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Now use artificial intelligence to detect diabetic retinopathy


Google has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model that can detect diabetic retinopathy with a level of accuracy on par with human retinal specialists, the technology giant said.

Google is working on “rolling out this diabetic retinopathy initiative in clinics in India with Verily” — an Alphabet-owned company which works on life sciences research and development, Kent Walker, SVP of Global Affairs at Google, wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

More than 400 million people in the world have diabetes. A third of them have diabetic retinopathy — a complication that can cause permanent blindness.

“Using the new assistive technology, doctors and staff can screen more patients in less time, sparing people from blindness through a more timely diagnosis,” Walker said.

While the blindness can be prevented, diabetic retinopathy often goes undetected because people do not always get screenings.

“In major part, this is due to limited access to eye care specialists and staff capable of screening for the disease. This is a problem that AI can help us solve,” Walker said.

“Deploying this technology in underserved communities that don’t have enough eye specialists could be life-changing for many,” Walker added.

Google began work on the model in collaboration with eye specialists in India and the US a few years back. They developed an AI system to help doctors analyse images of the back of the eye for signs of diabetic retinopathy.

“The results were promising,” Walker noted while adding “we should work to make the benefits of AI available to everyone”.

Google has for several years applied AI research and engineering to projects in the Asia Pacific with positive societal impact, including stopping illegal fishing in Indonesia, forecasting floods in India, and conserving native bird species in New Zealand, the blog post read.

Besides healthcare, the tech giant also wants to support more Asia Pacific organisations in using AI to help society by engaging with governments, non-profit organisations, universities and businesses.

For this purpose, it recently launched the “Google AI Impact Challenge”.

“Selected organisations who apply to the challenge will receive support from Google’s AI experts and Google.org grant funding from a $25 million pool,” Walker said.
Source: IANS

Published : December 14, 2018 4:21 pm








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Tips to Help a Child With Diabetes

Do you have a child with diabetes? As a parent, it is your responsibility to help your child learn how to deal with their condition. Go over this article for some useful tips.

Prepare healthy meals for your child and pack some snack for them. Your child should not eat any kind of food that contains a high amount of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Foods rich in fat, preservatives, sodium and other unhealthy ingredients should be avoided to. You need to design an entirely new diet for your child; make sure they eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fibers and drink plenty of water.

Encourage your child to exercise. If your child is overweight, helping them get in shape is a priority. You could play sports together or find another activity they enjoy; think about taking them to a dance class, the swimming pool or simply going for walks. Your child does not need to work out or follow a fitness program. Being active should be enough.

Teach your child how to protect their feet and develop an excellent oral hygiene. Diabetes increases the risks of developing gum disease and can cause infections to spread very quickly. Make sure your child always wears protective footwear and knows how to keep their toenails clean. Teach them to brush their teeth and use floss every day. Your child should not be scared of developing a complication, but they should be aware that they are at risk for health issues because of their diabetes.

Your child needs to learn about nutrition. Take them grocery shopping with you and teach them to recognize healthy foods from bad nutritional choices. Your child needs to know about the five food groups and have a good idea of which foods are rich in whole grains, fibers and sugar. You could also prepare food with your child. Choose simple recipes they will be able to remember and prepare again by themselves. Consider going to a cooking class together if you do not feel confident about your own cooking skills.

You need to give your child more responsibilities so they get into the habit of managing their diabetes by themselves. Show them how to use their test stripes and monitor and let them check their sugar level by themselves. You could for instance get them a watch on which you can set up an alarm to remind them to check their sugar level.

Let your child prepare their meals and snacks too, but do not hesitate to double check to make sure they picked healthy foods. Give your child more responsibilities as they get older. They should be able to manage their diabetes alone by the time they are teenagers. Be available and offer to help if they need you.

These tips will help you provide your child with the guidance they need to take control of their condition. Do your best to help them and encourage them to become independent at the same time.

Understanding Diabetes

Hearing that you have diabetes is likely frightening. You might not know where to start this new life, and you might not know what you need to do or where to go. You might even be afraid to eat. Take a deep breath. If you just have a little patience, this article can help you to understand a little more about your disease and what you must do to deal well with it.

1. Talk to your doctor about your disease. Diabetes is not something you can have a five minute talk about. You really need to sit down with your doctor and talk about what diabetes means, what it means for you specifically and what kind of things you are going to have to do in order to manage this disease. The truth is that everyone with diabetes doesn’t have the exact same disease. Everyone has slightly different needs, so you definitely need to your doctor.

2. Learn as much as you can on your own. Your doctor is not the person with diabetes, you are. That’s why you cannot let one person define diabetes for you. You need to go online and discover the disease for yourself. Your doctor can give you the blueprint, but you really need to read as much as you can about your own disease and really flesh it out in your brain. When you really understand what “blood glucose levels” are measuring, and how you keep that under control, you are going to be able to make the kinds of choices you can be proud about, in order to handle your disease.

3. Talk to other diabetics. No one knows quite what you’re going through the way another diabetic does. Even though everyone might not experience the same thing, other diabetics can offer you opinions, suggestions and just a shoulder when you need one. If you don’t feel comfortable going to a support group, there are also online forums where you can post in your pajamas.

4. Figure out what you are going to eat, either with the help of a dietician or on your own. A dietician can provide you with meal plans and a very specific framework to stay within. However, you know what you will eat, and you know what you are able to afford. If you do it on your own, make sure that you think you can do it successfully. Go out and make sure that you cut down on carbs in your meals. Monitor your blood sugar readings to make sure you are on the right track, and that you might be able to eat more than you thought you could.

Understanding diabetes is the first step to realizing that you don’t need to worry about your life. This is something that many people need to deal with, and you can as well. The important thing to remember is that you are in control, and that your life can be good, even with diabetes. Use the tips above to learn more about your disease, so you can conquer it.

Work to Prevent Diabetes

Although diabetes is a very common disease, it is actually preventable in most people. Even if you’re genetically predisposed diabetes, living a healthy lifestyle should help you to avoid contracting it. Generally, as long as you haven’t contracted childhood diabetes, you should be able to avoid adult onset diabetes, but it does take some hard work.

With a fast food restaurant on every corner and a new box of cheap treats on the grocery store shelves every week, it takes a lot of willpower and control to not gain weight. On top of that, most of us live busier lifestyles that really leave no time for exercising. But if you want to avoid diabetes, you have to make time to exercise properly, and you have to eat healthy items. Put down that garbage and eat healthier food, and make sure you’re always staying active.

The more physically active you are, the better your body is able to metabolize sugars. Physical activity will increase your body’s ability to make its own insulin, and this is going to help you keep balanced levels of blood glucose. You don’t have to start training to become Mr. Universe; you just have to remain active and exercise regularly. You’ll look better, feel better, and you can avoid contracting diabetes.

If you’re at an annual checkup and your doctor notices that your blood sugar is too high, you may be prescribed some type of medicine to help you level out. This type of medicine is essentially helping your body produce insulin, while still allowing your body to promote its own natural insulin. And you should also be aware that some medications you take, like steroids, can increase your blood glucose levels.

If you’re genetically predisposed to contracting diabetes, this is something you should find out about. Talk to different members of your family to find out if diabetes runs along the tree. If it does, this means your body is more likely to stop producing its own insulin. It doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to contract diabetes; it just means you’ll have to work a little harder in order not to. Stay away from the treats and exercise more.

The average person is always dealing with minor ailments. Over time, however, things you think are minor could end up being major. This goes beyond only diabetes; you should be visiting your doctor at least once a year to see if there’s anything you need to be aware of or alarmed about. Having yearly checkups may just save your life.

No matter if you’re trying to stop smoking, lose weight, or to get in better shape, having a buddy alongside you for the ride just makes it a lot easier. Going to the gym with someone and eating healthy food with someone else makes the process easier. You don’t have to do things by yourself. Find someone to go out on the journey with you.

Diabetes is usually preventable, especially if you’re serious about staying in great shape. You may still end up unlucky here, but it’s always better to stay in great shape.

Tips To Lower Diabetes Risk

Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, is one of the fastest growing diseases in America. It affects more than 24 million Americans. While genetic factors can affect your likelihood of being diagnosed with diabetes, the disease is largely attributed to lifestyle and behavioral factors. Here are a few simple tips to preventing type 2 diabetes.

1. Stop smoking today.

Along with a host of other illnesses associated with smoking, smokers are more than 50% more likely to develop diabetes than non-smokers. This risk is higher for heavy smokers. So, if you were thinking about quitting before, now is the time to stop. You can quit cold turkey or try nicotine patches, but, if preventing type 2 diabetes is your goal, quit smoking today.

2. Limit your intake of sugary foods.

Sugary foods and beverages have a high glycemic load, which causes a large spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels. This can strain the delicate balance of insulin in your body. Try to limit your intake of sugary drinks and snacks, instead opting for healthier options like coffee, tea or water instead of soda or juice and vegetables and fruits instead of candy.

3. Pick whole grains over processed carbs.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, more difficult to digest carbohydrates are actually much healthier for you. Whole grains are complex and require time for the body to break down. They lower the spike of blood sugar and overall insulin levels in your system. Instead of processed carbohydrates like white bread, donuts or bagels, opt for foods with a lower glycemic index. Whole grains like wheat bread, brown rice and whole wheat crackers are a great place to start.

4. Exercise

Studies have shown that being obese is linked closely to type 2 diabetes, so turn off your television and get to moving. Walking even 10 minutes a day is enough to significantly lower your chances or developing type 2 diabetes and a host of other illnesses. Once you’ve consistently been walking, increase the pace and length of your walks or even try jogging. Working your muscles and cardiovascular system helps your body efficiently produce insulin.

5. Have a glass of wine

Moderate alcohol consumption may be linked to lowered instances of heart disease and diabetes. Moderate alcohol consumption (one drink a day for women and two for men) increases the efficiency of insulin, but it’s important not to drink more than that or the effects may be reversed. Wine has a less calories than beer and may be a preferable option for those trying to lose weight.

6. Eat less red meat

The iron content in red meat has been shown to diminish insulin’s effectiveness. Nitrates in preservatives used in meat may be the cause of this problem. Instead of red meat, try to incorporate more poultry and fish into your diet, or opt for vegetarian sources of protein such as tofu or nuts.

7. Avoid saturated and trans fats

The type of fats in your diet can affect your likelihood of developing diabetes. Saturated and trans fats. found in margarine and foods fried in vegetable oil, have been shown to have numerous negative effects on your body. Polyunsaturated fats, found in certain nuts and fish, are a healthier option.

Although genes play a role in your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, there are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to prevent developing the illness. These choices have a variety of benefits for the body outside of preventing type 2 diabetes as well, so consider adopting a few or all of these tips to help your body stay healthy.

Tips For Revamping Recipes for Diabetics

Everyone has their favorite dishes, ones that mom or grandma used to make or new ones that you have discovered on your own. Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may feel that you can never enjoy these dishes again (or not without harming your health). But there are ways that you can change old family favorites keeping the flavor but reducing or eliminating the amount of sugar or carbohydrates they contain.

For most substitutions that you are going to make to your recipes, you are looking for ways to reduce the fat content. Here are some standards that you can use. When your recipe calls for:

  • Whole milk try substituting with 2% or 1% instead
  • Whole eggs try substituting with an egg substitute or use 2 egg whites for every whole egg called for in the recipe
  • Sour cream use low fat sour cream or plan yogurt
  • Baking chocolate try using cocoa powder mixed with vegetable oil (3 tablespoons with 1 tablespoon of oil will equal 1 ounce of chocolate)

In addition to the above suggestions, always use light or lower fat versions of ingredients. Sometimes trial and error is necessary to get the recipe just right, but do keep trying the
end result will be worth it when you create a cake or other dessert that you love and is diabetic friendly.

Alternately, you can purchase a diabetic cook book that is full of desserts to make that will work with your diet. This way you can create new favorites for you and your family to fall in love with. Don’t feel that just because you are a diabetic you cannot enjoy variety in your foods. Keep trying new things while keeping a close eye on your blood sugar levels to add new foods to your growing repertoire.

Dealing with Diabetes Among Pregnant Women

Carrying a life inside the womb for nine months is probably the most wonderful experience any woman could ever have. In this stage called “pregnancy,” it is very important for an expectant mother to pay attention to good nutrition because this is very vital for her and her baby’s health. Pregnancy for regular women is complicated as it is, how much more for women who are suffering from a chronic illness such as diabetes?

During the course of the pregnancy, the mother and the baby need all the energy and nutrients they can get. Pregnancy is indeed not the time to lose weight or go on a diet because having a nutritionally sound diet can increase the chances for the baby to have a normal birth weight, proper brain development, and reduce the risk of certain birth defects. All these and more should be of topmost consideration for pregnant women who have diabetes.

What you need to know

Diabetes has three types, the “type 1 diabetes” which is the least common type but predominantly diagnosed among kids and teens, the “type diabetes” which is the most common to all ages and the “gestational diabetes” which are common for women once they get pregnant. It can be said that among these three types of diabetes, “gestational diabetes” is the easiest to deal with because it usually ends once the woman gives birth. However, this is not always the case because there are also those that continue to suffer from the disease that can lead to “type 2 diabetes” if not monitored and given proper medical attention immediately.

Although almost pregnant women are expected to suffer from gestational diabetes at one point during their pregnancy, there are also those who suffer from it even before they conceive. In this scenario, dealing with diabetes can be harder and much more complicated. But now, with the help of modern technology and advances in the field of medical research, pregnancy for women who are diabetics is fairly easier and lesser risk when it comes to the overall health of the baby and the mother as well.

First things first

For women who are diagnosed with diabetes, getting pregnant should be an utmost decision to make. This is because it will greatly determine not just the baby’s health but the woman’s overall health condition as well. For women who are planning to get pregnant despite suffering from diabetes, the major consideration to ponder on is the readiness of the woman’s body. This is very important to ensure that the woman can meet all the challenges and difficulties that goes with pregnancy.

To know if the woman’s body is ready for pregnancy despite diabetes, she should undergo a thorough physical examination administered by a licensed physician. This is very important because the physician can tell if the body is ready for the demands of pregnancy and labor and the possible complications that might occur along the way.

Experts say that pregnant women who have diabetes will most likely develop related complications such as diabetic retinopathy, hypertension, kidney disease, autonomic neuropathy or nerve damage to the internal organs, and cardiovascular diseases.

What you can do

With proper daily management, many women were able to have successful deliveries. The following are just some of the things that helped them along the way:

  • frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG);
  • administering insulin injections and identifying how to adjust the doses depending on results of their SMBG;
  • controlling and treatment of hypoglycemia;
  • maintaining an appropriate level of regular exercise or physical activities; and an
  • appropriate meal plan specially designed for women who have diabetes.

Complications with Diabetes

Just like in any other illnesses, the first thing that people need is to be informed and educated about the disease that may be prone to. In case of diabetes, extensive knowledge about this can help people who are already suffering from it to cope up and manage and can also help those who don’t have it yet to be more careful and to avoid the illness.

But, aside from having extensive knowledge on the disease such as its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, it also pays to know if there would be related complications. This is to prepare one’s self emotionally, physically, and emotionally about the possibilities of coping not just with diabetes but other complications related to it as well.

There are certain factors that affect people to be prone to diabetes such as age, heredity and ethnicity. But regardless of the risk factors, the related complications would just be the same. The following are just some of the complications of diabetes that people who are prone to it must pay attention to:

1. HEART DISEASE AND STROKE. Experts say that people who have diabetes have greater risks to having coronary heart diseases and to stroke compared to those who don’t have them. In fact, these complications are the lead causes of death among diabetics all over the world. People suffering from diabetes are prone to heart diseases and stroke because the fatty deposits brought by drastic changes in the body can block the arteries and leads to heart attack. Because of lesser amount of insulin in the body compared to regular people, diabetics have higher incidence of blood clotting and can also lead to high blood pressure or hypertension.

2. DIABETIC KIDNEY DISEASE. Among people with diabetes, kidney failure is the most common complication because the blood-filtering units of the kidneys are being damaged. Once the kidney has been damaged, important proteins are being along with urine and eventually, the kidneys won’t be able to remove the waste products present in the blood anymore. The good thing is, not all diabetics experience End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESRD) which can be life threatening. To avoid this complication, you must stop smoking cigarettes and always keep the blood pressure under control at all times.

3. DIABETIC EYE DISEASE. This refers to the group of eye problems that diabetics”people with diabetes” may have as a result of the chronic disease. In worst cases, this set of eye related problems such as diabetic retinopathy, damaged vessels of the eye’s retina, cataract, cloudiness in the lens of the eyes, glaucoma, and increased fluid pressure inside the eye that is damaging to optic nerve. All of these, when not treated immediately and now monitored properly can lead to total loss of vision loss or blindness.

4. DIABETIC NEUROPATHY. Those people who are into smoking, drinking, and those who have poor control with glucose are more prone to developing neuropathy compared to those diabetics who are not into these vices and bad habits.

5. GASTROPARESIS. This disorder involves the stomach as a result of prolonged emptying. Studies show that around 20 to 30 percent of diabetics suffering from “type 1 diabetes” are more prone to this diabetes complication because it severely damages the “vagus nerve” which is responsible for keeping the food moving through person’s the digestive tract. Although it is also diagnosed among those who have “type 2 diabetes” the cases are comparatively lower.

There is Life With Diabetes

Because diabetes requires so many efforts from you every day, checking blood sugar and taking medications as needed, dealing with it can take over your life. But part of finding a path to overcome the disease is to not let it be the center of your life. As a diabetic, you may tend to turn your attention inward upon yourself, losing interest in the activities you used to enjoy. But you do not want to just be defined by your diabetes. Here are some tips for getting yourself out of this predicament.

Be diligent about following your doctor’s instructions about checking blood sugar and taking medications. Get the moderate exercise recommended. Take care of your feet. Do all of these things, but do not let them become and end in themselves nor your purpose in life. Aim higher.

Make taking care of your diabetes just a routine. Take up other efforts to make your life rich and meaningful. This could be joining a book club or becoming an expert chess player. It is true that having diabetes imposes some physical limitations on you, but there are so many rewarding activities not inhibited by diabetes. Just by turning outward and not letting diabetes take over your life, you increase the possibility of overcoming it.

Since type 2 diabetes is associated with being overweight, losing that weight can free you from the disease, if it has not done too much damage to your body already. Focus not on your present limitations, but on the things you will be able to do when you lose weight, improve your immune system, and your body recovers the abilities it had before you developed diabetes. Many people have actually done this. Discuss this as a positive possibility with your doctor. Ask him to help you devise a realistic plan to reverse the disease and recover normal functioning.

Beyond just weight loss, you need to tone and strengthen your muscles. Yoga and tai chi offer disciplines to regain control of your body. Study foods carefully. Much research has been done on how diet affects you, and how you can use foods to bring you out of diabetes. Eating a poor diet probably contributed to your development of the disease. Learn how to reduce the effects of a poor diet and instead to eat in a way that reduces the hold diabetes has over you. Research shows the exact glycemic effect of various foods, and this information is readily available.

Find a cuisine that appeals to you and adapt it to your efforts to combat diabetes. Food can be very tasty as well as healthy. A cuisine that can readily be adapted to your special needs is Chinese food, with its use of many fresh vegetables and brown rice, very little sugar, and with modest amounts of meat. Low fat dairy can also be a good way to go.

So follow these suggestions and do not let diabetes take over your life. Take the measures necessary to lessen the effect diabetes has on your body, and then you can engage in richer and more varied activities in life.

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