, by March 2008, all of these products had been discontinued except for MannKind’s Afrezza product. As of March 2010 Afrezza was still under FDA review.

So, like I said, don’t get your hopes up when it comes to diabetes cures or medications.

Diabetics to Love iPhone 3.0

The story is a couple of weeks old, but I’m pretty sure I blogged the story that this is a sequel to a couple years back.

AppleInsider | “Jesus Phone 3.0” touches diabetic blogger

During Apple’s iPhone 3.0 event, the presentation of a mobile-attached blood glucose monitor for diabetic users apparently bored some journalists in the room. However, the demonstration not only revealed Apple’s most important leap yet in mobile devices, but also answered the pleas of a diabetic blogger.

I want one of those now!

Forget the cure, find the cause!

Common plastics chemical linked to human diseases | Health | Reuters

A study has for the first time linked a common chemical used in everyday products such as plastic drink containers and baby bottles to health problems, specifically heart disease and diabetes.

Now that we have a crackpot explanation for diabetes, I expect a crackpot cure to come along this weekend.  The universe needs balance, after all.

Diabetes Cured. Again.

It’s been a while since the last miracle cure for diabetes.  I’m glad I can bring the latest and greatest advance in medical science that will never pan out to your attention:

Scientists Reprogram Adult Cells’ Function

Scientists have transformed one type of fully developed adult cell directly into another inside a living animal, a startling advance that could lead to cures for a variety of illnesses and sidestep the political and ethical quagmires associated with embryonic stem cell research.Through a series of painstaking experiments involving mice, the Harvard biologists pinpointed three crucial molecular switches that, when flipped, completely convert a common cell in the pancreas into the more precious insulin-producing ones that diabetics need to survive.

I think I’ll go stock up on Diet Pepsi now. . .

Welcome to the club, Nick Jonas

Nick Jonas, of The Jonas BrothersFinally, Disney gives diabetes some attention!

FOXNews.com – Nick Jonas Launches Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Campaign

Pop superstar Nick Jonas is already an inspiration to the millions of teens and ‘tweens’ who hang on every lyric sung by his band the Jonas Brothers. But Jonas, who suffers from type 1 diabetes, hopes a three-year partnership he’s created with Bayer HealthCare will serve as an inspiration to others living with this disease.

The Diabetes Epidemic

I’ve been diabetic for 21 years now.  I was WAY ahead of the curve on this one! Diabetes rates skyrocket among Americans, CDC says – CNN.com

The number of Americans with diabetes has grown to about 24 million people, or roughly 8 percent of the U.S. population, the government said Tuesday. The number of diabetics, who often use insulin pumps, has risen about 3 million over two years, says the CDC. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on data from 2007, said the number represents an increase of about 3 million over two years. The CDC estimates another 57 million people have blood sugar abnormalities called pre-diabetes, which puts people at increased risk for the disease.

But the thing is, mine is genetic.  This epidemic mostly stems from people who don’t exercise enough or eat all of the wrong foods.  They’re going to see the bulk of spending done on fixing them, while those of us who are just stuck with it from birth will get nothing.

Life’s so fair, isn’t it?

Diabetes Not Cured For Another Year

But Bayer is making good on a bad batch of test strips for their glucometer:

2007 Press Releases

Bayer Diabetes Care has initiated a voluntary market recall of test strips (sensors) used exclusively with the Contour TS Blood Glucose Meter. In the course of its routine quality control monitoring processes the Company identified a manufacturing issue with test strips from specific lots that could result in blood glucose readings with a positive bias that is outside of our product specifications. Test results may demonstrate results 5 -17% higher.

5-17% ain’t bad, but it ain’t good, either, especially at higher numbers. There’s a difference in the amount of insulin I’d take for a 200 blood sugar, as opposed to a 234, for example. But between 80 and 85? Nada.

Glad to see a company actually utilizes their QA testing. . .

Diabetes Management on the DS!

DS Game Takes Place of Glucose Monitor | Game | Life from Wired.com

The GlucoBoy, a glucose monitor that lets users play games by plugging it into a GameBoy Advance or DS, could be an important tool for helping children learn to manage their diabetes. […] The GlucoBoy helps players manage their diabetes by awarding points whenever they perform a glucose test, with extra points given out if the test results fall within specific goals. Points can be used to unlock new games, or can be spent at GRiP (Guidance Reward Platform), a site that offers accessories, apparel, and cards for Knock ’em Downs, one of the games featured in the GlucoBoy.

Which parts of the human body could you design better?

Diabetics will like this answer:

The pancreas is a completely crummy organ, without a stem cell population to help regenerate it after being damaged, that eventually craps out in nearly every human with age. I would give the pancreas a stem cell population that renews the beta cells which are responsible for insulin production, and the whole insulin system could stand to be improved to prevent insulin insensitivity with age.

While the page is completely serious and anatomically correct, there are diagrams in there that you might not want to show your five year old kid. And I agree completely about the lack of need for a prostate.

Yet Another Diabetes Breakthrough. . .

…that won’t help me one bit. It’s for Type 2, or “adult onset” diabetes.

Aussie scientists make diabetes breakthrough – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Australian researchers have pinpointed a key cause of type 2 diabetes, in a study they say has brought them closer to developing a simpler, more effective treatment for the disease.The team has identified an enzyme in diabetics as the active agent that blocks the production of insulin, which is a hormone that helps the pancreas convert blood-sugar into energy.

To their credit, they’re discussing the ramifications this would have towards treatment, not a cure. I’ve lost count of the number of cures we’ve been promised this year already.

More diabetics treated like drunks

And this was in Canada! They’re nicer up there!

Mountie fined for punching diabetic

An RCMP disciplinary board has fined a Kamloops officer two days’ pay after he punched a diabetic man in the head because he thought, incorrectly, that the man was driving drunk. In a recent decision, the RCMP board found Constable Burke Huschi used “excessive force” without first investigating the circumstances of the situation.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Low blood sugar is as close to drunk as I’ll ever get.

New way to check blood sugar

Diabetes breath test may be possible | Tech news blog – CNET News.com

A new study shows that children with type-1 diabetes exhale significantly higher levels of methyl nitrate when their blood sugar is high. That might not sound like earth-shattering news, but it could mean that diabetics have a noninvasive way to check their blood-sugar levels down the road.

Yup, it’s time for a diabetic breathalyzer. We’re being treated like drunks now! ;-)

Still, I bet it gets to market faster than the inhalable insulin spray we’ve been promised for 20 years.

We have another cure!

Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted): Bone Hormone Linked to Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

Even though bones seem to be metabolically inactive structures, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, bones are rebuilt constantly through the action of cells known as osteoblasts while old bone is destroyed by other cells known as osteoclasts. Bones also produce red and white blood cells, help maintain blood pH and store calcium. However, exciting new research has shown that bones also act as an endocrine organ. Not only do bones produce a protein hormone, osteocalcin (pictured), that regulates bone formation, but this hormone also protects against obesity and glucose intolerance by increasing proliferation of pancreatic beta cells and their subsequent secretion of insulin. Osteocalcin was also found to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin and as well as reducing its fat stores.

In other words, we’ve cured diabetes yet again!  Someone get out the score card and let me know how many cures this makes for the calendar year 2007, please.