Nearly half of people with type 2 diabetes say they live with acute and chronic pain, and about a quarter have nerve damage, fatigue, and depression. A new study suggests that palliative care should be a normal part of diabetes management.
"Adults living with type 2 diabetes are suffering from incredibly high rates of pain and nonpain symptoms, at levels similar to patients living with cancer," says lead study author Rebecca Sudore, M.D., at the University of California, San Francisco. "Our results highlight the need to expand diabetes management to also include the palliative care model."
Palliative care is commonly used in the treatment of cancer, heart failure, and kidney failure. It relieves symptoms of a disease without offering a cure, and is meant to improve a person's quality of life.
In this study, Dr. Sudore and her team looked at more than 13,000 adults with type 2 diabetes, ages 30 to 75.
Related Video: Type 2 Wake-up Call
When the risk of blindness, emergency intervention, and serious nerve damage becomes a reality, most Type 2 diabetics hear a wake-up call and respond with action.
Indications and Usage for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)
Prescription Lantus® is a long-acting insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. It should be taken once a day at the same time each day to lower blood glucose.
Do not use Lantus® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.
Important Safety Information for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)
Do not take Lantus® if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus®.
You must test your blood sugar levels while using insulin, such as Lantus®. Do not make any changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your healthcare provider. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.
Do NOT dilute or mix Lantus® with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Lantus® must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible. Do not share needles, insulin pens or syringes with others.
The most common side effect of insulin, including Lantus®, is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may be serious. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision. Severe hypoglycemia may be serious and life threatening. It may cause harm to your heart or brain. Other possible side effects may include injection site reactions, including changes in fat tissue at the injection site, and allergic reactions, including itching and rash. In rare cases, some allergic reactions may be life threatening.
Tell your doctor about other medicines and supplements you are taking because they can change the way insulin works. Before starting Lantus®, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including if you have liver or kidney problems, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.
Lantus® SoloSTAR® is a disposable prefilled insulin pen. Please talk to your healthcare provider about proper injection technique and follow instructions in the Instruction Leaflet that accompanies the pen.
Please click here or the link below for the full prescribing information for Lantus®
They found that in addition to chronic pain, fatigue, and depression, people with diabetes suffered from sleeplessness, physical or emotional disabilities, shortness of breath, nausea, and constipation. Nearly a quarter said they had symptoms of neuropathy, which includes tingling or numbness in the hands, legs, or feet.
The symptoms occurred among people of all ages, but were more common toward the end of life.
Andrew Karter, Ph.D., at Kaiser Permanente, said the results should serve as a wake-up call.
Need for palliative care
"Clinicians cannot wait until the latest stages of diabetes to focus on these patient-reported outcomes," Dr. Karter says. "Instead, they should consider early palliative care as part of standard chronic disease management."
According to the CDC, nearly 26 million Americans - or more than 8 percent of the U.S. population - have diabetes. Most suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. People with type 2 diabetes either don't produce enough or can't properly use insulin, a hormone needed to convert food into energy. Over time, the damage caused by type 2 diabetes can lead to serious illness and death.
The study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.