I hope this month’s column finds you embracing the year ahead, with all its opportunities. From a healthcare standpoint, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of good health and how it impacts every other aspect of your life. As a healthcare educator, I encourage everyone to take advantage of their health insurances’ coverage of preventative care: diabetes screenings, flu vaccines, depression screenings and basic blood work. Prevention is key to a healthy lifestyle.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the number of persons with diabetes continues to climb. As of 2015, there were approximately 30.3 million Americans with diabetes. In addition, there were an additional 84.1 million Americans with prediabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are another 7.2 million people with undiagnosed diabetes. Left untreated/ undiagnosed, diabetes puts a person at higher risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney dysfunction, and nontraumatic amputations due to infections and poor circulation.
The ADA publishes the annual Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, which serves as the global standard for diabetes care. The publication helps to ensure persons with diabetes receive personalized care; thus, improving patient lifestyles, health outcomes and overall quality of life.
The 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes contains recommendations that focused on some preventive elements of diabetes. A few examples are as follows:
Routine screening for overweight youth with one or more additional risk factors
At-home blood pressure monitoring for patients with diagnosed hypertension
Discussion regarding the use of low carbohydrate diets in persons with diabetes
Information on the Diabetes Prevention Program.
Recommendations including technology-based methods, along with individual and group settings, for the delivery of effective diabetes self-management education and support.
Screening guidance regarding social issues such as financial ability to afford medication; access to healthy foods and food insecurity; and community support for persons with diabetes.
As discussed previously, we have an opportunity to positively impact our health with simple lifestyle changes in many cases. Increasing our physical activity, monitoring our dietary intake, reducing our stress levels, and stopping smoking are lifestyle choices we can control. The 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes further supports proactive choices in our health care. By working with your healthcare providers, you can lower your risk of chronic disease and improve your overall health and well-being.
For more information on the 2018 Standards of Care-> http://www.diabetes.org/newsroom/press-releases/2017/american-diabetes-association-2018-release-standards-of-medical-care-in-diabetes.html
References: American Diabetes Association: www.diabetes.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov