'Guiding Principles' for diabetes outline key areas of concern

A new set of principles regarding diabetes care have been released by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), which may help in the prevention and management of the disease.

"Guiding Principles for the Care of People With or at Risk for Diabetes" aims to assist in identification and management of the disease, self-management support for patients, exercise knowledge and blood sugar control, among other topics.

According to a press release from the National Institutes of Health, more than 12 federal agencies and professional organizations supported the new guidelines.

“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 10 principles

The principles are explored in further detail on the NDEP's website, but they cover the following areas:

  1. Identification of people with undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes
  2. Management of prediabetes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes
  3. Self-management education and support
  4. Individualized nutrition therapy
  5. Regular physical activity
  6. Blood glucose control
  7. Blood pressure and cholesterol screening, as well as smoking cessation
  8. Regular assessments to detect complications
  9. Considering the needs of special populations (like children and women of childbearing age)
  10. Patient-centered diabetes care

According to Judith Fradkin, M.D., director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the NIH, the Guiding Principles can help to steer both practitioners and patients in the right direction when it comes to care – from early detection and prevention to ongoing disease management.

“There are a lot of diabetes guidelines out there, and practitioners and patients can get confused about which they should follow,” Fradkin said. “With these Guiding Principles, we aren’t creating new guidelines, but clarifying where there is general agreement across myriad diabetes guidelines. Guiding Principles represents a set of sound practices. Our goal in developing this resource is to help clinicians help their patients with diabetes.”

Source: NIH

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