In the News: What Doctors Say about Obesity and Guidelines for your Health

In July 2011, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists [en-doh-krih-NOL-uh-jists] (AACE) declared obesity as a disease state. The Association believes that, by stating obesity is a disease, better treatments will be developed to help the 34% of Americans who have obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of all Americans are obese, including 12.5 million children and teenagers, ages 2-19. Being obese means you have a body mass index over 30. Obesity is the second leading cause of death that can be prevented in the United States. Obesity costs the medical system around $147 billion dollars every year.


Guidelines for Your Health!

This just in: AACE has been hard at work developing management guidelines for a number of conditions. These include diabetes, hyperthyroidism [hye-per-THIGH-roi-diz-uhm], and acromegaly [a-kro-MEH-ga-lee]. Here’s what you need to know about these guidelines.

DIABETES CARE PLAN

In April 2011, AACE published guidelines for developing a comprehensive care plan for diabetes. These individual treatment plans are recommended and goals should be tailored to the patient based on how long they have had diabetes, what other diseases they have, how long they are expected to live, and how safe the treatment will be for them. The guidelines are written by leading diabetes experts. They answer a series of questions, which enables doctors and nurses to easily find the information they need. Many of the important topics are covered, including care for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, diabetes in children, teenagers, and pregnant women, and inpatient care. Use of newer technologies like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is also covered, as are less familiar topics such as sleep and breathing disturbances and depression.

HYPERTHYROIDISM AND OTHER CAUSES OF THYROTOXICOSIS [THIGH-RO-TOK-SI-KO-SIS]

In June 2011, AACE published new clinical guidelines for care of patients with hyperthyroidism, a condition when the thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormone than the body needs, which affects about 1% of Americans. The guidelines, developed jointly by AACE and the American Thyroid Association (ATA), include key updates, which involve the treatment of Graves’ disease. This condition, which may cause the eyes to bulge, is the most common form of hyperthyroidism. The guidelines also present new approaches to managing Graves’ eye disease; treating mild or early forms of hyperthyroidism; and preferred drugs for hyperthyroidism.

CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR THE DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF ACROMEGALY [A-KRO-MEH-GA-LEE]

In August 2011, AACE released updated guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acromegaly, a condition often associated with gigantism [jy-GAN-tizm]. This is the result of an overactive pituitary [pi-TOO-i-ter-ee] gland producing excess growth hormone. The new guidelines offer the latest treatments for acromegaly, and a pathway for doctors to follow when designing a treatment plan.

For more information about these news stories and guidelines, visit www.aace.com. Stay tuned!