Guest blogger: Karen R.. Compliance, Quality and Clinical Program Specialist
To kickoff National Diabetes Month, we addressed the types and risk factors of diabetes—including type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes can affect anyone at any age, and often develops slowly. At first, symptoms may not be present—increasing as the condition progresses, especially if not controlled.
Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed during routine medical examinations or tests for other conditions.
Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive hunger or thirst
- Blurred vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain, numbness or tingling in hands and/or feet
Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing the more severe complications such as:
- Heart damage
- Peripheral neuropathy due to damage to nervous and vascular system
- Vision loss or damage to the eyes
Managing Type 2 Diabetes
There are some key factors involved in monitoring diabetes. Below are some important steps you can take to effectively manage your condition.
- See your doctor regularly. Regular visits to your doctor are essential in treating and managing diabetes. At each visit, your glucose levels will be closely monitored. In addition, your doctor will test your A1C. This test measures a person’s average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months.
- Self-monitor glucose levels. Consult your doctor to determine whether you need to check your blood glucose levels regularly. If needed, your doctor may advise you to obtain a glucose-testing meter. Discuss how often you should track and report your results. This will aid in establishing a care plan that works for you.
- Follow guidelines for measuring glucose and A1C levels. If you are a younger patient with a long life expectancy and no history of heart disease, your doctor may recommend keeping your A1C levels between 6 and 6.5 percent. If you are older and at risk for low blood sugar hypoglycemia, you may be told to keep your A1C levels between 7.5 and 8 percent. Guidelines that are more recent also encourage weight loss and exercise as factors in managing blood sugar levels.
Read our ‘Learn How to Manage Diabetes’ post for more tips.
If you have a family history of diabetes, be sure to discuss what tests you should have done and how frequently you should get them. If you are a Compass Rose Health Plan member and diagnosed with diabetes, those who qualify can get help and support from our free Care Management program. A nurse coach will help you learn about your condition, provide helpful information for day-to-day management and support you through the learning and managing process. To find out if you qualify, call UMR at (888) 438-9135.