In other words, it was possible for a clinically complex patient to still receive intense treatment, even though they might not benefit from it and it even might heighten their risk of severe hypoglycemia.
Strategies in Preventing the Dangers of Overtreating Diabetes
When a person has diabetes, it’s normal for healthcare providers to do their best to avoid undertreatment and manage hypoglycemia. However, Dr. McCoy emphasizes that overtreatment and hypoglycemia must also be addressed.
She said that one of the most important things that can be done to ensure proper care is to shift the focus from the disease to the person. This means that any treatment regimen should be aligned to the patient’s clinical situation and not just the disease.
For instance, why not consider “softening” the target HA1C levels?
Most treatment regimens – regardless of the patients’ situation – aim for HA1C levels of less than 7%. This is because that level seems to be beneficial in slowing down the progression of some diabetes complications.
However, there are pieces of evidence suggesting that the benefits it offers are just “modest’ at best. And sometimes, it even decreases the patient’s quality of life.
This is the reason why some doctors express the possibility of softening the target to about 7.9 to 8.4 %.
Communication with the Doctor is Crucial
Now that you know about the dangers of overtreating diabetes, it’s time to take a more pro-active role in managing your condition.
Don’t hesitate to have a long discussion with your doctor, especially if you are under the clinically complex patient category. Talk to them about how your treatment can consider factors such as your age, any physical disability, or your quality of life.
Learn more about Diabetes here.