Diabetes Management Strategies for the New Year
December 2019 - Amanda Bektas, Pharm.D.
The American Diabetes Association released its most up-to-date recommendations for improving care and promoting health for patients with diabetes.
At a time of year when many of us are resolving to exercise more, eat healthier and take better care of ourselves in general, the ADA is stressing the use of evidence-based guidelines and reminding us that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to managing chronic conditions like diabetes. The update follows a growing trend in healthcare towards patient-centered care. The ADA supports patient self-management, and empowering and educating each person to take an active role in improving their health. This means building a “care team” that centers around the patient; including primary care doctors, pharmacists, nurses, specialists, nutritionists, and community support programs – just to name a few.
Consana focuses on an individualized approach for every patient that considers other health conditions, medications, and personal history as well as patient preferences, values and personal health goals set by the individual in collaboration with their health care team. Managing diabetes can feel overwhelming at times, and even when we have the best intentions it can be difficult to know where to start. Talking to your healthcare provider about your specific health values like A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol – and setting personal goals for these values is a great place to start. You can also talk to your provider about your personal health goals to help them understand what is important to you as a person.
Examples of personal health goals include statements like these –
“I want to relieve and control pain in my joints so I can do more of my regular activities like running errands and walking the dog.”
“I want to reduce the unpleasant side effects of my medications or adjust my therapy so that it is easier to take every day and I won’t want to skip doses.”
“I want to avoid serious negative effects of high blood sugar such as nerve damage/pain, vision loss, or sores that won’t heal.”
The American Diabetes Association is also calling attention to the social factors that are affecting our health but are often overlooked in a traditional medical office visit. This includes things like,
- Access to fresh, healthy food at an affordable price
- Safe and stable housing and transportation availability
- Language barriers or culturally specific approaches
- Medication cost
To learn more about managing diabetes for yourself or a loved one, visit www.Diabetes.org and read about topics like nutrition, fitness, and medication management. Start a conversation with your primary care provider or a Consana pharmacist and learn how you can take a more active role in your care team.
Source: Improving care and promoting health in populations: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes- 2020. Diabetes Care 2020;43(Suppl. 1):S7–S13