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Insulin-only bionic pancreas can control blood glucose levels

Use of an insulin-only bionic pancreas effectively controls blood glucose levels, with no difference in episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels), compared to a bihormonal (insulin plus glucagon) bionic pancreas, when both insulin-only and bihormonal configurations used a target blood sugar of 130 mg/dl, according to a study.

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Use of an insulin-only bionic pancreas effectively controls blood glucose levels, with no difference in episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels), compared to a bihormonal (insulin plus glucagon) bionic pancreas, when both insulin-only and bihormonal configurations used a target blood sugar of 130 mg/dl, according to a study.

insulin

Previous studies have demonstrated that a bihormonal bionic pancreas can effectively manage blood glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes, with minimal episodes of hypoglycemia. In this study, an insulin-only bionic pancreas using the same insulin-dosing algorithm as a bihormonal bionic pancreas, but configured with a higher glucose target than the 100 mg/dl used in all previous bionic pancreas trials, was tested to determine if it could both effectively control blood glucose levels and maintain low rates of hypoglycemia.

In this random-order, crossover study, two insulin-only configurations of the bionic pancreas (at glucose targets of 130 mg/dl and 145 mg/dl) were compared to three bihormonal configurations (insulin and glucagon; glucose target of 130 mg/dl, 115 mg/dl, and 100 mg/dl) and to usual care (patient-managed, conventional insulin pump therapy) over the course of three days.

A total of 20 subjects (9 males and 11 females) completed the study. The age range was between 20 and 77 years old. During the 72-hour study, participants were allowed to perform normal daily activities with no limitations on diet or exercise. Hypoglycemia was defined as the percentage of time spent with blood glucose levels less than or equal to 60 mg/dl.

The study found that raising the blood glucose target to 130 mg/dl increased the mean glucose achieved by the bihormonal bionic pancreas (156±12 mg/dl in the 130 mg/dl configuration vs. 146±15 mg/dl in the 115 mg/dl target configuration vs. 136±14 mg/dl in the 100 mg/dl configuration, p≤0.016 for each comparison). When a target glucose of 130 mg/dl was used there was no significant difference between the mean glucose achieved by the insulin-only configuration and the bihormonal configuration of the bionic pancreas (161±17 mg/dl vs.156±12 mg/dl, p>0.28, respectively), and no difference in hypoglycemia between the two bionic pancreas configurations (0.8±1.4% vs. 0.6±1.0%, p>0.28).

Likewise, both bionic pancreas configurations at the 130 mg/dl target had similar mean glucose and hypoglycemia vs. the usual care arm (158±31 mg/dl, 1.4±2.6%, p>0.28 for all comparisons). Mean glucose levels for the insulin-only bionic pancreas with a target of 145 mg/dl were higher (174±23 mg/dl) than all other arms (p<0.034 for all comparisons), and raising the glucose target did not result in a reduction in hypoglycemia (1.0±1.5%, p>0.28 for all comparisons). Total daily insulin dose for all of the bionic pancreas arms was similar (insulin-only with set point of 145 mg/dl: 0.56±0.21 U/kg, insulin-only with set point of 130 mg/dl: 0.57±0.19, bihormonal with set point of 130 mg/dl: 0.53±0.16).

“We were encouraged to find that the insulin-only bionic pancreas was safe, with minimal hypoglycemia. However, we’d like to see whether we can safely achieve a lower mean glucose with the insulin-only system while still maintaining low levels of hypoglycemia,” said lead study author Laya Ekhlaspour, MD, a clinical and research fellow in pediatric endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston. “With this mind, we are now investigating an insulin-only bionic pancreas with a glucose target lower than 130 mg/dl (110 mg/dl) in order to find the glucose target that will provide the best balance between mean glucose and hypoglycemia in the insulin-only configuration.”

Health

Tips for walking 20,000 steps a day

To walk 20,000 steps a day you’ll need to cover a total of 10 miles. This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds.

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Photo by Sincerely Media from Unsplash.com

To walk 20,000 steps a day you’ll need to cover a total of 10 miles. This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds. Here are a few tips to help you reach your goal:

Invest in a Good Pair of Shoes

The first step to walking 20,000 steps a day is to make sure you have the right equipment. Investing in a good pair of walking shoes will help to prevent blisters and injuries, and make the walk more comfortable overall.

Make Walking Part of Your Daily Routine

To reach your 10-mile goal every day, make walking a part of your daily routine. This might mean taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, or parking farther away from where you’re going so that you have to walk more. You can also try waking up a few minutes earlier each morning to fit in a walk before you start your day.

Join a Walking Group

If you’re having trouble finding time to fit in 10 miles each day, consider joining a walking group or taking part in a local 5k race. This will help keep you motivated and provide social support along the way.

Start Small

Don’t try to walk 20,000 steps all at once. Start with a smaller goal, such as 5,000 steps per day, and gradually increase your mileage as you become more fit. This will help you avoid injury and burnout.

Stay Hydrated

Make sure to stay hydrated while walking by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will help you feel more energized and prevent dehydration-related issues, such as muscle cramps or fatigue.

The Bottom Line – BetterMe Can Help You Walk More, Every Day

If you’re looking to improve your overall health, walking 20,000 steps a day can help. This simple form of exercise offers a host of health benefits, from improved sleep and digestion to reduced stress and anxiety. To reach your goal, use the BetterMe Blog as a guide and stay committed every day. With enough dedication, you can achieve your fitness goals and transform your body for the better.

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Health

How can the self-employed tackle burnout? Expert shares top tips

Self-employed people such as business owners or freelancers may be more susceptible to burnout due to long working hours and the weight of responsibility that they carry.

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Photo by Nubelson Fernandes from Unsplash.com

With workers returning to the office in their greatest numbers since the pandemic, the number of people suffering from burnout or stress-related illnesses is also on the rise.

Self-employed people such as business owners or freelancers may be more susceptible to burnout due to long working hours and the weight of responsibility that they carry. 

For many work and life have become intertwined, fortunately, Private Rehab Clinic Delamere has shared tips on how you can tackle burnout when self-employed and the common signs.  

How you can tackle burnout

1. Set Goals and Priorities

Having a mountain of work, with no plan in place to move forward can sometimes feel overwhelming. It can help to take a step back to assess which of your tasks need prioritising, and which ones will help you to achieve your goals.  

2. Speak to Your Colleagues or Clients

Being honest with the people that you are working with or for, about your mental health can often make things a lot a lot easier. You may be surprised at how understanding other people are of your situation.

By being open with others, you will have a better understanding of what to expect from each other, meaning that you will have a stronger professional relationship going forward.

3. Ask for Help

Never be afraid to ask for help if you feel that your stress is becoming too much to handle and you start to show signs of burnout. Getting external advice through counselling or therapy can give you a new perspective on a situation to guide you through any problems.

If you do not feel comfortable with counselling, then simply reaching out to friends and family can be enough to help you talk through your problems.

4. Schedule Time-Off

Sometimes when work life is becoming too stressful, all you need to do is take a short break from it all. Returning to work after a much-needed break can give a person a more positive mindset.

Those who are self-employed are often in charge of their own schedule and can over look the need to take holidays. In fact, some surveys have shown that nearly one in ten business owners go up to five years without taking a holiday.

5. Consider Changing Things

If your line of work is causing you constant stress and it feels that there truly is no way out, then it may be worth considering if you are genuinely following the right career path for you.

It may be the case that you do not need to change your career path altogether, but that your daily work routine simply needs to be altered. Consider making small changes such as your place of work. If you are stuck in an office or at home all day, you may benefit from finding a co-working space or coffee shop to work in.

Sometimes changes can be as simple as investing in new equipment or simply taking more regular breaks from your working day. By implementing these small changes you are less likely to burnout from stress.

6. Put Self-Care First

Work-life can be demanding, especially for any self-employed people who are under pressure to meet deadlines for various clients. However, when we demand too much of ourselves, it can be damaging to our physical and mental health.

Remind yourself that you come first. Maintaining a healthy sleeping and eating pattern, while keeping up a rewarding social life and strong relationships is more important to your mental well-being than anything you do while on the clock. 

Spotting the signs of burnout

1. Feeling Tired All The Time

If you are waking up feeling exhausted and find that you are still feeling drained even after you have been awake for a few hours and a cup of coffee in your system, then this may be a sign that you have burnout.

2. Lack of Motivation

During burnout, a person may find themselves completely withdrawn from their workplace or work tasks. Simply going through the motions while at work without any kind of motivation – or taking no joy whatsoever from your accomplishments at work – could indicate that you are experiencing burnout.

3. Recurring Health Problems

A person suffering from burnout may experience frequent and recurring headaches and muscle pains, as well as feelings of indigestion and stomach aches.

4. Feeling Irritable

Finding yourself easily irritated or frustrated, even by small things, and then snapping out at others is a possible sign that you are carrying too much stress from work.

6. Self-Deprecating Feelings

When someone is suffering from burnout it can have serious effects on their mental health. A person can have a heightened sense of self-doubt, feel like a failure and even experience impostor syndrome.

A person with burnout may also experience increased feelings of isolation and detachment from their colleagues, friends and family.

7. Increased Procrastination

When burnout occurs a person may find themselves avoiding their responsibilities, regardless of how small those responsibilities may be. Instead, a person will fill their time with procrastination and indulging in comforting distractions.

8. Coping Mechanisms

During burnout, a person may be more likely to turn to other comforts and coping mechanisms such as comfort eating junk food or even consuming alcohol and/or drugs. Engaging in any habit excessively to cope with stress may be a sign of burnout.

9. Change in Sleeping and Eating Habits

Stress can mess with our natural cycle and someone who is experiencing unnaturally high levels of stress may find that their sleeping habits are altered as they end up staying up late and sleeping in.

A person may also find themselves skipping or avoiding regular meal times, having a loss of appetite at some points in the day, or craving comforting junk food at others.

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Fitness

6 Exercise safety tips

Now, as social restrictions ease, you may find yourself stepping up your workouts, whether you’re training for an event or working to improve your game in a recreational league.

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are more aware of their health and wellness. Now, as social restrictions ease, you may find yourself stepping up your workouts, whether you’re training for an event or working to improve your game in a recreational league.

Sprains, strains and injuries can happen to even the most seasoned athletes. When you’re testing your limits, even a minor injury can alter your performance. Consider products and supports like these from the CURAD Performance Series product line, available at Walmart and Amazon, to help you get back in the game quickly and safely.

Find more resources to support your fitness journey at CURAD.com.

Keep Dirt and Germs Away

The more active you are, the harder it can be to find a bandage that stays with you all day or all game long.

Spray Away Sore Spots

Controlling mild pain can help keep you at the top of your game, and a topical analgesic works fast to heal common pain brought on by fitness and exercise, such as pain in knees, feet, shoulders and backs.

Put Pain in the Past

When recovery becomes the name of the game and pain relief is needed after daily workouts or bodily injuries. Cold packs work to heal bruises, reduce swelling and relieve headaches and general pain points while microwavable heat packs provide satisfying heat therapy to address sore and stiff joints, muscle cramps and tension.

Reduce Impact of Knee Strain

Weak, injured or arthritic knees can come from many sources, including tendonitis and a wide range of conditions that result in strain or overuse. An adjustable band can provide support for on-field sports and during workouts or everyday activities.

Manage Pain and Relieve Pressure

If you participate in endurance and strength exercises or certain sports, you may ask a lot of your joints. Kinesiology tape can be configured a multitude of ways to help reduce pain and improve blood circulation, as well as relieve tension and pressure.

Control Back Strain

When your back is strained, your body and performance can suffer. A mild or moderate sprain can benefit from strong support and compression.

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