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In 1922, Urvan Ubben's parents had his "funeral picture" taken, certain he would be the next family member to die of diabetes. Today, the 77-year-old laughs at the childhood photo and how he cheated death by being one of the first people to test insulin. Experts say he may be the world's oldest surviving diabetic. "I was one of the guinea pigs when Eli Lilly was trying to mass-produce insulin in Indianapolis back in 1922," Ubben said. "In those days, they figured that if you had diabetes, you didn't have a chance.
June 17, 2011 | David Lazarus
Jamie Powers has Type 2 diabetes. He weighs about 370 pounds and is in a wheelchair because complications from his disease required that his left leg be amputated below the knee. He takes daily pills and insulin shots. I met Powers, 55, earlier this week at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport, where he was among about 200 people attending a seminar titled "Diabetes Breakthrough. " A newspaper ad promised that "you will discover the hidden secrets about how to reverse your diabetes, reduce and eliminate your need and dependence on drugs, lose weight without exercise, explode your energy levels and the potential to become non-diabetic.
September 22, 2010
The basics In the simplest terms, diabetes means having too much glucose in your blood. Glucose is a type of sugar and a source of energy for the body. But if insulin, glucose’s “traffic cop,” isn’t doing its job, glucose accumulates in the bloodstream and all sorts of health problems can occur. Normally, most of the food a person eats gets converted into glucose, the body’s energy of choice. The circulatory system shuttles the glucose around so that hungry cells in the muscles, liver and elsewhere can snatch it out of the blood as it passes by. The liver cells are the hungriest for that glucose, because the liver is the body’s between-meal glucose storage facility.
October 26, 2009 | Marni Jameson
Simply put, diabetes is a contest between people and their blood. For people whose bodies don't produce enough insulin to manage their blood sugar, the goal is a normal blood score, achieved through a balancing act of lifestyle and medication. "Eventually most patients will follow a course of lifestyle, medications, then insulin," said Dr. Enrico Cagliero, referring to people diagnosed with the most common form of diabetes, known as Type 2. He's an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
July 17, 1989 | From staff and wire reports
Diabetics given a new pancreas to eliminate the need for insulin shots may also end up with healthier kidneys, six Minneapolis doctors reported last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The discovery supports a long-held belief that if diabetics could carefully control their blood-sugar level, they might be able to avoid the kidney failure, blindness and other serious health problems that appear in many longtime sufferers of the disease.
December 1, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
On Thursday the Food and Drug Administration issued draft guidelines for researchers and manufacturers working to develop and build an artificial pancreas to help patients with Type 1 diabetes control their blood sugar. About 3 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes, which develops when cells in the pancreas stop producing enough insulin to control blood sugar.  Patients with the disease must monitor their blood glucose aggressively.  If it goes too high, they have to carefully calculate how much insulin they need to bring it in line -- and then get an injection.  If a person with Type 1 diabetes' blood sugar drops too low, he or she could require a dose of another hormone, glucagon, to raise it back up. The unrelenting and error-prone process can be exhausting, so patient advocacy groups such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation have been pushing the development of an artificial pancreas that would tightly control blood sugar levels much as the actual organ: monitoring glucose levels continually and automatically delivering the right dose of insulin, through a pump, into the body.  The system would work by connecting the monitoring system to a computer, which in turn would calculate the correct insulin dose and send a signal to the insulin pump to deliver the needed hormones.
September 24, 1986 | MARCIDA DODSON, Times Staff Writer
In the first trial studies of their kind in the United States, diabetes specialists from UC Irvine and Johns Hopkins University have been given approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to surgically implant insulin pumps, UCI officials said Tuesday.
October 20, 2010
Kids with obese parents are known to be at increased risk of childhood obesity themselves. Moms with unhealthy diets have been shown to pass along metabolic problems to their kids, but exactly how dads fit into the equation is unclear. In humans, this is particularly difficult because fathers and children often share not just genes, but a home environment as well. Thankfully, we have rats to help sort this out. Australian researchers fed some male rats a high-fat diet and kept others on a healthy diet.
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