Every November we mark National Diabetes Awareness Month and are reminded of the toll the disease takes on communities and the healthcare system. Nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes while another 86 million are at risk of developing the chronic disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes costs the country $245 billion annually. It is projected that by 2050 as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes high blood sugar levels and, if left untreated, can have a devastating effect. People with diabetes are more at risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, and premature death. And it doesn’t stop there. A family history of the disease increases the risk for developing it.
The increase in the disease has resulted in many guidelines for managing and preventing diabetes from various organizations over the years. However, in an effort to clarify the many guidelines for diabetes care the National Institutes of Health National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has collaborated with more than a dozen professional organizations and federal agencies to publish Guiding Principles for the Care of People With or at Risk for Diabetes. The resource doesn’t create new guidelines, but instead it brings together “areas of agreement for diabetes care that could be clinically useful in diabetes management and prevention.”
“Guiding Principles is the result of a major collaborative effort from a varied group of experts who are committed to improving the care for people with or at risk for diabetes,” said National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D. “These principles represent the cornerstone of diabetes management and prevention.” The set of ten principles is now available online and includes:
- Identifying Undiagnosed Diabetes and Prediabetes
- Manage Prediabetes
- Provide Self-Management Education and Support
- Provide Individualized Nutrition Therapy
- Encourage Regular Physical Activity
- Control Blood Glucose
- Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk
- Detect and Monitor Microvascular Complications
- Consider Special Populations
- Provide Patient Centered Care