Important Lifestyle Modifications, Non-Pharmacologic Options for Patients with Diabetes

Lifestyle modifications are the cornerstone of treatment.

Pharmacy Times spoke with Susan Cornell, PharmD, Associate Director, OEE at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy, about her session at McKesson ideaShare 2022, titled "Diabetes Updates, Guidelines, and Trends."

Cornell: Absolutely, you know, lifestyle is the cornerstone of treatment. And oftentimes as patients, you know, people believe, “Oh, there's a pill, I'll take the pill and then everything's fixed.” That's not the case when it comes to diabetes and cardiovascular, you know, it really revolves around a lifestyle and drugs are always added to the lifestyle. So I think it's very important. Once again, pharmacists, when we're talking with the patient, counseling them, especially a new meds, or refills to reinforce the lifestyle modification that needs to come with this, in so supporting the fact of not eating large meals, eating smaller frequent meals. If you are going to eat a large meal, breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day, with dinner being the smallest. You want to go with our body's natural bio rhythms and our natural physiology. So our metabolism is highest in the morning, you get up you're ready to go. Whatever you eat in the morning digests really fast. But as the day goes on, your metabolism slows your digestion slows. So you want to match your meals with your metabolism. And again, these are simple things pharmacists can talk to patients, you know, they're picking up their SGLT-2 inhibitors or their GLP-1 injectable, and as the pharmacist counseling, making sure the patient understands how to use the device, how to take the drug, you know, to get the best effects with the least amount of side effects. They can say, “Oh, well, you know, let's talk about lifestyle.” So again, there’s an opportunity there because without lifestyle, diabetes cannot be managed.