Lipodystrophy: When fat loss isn’t a good thing

“My mom knew since my birth that something wrong was going on, but didn’t know what exactly,” says Daizha Hill, now 16 years old. “She kept a book where she would write down every symptom I was having when I didn’t feel good. Then she would try to look them up online to see what she could find out.”

Daizha and her mother, Juanita Brooks-Hill, went to several doctors in the Metro Detroit area looking for answers to her symptoms. Meanwhile, Juanita kept searching online for experts that helped patients with symptoms that matched what Daizha was experiencing.

That’s when she stumbled across Dr. Elif Oral, an endocrinologist, on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) website. After further searching, she found that Dr. Oral had recently moved to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which meant she was not too far away from them.

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Daizha and Dr. Oral

After a few appointments with Dr. Oral, Daizha was officially diagnosed with lipodystrophy. Continue reading

Get the facts about neuropathy

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About 2-7% of people in the United States have neuropathy, which makes it one of the most common neurologic problems, right after headache. It increases in people who are over the age of 50 or 60, so the older we get, the more likely we are to have this medical condition.

Definition of neuropathy

When most people say “neuropathy,” they mean polyneuropathy or the neuropathy that affects people starting in their feet. People can also have neuropathy in their hands.

Signs and symptoms of neuropathy

People often describe numbness and tingling.

Pain is also a big symptom and it’s something that bothers people more than the other symptoms. It can be an electric pain, a burning pain or a sharp pain, and it’s usually located in a “stocking glove” pattern because it’s like stockings going up your leg and gloves on your hands.

Neuropathy can also cause weakness but that’s usually a much later symptom.  Continue reading

Exercise to keep your heart ticking

Don't let excuses get in the way

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We all know that exercise is a good thing for our health. But getting into a regular routine is often the first stumbling block. Once you overcome that, you’ll begin to realize the benefits of establishing and keeping to a successful exercise program.

According to University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center Cardiologist Dr. Sara Saberi, “For the general population, great things result from habitual exercise. Studies show that people who exercise actually live longer.” Continue reading

Diabetes apps for your smartphone

Join us at the Diabetes Health Fair Nov. 7

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November is American Diabetes Month, so in recognition, here are a few smartphone diabetes apps designed to help you track, analyze and manage your numbers.

Glucose Buddy by GlucoseBuddy.com

  • Features: This app helps manage diabetes by tracking glucose readings that are entered four times a day, along with food consumed, exercise and medication. There’s also an alarm that reminds you to take your glucose readings. You can even write notes to explain unusual circumstances, such as high-carbohydrate meals. Data can be uploaded to glucosebuddy.com for a more detailed analysis.
  • Operating System: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android
  • Cost: Free

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Tips and tricks for managing your diabetes at U-M Diabetes Health Fair

Join us for the ninth annual event

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If you live with diabetes, you already know it has its fair share of challenges. Checking blood sugar levels constantly, eating properly, and trying to keep sugar levels normal becomes a daily, sometimes even hourly, task. So what if you could pick up a few easy tips and tricks to help with managing your diabetes?

Our U-M Diabetes Education Program has a free health fair designed just for you. In celebration of World Diabetes Day, the program will hold its ninth annual U-M Diabetes Health Fair on Saturday, November 7, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Ann Arbor Hotel (3200 Boardwalk St., Ann Arbor, MI 48108).

The fair is free and open to the public, and includes vendors from pump and diabetes supply companies, as well as exhibitors from various U-M Health System departments and programs.

There will also be free health screenings for cholesterol, blood glucose, A1C and BMI, as well as blood pressure checks, and diabetes foot screenings. Continue reading

Be a hero, sign up as an organ donor

Donate Life month a great time to make life-saving donation routine

As a transplant surgeon for both kids and adults, I spend my days and nights waiting for the call that a precious, life-saving organ is available for one of our desperate patients — a call that doesn’t come nearly often enough. But I have faith that one day signing up as an organ donor will be as normal and routine as wearing a seat belt, a bike helmet or putting on sunscreen.63205_10151310087771566_622603263_nblog

Every day 17 people across the country die waiting for an organ. There are 123,253 souls currently on the wait list who hope, pray, beg or bargain for someone to be their hero. At the same time, an untold number of people took their organs with them when they died instead of leaving them to live on in someone else.

It’s not only a loss for the patients waiting for organs, but a missed opportunity for family and friends of organ donors to experience the comfort and pride that comes from knowing their loved one saved a life or many lives – leaving this world as a hero.

Continue reading