November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is a serious disease that affects your body’s ability to produce and use insulin adequately resulting in a build-up of glucose in the blood known as high blood sugar. Nearly 26 million Americans are currently living with a diabetes diagnosis. Of these approximately 813,000 live in Mississippi and Alabama.
There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed in children but can occur at any age. It limits insulin production but its causes are unknown. Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of diabetes cases. It has been linked to older age and family history, although it is increasingly being diagnosed in younger Americans.
While you cannot change your family history, knowing about it can give you the information you need to take action on the things you can change. If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, you can prevent or, at least, delay the onset of this disease by making important lifestyle changes such as eating healthier and increasing physical activity.
Visiting your primary healthcare provider for routine check-ups is also important. This allows your doctor to monitor your health and identify health issues before they become serious. Employees and their dependents covered by the Montgomery Enterprises Health insurance plan are eligible to receive one glucose screening each year at no cost to the member as part of the Healthy You! wellness benefit. Annual glucose screenings are available for high-risk individuals between the ages of 3 and 39 and for all other individuals beginning at age 40.
For covered employees or dependents that have already been diagnosed with diabetes, benefits are available to help you manage this disease such as annual diabetes self-management training, dilated eye exams and preventive routine foot care. Equipment and supplies for glucose monitoring and insulin administration are also covered under our plan.
By taking steps to prevent or effectively treat type 2 diabetes, you are also taking steps that can help lower your risk for other serious health problems such as stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and blindness. Feel free to contact me for information on the benefits available for diabetes prevention and treatment.
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”