February 28, 2008

Another way of (Mis?) Understanding Diabetes

The financial industry version.

The Motley fool published an article putting Biodel in with 4 other “deathbed stocks.” In part they say, “Biodel's VIAject system will compete against Humulin, made by Eli Lilly. However, although it seems to be absorbed more quickly than Humulin, there's nothing yet to suggest that will be enough to cause patients to switch.” They also noted that oral insulin took a hit with “the bong.” [link]

Funny it was exactly the faster absorption that got me interested in the company and a bought a few shares for kicks. Faster injected insulin strikes me as much more interesting than oral insulin.

Meanwhile JP Morgan started coverage of the Same Biodel with and “Overweight” rating saying, “VIAject's potential superior clinical profile could compete with the current products of Eli Lilly and Co and Novo Nordisk that are dominating the market, and could capture 10 to 15 percent of the market by 2012, JP Morgan said in a note to clients.”

So apparently even in the financial markets YDMV.

So my fellow T1 people what do you think is a faster insulin something you would buy?

February 23, 2008

Diabetes.org Back

The main site is back but the forums are still MIA.

diabetes.org expired

Diabetes.org is down. Apparently they didn't bother to renew their domain name registration.

expired on 02/17/2008 and is pending renewal or deletion."

Smooth move.

Newbie Advice III – Why aren’t we in The Caymans?

If it is a ‘Honeymoon’ why aren’t we at a beach in on some nice Island?

Newbie Tip I was about diabetes mind games and II was a vocabulary lesson. We are getting brave here and we are going to mix mind games and vocabulary. Keep you arms and legs inside the ride at all times. We are going to talk about the term ‘Honeymoon.’

We are going to go with sarcasm here. You’re new to diabetes and a little dark humor should help with the stress.

As far as I can tell the phrase ‘Honeymoon’ as relating to diabetes was coined by a sadist.
The dude’s marriage must have really been god awful if he thought it was a good analogy to compare diabetes care with the first blush of marital bliss. Maybe it wasn’t a guy but I am not convinced that would explain it either.

Just to be sure I wasn’t nuts I looked up the word honeymoon:
1) a vacation or trip taken by a newly married couple
2) the month or so following a marriage
3) any period of blissful harmony
4) any new relationship characterized by an initial period of harmony and goodwill

None of those come close to fitting the diabetes situation. Some confuse thing even more.

Let start with the first one: Diabetes isn’t a vacation, it is forever. You can’t take a break for week or two from it and comeback and pick up where you left off without issues. And unlike a new marriage there is no pre-nup, no divorce option - you’re stuck with it - For Life.

Two: The month thing just screws people up. The diabetes ‘Honeymoon’ isn’t a few weeks to a month but insulin resistance is. See Newbie Tip I.

The ‘Honeymoon is the period from diagnosis to the point that all practical insulin production in the pancreas is gone. It takes a while, a year to years is as good a time frame to think about as any - Your Diabetes May Vary. From our experience insulin production goes out in fits and spurts.

Blissful: If you think there is anything “Blissful” about diabetes you are on crack. As for the ‘Honeymoon’ well insulin production goes out in fits and spurts typically just when you think you have a handle on managing blood sugar. Diabetes is real good at changing just when you think you getting the hang of dealing with it. It is a mind game and growth Spurts and puberty just ad to the ‘Bliss’ of diabetes management making the ‘Honeymoon’ oh so much sweeter!

Ok it doesn’t make it sweeter. But you learn to manage and that the whole point.

As for harmony and goodwill I can’t see it, must folks new relationship with diabetes is all about stress and confusion. ‘Honeymoon’ my eye. About the only thing I can say is similar between the ‘Honeymoon’ and a honeymoon in the traditional idea, is that they both eventually end.

The ‘Honeymoon’ last longer than 1, 2 and 4. Best wished that you have a marriage like 3.

The ‘Honeymoon’ ends when the body stops insulin production. You are there when the average Total Daily Dose if insulin is about 1 unit per kilo of weight (2.2 lbs for us Americans who don’t do the metric system.)

Now just because the ‘Honeymoon’ is over don’t get all excited and think your diabetes will be easy to manage. Growth, puberty, exercise, stress, excitement, weather, fat, grease alcohol, pizza and a whole lot more screw up the best made diabetes plans.

February 22, 2008

Climb Every Mountain

Cue the Van Trapp singers. This dude is type 1 and does all kinds of cool stuff like climbing mountains, including Everest.

I think he is probably a better type 1 role model than that Rock of Love clown from Poison.


February 21, 2008

From The News Wire: Stem cells make insulin

Human stem cells were made into insulin producing cells in... mice.

If I had a dollar for every one of these cure in mice stories I could afford a CGM....

Stem Cell Therapy Controls Diabetes in Mice

February 17, 2008

From The News Wire: Kiss a Pig

This one is fun. Fund raises compete to kiss a pig. Apparently the high money raises get to kiss the pig not the low being forced.

February 15, 2008

National Treasure

JDRF sent us an invitation to join them for a bus trip to visit Congress as part of "Government Day 2008." I am a history geek. I take my bill of rights seriously. I also am a big fan of the combo meal. So how could I resist the 1st Amendment Special: peaceably assemble with a side order of petition the government?

The weather forecast was ominous but Delaney and I played hooky from our respective responsibilities anyway. We met the bus at a local Mall and were off with a dozen other families to DC.

Kimball and Conner were going to come too. In large part we hoping to see an old friend of Kim’s Dad who works in the Capitol. But by the day of the trip Pop Pop hadn’t been able to connect with his Pal and Kimball decided to skip the trip and go to biology class.

Yes Bio - She was inspired at last years Children With Diabetes conference to return to school seeking a nursing degree. It has been a while since she was last in college and she is bringing her science classes up to date. She is doing great by working hard - she decided not to play hooky. Connor has a lead part in a school play. It was a big rehearsal day. That left Delaney and I on the bus.

A few of our group went off to see their Congressman just as we arrived. The rest of us, not being special, caught lunch before our appointed rounds. Lunch was revealing. There and through out the day it was clear just how many Americans come to exercise their right to petition the government. There were Purple Heart Veterans, Mental Health Groups, Native Americans, Vision Impaired groups with their working dogs, of course Juvenile Diabetics and assorted alphabet soup groups (Usually starting or ending with an “A.” Probably one was "AAAAAAA" - American Association of Assorted American in Alphabetic Acronym Associations.)

I got a strong impression that this was what life at “Court” has been like for centuries, from Chinese Dynasties, Romans, Kings, Parliaments, Assemblies East and West. A lot of people twisting their cap in their hands and a lot of officials trying to get work done but realizing that seeing all these people is part of their work.

If you haven’t been, The US Congress buildings are less the Halls of Power than the Maze of Passageways with lots of security people. Delaney was impressed that all the police were so nice. That’s cool. A lot of someones deserve a compliment for that, consistent good service never happens by accident.

I found it funny that the kids were all a buzz with talk that Nicholas Cage was in this or that stairway in a scene in National Treasure. Nick is apparently why DC is special.

At some point we got a call from Pop Pop’s that his friend called back and would be there after all. We could see him around 3:00 if we wanted. Delaney and I broke way from the JDRF group and found our way, with the help of the very nice capitol security people to, his office.

He was gracious and warm. Her told Delaney how her grand parents we two of seven people knocking on doors in his first campaign years ago. He spoke about his grand daughter and that helped Delaney feel comfortable enough to answer questions about her day, her pump and diabetes. Delaney gave him one of our Love Ya / Mean It walk pins. After a pleasant visit we left the Majority Leader's office and Capitol Building.

We met the rest of the group at the bus. The weather was, as expected, bad. “Wintery Mix” and the DC Rush Hour - Yahoo! It was clear the trip was going to take a lot longer than expected. I had some juice boxes hidden in case one of the kids went hypo. It was going to be a long night an all the snacks were going to disappear always have something for a low handy. The bus driver did a great job. The kids had a ball playing in the bus and they didn't much care it took a long time.

We met a lot of very nice people; other type 1 families, capitol police, congressional aides, a members of Congress, lots of folks visiting with their government, the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and a darn good bus driver.

There was a primary election that day in DC and the surrounding states. (Some polls stayed open late due to the weather.) I found it particularly wonderfully that we and many others peacefully assembled and petitioned our collective government while the future political makeup of that Government was being determined at the polls and the Police impressed a little girl with how polite they were.

Who needs Nick cage, our Constitution working is the National Treasure.

February 7, 2008

Diabetech in the News

Our friend Kevin McMahon's company is in the news. Kevin is a thoughtful guy who has added comments here at YDMV and even more at CWD. Check out his news:

Following several years of research and development in over a dozen clinical trials, Diabetech is pleased to launch the GlucoMON-RT subscription service available immediately to the broad diabetes community. At $29.95/mo, Diabetech has solved not only the problem of keeping people with diabetes safe (ie - children with type 1 safe at school) with a real-time remote monitoring solution but also making it affordable to millions of people in the US and soon expanding to other parts of the globe


Congratulations Kevin & Co. Best Wishes

Bequest to JDRF

From the news wire a number of good stories about support for JDRF.

I knew I liked bratts, - Johnsonville members' contribution, the walk raised $125,000. The money raised will fund research to find a cure for Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes.


That is great but all there is to say about this one is WOW!


February 6, 2008

From The News Wire: Diabetes (T2) Study Halted – Expect Comments

Great Ready for “Friendly” Comments questioning your approach to diabetes management. USA Today just ran an articled titled "Diabetes study halted after safety review reveals risk."

The opening paragraph part it says, “that pushing blood sugar to record low levels sharply increased patients' risk of death.” Nowhere does USA Today say what type of diabetes is involved. So the few members of the general public that know there types will find nothing to keep them from asking type 1s or type 1care givers why they are aggressively managing blood sugar.

Have fun fielding questions implying your killing yourself or your kid by working for good A1Cs.

February 5, 2008

JDRF Announces IDDP Exploring Adult Stem Cells

Regular YDMV readers know I am interested by JDRF’s Industry Discovery and Development Partnership program. I am excited to see investments that are exploring for cures. I am also a big fan of the idea that those of us who care about not for profits pay attention to how the funds we give them are used.

So IDDP fans here is part of a press release about another IDDP projetc just off the news wire:

JDRF partners with Plureon to explore generating insulin-producing cells from adult stem cells

NEW YORK, February 4, 2008 – The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the world’s largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, announced today that it is partnering with Plureon Corporation, a biotechnology company based in Winston-Salem, N.C. that focuses on developing therapeutic applications of stem

Through its Industry Discovery and Development Partnership Program,
JDRF is providing $500,000 over two years of research funding aimed at
developing an insulin-producing beta cell therapy product for the treatment of
type 1 diabetes.

The project plans to use Plureon’s technology platform to isolate adult
stem cells from a type 1 diabetes patient and re-program them to generate fully
functional pancreatic beta-cells. The objective is to return the re-programmed
insulin-producing cells back into the patient in an autologous manner, i.e.,
without the need for immunosuppressive agents normally required for organ
transplantation – in this manner, the patient’s own transplanted cells will be
capable of glucose-dependent insulin secretion and the restoration of normal
blood sugar levels.


February 3, 2008

About the Funny Diabetes Posts

I know there are a few of you out there that like the funny stuff and fear not I am still all about the Comedy Central approach to diabetes. One of my pals has floated the idea of us writing a regular series of funny diabetes articles. So as to avoid falling on our collective face we are building up a little inventory.

I have worked up a few bits and hopefully soon it will hit the 'net. Once it does it will find it way here too. Fear not I am still writing...

.... wait that may be something to fear.

From the New Wire - C-Peptides (and a wee rant)

So maybe I am an idiot but I don't get 'science' sometimes. OK most of the time. The sciences crowd is all about the evolution thing. Natural selection favors stuff that works etc.

How is that science can decide. 'Well what the heck, we don't know what something does and since we can't figure it out evolution is an idiot."

Ok that a wee bit sarcastic but you didn't get here Google-ing WebMD. I am not a doctor, I don't play one on TV but my point is the idea that "C-peptide, which, until about a decade ago, was dismissed by scientists as a relatively useless byproduct" didn't make the natural selection cut for nothing right?

Anyway I guess there are some folks who think differently:
Published February 3, 2008
[ From Lansing State Journal ]

MSU research may aid type 1 diabetes

Professor: Human protein might help poor circulation

Matthew Miller
Lansing State Journal

Researchers at Michigan State University have found that a human protein produced alongside insulin could help treat circulation problems and other complications caused by type 1 diabetes.

That protein is called C-peptide, which, until about a decade ago, was dismissed by scientists as a relatively useless byproduct of insulin production.

But, according to chemistry Professor Dana Spence, C-peptide could alleviate blood flow problems, prevent strokes and help control blood sugar levels in type 1 diabetic patients.

His conclusions haven't been tested in humans, or in other animals, for that matter, but Spence is optimistic.

"I think it's really going to help with the blood flow," Spence said. "That's one that I'm hopeful for."

In a recent study published in the journal Diabetologia, Spence and his team found that C-peptide helps red blood cells absorb glucose, or blood sugar, which they use to produce ATP, the universal energy molecule found in all cells.

The release of ATP, in turn, stimulates production of another molecule, nitric oxide, which relaxes and widens the blood vessels. More nitric oxide presumably means better circulation.

February 1, 2008

Of Rats, Pigs and Relaxing

Pancreatic Stem Cells:
Yet another article promotes scientific studies showing strides to a cure, in mice. This time it is identifying pancreatic adult stem cells. The goal is replacement beta cells without the need for a lifetime of rejection medications.

Stem Cells Isolated from Pancreas Could Help to Treat Type 1 Diabetes

Also in Pig news:
Scientific American is reporting on studies on using porcine beta cells. Once again the tests are going through the rodents. If I had a dime for every cure in mice story I may have enough for a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Diabetes Makes It Hard For Blood Vessels To Relax:
Who know I was a blood vessel? Since diabetes makes it hard for me to relax , I must be a blood vessel because:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 1, 2008) — One way diabetes is bad for your blood vessels is by creating too much competition for an amino acid that helps blood vessels relax, researchers say.
The rest is in serious science speak. If you cna read it you have no business reading my low brow blog.