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Almost four years ago in my “Diabetes Update” newsletter I wrote about an ancient remedy that is being used again to treat stubborn wounds and ulcers. These ulcers are a major threat to anybody with diabetes who has neuropathy.
On first blush, that treatment, using so-called sterile maggots, sounded pretty sour. I wondered then whether blood letting or leeches would be the next wound treatment to resurface.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. The newly rediscovered ancient treatment is much sweeter – honey. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory activity.
Until one of my correspondents, Kit Emory, brought this old-new treatment to my attention, all that I knew about honey was that it was a wonderful natural sweetener with an average glycemic index of 55, which puts it in the low glycemic range. But that average masks a wide range of different types of honey, all the way from 32 for Romanian locust honey to 87 for an unspecified variety of honey tested in Canada.
The range o...
So, summer is here. Sunshine. Flowers. Yada. Yada. Yada. All that good stuff we miss all winter long. With the sunshine, however, often comes a bit of change in blood sugars and insulin needs. I once met this incredibly athletic teenager who found herself in the hospital at the start of every new sport season from episodes of hypoglycemia at its most extreme. She and her mother seemed baffled…I was baffled as to why the severe lows were so mysterious to them. For any diabetic (especially the new ones) and her parents, it’s really important to realize that simple changes in activity and diet can have a major impact on the amount of insulin your body needs. If you’re starting a new sport that meets for practice every day, you will inevitably have to adjust your insulin levels. And when the sport ends — guess what — you may need to increase them. Endocrinologists are great for suggesting how much you should increase or decrease your insulin —but you have to a...
A Swedish study has shown that teaching type 2 diabetes patients about their disease results in greater decreases in the hemoglobin A1c test than many drugs. The abstract, Improvements in HBA1C remain after 5 years: a follow up of an educational intervention focusing on patients' personal understandings of type 2 diabetes, is online, but the full study results, to be published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, is not yet available. At the beginning of the study, the control group and the treatment group both had A1c's of around 5.7 (5.78 in the controls and 5.71 in the intervention group. After 5 years, the control group's A1c increased to 7.08, above the recommended level even for the superconservative American Diabetes Association (ADA). In the intervention group, the A1c remained at 5.71, a difference of 1.37. The average diabetes drug reduces the A1c by about 1 point, so simply letting the patients become informed about...
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