Get Intense! Managing Diabetes Well Takes Many Helpers

When it comes to controlling diabetes, it really does take a village. That's the conclusion of Danish researchers who assigned 80 people with type 2 diabetes to intensive treatment (IT), and 80 others with type 2 to conventional treatment (CT). During the eight-year study, those receiving 1T had almost half the number of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke, and were about 50 percent less likely to experience diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy or nephropathy than those receiving CT The IT group also was given support from doctors, nurses and dieticians to help them cat right, exercise, stop smoking and keep up with medications.

In addition, they received blood-pressure-lowering drugs, regardless of whether or not they had high blood pressure. Patients with high cholesterol received cholesterol-lowering drugs. The CT group did not receive blood pressure drugs preventively and they were not followed as closely. "You should ask your doctor to be more aggressive about your treatment, and to con-sider whether you would benefit from taking drugs to control high blood glucose, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and protein in the urine," says study leader Oluf Pedersen, M.D., director of the Steno Diabetes Center in Copenhagen. "The intensive group also ate fish and five to six servings of vegetables every day and took a daily mini-aspirin."

Soy Be It

Eating half a cup a day of dry roasted soy beans may lower high blood pressure. A recent study found that after eight weeks of eating the soy, female patients reduced their systolic pressure (the top number) by 10 percent and diastolic pressure (the bottom number) by seven percent.

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Nuna Alberts

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