Your health questions answered!
Custom Search
Home Walking Calories Weight & Height

Double Diabetes

Adults with type 1 diabetes often have type 2 diabetes as well. This "double diabetes" greatly increases their risk of heart disease - but doing something about it is also risky, a new study suggests.

Type 1 diabetes was once thought to be a simple, albeit serious, condition. The body fails to produce insulin, and blood sugar skyrockets.

Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease that develops slowly - but the key step is insulin resistance. As insulin resistance builds, the body needs more and more insulin to get the same sugar-lowering effect.

University of Pittsburgh researchers led by Trevor Orchard, MD, looked at people with type 1 diabetes enrolled in the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complication Study. They studied 603 patients who did not have heart disease at the beginning of the 10-year study. Those who developed heart disease had one major thing in common - insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.

"The importance of the co-incidence of type I diabetes and insulin resistance indicating type 2 diabetes really hasn't been focused on," Orchard observes. "There is a technical insulin resistance that occurs in type 1 diabetes because of high blood sugar, but this is separate."

Orchard's study suggests that one in five people with type 1 diabetes suffer this double diabetes. Most of them inherit a tendency toward type 2 diabetes from their parents. These patients are at greatly increased risk of heart disease.

But there's a twist to this finding. People with double diabetes have lots of plaque in their arteries. But their high blood sugar makes these plaques more fibrous. Ironically, this makes them less likely to rupture and cause a heart attack.

Despite their clogged arteries, people with double diabetes don't suffer any more sudden heart deaths than other people. However, their arteries are clogged. This leads to clogged arteries in the lower limbs - and often to amputation.

"I think if people have type 1 diabetes and a family history of type 2 diabetes or signs of metabolic syndrome - large waist circumference - they should work with their doctors to improve insulin sensitivity," Orchard advises. "At the moment, that would involve diet and exercise."

But that's not all. Once people with double diabetes get their blood sugar under control, the plaques in their arteries become less stable for a while.

"There is a problem of risking heart failure," Orchard warns. "If we were able to control blood sugar perfectly and get everybody with double diabetes into the normal range, there would be dramatic improvement in heart disease. But during the process of lowering blood sugar, you might have a period with increased rates of acute heart disease.

Two to three years down the line we should see improvement. Eventually it would be a benefit, but in the short term it might be risky. So the approach would be to make sure people had good treatment with statin drugs to stabilize plaques while lowering blood sugar."

Orchard credits John D. Brunzell, MD, director of the Clinical Research Center at the University of Washington, Seattle, with first finding signs of type 2 diabetes in people with type I diabetes. Brunzell first noticed the phenomenon when he saw people with type 1 diabetes gain weight as soon as they got their blood sugar under tight control.

Brunzell agrees with Orchard that people with this condition urgently need to control their weight gain as well as their blood sugar. "If we tie this all together, it says that in the type 1 diabetic who gets good glycemic control and gains weight, we should be concerned about the weight gain," Brunzell says. "We should also treat the things that go along with it to prevent the development of unstable plaques. This is not hypothesis. It is fact."

These findings are reported in the May issue of the journal Diabetes Care


Custom Search

Home Body Mass Index Calorie Counter Weight Management
FAQ About Us Contact Us Weight, Height & BMI

Health Tools
Body Mass Index
Calories Burned While Walking
Calories Composition Converter
Daily Calorie Needs
How Much Water To Drink
Optimal Heart Rate Chart
Waist To Hip Ratio
Weight And Height Converter
What You Should Weigh
Rest And Yoga
Benefits Of Sleep And Naps
Chronic Sleep Deprivation
Good Sleep Hygiene
Meditation As Therapy
Better Sleep For Losing Weight
Sweating While Sleeping
Yoga For Quieting Minds
Yoga For Sleeplessness
Avoiding Dehydration
Exercise For Over-Forties
Combine Weights And Aerobics
Exercise & C-Reactive Protein
Home Exercise Equipment
Intensity Of A Workout
Pilates Strengthens
Setting Exercise Goals
Starting A Fitness Program
Types Of Physical Fitness
Vitamin E, Exercise And Aging
Vitamin E And Soreness
Weight Lifting And Weight Loss
Weight Training For Aging
When Sports Drinks Necessary
Exercise Benefits
Approaches To Weight Loss
Balance With Bosu Ball
Benefits Of Being Fit
Delaying Dementia
Feeling And Looking Younger
Fit In Body And Mind
Improving The Quality Of Life
Keeping Weight Off
Losing Weight Permanently
Metabolism & Weight Loss
Pre-Diabetic Syndrome
Relief For Joint Aches
Run For Your Heart
Stroke Risks
Toning The Thighs
Weight Management
Work-Outs And Personality
Diet And Nutrition
Age-Related Supplements
Boost The Immune System
Breakfast And Weight Control
Breakfast, Obesity, Diabetes
Cinnamon For Diabetes
Dietary Approaches To Diabetes
Essential Fatty Acids
Glycemic Index
Good And Bad Carbohydrates
Protein And Kidney Damage
High Protein Or High-Carb Diet?
Moderate Fat For Health
Smoking And Impotence
Super Foods For Anti-Aging
The Right Number Of Calories
Vegetarians Live Longer
Weight Loss Effects Of Diary
Blood Pressure Control
Abdominal Fat And Stroke Risk
Approaches To Pressure Control
Blood Pressure Control
Sesame Oil And Blood Pressure
Silent Strokes And Alzheimer's
Warning Signs Of Stroke
Cancer Strategies
Exercise And Colon Cancer
Get Fit To Avoid Cancer
NSAIDs For Colon And Prostate
Protein Prevents Colon Cancer
Double Diabetes
Green Tea For Diabetes
How To Lessen Diabetes Risk
Pre-Diabetic Syndrome
Social Psychology
Anti-Social Behaviour And Health
Overcoming Winter Blues
Social Contacts & Health
Women's Issues
Kegel Exercises
Soy And Menopause
Sugar And Diabetes In Women
Toning The Thighs
Urinary Tract Infections
Women's Weight Management