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The 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes Are Here!

Dec 15, 2017

Each year, I look forward to the annual release of the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes published by the American Diabetes Association. Well, the 2018 Standards have arrived! We are so fortunate to have such a body of work that is updated each year and puts the most recent evidence for diabetes care at our fingertips. As in past years, there are comprehensive reviews of all aspects of diabetes management, as well as an abridged version for primary care providers. Consider sharing this with providers with whom you work.

There are a couple of sections I jump to that are especially helpful to me. I start with the Summary of Revisions section, which highlights the recent changes. It gives a brief overview of each revision to the Standards. Then, I go to specific sections that have changed if I want more detail.

To no surprise, I next go to the section on lifestyle management. This section covers diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES), nutrition therapy, physical activity, smoking cessation, and psychological issues. I am pleased to see the first three references include:

Each of these documents warrants a separate review. There have been big changes in how, why and when we interact with a person with diabetes.

Each of the other sections in the standards provides valuable information for so many other aspects of our work. We have wonderful evidence to help a person with diabetes, including specific diagnostic criteria, medication management, lifestyle interventions, and prevention of complications. This also highlights that diabetes educators of all levels have much to offer. We need to get the word out about what we do and when we can best help a person with diabetes. We should be advocates for the specialty of diabetes education and for the people with diabetes with whom we work.

Consider sharing all or parts of the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes with your colleagues and referring providers to help them stay up-to-date and to reinforce the importance of DSMES for individuals with diabetes.

Tune in on January 25 for the 2018 ADA Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes live webinar to discuss changes and updates, as well as how diabetes educators can apply them.


Karen KemmisAbout the Author

Karen Kemmis is a physical therapist and certified diabetes educator, and also holds certifications in Pilates for rehabilitation and exercise for aging adults. She is based out of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY and splits her time between a Joslin Diabetes Center affiliate, an outpatient rehabilitation department, and a PT program where she is an adjunct professor.

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