This November, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is marking American Diabetes Month with an "Everyday Reality" campaign, educating those with and without diabetes, breaking down stereotypes, and correcting myths about the condition.
One myth about diabetes is that it isn't a serious disease. The ADA counters that diabetes must be taken quite seriously, as it can have devastating consequences - in fact, it causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Managing diabetes can reduce risks for complications, and standards are in place that support doctor's treatment plans.
All diabetics need to keep a close watch on their blood glucose levels to prevent damage to their organs. ISO 15197:2013, In vitro diagnostic test systems - Requirements for blood-glucose monitoring systems for self-testing in managing diabetes mellitus, outlines the performance requirements for self-testing blood glucose monitoring systems, assuring that the tests diabetics conduct at home are accurate and reliable. This standard was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)'s Technical Committee (TC) 212, Clinical laboratory testing and in vitro diagnostic test systems. The U.S. holds the secretariat of this TC, with the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) as secretariat. CSLI, an organizational member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), is also the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to TC 212. ANSI is the U.S. member body to ISO.
Another common myth is that diabetics who are prescribed insulin are failing to manage their condition properly through diet and exercise. The ADA explains that diabetes is a progressive disease, so even the most carefully managed cases may require injected insulin over time as the body gradually produces less and less of its own insulin. Another ISO standard provides specific requirements and test methods for syringes used to inject insulin. ISO 8537:2016, Sterile single-use syringes, with or without needle, for insulin, covers empty plastic syringes intended for the injection of insulin by the end user. This standard was developed by ISO TC 84, Devices for administration of medicinal products and intravascular catheters. The ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator for this TC is the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer.
If you have a friend with diabetes coming over for dinner, you may think you need to prepare foods specially marketed for diabetics. On the contrary, the ADA states that a healthy meal plan for someone with diabetes is generally the same as anyone's healthy diet: plenty of lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and fruit; low in saturated fat; and moderate in salt and sugar. ANSI member and accredited standards developer the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has published numerous standards that help bring healthy foods from the fields to your table, from whole grains with S343.4 JUN2015, Terminology for Combines and Grain Harvesting, to vegetables with ANSI/ASAE S515 JAN1993 (R2017), Pallet Load Transfer System for Vegetable Harvesters, Shuttle Vehicles, and Road Trucks.
Check out the ADA's American Diabetes Month campaign materials to shatter more myths about diabetes, a serious and highly prevalent disease that can be managed safely with the help of standards.