"Interventions designed to impact an individual's physical activity levels and food intake are critical parts of type 2 diabetes management," say new guidelines that call for a more patient-centered approach to managing type 2 diabetes. Such an approach, according to the guidelines, allows for individual patient needs, preferences, and tolerances, and takes into account differences in age and disease progression.
The guidelines, which are less prescriptive than the previous ones, recommend providing all patients with diabetes education—in an individual or group setting—focusing on dietary intervention and the importance of increased physical activity, in addition to weight management, when appropriate. They encourage developing individualized treatment plans built around a patient's specific symptoms, comorbidities, age, weight, racial/ethnic/gender differences, and lifestyles.
Developed jointly by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), the guidelines are being published concurrently in Diabetes Care and EASD's journal Diabetologia. The need for a joint task force to review and revise the guidelines was driven by the "increasingly complex and to some extent controversial" nature of glycemic management for type 2 diabetes, the "widening array of pharmacological agents now available, mounting concerns about their potential adverse effects, and new uncertainties regarding the benefits of intensive glycemic control on macrovascular complications," says the ADA.