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Blue Cross shares tricks to decrease dangers, hold blood sugar in a wholesome vary | Way of life

 Do you know roughly one in eight Louisianians resides with diabetes? The state has one of many highest charges of diabetes nationwide, and this long-term situation is among the many main causes of demise in Louisiana.

In recognition of Diabetes Consciousness Month, Blue Cross and Blue Defend of Louisiana encourages Louisianians to speak with their healthcare suppliers and pay attention to their dangers. Be taught extra about diabetes and preventive steps you’ll be able to take on this animated video (1:07).

Diabetes is a situation the place somebody’s physique both can’t make sufficient or can’t correctly use a hormone referred to as insulin that regulates blood sugar. This causes blood sugar ranges to extend within the physique, which may result in severe well being points if not addressed. Individuals residing with diabetes are at the next threat for well being points affecting their eyes and imaginative and prescient, ft or limbs, kidneys and nerves. They’re additionally at larger threat for strokes and heart problems. 

“Diabetes is quite common, and there are lots of different people who find themselves pre-diabetic and don’t understand it  – that may silently trigger injury to eyes and kidneys earlier than you’ve even been identified,” stated Dr. Dee Barfield, Blue Cross senior medical director and vice chairman of medical administration. “That’s why it’s so vital to have at the least one checkup a 12 months along with your main care supplier. You may go over your well being and household historical past, test in your blood sugar ranges and pay attention to any threat components for diabetes you may have.”

The excellent news is that way of life modifications like consuming a nutritious diet, limiting sugary or processed meals, quitting or avoiding smoking and frequently doing mild workouts like strolling for 20 minutes a day are very efficient at protecting blood sugar ranges in test, Dr. Barfield added. “Adopting these habits will help you keep on high of diabetes and handle your blood sugar,” she stated. “And, for people who find themselves pre-diabetic, making these modifications can usually stop growing full diabetes.”

Louisianians can see their well being care suppliers to have their blood sugar ranges checked and get a therapy plan for way of life modifications and drugs, if wanted. “In case your supplier prescribes remedy for diabetes, it’s crucial that you simply take it precisely as directed,” Dr. Barfield stated. “This helps you keep wholesome blood sugar ranges and forestall additional points. You probably have hassle taking a medicine due to uncomfortable side effects, prices or another causes, let your well being care supplier or pharmacist know and ask them about different choices.”

Blue Cross members who’ve diabetes can get well being teaching – for gratis! – from the insurer’s scientific crew of nurses, dietitians and social staff. Well being coaches supply customized suggestions, academic supplies and help for sticking to therapy plans. Go to www.bcbsla.com/Stronger to attach with a Blue Cross well being coach or study extra about Care Administration packages and providers.

Individuals with diabetes have the next threat for gum illness (gingivitis) that may advance to extra severe dental circumstances, reminiscent of periodontitis, if not handled. Oral infections can contribute to a number of well being issues, so it’s good for diabetic sufferers to have common checkups with a dentist, Dr. Barfield stated.

“We’ve additionally seen COVID-19 infections having a larger influence in folks with diabetes,” Dr. Barfield stated. “If you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic, it’s crucial that you simply get the COVID-19 vaccine in case you have not already. The vaccines are protected and really efficient at stopping demise, hospitalization and extreme sickness from COVID-19.”

COVID-19 vaccines can be found to Louisianians ages 5 and older. Blue Cross covers the COVID-19 vaccine at $0 out of pocket for all eligible members of particular person and employer well being plans. Eligible members of Medicare and Medicaid plans or uninsured sufferers can also get a COVID-19 booster vaccine for gratis. This no-cost protection is required by the Coronavirus Help, Aid and Financial Safety (CARES) Act. You probably have questions on vaccine protection in your well being plan, contact Buyer Service on the quantity in your member ID card.

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