Advances in technology and research have made it easier than ever for people with diabetes to manage their disease. New tools and medications are helping patients take better control of their blood sugar, and in many cases, that means making treatment more convenient.
At the same time, this new era also brings with it a number of challenges. Physicians and researchers have identified certain risk factors that are linked to an increase in complications from type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes as well as the development of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease.
As a result, they’re beginning to offer more intensive monitoring and treatment protocols for people who have high blood sugar levels. With that in mind, here’s what doctors are doing differently to treat diabetes today than they did just five years ago.
Doctors Are Talking To Their Patients About Diabetes Risk
Diabetes is a more common problem now than ever before. Between the late 1980s and early 2000s, the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes nearly doubled. Now, one in eight people in the United In a 2016 survey, most doctors said they didn’t have the best communication skills when it came to discussing diabetes with their patients.
Luckily, more and more physicians are beginning to change their approach to this critical discussion. In fact, a 2018 study found that people who were sent personalized messages about the risks associated with diabetes had lower blood sugar levels and reduced risk of complications compared to those who received generic messages.
A 2014 survey revealed that many doctors feel as if they’re under pressure to treat diabetes aggressively. As a result, they’re missing out on opportunities to help people take better control of their disease. For example, many patients who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are still on insulin.
By using modern blood sugar meters, however, it’s possible to wean patients off this medication or at least reduce their dose. By helping patients explore these options, doctors can help ensure that they’re managing their diabetes as well as possible.
They’re Monitoring Blood Sugar More Frequently
Diabetic patients who have high blood sugar levels tend to have more complications compared to those with lower levels. This is because high blood sugar levels are a symptom of a larger underlying problem — an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
To help diabetes patients reduce this risk, doctors are increasing the frequency with which they monitor blood sugar levels. In fact, a 2017 survey found that more than one-third of people with diabetes were doing this at least once a day. While these types of tests aren’t entirely accurate, they are a useful tool in the fight against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
For example, people with type 2 diabetes are often advised to keep their blood sugar levels below 7 mmol/L. Recent research, however, has shown that a level as low as 5 mmol/L is safe. In addition, a higher blood sugar level doesn’t tell us everything we need to know.
The body releases glucose into the bloodstream as a response to a number of factors, including physical activity, the consumption of food, and medications. All of these factors can affect the level of glucose in the body. Knowing a person’s overall blood sugar level doesn’t tell us anything about their individual glucose levels.
They’re Treating Diabetes With New Medicines
Several new medications are designed to help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Some of these medications are already on the market, while others have just begun to undergo clinical trials. For example, dapagliflozin is an FDA-approved prescription that treats type 2 diabetes.
It works by inhibiting the kidneys’ ability to produce glucose. In fact, a recent survey found that people who had been taking this medication for at least six weeks lowered their blood sugar levels by on average 19%. This is particularly encouraging, as it suggests that many people who have been struggling to manage their blood sugar levels will benefit from this treatment.
A 2018 study of patients with type 1 diabetes found that those who were given insulin had significantly higher blood sugar levels compared to those who didn’t receive the medication. This is an important marker as it shows that insulin might be helping people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.
They’re Offering More Intensive Treatment Protocols
Many people who have been diagnosed with diabetes are struggling to control their blood sugar levels. As a result, they may be offered intensive treatment protocols. These protocols, which can be delivered through an outpatient setting or a hospital, involve a multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and other medical staff who work together to support patients with diabetes.
During these protocols, people with diabetes are often prescribed medications to lower their blood sugar levels or encourage their bodies to produce more insulin.
Sometimes, they’re also encouraged to consume a specific diet. Intensive treatment protocols can also include psychological support. This can help people with diabetes manage their emotional costs as a result of their disease. It can also help them better understand the underlying causes of their blood sugar levels.
They’re Increasing Their Awareness Of Type 2 Diabetes
Another important change in the way doctors treat people with diabetes is increased recognition of the risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes often have other risk factors that increase their risk of cardiovascular disease.
For example, many people with type 2 diabetes are obese, and they may also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or sleep apnea. As a result, doctors may be more willing to intervene to treat these risk factors. They may, for example, encourage patients to lose weight, lower their blood pressure, and improve the quality of their sleep.
Doctors Are Encouraging Diet And Exercise Intervention
Doctors aren’t just focusing on lowering blood sugar levels. They’re also encouraging people with diabetes to adopt healthier lifestyles. Many physicians are now encouraging people to adopt a healthy diet. This can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improve overall health.
It can also help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, which are also risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Many physicians are also encouraging people with diabetes to adopt a healthy exercise regimen. This can help to lower blood pressure and improve overall health as well as reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Doctors In Europe Are Leading The Way With Artificial Intelligence
Another important trend in the way doctors treat diabetes is the use of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence, which is also known as AI, is a form of computing that enables machines to perform tasks that used to require human intelligence.
AI has the potential to revolutionize the way physicians manage their practices. It will allow doctors to sift through mountains of data and identify patterns that may not be immediately obvious to them.
What Are The Challenges?
There’s no denying that new tools and medications have made managing diabetes easier than ever before. At the same time, many of these changes have also brought with them a number of challenges.
For example, physicians are now treating certain risk factors that are linked to an increase in complications from type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes as well as the development of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease.
To Wrap It Up…
Using tools like artificial intelligence and more frequent blood sugar monitoring, doctors are doing more than ever to treat diabetes. They’re also taking a closer look at risk factors, encouraging diet and exercise interventions, and increasing their awareness of type 2 diabetes. That’s a lot to deal with, but it’s a manageable challenge when you consider that doctors are adapting to the changing landscape of diabetes treatment.