NEW YORK ? The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) has enlisted a fitness coach and TV personality for a new campaign aimed at challenging patients with type 2 diabetes to get their blood sugar under control.
NEW YORK, June 7 ? By putting a positive spin on glucose control, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) hopes to get more patients with type 2 diabetes motivated to get their glycosylated hemoglobin in shape.
In response to findings that two out of three patients with type 2 diabetes do not have control over their serum glucose, the AACE, in partnership with life and fitness coach Bob Harper (as seen on NBC's "reality" show The Biggest Loser), has announced a public education campaign called "Diabetes and You: Step it Up to Get it Down."
The program centers on a 6.5-step fitness program and motivational plan. The fitness program emphasizes the goal of getting HbA1C levels down to 6.5% or less.
The 6.5% target was established by the AACE in the last iteration of its diabetes clinical guidelines, which have been recently revised and are scheduled for publication later this year, The American Diabetes Association calls for HbA1C levels of less than 7.0%.
The AACE released in 2005 results of a study analyzing glucose levels in more than 157,000 patients with type 2 diabetes. They found that HbA1c levels in two out of every three patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were above the 6.5% target. Hence, the campaign to get patients to bring HbA1c levels down by stepping up their physical activity.
"'Diabetes and You: Step it Up to Bring it Down' is a unique program because it brings together experts from various practices to tackle the problem on unmanaged diabetes using tools of nutrition, fitness, medication, motivation, and emotional support, and the key tool here in this program is motivation," said Fred A. Williams, Jr., M.D., of Harve de Grace, Md., national chairman of the public and media relations committee of the AACE, in a briefing.
The program, funded by GlaxoSmithKline, is designed to get patients both active and actively involved in the management of their disease.
"The patient is the professor of his own disease," said Paul S. Jellinger, M.D., of Hollywppd, Fla., a past president of the AACE. "Diabetes, more than almost any other disease, depends greatly on the actions of the patient to manage the disease and reduce the risk of long-term complications."
The AACE calls the "6.5 Steps Toward Better Blood Sugar Control" component of the program the centerpiece of the campaign. In the campaign literature, patients with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to:
1. Be honest with yourself. Diabetes can be tough, but it doesn't have to control you.
2. Think about your reasons for living a healthier life and feeling better. Always keep them in mind.
3. Team up with your doctor or other healthcare professional to make a plan. This plan may include taking one or more medicines. You are in this together with the same goals.
4. Make healthy eating and regular physical activity part of your life.
5. Check your blood sugar as often as your doctor tells you and know your HbA1C number.
6. No quitting. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never give up!"
Step 6.5, the half step, is a reminder to patients that "Getting started is half the battle."