Diabetes | St. Louis Public Radio


This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 30, 2012 - Some doctors are beginning to discover a downside to electronic health records. Call it EHR overload. It refers to instances when physicians have so much medical data at their finger tips that they are overwhelmed and have trouble finding what they need to make quick decisions about treating patients.

Researchers have produced insulin-secreting cells from stem cells derived from the skin of patients with type 1 diabetes. The cells (blue), made from stem cells, can secrete insulin (green) in response to glucose.
Credit: Millman Laboratory

After a meal, your blood sugar tends to rise. When it does, there are cells in your pancreas called beta cells that react by releasing insulin, which controls blood sugar.

People who have Type 1 diabetes have damaged beta cells and can't produce insulin. To manage the disease, they either have to inject insulin or wear a pump all day.

But new stem cell research at Washington University could lead to a breakthrough that helps their bodies produce the insulin they need.

Christina Popp of Operation Food Search extolls the virtues of turnips and rutabagas on a Cooking Matters in the Store tour at a Ferguson Shop 'n Save. Steve Weisman of St. Louis County looks on.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Christina Popp has a theory about ground beef: It’s more cost effective to purchase a leaner version because most of the fat cooks out.

When it comes to diabetes, just about everyone has heard there's an epidemic upon us.

In 2010, about 18.8 million people of all ages in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 7 million had diabetes but hadn't been diagnosed.

How much have things changed?

Back in 1995, about 4.5 percent of adults in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes. By 2010, the prevalence had zoomed to 8.2 percent.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 14, 2011 - The number of adult Missourians considered obese rose by 512,000 during the past decade to more than 1.4 million in 2011, out of a total of 4.6 million. The number of diabetics jumped by 150,000 during the same period to 429,000 adult Missourians.

These numbers are included in a snapshot of Missouri health conditions in the America's Health Rankings report this month by United Health Foundation. The latest numbers for Missouri come as a new initiative, called Live Well STL, is being put together by a coalition of local employers to help area residents become healthier. The group is expected to announce specific initiatives at the start of next year.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 13, 2011 - Lance Martin was born with Type 1 diabetes. As he got older, complications started to affect his quality of life, and his kidney function decreased.

By 1996, "I was really very sick," Martin said. It became clear that end-stage renal disease was not far off. But Martin was determined to get well again.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 24, 2011 - Dr. Marc Hammerman, a Washington University scientist, may be closing in on the day when the lowly pig is valued for its medicinal use in addition to being a holiday treat for pork lovers. Scientists are convinced that insulin-producing cells from embryonic pigs will eventually be transplanted into humans as one approach to controlling what has become a worldwide spike in diabetes.

Double transplant improves quality of life for some diabetics

Dec 23, 2010

Type 2 diabetes – the kind related to obesity and an unhealthy diet – gets a lot of attention these days. But there’s another, less common, form of the disease – type 1 – that can also lead to life-threatening complications.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra takes us behind the scenes at a local hospital, for the transplant operation that got one St. Louis-area woman off dialysis, and made her diabetes-free.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Milton and Leona Scott, both in their late 50s, normally don't spend time at the Four Seasons Hotel adjacent to Lumiere Place Casino in downtown St. Louis. But they were among 250 people who gathered in the hotel's elegant ballroom one Saturday morning last April to learn more about coping with and combating diabetes.

Hosting a free diabetes education program at a 5-diamond hotel may seem unusual, but it's just one of the ways the St. Louis Diabetes Coalition is taking its message out of doctors' offices and to the public. The group also is taking diabetes education to many community-gathering spots, such as churches and coffee shops.

chart showing diabetes mortality
St. Louis Beacon archive 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The genealogy bug first bit Anita Jenkins in the 1970s when she saw the television series "Roots." She takes pride in having traced her family's history at least as far back as antebellum days, and she hopes to turn to DNA to move even further back in time.

In the process of her search, however, she also turned up a family history of diabetes. She mentions this as she stands next to pictures of relatives that line the mantel above the living room fireplace in the family's two-story brick home on the north side. On this day the house is quiet, save for the hum of an air conditioner, on a bright summer afternoon. But she's in a gloomy mood as she introduces the faces in the photographs and talks about how diabetes has affected many of those lives.

In the Doctor's Lounge - Diabetes, exercise, diet

Aug 5, 2008

This article was originally published in the St. Louis Beacon: August 5, 2008 - Diabetes-diet Link Examined in Trio of Studies

We know that fruits and vegetables are good for us. One of a trio of studies on dietary links to diabetes published in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine gives us yet another example of just how much. "Our findings highlight a potentially important public health message on the benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables for the prevention of diabetes," wrote the authors.

On Science: Type II diabetes epidemic

Jul 1, 2008
diabetes_chart247.jpg - 2008, 300 pixels
Copyright Textwriter | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 1, 2008 - We Americans love to eat; but on June 24, 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report warning we are eating ourselves into a diabetes epidemic.

Diabetes affected 7 million Americans in 1991. By mid-2008, the number was 24 million, more than 8 percent of all Americans, an alarming increase, with 3 million new cases in just the last 2 1/2 years! Twenty-five million more Americans are reported to be pre-diabetic, with blood sugar levels high enough to indicate they are well on their way to becoming diabetic.