This Year in Diabetes
It is undoubtedly true that every year brings about changes; for diabetics, each passing year increasingly brings with it more developments and research than any one person can reasonably keep up with. While the day-to-day issues of making sure that you have accu-chek aviva test strips, or true track strips to test your blood glucose levels, or a sufficient syringe supply to administer insulin, or the insulin pump supplies you need can leave little enthusiasm for new developments in treatment and technology, it’s important to remember that diabetes is a growing disease in the world, and that each year brings researchers closer to a complete and total understanding of all of the forms of diabetes—understanding that may lead to not only improved treatments, but also outright cures. This year, 2013, has been marked by advances that may seem small, but can have a major impact on the lives of diabetics everywhere.
One of the major concerns facing diabetics as part of their overall health is the issue of cholesterol. While high levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol can be troublesome for everyone, diabetics are particularly susceptible to problems stemming from cholesterol. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have sparked a debate in their release of updated cholesterol guidelines. The most significant changes for physicians involve stopping two long-held practices: using specific targets for patients’ levels of LDL cholesterol, and prescribing additional nonstatin drugs to address heart risk. While these may not seem to be changes that have a huge impact, the way that physicians understand the effects of cholesterol on cardiovascular health is a huge paradigm. It’s relatively easy to grasp the fundamentals of measuring blood sugar—and every diabetic uses a range of products from true track strips to accu chek aviva test strips to keep track of that number; cholesterol is something that’s slightly more open to debate, however.
Another major finding this year is that diabetes is particularly problematic in teens. More teens than ever are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a trend that is considered the “most disturbing and worrisome aspect of the current diabetes epidemic,” according to the Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Care, William T Cefalu, MD. Not only are more and more teens being diagnosed every year, but medications that adults with diabetes can take for granted are not always approved for them, and the best way to approach treatment isn’t decided. While adults can count on being able to administer insulin, purchasing insulin pump supplies or a syringe supply for their medication needs, teens’ parents and doctors may not have a good idea of the best way to treat.
Finally, research made a very big move toward the development of an artificial pancreas. This particular innovation is one that has fascinated diabetics and researchers for decades—the idea of being able to replace a poorly-functioning pancreas with a mechanical one that manages blood sugar without patients having to administer their own insulin—no more need of maintaining a syringe supply, or purchasing insulin pump supplies, and very little reliance on test kit materials such as accu chek aviva test strips or true track strips, since the system would monitor blood sugar as well as administering insulin. A company has seen promising results in terms of lower night time hypoglycemia rates. The promising trial is, of course, one step in the process, but it is closer than diabetics have ever been.