2014 was a long year. While we tend to focus on the tragic stories in the news, there have been some amazing strides for diabetics, as well as a wealth of information that can benefit everyone. All of us at The Diabetes Site gathered what we think are the most important stories for diabetics. Hopefully 2015 brings even more advances!
The diets of mothers-to-be has always been important, no secret there. This year we got a more in-depth idea of just how important it can be. According to new research, prenatal diets can effect brain development, as well as glucose tolerance and metabolism, which can contribute to the chances of developing diabetes later in life. While there is still a great deal of research to still do, this is a great piece of information for all of us to keep in mind!
This year has seen giant leaps forward in understanding the connections between the pancreas and diabetes. In a study published in the journal Genes and Development, scientists found that the gene associated with type 2, HHEX, acted differently with neighboring delta cells from the pancreas. This discovery opened new doors to understanding how diabetes functions in the body, and helped lead to another amazing story from 2014.
Our absolute favorite advancement this year was the development of the bionic pancreas. While it is still in the preliminary stages, it is a huge ray of hope on the horizon. The bionic pancreas administers insulin and glucagon, improving glycemic levels with less frequent hypoglycemic episodes compared to insulin pumps in both adolescents and adults with type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Tamir Gonen published his findings in the Nature Communications journal this year, outlining his findings on how proteins transfer glucose to cells, and how these findings could lead to new drugs aimed at slowing or speeding up the transfer. The implications are relevant to both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics, and will have a far reaching impact for years to come.
So, this one might be a bit more narrow, but we think it needs mentioning! Breast cancer has a pink ribbon, veterans have yellow ribbons, and Alzheimer’s has purple. Why does diabetes have 3 different ribbons?! There is the blue circle put forward from the U.N., in the US we have a gray ribbon with a red dot, and orange for juvenile diabetes. While the development and treatment may be different, everyone is on the same side. During the month of November, we asked all of you to take part in our “Sock It To Diabetes” campaign, using your humor, creativity, and crazy socks. The submissions were hilarious and poignant, and helped to raise awareness and support in a phenomenal way.
2014 was a crazy year, but the lesson is easy to see: how much all of you have done to help defeat diabetes! We have seen advances on every level, from science to street corners. Thank you all so much, and we will count on you to help us continue to fight!Whizzco