Here at the American Diabetes Association, our mission is central to everything we do. We tailor our actions through this filter: preventing and curing diabetes while improving the lives of people affected by the disease.
We strive to be inclusive and address all types of diabetes, but it is also important to call out specific research for the people it can benefit. For example, the October 2015 edition of our journal Diabetes Care featured advances in type 1 diabetes research that we’re excited about—and we want to make sure you know about it!
You can read the full edition here, but here are the highlights.
Providing care in the school setting: A position statement
Appropriate care should be available to every student with diabetes. School nurses are an ideal choice for providing diabetes care during the school day, but they cannot always be available when the need arises. The Association recognizes this gap in care and advocates that other school staff (for example, teachers or volunteers) also be properly trained to provide diabetes care, such as giving insulin shots and dealing with low or high blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia). Our full position statement can be found here.
The Association further recommends that every student with diabetes have a Diabetes Medical Management Plan that details the specifics of that student’s diabetes management needs throughout the school day and during all school-sponsored activities, including how and how often to monitor blood glucose levels; insulin dosages; when and what kind of meals and snacks to give; procedures for what to do during school lock-downs and a breakdown of roles and responsibilities for parents, schools and students.
The three stages of type 1 diabetes: A scientific statement
The way diabetes affects the body can change over time. Now we know that type 1 diabetes progresses through a series of stages in a predictable manner. Understanding and providing standardized definitions for those stages can help researchers better design clinical studies and develop more tailored treatments for the disease. Taking this progression into account, the Association has developed a joint scientific statement, along with JDRF and the Endocrine Society, that outlines these stages, identified through the analysis of a series of prospective, longitudinal studies of people at risk for the disease.
The first stage—beta cell autoimmunity—occurs without any symptoms. The second stage—glucose intolerance—develops over the course of months or even decades. The final, third stage of type 1 diabetes occurs when symptoms finally appear. The full type 1 staging text can be found here.
Differences in type 1 in children versus adults: A consensus report
As children’s bodies and health are different from adults’, it makes sense that diabetes would affect them differently. A growing body of research shows that type 1 diabetes behaves more aggressively in children than it does in adults. A consensus report published by the Association highlights what is now known about important differences in how the disease affects certain age groups and discusses the need to design studies and develop regulatory pathways for medications that account for these differences. Read the full consensus report here.
To read the Association’s full October 2015 edition of Diabetes Care featuring advances in type 1 diabetes research, please click here.