American Diabetes Month® – Have You Reviewed Your Bloodwork?
Throughout November, the American Diabetes Association is on a mission to spread the word about the diabetes epidemic that is taking over our workplaces and communities. According to the ADA, 11.3% of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with diabetes and is at risk for diabetic complications. In addition, 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. adult population has prediabetes and is at risk for developing diabetes.
Routine physical exams with a primary care provider that include fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C tests are vital! The best practice is to ask your provider to order labs (including A1C) before your visit so you can review your current blood work results and historical trends during your visit with your provider.
If your provider mentions you have diabetes, take these 5 steps:
- First, talk with your provider about who will manage your care. Remember: You will impact this management the most!
- Talk with your pharmacist about your prescriptions (purpose, interactions, cost-saving opportunities, side effects, refill options).
- Get a referral and meet with a certified diabetes educator and/or registered dietitian annually. To ensure your medical plan covers this visit, call your insurance carrier or your Shepherd Insurance team for education eligibility.
- Find an in-network eye doctor and foot doctor and make an appointment.
- Talk to someone you trust to be your accountability partner. Reach out to your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for free mental health professional support.
If your provider mentions you have elevated blood sugar/blood glucose, take these 5 steps to prevent and/or delay the onset of diabetes.
- Compare your fasting plasma glucose and hemoglobin A1C lab results from previous years.
- Identify ways you feel confident you can make changes to decrease your risk of diabetes.
- Obtain knowledge about diabetes and speak to a health coach or join a diabetes prevention program to provide accountability, goal setting and partnership.
- Talk to someone you trust to be your accountability partner. Contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to speak to a mental health professional.
- Know the risk factors: Tobacco-use, obesity, high blood pressure, inactivity, poor nutrition and family history.
It is also important to stay in touch with your healthcare advocate team regularly. Not sure who is a part of your healthcare advocate team? Here are a few examples:
- Primary Care Provider/Doctor
- Diabetes Educator
- Eye Doctor (Ophthalmologist)
- Foot Doctor (Podiatrist)
The best medicine for the diabetes epidemic is action. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, have an increased risk for developing diabetes or are currently living without diabetes, it is important to work with your healthcare providers to determine lifestyle changes, big and small, that can help prevent or avoid diabetic complications.
While there is no cure for diabetes yet, the ADA wants to educate the world about its impacts. Get involved in educating those around you by viewing their resources here. In addition, you can reach out to our Population Health and Wellness Team at Shepherd Insurance if you are looking for more resources.