Eileen B. Wyner, NP
Bulfinch Medical Group
This week is part two of my review of the revisions to the 2017 American Diabetes Association Standards of Care (click here to review Part 1). First, a quick reminder that these are guidelines; always discuss questions about your personal health care plan with your health care provider.
Section 6: Glycemic Targets
The International Hypoglycemia Study Group has recommended that serious, clinically significant hypoglycemia be defined as a reading of less than 54 mg/dL. People who have experienced such measurements need to notify their health care providers immediately and be prescribed a glucagon emergency kit.
Hypoglycemia measuring less than 70 mg/dL is still treated by the rule of 15: 15 grams of fast acting carbohydrate with a blood sugar check in 15 minutes for an expected increase by at least 15 points. Repeat the process if the result doesn’t improve.
Section 7: Obesity Management for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes
The best blood sugar results occur with weight loss early in the management of Type 2 Diabetes, before beta cells begin to stop working. For this reason, metabolic surgery (formerly referred to as bariatric surgery) is now recommended for people with a BMI of 30 (or 27.5 for Asians with poorly controlled diabetes).
Section 9: Cardiovascular Disease and Risk Management
Any of the medications for managing high blood pressure can be used (except for beta blockers) as long as the person doesn’t have protein in the urine (albuminuria). One or more medications should be used at bedtime to improve blood pressure control.
The goal for blood pressure for pregnant women is 120-160/80-105. When prescribing medications, providers should consider both maintaining the health of the mother and avoiding harm to the baby.
There is a discussion of new medications and the potential benefits for people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease: empagliflozin (Jardiance) and liraglutide (Victoza).
Section 10: Microvascular Complications and Foot Care
There is an increased risk for retinopathy in pregnant women with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. Thorough eye exams should be a part of preconception counseling as well as during pregnancy.
Anyone being treated for neuropathic pain should be evaluated for the addition of medication therapy with pregabalin (Lyrica) and duloxetine (Cymbalta). They should also be fitted for therapeutic footwear by a podiatrist.
Section 12: Children and Adolescents
Preconception counseling should begin in puberty to help to avoid the risk for birth defects in unplanned pregnancies.
When diabetic ketoacidosis appears in children, it is important to know if the child has Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes as 6% of these cases are actually Type 2 Diabetes, not Type 1.
Section 13: Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy
Insulin is the preferred treatment for pregnant women. Oral medications may harm the baby.
Targets for blood sugar are the same for gestational diabetes as for preexisting diabetes.
Section 14: Diabetes Care in the Hospital
It’s now recommended to use basal and/or basal bolus insulin regimes (instead of sliding scale insulin alone) when patients are admitted to the hospital.