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Nurse practitioners (NPs) are leaders in educating and caring for patients with diabetes. Hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition that can affect anyone with diabetes who is treated with insulin preparations or oral insulin secretagogues. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), “Four in 5 people with Type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with Type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a four-week period.”
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a time when communities across the country bring attention to diabetes. This month, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) encourages you to review the various tools and resources available to NPs to strengthen and enhance your diabetes care. Once you’ve reviewed these materials, reflect on the important role you have in helping your patients meet their diabetes management goals safely. Finally, hone in on hypoglycemia to learn more about how you can help your patients avoid and treat this common and concerning condition. You are instrumental in the care of people with diabetes and hypoglycemia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “More than 133 million Americans are living with diabetes (37.3 million) or prediabetes (96 million).” In fact, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Regardless of whether a patient has Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, it is critical they work with their NP and other health care providers for consistent management of their condition to ensure their health and quality of life is optimized. That’s why NIDDK has declared the theme of its 2022 National Diabetes Awareness Month campaign “Diabetes Management: It Takes a Team,” placing patients at the center of a diabetes care team. You can continue to provide quality care for your patients and be a part of their diabetes care team by reviewing the National Diabetes Month 2022 Toolkit by NIDDK.
In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled. On top of that, more than 1 in 3 adults has prediabetes. Yet, more than 80% of those adults don’t even know they have prediabetes and are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. You can help turn the tide on this disconcerting trend by raising diabetes awareness in your community. Help overcome therapeutic inertia in Type 2 diabetes with this practice tool that offers effective strategies you can use to talk your patient through their wellness plan. Explore additional clinical resources on endocrinology from your NP organization.
Patients with diabetes may experience a wide variety of side effects that can affect their quality of life. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart, and it is linked to some types of cancer. In fact, diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations and adult blindness. In 2018, more than 1.87 million people with diabetes were hospitalized for major cardiovascular disease. The prevalence and severity of these comorbidities and conditions among people with diabetes can vary significantly depending on their ability to manage their diabetes and their diabetic care plan.
No two patients with diabetes are exactly alike. Help steer your patients through their diabetes care plan and make informed decisions by sharing this informative table on diabetic medications. Learn how to identify and treat diabetes related autonomic neuropathies and stay on the cutting edge of all things related to diabetes care and connect with your peers by joining the Endocrinology Specialty Practice Group, one of 28 AANP Communities.
In 2018, approximately 17 million adult emergency department visits were reported with diabetes as a listed diagnosis. Of these visits, 242,000 were for hypoglycemia, while 248,000 were for hyperglycemic crisis. Although hypoglycemia has a variety of causes and symptoms, patients with diabetes are at high risk for hypoglycemia if they:
AANP is here to help you and your patients prevent, prepare for and treat hypoglycemia. Share this helpful flipchart on controlling glucose levels, designed for your patients with Type 2 diabetes, and review this hypoglycemia tool with your patients to teach them how to prevent and treat low blood sugar. Remind them of the three vital strategies to successfully treat their hypoglycemia:
Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is also an excellent tool to monitor trends in glucose levels, identify developing hypoglycemia and often avoid hypoglycemia by addressing it before it becomes an issue. Continuous glucose monitoring systems provide alerts if certain predetermined hypo- or hyperglycemic thresholds are exceeded. Enroll in Updates in Real Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring Use for Nurse Practitioners to learn more about this useful and impactful technology.
Join AANP for this free webinar that takes a deep dive into hypoglycemia in diabetes. Kathryn Kreider and Debbie Hinnen, experts in diabetes care, discuss hypoglycemia prevention, preparation, identification and treatment in detail. Case studies will allow you to apply what you learn. Enroll in this webinar today.
Once you’ve completed the webinar, explore the AANP CE Center for more courses on endocrinology and diabetes care. many of which are available for free or at a discount for AANP members.