Today's Medicine

World Diabetes Day: Advances in Treatment Ease Impacts of This Prevalent Condition

Published: Nov. 14, 2019

November is National Diabetes Month. Today, World Diabetes Day, gives us a chance to reflect on one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the world.

Diabetes is a condition that affects how the body uses energy. The goal of diabetes management is to keep blood sugars at levels that don’t damage the body and allow for healthy living. Having diabetes can be demanding, requiring constant attention to diet and exercise as well as taking medications, including injections, often many times each day. Diabetics and the people who love them are impacted by this lifelong condition.

Diabetes affects children as well as adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 30 million Americans (nearly one in 10) have a diagnosis of diabetes, with over 80 million (one in three) having prediabetes. The cost of diabetes runs in the billions of dollars, and individuals spend twice as much on their health when they have diabetes.

But there is good news! Recent advances in the understanding of the disease have led to new treatments:

  • Medications can now postpone or even prevent the need for insulin and treat the basic physiology of diabetes
  • There are new ways to monitor blood sugars, such as continuous glucose sensors that stay in the body and can give information via smartphone
  • New insulin pumps can communicate with a sensor to automatically deliver insulin based on real-time blood sugar information

And research is ongoing with the goals of making diabetes easier to manage and providing options that are more effective in preventing long-term complications.

The Methodist Center for Diabetes and Nutritional Health has been assisting people with diabetes for over 30 years. It has certified diabetes educators, nurses and dietitians to educate and help with all aspect of diabetes management. As an ADA-recognized program, the center meets national standards for quality services and is available to any person with diabetes needs.

More resources