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Diabetes Canada Guidelines 2018 - Physical Activity

>> Monday, May 14, 2018




There is a ton of great, new information in the 2018 Diabetes Canada Physical Activity guidelines chapter.  Here are some of the highlights:


1. Avoid prolonged sitting. Try to get up briefly every 20 to 30 minutes.  Bluntly put, this is because we now know that habitual, prolonged sitting is associated with an increase risk of death and major cardiovascular events (eg heart attack).

2. While it is still recommended to engage in 150 minutes per week of aerobic exercise and at least 2 sessions per week of resistance exercise if possible, it is now recognized that smaller amounts of activity still provides some health benefits. Something is better than nothing!

3.  Make use of strategies that increase motivation, such as setting specific physical activity goals, and using self monitoring tools (eg a pedometer that counts steps). (My editorial comment - some of these devices can also remind you to get up if you've been sitting for too long.)

4.  Medical clearance: It was previously recommended that anyone with diabetes who is about to begin a program more vigorous than walking should have medical clearance first.  This has been relaxed a little - now, this need for clearance is more focussed on middle aged and older people who wish to undertake prolonged or very vigorous exercise, and of course, anyone with symptoms suggestive of cardiovascular disease.

People with more advanced diabetic eye disease should be treated and stabilized before vigorous exercise, and people with severe diabetic nerve disease in their feet/legs should inspect their feet daily and wear appropriate footwear.   It is also recommended to ideally see a qualified exercise specialist before starting strength training (eg weights) to avoid injury.

5.  There is a great list of suggested strategies to help people with type 1 diabetes reduce the risk of lows with exercise.


Bonus Practical Stuff: 

Resources for people with diabetes: (scroll down to Exercise) - including info on how to plan and maintain physical activity, videos on resistance exercises, and more!

Resources for health care providers: under 'Management' - scroll down to 'Physical Activity and Diabetes' - tools including how to write an exercise prescription


Enjoy - and have fun!





Follow me on twitter! @drsuepedersen

www.drsue.ca © 2018







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New 2018 Diabetes Canada Guidelines - Nutrition Therapy

>> Monday, May 7, 2018





It's hard to know how to eat right - there is a lot of conflicting information out there, and unfortunately lots of claims that have no scientific backing nor evidence of long term success.
Eating well with diabetes is no exception.

Thankfully, we have the Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines to give us evidence based recommendations on healthy eating with diabetes.

The updated Nutrition Therapy chapter in the 2018 Guidelines contains a lot of great information.   I really encourage interested readers to snuggle up with a cuppa to read the whole chapter, but let's go through some of the key points here:

1.  Nutrition therapy can reduce hemoglobin A1C (the diabetes report card) by 1-2% (that's as much as 1-2 diabetes medications!)

2.  The proportion of carbs vs protein vs fat should be flexible within the recommended ranges, and will depend on individual treatment goals and preferences.

3.  Eating low glycemic index foods instead of high glycemic index foods helps to improve diabetes control.

NEW: Aim for a fibre intake of 30-50g per day, with 10-20g coming from soluble fibre, to improve blood sugars and cardiovascular risk.

4.  Added sugars should be MAXIMUM 10% of total daily caloric intake.

5.  Intensive health behaviour interventions in people with type 2 diabetes can improve weight, fitness, diabetes control, and cardiovascular risk factors.

6. NEW: People with diabetes should be encouraged to choose the dietary patterns that best align with their values, preferences, and treatment goals. (check out the new sections on ethnocultural diversity in Canada, and on Ramadan, as well!)


Here are some of my favourite Key Messages For People With Diabetes: 

1.  Try to prepare more of your meals at home, using fresh and unprocessed ingredients.

2.  Prepare meals together and eat as a family. This is a good way to model healthy food behaviours to kids and teens, which can help reduce their risk of developing overweight or diabetes.

3.  The best strategy is one that you can maintain long term.

4.  With prediabetes and newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, weight loss is the most important and effective dietary strategy if you have overweight or obesity.  A weight loss of 5-10% may help to normalize blood sugars.

5.  Diabetes friendly eating habits can improve blood sugars and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, including:

  • select whole foods instead of processed
  • avoid sugar sweetened beverages
  • pay attention to both carbohydrate quantity, and quality (low glycemic index instead of high)
  • considering learning how to count carbs
  • preferred dietary fats are unsaturated - maximum saturated fats has now been increased to 9% of total calorie intake (previously 7%) - and avoid trans fats completely
  • choose lean animal protein, and eat more vegetable protein


The data for many different diets/patterns of eating is reviewed, with many different types of diets being suggested for an improvement in type 2 diabetes control, including Mediterranean, vegetarian, and DASH diets, as well as diets that include pulses (eg beans), vegetables, fruits, and nuts.  The details of what is in these diets is provided in the chapter, and available data in type 1 diabetes is reviewed as well.  At the end of the day, the key is to choose a healthy way of eating that is in keeping with individual preferences, as this gives the greatest likelihood of being able to follow it long term.


Follow me on twitter! @drsuepedersen

www.drsue.ca © 2018






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New 2018 Diabetes Canada Guidelines - Weight Management

>> Monday, April 30, 2018




As an author of the Weight Management chapter of the new 2018 Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines, I'm thrilled to share with you some key points and exciting changes!

So what is new since the last guidelines in 2013?

1.  People first language.  We have made an important change in the entire 2018 Diabetes Canada guidelines in the way we talk about obesity.  Obesity is a diagnosis, and not a way to describe a person.  Thus, instead of the terminology 'overweight or obese people', the correct terminology is 'people with overweight or obesity'.  This is a critical step in breaking down the stigma against obesity!


2.  New information on medications for weight management in type 2 diabetes.  Liraglutide (Saxenda) is a new medication available for weight management in Canada since the last guidelines.

(note: Naltrexone/Bupropion (Contrave) is now approved in Canada as well, but this approval occurred after the literature reviews for the Guidelines were completed, so is not included in this iteration)

Medications for weight management have not been adequately studied in people with type 1 diabetes.


3.  Updates on bariatric surgery:

  • Gastric banding is not as effective as other bariatric procedures for type 2 diabetes control or remission.  
  • Predictors of who is more likely to enjoy type 2 diabetes remission after bariatric surgery include a shorter duration of diabetes, younger age, not needing insulin preoperatively, and higher preoperative serum C-peptide (a marker of insulin production). 
  • An update on the effect of bariatric surgery on complications of diabetes is discussed as well.
  • The BMI criteria for bariatric surgery remain unchanged.  Evidence of risk and outcomes of bariatric surgery for people with a BMI of 30-35 is limited and cannot be recommended at this time. 
  • Bariatric surgery has not been adequately studied in people with type 1 diabetes. 



KEY MESSAGES: 

1. Sustained weight loss of 5% or more can improve diabetes control and cardiovascular risk factors.

2.  In people with diabetes and obesity, weight loss and improvement in diabetes control can be achieved with healthy behaviour interventions.  Weight management medications can improve diabetes and metabolic control.

3.  Bariatric surgery may be considered appropriate for people with diabetes and obesity.

4.  When selecting the most appropriate diabetes medications, the effect on body weight should be considered.



KEY MESSAGES FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES: 

1. When you have diabetes, having overweight or obesity increases your risk for complications.

2.  Healthy behaviour modifications, including regular physical activity and eating well can help with your blood sugar control, and reduce your risk for other health problems associated with diabetes.

3.  Your diabetes health care team can help you with weight management.  For some people with diabetes, weight management medications and bariatric surgery may be helpful.



Follow me on twitter! @drsuepedersen


www.drsue.ca © 2018

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New 2018 Diabetes Canada Guidelines - Cardiovascular Protection

>> Tuesday, April 24, 2018





We know that reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with diabetes includes much more than just having good blood sugar control.

So what's new in the Cardiovascular Protection chapter of the Diabetes Canada Guidelines since the last Guidelines in 2013?  Well, as for every chapter, there are now...


KEY MESSAGES FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES: 

Ask your doctor about the ABCDEs to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke:

A = A1C - blood sugar control (the target is usually 7% or less)

B = BP - blood pressure control (less than 130/80)

C = Cholesterol - LDL cholesterol less than 2.0 mmol/L.  Your health care profider may advise you to start cholesterol lowering medication.

D - Drugs to protect your heart - these include blood pressure pills (ACE inhibitors or ARBs), cholesterol lowering medication ('statins'),  and in people with existing cardiovascular disease, certain blood glucose lowering medications, which can protect your heart even if your BP and/or LDL cholesterol are already at target

E = Exercise/Eating - Regular physical activity, healthy eating, and achievement and maintenance of a healthy body weight.

S = Stop smoking and manage stress.


The recommendations for ACE/ARB have loosened a little bit.  While it was recommended in 2013 that anyone over the age of 55 with diabetes should be on an ACE or ARB provided no contraindications, this recommendation has now been modified, as no studies have clearly demonstrated CV benefit for people with diabetes over 55 without any additional cardiovascular risk factors.  However, ACE/ARB is still recommended for:

  • anyone with clinical cardiovascular disease
  • anyone with microvascular complications
  • age 55 or older with an additional cardiovascular risk factor or organ damage (protein in the urine, retinopathy, left ventricular hypertrophy)
So, since most people with diabetes age 55 or older have at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor, the vast majority of people over age 55 will still be recommended to take an ACE or ARB.

As far as cholesterol medication goes, guidelines for treatment with statins are unchanged.  If LDL cholesterol goals (LDL of less than 2 mmol/L, or greater than 50% reduction from baseline) are not achieved, consideration for the addition of ezetimibe is recommended. In people with diabetes who also have cardiovascular disease, a PCSK9 inhibitor may be used.


And, as blogged last week, for people with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease, consideration should be given for using a glucose lowering medication that has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. 

Aspirin continues to be recommended for patients with established cardiovascular disease, at a dose now of 81-162mg daily (in line with the Canadian antiplatelet therapy guidelines). 

One of the Key Messages is also that there is emerging evidence that heart failure, even in the absence of a previous heart attack, is an important (and often unrecognized) complication of diabetes.  Health care professionals should be on the lookout for heart failure in their patients with diabetes.


Follow me on twitter! @drsuepedersen

www.drsue.ca © 2018


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2018 Diabetes Canada Guidelines - Medications for Type 2 Diabetes

>> Monday, April 16, 2018



It can seem daunting to consider that in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, there are now 9 classes of medications available that lower blood sugars (and several different medications within each of these classes).  Which medications to choose, and in which order, are driven by data surrounding efficacy, safety, and ability to prevent cardiovascular events (one of the major diabetes complications we are aiming to prevent).  Over the last few years, we have seen several diabetes medications emerge that reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, and with this information, we are seeing more of an algorithm emerge that guides clinicians on which order to consider these different medications.

The 2018 Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines Pharmacotherapy chapter now provides an algorithm that not only takes into account cardiovascular risk protection, but also prioritizes the diabetes medications that do not cause two unwanted side effects that are cause by some types of diabetes medications: weight gain, and low blood sugars (hypoglycemia).

This chapter is excellent, comprehensive, (necessarily) big and the list of key messages is long - I encourage patients to read the Key Messages for People With Diabetes, and clinicians to read the entire chapter, but here are some of the highlights:

1.  In people with type 2 diabetes with A1C less than 1.5% above the individual patient's target, glucose lowering medication should be added if targets are not reached with healthy lifestyle interventions within 3 months.

2.  In people with type 2 diabetes with A1C 1.5% or more above the patient's target, medication should be initiated concomitantly with healthy behavior interventions, and consideration could be given to initiating combination therapy with 2 medications.

(note that the old guidelines used an A1C of 8.5% as the cutoffs above. The new wording reflects that the A1C target, though usually 7% or less,  can be different from one person to the next - more on this here.)


3. Insulin should be started immediately if there is syptomatic hyperglycemia or metabolic decompensation.  In the absence of metabolic decompensation, metformin is still the first choice of medication in people with new type 2 diabetes.

4.  Target diabetes control should be achieved within 3-6 months.


5.  In people with cardiovascular disease in whom A1C targets are not achieved, a medication with cardiovascular benefit should be added to existing therapy: empagliflozin, liraglutide; or canagliflozin (with a lower grade and level of evidence for canagliflozin).

6.   In people without cardiovascular disease who are not at glycemic targets, DPP4 inhibitors, GLP1 receptor agonists, and/or SGLT2 inhibitors should be considered as add on medication over sulfonylureas, meglitinides, insulin and thiazolidinedones, if lower risk of hypoglycemia and/or weight gain are priorities. (Grade A, Level 1A evidence)

7.  In people who are on insulin who are not at blood sugar targets, adding a GLP1 receptor agonist, DPP4 inhibitor, or SGLT2 inhibitor may be considered before adding or intensifying mealtime insulin therapy, with less weight gain and comparable or lower hypoglycaemia risk.


8.  Newer basal insulins (degludec and U-300 glargine) may be considered over U-100 glargine to reduce overall and overnight hypoglycaemia.


This chapter now includes an excellent table (see table 1 here) that lists the effect of diabetes medications on A1C, weight, cardiovascular outcomes, and other therapeutic considerations as well.




Follow me on twitter! @drsuepedersen



www.drsue.ca © 2018



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A HEARTFELT WELCOME!

I am excited that you have arrived at my site, and I hope you are too - consider this the first step towards a Healthier New You!! As a medical doctor, Endocrinologist, and obesity specialist, I am absolutely passionate about helping people with weight management. Though there is certainly no magic cure for obesity, there IS a successful treatment plan out there for you - it is all about understanding the elements that contribute to your personal weight struggle, and then finding the treatment plan that suits your needs and your lifestyle. The way to finding your personal solution is to learn as much as you can about obesity: how our toxic environment has shaped us into an overweight society; the diversity of contributors to obesity; and what the treatment options out there are really all about. Knowledge Is Power!!


Are you ready to change your life? Let's begin our journey together, towards a healthier, happier you!!




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