The Handoff: Your Week in Endocrinology News - 5/12/17

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The Handoff is a weekly roundup of endocrinology and general medicine news covering various developments in subspecialties, as well as pharmaceutical industry, association, and society news.

Editor's note: Enjoy this week's super-sized Handoff, highlighting top endocrinology news from the last month.

--A CNN reporter explores the thorny consequences of too much exercise. For some, what is usually a healthy habit can quickly spiral into an addiction, stemming from obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, or depression. Want to read more? Check out this handy overview published in the BMJ.  

--As insulin prices continue to skyrocket, patients with type 1 diabetes are increasingly turning to black market insulin simply to stay alive. A West Virginia family shared their story with NBC News.

--In a recent interview with Variety, Chelsea Clinton — a 2017 Power Woman honoree — shared the story behind the creation of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a group that focuses on creating positive nutrition habits in kids as a means to reduce childhood obesity.

--As the American Health Care Act (AHCA) heads to the Senate, protesters around the country continue to organize. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of governors have expressed concerns that the AHCA will cut healthcare jobs, hurting communities where healthcare workers make up a sizeable portion of the economy.

--Several small studies have seen positive results when treating type 1 diabetes with alpha-1 antitrypsin (alpha-1) proteins. Typically used to target germs, researchers have noted that the proteins can also decrease HbA1c and increase insulin, creating a potential “cure” for type 1 diabetes.

--A so-called “secret team” of biomedical engineers at Apple is working to fulfil an initiative conceptualized by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs: developing sensors that – in conjunction with the Apple Watch – would “noninvasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes,” according to a CNBC report.

--Medical research continues to question the efficacy of regular vitamin D supplementation. According to a New York Times report, more people than ever are undergoing potentially unnecessary blood tests to evaluate vitamin D “deficiency,” leading millions of otherwise-healthy individuals to consume potentially dangerous high-dose vitamin D supplements.

--A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine identified rampant overuse of levothyroxine therapy, particularly among older adults (65 years and older) with subclinical hypothyroidism. Check out more reporting from the New York Times.

--NPR reports on the latest US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) ruling on thyroid cancer screening, asking: is it in or is it out? According to the USPSTF, the harms of screening for the condition outweigh the benefits in asymptomatic adults.

--Newly-appointed US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has taken steps to undo former First Lady Michelle Obama's changes to nutritional standards for public school lunches, despite concern and disappointment from public health organizations.

--A JAMA viewpoint examines potential HIPAA compliance issues associated with sharing patient information via text message, despite unclear guidelines surrounding the practice.

--The 26th Annual Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Scientific and Clinical Congress gave 3 experts in adrenal disorders a chance to shine during a panel titled “Innovations in Evaluation and Management of Adrenal Diseases.”

--Did you miss Endocrinology Advisor's coverage of the AACE 2017? Never fear: complete coverage and conference highlights are available through our website.

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