Diet 'just as good as op' for diabetes

It has long been known that patients who undergo gastric operations to curb eating see a dramatic improvement in their diabetes.

But patients with Type 2 diabetes who simply follow the same strict diet as that after surgery are just as likely to see a reduction in their blood glucose levels.

The report was released by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas.

Bariatric Surgery Restores Pancreatic Function In Diabetes Patients

In a two-year sub-study of the STAMPEDE (Surgical Therapy And Medications Potentially Eradicate Diabetes Efficiently) trial, researchers  evaluated the effects of bariatric surgery and intensive medical therapy on blood sugar levels, body composition, and pancreatic beta-cell function
and found that gastric bypass surgery reverses diabetes by uniquely restoring pancreatic function in moderately obese patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

Striking metabolic changes were observed in patients who underwent bariatric surgery compared with intensive medical therapy, particularly in the gastric bypass treatment group.

The cells of the pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body store and use sugar, are called beta cells. Malfunctioning pancreatic beta cells can cause the pancreas to not release enough insulin; they can also produce insulin that the body does not recognize. When the body can’t use insulin properly, it can’t regulate the amount of glucose in its bloodstream. 

The prospective, randomized, controlled sub-study followed 60 patients from the original STAMPEDE trial to determine the durability of the initial results and examine the metabolic changes observed with bariatric surgery. The patients were divided into three groups of 20: those who received intensive medical therapy of their diabetes, those who received intensive medical therapy plus gastric bypass surgery, and those who received intensive medical therapy plus sleeve gastrectomy. The researchers measured metabolic parameters at baseline, and at 12 and 24 months. 

After two years, 41 percent of the patients who underwent gastric bypass saw their blood sugar levels back to normal. Only 10 percent of the patients who underwent sleeve gastrectomy and 6 percent who received intensive medical therapy achieved the same results.

At 12 and 24 months, patients who underwent gastric bypass achieved near normal blood sugar levels following a mixed meal test. These results were associated with a remarkable 5.8-fold increase in overall pancreatic cell function. Patients who received intensive medical therapy or underwent sleeve gastrectomy saw a 2-fold increase.

 “Gastric bypass surgery seems to uniquely restore pancreatic beta-cell function, presumably by targeting belly fat and modifying the hormones in the gastrointestinal tract,”   said lead investigator Sangeeta Kashyap, M.D., an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic’s EndocrinologyMetabolism Institute. “Furthermore, we observed that gastric bypass can resurrect a failing pancreas. Gastric bypass remarkably targets belly fat where hormones that are toxic to the body develop.”

Researchers observed that patients who underwent gastric bypass saw a greater reduction in belly fat compared to the patients who underwent sleeve gastrectomy. The sub-study results indicate a correlation between a decrease in belly fat and the ability of the pancreas to start working again.

The substudy results show that gastric bypass surgery is a viable therapeutic option for the treatment of uncontrolled type 2 diabetes in moderately obese patients. The authors will continue to follow these patients for three years as further studies examining hormonal effects are warranted.

Published in Diabetes Care.

Robin Gibb not Stayin' Alive

Amongst the glut of celebrity deaths that seem to be filling the news currently is Robin Gibb who died aged 62 after a long running battle with cancer. The most frail and camp looking member of the Brothers Gibb, Bee Gees awoke fr

om a coma about a month ago and was given a 10% chance of survival by doctors.

Fans had been hopeful that Gibb would recover from cancer and intestinal surgery when his awakening from the coma confounded doctors who had all but written him off.

A statement has been released saying, “The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away today following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”

Robin Gibb photographed not long before his death.

Robin Gibb photographed not long before his death.

As recently as early February Robin was still taking part in interviews during which time he told a BBC reporter, “I was diagnosed with a growth in my colon, it was removed. And I’ve been treated for that by a brilliant doctor, and in their words ‘the results have been spectacular.'”

Of the cancer growth, he said, “[it] is almost gone and I feel fantastic. Really from now on, it’s just what they could describe as a ‘mopping-up’ operation. I am very active and my sense of well-being is good.”

His career stretches back to the 1970s when the disco era really kicked in. The Bee Gees enjoyed massive success with their camp breed of disco and climbed to greater heights when they penned and performed the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever which starred John Travolta as a funky sex muppet who wore far too much white.

They will be remembered for their falsetto voices, whiter than white teeth and soft focus videos which accompanied their catchy chart topping hits and drew sniggers from other sections of society.

The Bee Gees; hair, teeth and tight pants.

Robin Gibb (right) with the Bee Gees; tight pants, squeaky voices, shiny teeth, excessive hair and a glut of top ten hits.

Robin Gibb’s death follows his twin brother Maurice’s back in 2009 which ultimately put an end to any possible Bee Gees reunion plans (the group was ‘retired’ in 2003), despite Robins hopes to resurrect the band as a duo.

Barry Gibb, the oldest of the founding members, survives his three brothers and is unlikely to continue as the ‘Bee Gee’.

A very cool looking Robin Gibb in his younger days

A very cool looking Robin Gibb in his younger days.

Robin Gibb’s passing comes just three days after the death of Donna Summer, another disco queen who also died following a battle with cancer (read about that here).

Fans have been paying tribute to the Bee Gees and Robin Gibb on Twitter and Facebook as they mourn the loss of one of the country’s greatest entertainers; a man who started his band as a joke.

Rest in peace Robin Gibb, you will no doubt be Stayin’ Alive in the hearts of millions of fans.

Read about Beastie Boys MCA who died of cancer related illness.


Madonna’s Lies About Surgery and Aging.

Back in the eighties when Madonna’s image was based around being super slutty, she released Papa Don’t Preach an innocuous pappy pop ditty about a young tart up the duff who wanted to keep the kid, everyone said what a great role model she was for giving young girls choices and that keeping their baby was another option besides abortion. A great message for 13-year-old girls who have none of the resources that Madonna has/had to bring up a baby without support. Arguably, she could have also been telling girls that it is ok to sleep around at an early age without using some form of protection. Cos that’s positive. But anyway.

Madonna nearly naked

Madonna does what she does best.

Ever since then her message to her fanbase of mostly young women and gay men seems to have been based around obsessions regarding image, valuing output over quality, arrogance over humility, and making a killing from being tediously overtly sexual.

Strangely some women see another woman writhing around barely clad in provocative clothing singing silly pseudo-erotic songs as empowering – apparently it makes them want to behave like a slut too.

Madonna Before and After

Madonna: Before and after something that made her look ten years younger than she did ten years ago.

But according to the media Madonna could do no wrong. They coveted the fact that she occasionally dyed her hair and changed image, exalting her for her chameleon like ability to change, as if hair dye wasn’t available at Walmart for five bucks. But she’s an amazing business woman. Apparently. I bet she doesn’t have a board of directors and an entourage of people far more talented than she is to help her decide what she does next.

Madonna’s latest attack on the communal psyche of the female population is to impress on them that aging is bad. Aging must be avoided at all costs. Over and over she lied about having surgery and still remains committed to the lie that she hasn’t had any work done, but her youthful looks are purely down to her faith in the Kabbalah – the fashionable religion for bored rich folk with no soul, having not yet had it returned by the devil after selling it to him in return for inexplicable fame exponentially greater than any talent that they have warrants. Judging by photos of her recently she seems to have bought shares in Photoshop.

Madonna before and after Photoshop

Madonna before and after Photoshop

Madonna is a dreadful role model. She spreads the message that aging is wrong and she spreads it to a fanbase that mostly can’t afford to spend a zillion bucks on surgery or facials or injections or whatever she uses. Whilst it is natural for people to want to look their best, the trend these days is to look the best someone else can make you. Images of Madonnna extruded through Photoshop produce more than just aspiration in young women keen to emulate the star, they produce unrealistic goals that can never actually be achieved because no one in their mid-fifties really looks 21. It’s a sad fact.

Madonna is good at self promotion, but it’s a brand of self promotion akin to a bull in a china shop. She will stop at nothing to ‘push buttons’ as she calls it. Her pseudo sexual Sex book was risible and only enjoyed by teenage boys who couldn’t find someone their own age to masturbate over; gay men who will adore anything wearing too much make-up that costume changes every 17 seconds; and a few old men who will masturbate over anything, be it man or beast.

Then there is the matter of her adopting from third-world countries when she could be supporting the child in its own habitat. Good role model? Nah.

Stars of Madonna’s ilk eg image-driven pop stars (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry etc) who would rather sell records to everyone rather than have an elite fanbase should take responsibility for their fans, generally young people who like their music unchallenging, and should behave accordingly.

Madonna for Louis Vuitton Shoot before and after Photoshop

Madonna for Louis Vuitton: unrecognizable after Photoshop.

If you must have surgery or if you are Photoshopped beyond recognition, be open about it. Or even better, age naturally. What better example is that to young women already obsessed about their bodies and who can’t afford personal trainers, surgery and Photoshop.

To those that are not taken in by her paltry waffling pop fodder and see her as merely as a jumped up strumpet masquerading as an artiste, she epitomises everything that is wrong and ghastly about the music industry. And now it seems she has produced progeny in the form of Lady Gaga. A woman so intent on fame and attention that she will wear bacon.

And that video of Madonna in her fifties when she wore a child’s pink high-legged leotard is the female equivalent of an old bald man driving around in a Porsche.



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Aretha Franklin all smiles at basketball game 2 months after surgery

The star of hits such as Respect and Think looked healthy  and in good spirits when she  watched the Detroit Pistons play Miami Heat with the Reverend Jesse Jackson in what is believed to be one of her first public appearances since undergoing surgery two months ago.

During a break a big screen showed Franklin waving to the crowd and laughing, while some of her songs played over the sound system. “I’m feeling great. Loving the game, loving the game,” Franklin said, going on to add that she hopes to resume her public schedule in May.

In November last year the Queen of Soul was ordered by doctors to cancel all her concerts and personal appearances until May 2011 after she spent a week in hospital for a “serious illness”, which has since been confirmed as incurable pancreatic cancer.

The National Enquirer says the prognosis for the Say a Little Prayer singer, 68, is poor, with the survival rate at 5%-10%. Her age and being overweight lower her chances of recovery further.

In December, however, the 68 year old  — who also broke two ribs in a fall last summer — underwent surgery and she told fans that the procedure was “highly successful”.

Things certainly seem to be looking up for the star: according to Showbiz, Aretha is next planning to soak up some rays and relax on holiday  at a “fabulous beach”.

Read here about Patrick Swayze, who lost his life to pancreatic cancer last year.

Images: Wikimedia Commons

Aretha Franklin battling pancreatic cancer

A week ago the Queen of Soul underwent surgery for an undisclosed illness and now sources are reporting that she is suffering from incurable pancreatic cancer.

In November the singing legend was ordered by doctors to cancel all her concerts and personal appearances until May 2011 after she spent a week in hospital for a “serious illness”, and now has confirmed that Aretha Franklin has cancer.

The National Enquirer says the prognosis for the Say a Little Prayer singer, 68, is poor, with the survival rate at 5%-10%. Her age and being overweight lower her chances of recovery further.

“She even hid her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer from some family members,” a source told the American tabloid.

As we reported previously, a praying vigil was held by the community in Detroit, and today a family member told the TV station that Franklin doing OK, but that the public should continue to pray for her.

Read here about Patrick Swayze, who lost his life to pancreatic cancer last year.

Images: Wikimedia Commons

Actor and boxing legend Gus Mercurio dies aged 82

Actor and boxing legend Gus Mercution has died in Melbourne hospital after complications during surgery.

The US-born actor, who appeared in films including the Blue Lagoon and Crocodile Dundee II, underwent the operation to repair an aneurysm in his chest, but doctors were unable to revive him and he died at about 3.30 pm.

“His health has not been good for the past few years, but he was incredibly strong-willed and an incredibly strong man,” his son Paul Mercurio — an actor who starred in the Australian hit film Strictly Ballroom — said in an emotional tribute.

“You kind of expect him to walk through fire and come out the other side with his moustache singed, but still smiling and still positive.

“I have no doubt that dad is up in heaven sitting next to a mate having a glass of wine and some cheese and having a laugh, and being somewhat indignant that he has made the news and people are calling, but sadly for the wrong reasons.”

“I will celebrate his life, I don’t want to mourn his death.”

The “larger than life” actor was also a professional boxer, and in a tribute actress Sigrid Thornton, who worked with Mercurio in The Man From Snowy River, told the Sydney Morning Herald: “He had his life as an actor and as a boxer, and you have to be a fighter to stay in the acting process.”

Gus is survived by his partner Rita and six children from two marriages.

Read here about Sharon Stone, who survived a brain aneurysm.

Images: Wikimedia Commons and

Aretha Franklin thanks fans for prayers and hails ‘successful’ surgery

Yesterday a community prayer vigil was held in Detroit for the singing legend who underwent surgery for an undisclosed medical condition, and today her fans will be relieved to hear that the procedure was “highly successful”.

In  October the 68 year old broke two ribs in a fall, forcing her to cancel her dates with Condoleeza Rice on their joint tour, and a month later she was ordered by her doctors to cancel all her concert dates and personal appearances until May after she reportedly spent a week in hospital for a “serious illness”.

Following her surgery on Thursday, the larger-than-life singer issued a statement in New York, saying: “I had superb doctors and nurses whom were blessed by all the prayers of the city and the country.”

Aretha did not reveal what she was being treated for.

Read here about singer Billy Joel, who recently underwent double-hip replacement surgery.

Images: Wikimedia Commons

1960s pop star Sandie Shaw undergoes ‘foot lift’ surgery

Yesteryear’s pop star Sandie Shaw recently went under the knife in a bid to have beautiful feet. According to the Daily Mail, the singer, who rose to fame after her barefoot performances in the 1960s, opted to give having a facelift a miss, instead choosing to have a ‘foot lift’. The star who calls her new feet divine explains that it was an endeavor to get rid of her ugly feet.

She said, “I had my bunions taken away, I had one toe shortened, one toe straightened. It was a full foot lift – they are divine!” she goes on to say that removing bunions is a growing trend among US women who need to give certain footwear a miss due to discomfort and bleeding problems.

As reported by Metro, Sandie Shaw, who in 1967 was the first contestant from the UK to win the Eurovision Song Contest, revealed that her “misshapen” feet were not the result of her barefoot performances but rather that they were inherited. The former singer, who trained to be a psychotherapist in the 1990s, swears by the bunion surgery. She went on to say, “Bunion surgery is very common, with one in three people developing one at some time in their lives. It is more common in women than men. She added that she had “swollen, misshapen, yellow and bruised appendages on the ends of my legs”.

Other celebrities who have had surgery include include Tara Reid, Demi Moore, Dita von Teese and Pamela Anderson.


Brooke Shields another celebrity who has taken the Lasik route

Are you fed up with the many inconveniences involved with wearing glasses or contact lenses? Do you dream of waking up and seeing the world in all its clarity? Say good bye to blurry vision and hello to Lasik surgery.
This corrective surgery, which takes a mere 10 minutes per eye, has grown in popularity in recent years and it is no surprise that several celebrities, for whom looking good is paramount, have undergone the procedure. One such actress to have opted for the Lasik route is the American actress and model Brooke Shields.

Not everyone, however, is such a huge fan of the corrective surgery. Comedian Kathy Griffin talks about her experiences with Lasik on her website, where she talks about the severe complications she suffered after undergoing the corrective surgery. ( Incidentally, Brooke Shields, who on the contrary is very happy with the outcome of her procedure, was the maid of honor at Kathy’s wedding!
Brooke Shields, 45, started her modeling career as an infant and then went on to become the youngest model to appear on the cover of ‘Vogue’ at the age of 14. With almost 20 years of working in the film industry behind her, her best known film is probably still ‘The Blue Lagoon’ from 1980. The ‘Suddenly Susan’ star has been wooing audiences with her immense talent and beauty for a long time now, but she has also shared a darker part of her life with the world: her experiences with postpartum depression. Speaking of this difficult time, as quoted on Quote Lucy, she said “I’ve never found therapy to be a sign of weakness; I’ve found the opposite to be true. The willingness to have a mirror held up to you definitely requires strength”.

Brooke Shields is a woman of substance and is known for handling her personal and professional life with great dignity and strength. But there is no denying that she has also been blessed with especially good looks, and thanks to Lasik surgery, the star doesn’t have to hide her stunning eyes behind a pair of glasses.

Othere celebrities to have undergone Lasik surgery include Tiger Woods, Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt

Images: PR Photos