Letters to the Editor

Management of Diabetes Should Be a Team Approach

Am Fam Physician. 2007 Apr 1;75(7):979.

to the editor: The article, “Tight Control of Type 1 Diabetes: Recommendations for Patients,”1 provided a nice basic discussion of type 1 diabetes; however, it only made one statement, in passing, about certified diabetes educators. This was a striking omission.

Frankly, it is absurd to expect this complex and burdensome disease to be managed by only the physician and the patient. As a board-certified endocrinologist, physician nutrition specialist, and certified diabetes educator providing care for patients with types 1 and 2 diabetes over the past 22 years, I understand the fundamental need for an ongoing, interdisciplinary approach to this disease. Education regarding self-management of diabetes provided by certified diabetes educators is strongly endorsed by all expert organizations (e.g., American Diabetes Association,2 American College of Endocrinology, the Endocrine Society). Physicians alone, regardless of their specialty, cannot be expected to provide adequate instructions in such areas as carbohydrate counting, proper insulin injection technique, or insulin dose adjustment.

I urge physicians who care for patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to routinely utilize the expertise of certified diabetes educators. To find educators in a specific community, physicians and patients can visit the online resource for the American Association of Diabetes Educators at http://www.diabeteseducator.org.

Author disclosure: Dr. Weiss is on the speakers' bureau for Amylin Pharmaceuticals.

REFERENCES

1. Havas S, Donner T. Tight control of type 1 diabetes: recommendations for patients. Am Fam Physician. 2006;74:971–8.

2. American Diabetes Association. Third-party reimbursement for diabetes care, self-management education, and supplies. Diabetes Care. 2006;29(suppl 1):S68–9.

Send letters to Kenneth W. Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online, e-mail: afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680.

Please include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.

Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the American Academy of Family Physicians permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.


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