New Guidelines For Type 2 Diabetes Treatment


As medical research continues to examine the root causes of Type 2 diabetes, new treatment strategies are emerging that may improve the chances of success in controlling the symptoms of this serious disease. While the main focus of treatment continues to be the reduction of blood glucose levels, some researchers believe that the previous one-size-fits-all approach to diabetes control may be less beneficial for patients with differing needs and physical conditions.

Changing the rules of engagement

A June 2012 article in the scholarly journal Diabetes Care described new Type 2 diabetes treatment guidelines formulated by the American Diabetes Association in conjunction with the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. These guidelines included the following recommendations:

• While 7 percent blood sugar readings continue to be the desired norm for most diabetes patients, younger patients in better health should aim for 6 percent readings to help prevent or slow the progression of the disease. Older patients, by contrast, may experience better results by taking a less strict approach to their blood glucose levels; this is especially true for those patients who have other health issues that include cardiovascular disease.

• Step therapies may not produce the most effective results for some patients; the new guidelines suggest that taking a more aggressive approach with medications may produce added benefits during the early stages of Type 2 diabetes. Some studies, including one conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, suggest that prescribing higher doses of non-insulin diabetes medications during this initial period can provide greater benefits for patients and may reduce the likelihood of serious fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

• Some patients may see fast improvements with surgical treatments for weight loss; the recommendations include advice for considering bariatric surgery to reduce caloric intake and to reduce blood sugar levels significantly over a relatively short period of time. These surgical strategies are not for everyone; serious side effects can occur in some diabetes patients.

Taking a personalized approach to treatment for each patient can produce better results in almost all cases. However, the new guidelines offer general principles that may deliver a greater measure of control over blood glucose levels and fluctuations. Some recommendations remain the same:

• The use of a glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring system is still advised to track and record blood sugar readings on a regular basis.

Dietary changes and increased exercise are still the first lines of defense in newly diagnosed cases of Type 2 diabetes, especially for patients who are otherwise in good health.

• Weight loss programs can often provide added help in managing blood sugar levels and reducing dependence upon medications and insulin injections.

• Insulin treatments continue to be recommended in diabetes cases not well controlled by other medications or diet and exercise.

For many patients, these revised guidelines may offer new hope in managing their diabetes and stopping the progress of this serious health condition.

Becky enjoys writing about anything that has to do with diabetes. She’s especially interested in glucose meters. She was lucky enough to stumble across dexcom.com. They provide several items needed to control your diabetes.

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