Boosting pancreatic beta cells

Is it true that sitagliptin (Januvia) preserves or increases pancreatic beta-cell function or quantity over a period of time?—Shah Niranjan, MD, Roslyn Heights, N.Y. Yes, there are data to suggest that the dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inhibitors, which include sitagliptin, may preserve beta-cell mass to some extent. The implications of this fact for therapy in diabetes,…

Thyroid dysfunction and the menstrual cycle

What is the mechanism by which thyroid dysfunction affects the menstrual cycle?—JULIA ARNETT, ANP, Newton, Mass. Thyroid dysfunction is associated with a range of menstrual abnormalities, including oligomenorrhea, amenorrhea, and menorrhagia. Women with hypothyroidism may also be at increased risk of pregnancy loss. The connection between thyroid hormone levels and the menstrual cycle is mainly…

TSH in patients on thyroid replacement

As a newly graduated clinician, my supervising physician taught me that the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels of patients undergoing thyroid replacement therapy should be kept between 0.5 and 1.5 mU/L. Is this correct? I have since found no evidence in the literature to support or refute this advice.—ANA POPOCA-LOGUE, PA-C, San Diego Measuring TSH is…

Top 10 health stories of 2008

Blood sugar goals, stem cells, CT scans, health reform–these are some of the issues to make the list of most important stories of the year, as chosen by the Harvard Health Letter.

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