Sydney GP loses appeal over insulin murder

A Sydney doctor has lost an appeal against his conviction for the murder of his second wife with a lethal dose of fast-acting insulin.
Brian Kenneth Crickitt, 65, was jailed for a minimum of 20 years in May 2017 after being found guilty of killing his wife, Christine Crickitt. The murder took place shortly before or after New Year in 2010, at the couple’s home in Woodbine, South-West Sydney.
It was originally found by the trial judge that Crickitt spent the night with his new lover, Linda Livermore, after allegedly administering the injection. The judge also found that Crickitt’s increasing dislike of his wife and new attraction to Ms Livermore provided a motive for the murder.
Crickitt was supported by his third wife, Julie Crickitt, throughout his trial.
Crickitt was found to have performed two internet searches on insulin overdose in the days prior to the murder. The trial judge also found that he had improperly used a prescription he had written for a patient with diabetes to obtain fast-acting insulin from a pharmacy.
The autopsy could not conclude the cause of death, however the judge ruled out suicide and accidental death, ultimately finding the overdose of insulin to be responsible.
Crickitt’s appeal argued that medical experts could not determine his wife’s cause of death and that the verdict was unreasonable and unsupported by evidence.
The appeal court was required to decide if the Crown had proven in the trial, beyond reasonable doubt, that Crickitt was responsible for the death of his wife and so, if the trial judge had made the correct ruling.
The court ultimately rejected all grounds of the appeal, concluding that “in this case, it was well open to the trial judge to infer from the facts that he found that the applicant deliberately and intentionally caused the death of the deceased by administering insulin to her.”
A number of healthcare professionals have been convicted of causing death deliberately with insulin. Thankfully, this form of murder is limited to very rare cases.
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Gum disease treatment linked to improved blood glucose in type 2 diabetes, study finds

New research suggests that treating gum disease may be a factor in lowering blood glucose levels for people with type 2 diabetes.
Healthy gums were also associated with lower risks of developing diabetes complications and with improvements in kidney and blood vessel function, according to the study by UCL Eastman Dental.
This latest study examined the oral health of 264 people with type 2 diabetes who had moderate to severe gum disease. They were split into two groups, with half receiving standard care comprising of teeth cleaning and polishing and the others receiving intensive treatment.
The participants who received the intensive treatment reported an average reduction in HbA1c of 7 mmol/mol (0.6%) after one year, compared to the group receiving normal care.
It was the first study to explore a link between the treatment of gum disease with kidney and blood vessel function improvements as well as chronic inflammation.
Principle investigator Professor Francesco D’Aiuto said: “Our findings suggest preventing and treating gum disease could potentially be a new and important way to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their condition and reduce their risk of its serious complications.
“The improvement in blood glucose control we observed, in people who received intensive treatment, is similar to the effect that’s seen when people with type 2 diabetes are prescribed a second blood glucose lowering drug. We now need to determine if the improvements we found can be maintained in the longer-term and if they apply to everyone with type 2 diabetes.”
One question, which is hard for a start such as this to answer, is whether there were any significant dietary changes between the groups receiving standard or intensive care. It is not inconceivable that the group having more intensive care may have been more aware of their dental health and may have made some improvements, as a result, with regard to food choices.
However, whether improvements in diet played a role or not, the improved treatment still resulted in an improvement, which is significant to note.
People with type 2 diabetes are currently not offered care related to gum disease, known medically as periodontitis, as part of diabetes care, but a Commissioning Standard for dental health for people with type 2 diabetes or those at risk of the condition is being developed.
The study was published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal and was funded by Diabetes UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Working alongside British Society of Periodontology (BSP), last May published the results of a survey, which revealed that there was low awareness of the link between gum disease and diabetes. It was part of a drive to raise awareness of the issue.
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Breastfeeding impacts gut bacteria which may be a factor in type 1 diabetes

Breastfeeding has been found to impact gut bacteria that might be significant in protecting children from developing type 1 diabetes, according to new research.
The findings have come from two different studies which have both looked at gut bacteria in babies who were deemed at high genetic risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Both trials are part of an international study programme – The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) – which has so far screened more than 250,000 infants around the world, investigating certain factors which might trigger the development of type 1 diabetes.
The first trial focused on gut bacteria changes shortly after the child had been born and the other trial compared differences in the gut between children who had the condition and those who did not.
Previous studies have suggested gut bacteria might impact the chances of someone developing type 1 diabetes, and the research here focused on the gut bacteria specifically within babies.
Both research studies involved taking stool samples from more than 900 babies on a monthly basis from the age of three months. The research team continued to take the samples until either the child had developed type 1 diabetes or just before they believed the condition was about to develop.
The different types of bacteria were analysed in the stool samples and were linked to different key factors, such as the type of birth the child had experienced, siblings, exposure to furry pets and whether they had been breastfed.
One of the studies appeared to show that certain bacteria communities in the gut were impacted by breast milk, vaginal birth, siblings and pets. However, the research team stated that this did not necessarily confirm a direct link to type 1 diabetes.
The second study discovered that short-chain fatty acids might be significant. These short-chain fatty acids were mainly found within the gut bacteria of children who were not diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and who were breastfed as a baby.
In other studies, larger amounts of these short-chain fatty acids in mice have seemed to protect the animals from the condition. However, the research team said more work needs to be carried out before they can say breastfeeding conclusively reduces the chances of type 1 diabetes development.
Rachel Connor, Director of Research Partnerships at JDRF in the UK, said: “These studies found some interesting changes to patterns of gut bacteria development in early childhood. But the relationship between gut bacteria, genetics and type 1 diabetes risk is still a complicated picture.
“We will need to carry out more research to work out how exactly factors like breastfeeding and these short-chain fatty acids may be able to affect the risk of developing type 1 diabetes, and how strong these effects may be.”
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Experimental procedure found to stabilise blood sugars in type 2 diabetes

Scientists in Amsterdam trialled a procedure on people with type 2 diabetes to great effect. The researchers have described their findings as spectacular, but the full extent of long-term safety will still need to be shown.
The results come from a study on 50 people and indicate that the technique, which takes an hour to perform, is successful even a year on.
The procedure involves inflating a balloon with hot water inside the small intestine. This burns off the mucous membrane which lines the gut and, two weeks later, a new membrane grows. This process seems to improve blood sugar control and it was found that 90% of the patients still had stable blood sugars even a year after the treatment.
They conducted the experiment to explore the association between the mucus membrane absorbing nutrients in the small intestine and insulin resistance in those with type 2 diabetes.
Professor Jacques Bergman, from the research team, said: “Because of this treatment the use of insulin can be postponed or perhaps prevented. That is promising.” Bergman added of the procedure that it was “amazing that people suffer very little from this.”
Speaking to Nederlandse Omroep Stichting, a Dutch broadcaster, he added: “With those people we see a spectacular improvement in blood sugar levels one day after the operation, before they even lose one kilo, which has put us on the track.
“Because the question now is whether this is a permanent treatment, or whether it is something that you have to keep repeating – something that in theory should be possible. We looked at whether we could stop their insulin, which is still ongoing, but the first results are truly spectacular, with the lion’s share of patients no longer using insulin after this treatment.”
The findings from the study were presented at a conference which took place this week in Vienna. Next, the researchers will conduct a bigger study involving 100 people.
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or placed into remission by lowering carbohydrates. So far over 370,000 participants have signed up to the Low Carb Program developed by and launched on World Diabetes Day 2015.
One-year results from the Low Carb Program, published in the summer, show one in four users put their type 2 diabetes into remission, with significant reductions in weight, HbA1c and medication use.
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PCSK9 inhibitor cholesterol drugs chosen for rapid uptake in the UK

A class of expensive cholesterol-lowering drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors have been chosen by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) to be fast-tracked into availability. Pharmaceutical companies Amgen and Sanofi both had their products, Repatha and Praluent, selected for rapid uptake status.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs are often prescribed to people with diabetes, prediabetes or metabolic syndrome who are considered at risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke.
The AAC is a collaboration between NHS organisations and industry, directed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It has the purpose of speeding up access to “highly transformative technologies” for NHS patients. Chosen technologies are already available to the NHS, and have an evidence base, but have seen poor uptake.
Alongside PCSK9 inhibitors, six other potentially beneficial technologies have been chosen for rapid uptake and will share the £2 million of funding released. These other technologies include Mavenclad (a multiple sclerosis medication), a test for colorectal cancer, a test for heart attack and a test for pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.
NICE have previously recommended both Praluent and Repatha, however this recommendation alone did not ensure widespread uptake across England. NICE therefore hope that this push by the AAC will allow greater access to these costly drugs.
While PCSK9 inhibitors have been shown to significantly lower levels of LDL cholesterol, concerns have been expressed over what benefit this will actually provide to patients. A study of Repatha showed a small but statistically significant reduction in risk of cardiovascular events. However, it did nothing to prevent fatal events, and there was even a greater, albeit statistically insignificant, rate of death in the group that took the drug, compared to those that did not. The study was funded by Amgen.
Commenting on these findings, Dr Aseem Malhotra, NHS consultant cardiologist, said: “NICE needs to urgently revise its recommendations on the prescription of the drug to include information that the drug will not prevent a fatal heart attack or increase a patient’s lifespan by one day.”
Though the benefits of PCSK9 inhibitors is a point of contention between academics and healthcare professionals, it is hoped that overall, the technologies chosen for rapid uptake by the AAC will offer cost-effective benefit to NHS patients.
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Foods that control diabetes

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In 1550 BC, the famous Ebers Papyrus advised treating diabetes with high fiber wheat grains. Not much has changed since then. Plant foods are the drug of choice for treating diabetes. There are large numbers of scientific research findings to confirm the effectiveness of plant foods in managing this disease. Through the centuries, more than 400 plants have been identified, used, and prescribed as diabetic remedies.

Raw onions and garlic have been long been favorite anti-diabetic drugs in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The vegetable bitter gourd and the herb ginseng have been widely used for treating diabetes since the ancient time in India and China. Common mushroom is widely used in parts of Europe to lower blood sugar. Barely bread is a popular treatment for diabetes in Iraq. Other foods, used in different countries, in the treatment of diabetes include beans, cabbage, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cucumber, fenugreek seeds, Indian gooseberry and lettuce.

All these foods have anti-diabetic properties. Scientific research has confirmed that most of these foods, or their compounds, either lower blood sugar, or stimulate insulin production. Some of the more important foods that help to lower blood sugar or stimulate insulin production in diabetes patients are discussed here.

Artichoke is a tuberous root with a top like a sunflower. This vegetable contains good amounts of potassium, a fair amount of calcium and some iron and sulphur, all of which are needed by the body for maintaining good health.

Artichoke is beneficial in the treatment of diabetes because of its high insulin content. A fully ripe artichoke is said to contain more than two percent of insulin. Ripe artichokes are generally available only during autumn or fall. The insulin is converted into sugar in winter. Artichokes are most effective when eaten raw in salads. It cooking is required; they should be boiled, unpeeled, in a small quantity of water for about 10 minutes. Artichokes can be effectively combined with other vegetables.


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Is there a cure for diabetes?

At this time there is no known cure for Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. However, we are funding pioneering, life-changing research into care, treatment and prevention, and working to find a cure for all types of diabetes.

Is there a cure for diabetes?
Video chat with Dr Alasdair Rankin

Is there a cure for diabetes?

At this time there is no known cure for Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. However, we are funding pioneering, life-changing research into care, treatment and prevention, and working to find a cure for all types of diabetes.

How is diabetes treated, and is there a cure?

Currently, there is no cure for Type 1 diabetes, but it can be treated successfully by administering insulin, either by an injection or pump, and by following a healthy, balanced diet and getting regular physical activity. Looking after diabetes requires planning and attention, which may feel overwhelming at times, especially when your child is first diagnosed. However, there’s no reason for it to stop your child living the healthy, happy and successful life you had hoped for them.




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5 Ways to Manage your Diet for Diabetes


1. Cut back on snacks and then change the type of snacks you eat.
Certainly my biggest downfall although it wasn’t really apparent to me. When I first started at University, I had little or no routine which meant that filling my day was difficult and popping into the kitchen for a snack, no matter how healthy it felt, was a regular occurence. This is one of the hardest things to do for some people, but establishing a great routine is essential to great diabetes care. The types of snacks to be eating are unsalted nuts, dried unsweetened fruit, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables (I love fresh red pepper and cucumber), dark chocolate (richer and nicer and you only want 2 squares usually).

2. Cut back on white flour and embrace wholemeal carbs.
This is the most essential part of your diet, and the thing that can show the biggest increase in loss of weight. Some diets in fact jsut focus on this point, and are very successful. Wholemeal (especially stoneground wholemeal) is so good for you and has so much more flavour in it that switching is much easier than you think. Most people are really surprised at the ranges you can get in you supermarket, again remember that the bread that is best for you is the one that is freshest with least perservatives or added ingredients. Also, brown or basmati rice is great with a lovely nutty texture. Wholemeal pasta is great and for your potatoes I would totally recommend the smaller new potatoes.

3. Stop drinking cocktails, start drinking wine.
Cocktails are full of sugar, colourants and preservatives. As a student I have had loads of practice at going out and not drinking cocktails, so my drink of choice is Malibu and Diet Coke if I feel I have to drink something and I make it last all night. I can then top up with Diet Coke (which has almost no sugar in it) and it looks as though I am drinking Malibu, who is to know. If you are out at a restaurant, red wine is much better than anything else you can order, (except water of course!) and it has been proven that the anti-oxidants in red wine are great for keeping a healthy heart. The recommended amount is one glass a day with your evening meal.

4. Start cooking more fruit and vegetables.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are a great way to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. And there are so many different ways in which to cook vegetables, but I find that raw is the best followed closely by steamed. Both of these ways preserve all their natural goodness as well. I will follow this post with another diabetes recipes post.

5. Drink more water.
I know you have heard people say this many times before, but the benefits of drinking more water are endless. A few tips on how to get more water into your day are firstly to put bottles of water at all the places you go in the house or work. So keep one in your desk, on your desk, a glass in the kitchen, the bedroom, the sitting room, etc. Try and drink all these glasses up and you will be well on your way to 8 glasses a day. The trick is to add a glass every few days or so, if you try to drink all that water in one go you won’t be so inclined to drink 8 glasses again, trust me! Have a go, it’s amazing how great you will feel.

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Five Easy Breakfast Ideas for People With Diabetes

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You have heard it said many times; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. First, this is highly debatable. Second, you should not allow this idea to convince you to eat a large meal in the morning. Presumably, you will still be having lunch and dinner, and potentially be eating in between those meals. If you have Type 2 diabetes or would like to lose weight, it is crucial to eat less and decrease the frequency at which you eat.

Regardless, there is a “right way” to do breakfast. While there is no such thing as a diabetic diet, there are breakfast meals suited for people with Type 2 diabetes. Let us go over some of them…

1. Eggs. Let us start with the traditional option. Eggs make an excellent choice for breakfast for several reasons…

  • they are packed with nutrients,
  • they are filling, and they
  • can be prepared in a variety of ways to suit your taste.

Do not be misled by the rumors eggs are not a healthy option. Yes, they contain cholesterol but it is only a problem if your cholesterol level is excessive. Your body already produces cholesterol for physiological functions which your body regulates when you consume it.You may have a cholesterol problem, in which case you should exercise because it would make a significant difference. Still, you can have eggs every so often. Just skip the bacon.

2. Cereal. Cereal is food you have to be careful with. The vast majority are loaded with sugar which brands attempt to hide by fixing your attention on the vitamins and minerals they contain – many times in low amounts.

However, if you can find a box of cereal that is…

  • entirely whole-grain,
  • low in added sugars, and
  • high in fiber,

you have a reliable option for breakfast. A bowl of cereal and milk can be a great start to the day.3. Oatmeal. Oatmeal is very similar to cereal – avoid the kinds with needless sugar, add some milk and enjoy. Oatmeal is best consumed warm or hot, and you are free to add fruit, honey, or cinnamon. Oatmeal can help lower your cholesterol and is a high-quality carbohydrate that is easy on your blood sugar as long as you avoid the instant kind.

4. Protein Shakes. Next is a protein shake. Whether it is with milk or blended with fruit, protein shakes are not just a post-workout option but are also a good choice first thing in the morning as they tend to be low-calorie.

5. Fruit. Who said you had to have a full meal for breakfast? Fruit is an excellent choice for many people. Do not hesitate to follow it up with a protein shake – this way you will not feel the need to eat for hours.

Most people will find the above options sufficient to improve their diet. Just remember, lunch and dinner still count, so make sure you also eat well during those meals.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.


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The Diabetes Diet: should you start now to prevent type 2 diabetes?

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A type 2 diabetes diet is getting more and more important as the disease becomes increasingly common in Western society. A sound diabetes diet is needed because of increasingly bad culinary habits and lack of exercise in many people’s lives today. By eating wisely and exercising regularly, type 2 diabetes is a disease that is preventable, even though it can be very serious, but ultimately, prevention is far easier than a cure.

Type 2 diabetes can be described as the body’s incapability of managing and regulating blood glucose levels. Even though the body produces good and efficient insulin, the means whereby glucose is absorbed into the cells for metabolism breaks down and fails.

As far as diabetes goes, type 2 is the most common type of diabetes prevalent in the United States today, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes incidences. It affects nearly 21 million people in the United States alone and the frequency of the disease has soared in the last thirty years. It is normally linked to obesity, prior history of gestational diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, a family history of diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, older age, physical inactivity and ethnicity. Compared with 6% prevalence in Caucasians, the incidence in African Americans and Asian Americans is estimated at approximately 10%, in Hispanics 15%, and in certain Native American communities, 20% to 50%.

If you are a person who is at risk of, or have previously been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, weight control should be of paramount importance. A diabetes diet is easy to implement and you can simply start by replacing simple carbs such as pasta and white bread with ones that take a bit longer to digest like whole grains, whole grain bread and legumes. It’s important to try and remove, if at all possible, candy and sugary sodas, as well as all kinds of processed foods but even more importantly, cut right back on your fast food intake. A diabetes diet should involve eating plenty of leafy greens, fresh fruit, and the colored variety of vegetables. Try and limit red meat intake and stick to lean cuts.

Above all, don’t give up on improving your diet. Seek professional guidance from diet planners and nutritionists if it all seems like an uphill struggle – both your health and your quality of life will thank you for it!

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