Diabetes Treatment and Care Standards

Modern diabetes treatment, woman checking glucose level and dosing insulin with insulin pump before her healthy breakfast.

38.4 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the United States. The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. has increased in recent years, and the disease is now a major health issue. Diabetes is now the 8th leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 3% of all deaths. Standards pertaining to diabetes establish requirements for components of diabetes care, general treatment goals and guidelines, and tools to evaluate quality of care—with the overall goal to provide aid to those that are prediabetic and diabetic with the best possible care.

ADA Standards of Care

Based on the latest scientific research and clinical trials, the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA’s) Standards of Care in Diabetes detail a set of comprehensive and evidence-based guidelines for managing type 1, type 2, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes. Strategies for diagnosing and treating diabetes in youth and adults are also included. Specifically, ADA Standards of Care provide methods to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and its associated comorbidities like cardiovascular disease (CVD) and obesity; it establishes therapeutic approaches aimed at minimizing complications and enhancing health outcomes.

ADA Standards are intended to provide clinicians, researchers, policy makers, and other individuals with the components of diabetes care, general treatment goals, and tools to evaluate the quality of care.

ADA Standards of Care 2023 and 2024

The ADA Standards of Care in Diabetes is updated and published annually.

Notable updates in the ADA Standards of Care 2023 include new recommendations related to sleep health and physical activity in people with diabetes and emphasis on supporting higher weight loss (up to 15%). For the ADA Standards of Care 2024, there are updates in managing obesity in people with diabetes (e.g., approaches to reduce therapeutic inertia and additional obesity measurements); new screening recommendations for heart failure in people with diabetes; a focus on hypoglycemia prevention and management; and a new emphasis on the evaluation and treatment of bone heath.

Each version of ADA Standards of Care from 2023, 2024, and more aim to advance diabetes care through new scientific insights and technological innovation. Each advancement of ADA Standards of Care help both those with diabetes and health care professionals to manage this complex condition.

Understanding Diabetes: What Is Insulin?

When you eat, the majority of food is broken down into sugars (glucose) that circulate in your bloodstream. This increase in blood sugar causes the pancreas (a gland in the abdomen that produces insulin and is part of the digestive and endocrine systems) to release insulin—a hormone so vital that you cannot live without it—into the blood.

Acting like a key, insulin lets the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy. In other words, insulin regulates blood sugar by helping glucose enter cells to be used for energy. Insulin also signals to your liver to store extra blood sugar as energy for later, and if you have not eaten recently, your liver releases stored blood sugar so energy is always available. Your blood sugar returns to a normal range after your body regulates its blood glucose levels, such as after eating.

Keto food for ketogenic diet, healthy nutritional food eating lifestyle for good heart health with high protein, fat, low-carb to prevent heart disease and diabetes illness control.

What Is Diabetes?

With diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin or cannot use it as well as it should. When there is not enough insulin, cells stop responding to insulin, becoming insulin resistant. As a result, the pancreas keeps pumping out high levels of insulin to try to get more blood sugar into your cells, but eventually, the pancreas cannot keep up and blood sugar keeps rising. This means that too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream.

High blood sugar is damaging to the body, so your body keeps trying to remove excess blood sugars. It stores extra sugar in your liver and muscles. When they are full, the liver sends the remaining sugar to be stored as body fat, causing weight gain. Insulin resistance sets the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Over time, this can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

In conclusion, diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use it properly, causing high blood sugar levels, also known as hyperglycemia. 

Standards Pertaining to Diabetes

There are multiple voluntary consensus standards regarding diabetes care and treatment, such as:

  • ISO 15197:2013— In Vitro Diagnostic Test Systems – Requirements For Blood-Glucose Monitoring Systems For Self-Testing In Managing Diabetes Mellitus
  • CSA ISO 15197-15 (2020)— In Vitro Diagnostic Test Systems – Requirements For Blood-Glucose Monitoring Systems For Self-Testing In Managing Diabetes Mellitus (Adopted ISO 15197:2013, Second Edition, 2013-05-15)
  • IEEE 2621.1-2022— IEEE Standard For Wireless Diabetes Device Security Assurance Evaluation: Connected Electronic Product Security Evaluation Programs
  • IEEE 2621.2-2022— IEEE Standard For Wireless Diabetes Device Security: Information Security Requirements For Connected Diabetes Solutions
  • IEEE 2621.3-2022— IEEE Recommended Practice For Wireless Diabetes Device Security: Use Of Mobile Devices In Diabetes Control Contexts
  • ISO/IEEE 11073-10419:2019— Health Informatics – Personal Health Device Communication – Part 10419: Device Specialization – Insulin Pump

Although there is not a cure yet for diabetes, losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can drastically help. The above standards also help in standardizing specifications for testing glucose as well as standardizing devices, such as insulin pumps, that help people with diabetes keep their blood sugars in a target range. These standards help promote education in diabetes that drastically improve clinical outcomes and quality of life.

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