Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes, 2018: The Report
The annual European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting just wrapped in Berlin. Our favorite part? The updated guidelines for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D), released collaboratively from EASD and ADA (American Diabetes Association).
This is huge. And, spoiler alert: we could not be more thrilled with their recommendations.
The report, a 33-page document outlining both the EASD's and the ADA's latest recommendations for type 2 diabetes treatment, pulls from nearly 500 different papers published in the last 4 years, all of which focus on improving blood glucose management and reducing T2D complications to, ultimately, provide an improved quality of life for those living with type 2.
Perhaps the statement's most central theme, and one that deeply resonates with us here at One Drop, is its call for patient-centric care.
At the helm (literally, on the second page), we're given a kind of cheat-sheet graphic with a strategic, step-by-step breakdown of how exactly this patient-focused care should look:
1️⃣ Assess key patient characteristics
2️⃣ Consider specific factors that impact choice of treatment
3️⃣ Shared decision-making to create a management plan
4️⃣ Agree on a management plan
5️⃣ Implement management plan
6️⃣ Ongoing monitoring and support
7️⃣ Review and agree on management plan
And, once all 7 steps (and their subsequent actions) have been successfully implemented, returning to Step 1 and going through the full cycle at least twice each year.
As noted in the image below, the patient always remains at the center of this treatment cycle, along with those two fundamental goals of preventing complications and optimizing quality of life.
MIC. DROP. 🎤
Because although we, as people with diabetes, all know that we should always be at the forefront of care, patient-advocacy like this displayed from both groups is groundbreaking.
And so often, overlooked.
But empowering people with diabetes in this way, by putting them in the spotlight of their own care, is imperative.
Because empowering people to take charge of their diabetes, to take pride in their own self-care, encourages better diabetes management in the long-run! That kind of relentless empowerment serves to benefit all people with diabetes, everywhere.
Additionally, and also for the very first time, the committee offers specific medication recommendations according to patient profile and health history. Along with an overall patient-centric approach and medication suggestions, the two associations offer tons of additional recommendations throughout the paper.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Other key insights 🗝
Our major takeaway from this statement is its central message and goals: keeping the person with diabetes (PWD) always at the forefront, with the constant pursuit of preventing complications and enabling better life outcomes. 💪
That theme is reiterated throughout the paper, with statements in favor of ongoing self-care education and support around diabetes management. 🔥
Not only that, but the committee also urges healthcare providers to take into consideration a person's preference when it comes to treatment.
They also address many real-world concerns, such as patient burden and/or cost. In fact, they assess the global health care situation quite frankly:
“An important consideration for society in general and for many patients in particular is the cost of medications; sulfonylureas, pioglitazone and recombinant human insulins are relatively inexpensive, although their cost may vary across regions.
Short-term acquisition costs, longer-term treatment cost and cost-effectiveness should be considered in clinical decision making when data are available."
“The availability of glucose-lowering medications, patient support systems, and blood glucose-monitoring devices can differ worldwide, depending on a region’s economy, culture, and health care system. Cost of and access to newer medications and insulin remain important issues throughout the world."
Language like this is a major win for us as people with diabetes.
Finally, two major world leaders in diabetes education, research, and support recognize the PWD's individual circumstance and what a vital role it plays in overall care.
At One Drop, patient-centric empowerment is absolutely core. It's part of our belief system.
We are our own, biggest advocates, and each others' biggest support systems.
To, at long last, have both the EASD and ADA also recognize this methodology is a victory. While we as people living with diabetes know all of this intuitively, this is a great step in the right direction for both the EASD and the ADA, as well as diabetes care globally.
Check out the full paper here.
While you're at it, why not discuss it with your healthcare provider? We'd love to hear about any insightful conversations you have around the topic. Plus, your general thoughts on the statement!