Diabetes prevention tips & resources for the Medicare patient

Known as one of the most prevalent conditions in the Medicare patient, diabetes does not have to beat you. Improving your quality of life is within your control, whether you have been diagnosed recently or have been living with this condition for some time. Understanding your diabetes and finding a community, and resources is easier than you think.

Types of Diabetes 

There is no one way of approaching or dealing with diabetes, as there are a few different types. Some common types of diabetes include: 

  • Type 2: This kind of diabetes, aka non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset, comes from the body’s inability to use insulin. 
  • Type 1: insulin-dependent or juvenile/childhood-onset, comes from a deficiency in insulin production. People need to take insulin daily, which comes with symptoms like excessive thirst, bathroom usage, hunger, and fatigue. 
  • Gestational diabetes– this type of diabetes happens during pregnancy when hyperglycemia with blood glucose is above what is considered normal. 

The impacts 

Complications from Diabetes can cause long-term damage to your overall well-being and body. Over time, chronic and acute complications from the two types of diabetes can add up if left untreated. You might even experience eye problems and issues with your eyesight and feet that can lead to nerve damage. This mainly occurs due to elevated blood glucose levels over time; hence the importance of monitoring blood glucose levels and ensuring levels stay within established limits. 

Prevention 

Diabetes prevention starts with making lifestyle changes. Even if you have prediabetes, you are still in time to make changes that will benefit you. 

  1. According to the American Diabetes Association, losing weight can reduce the risk of diabetes. 
  2. Regular physical activity.
  3. Eat more plants, and healthy fats, and maintain a balanced diet.
  4. Stop smoking.
  5. Monitor your blood glucose levels and talk to your physician about what are your goals throughout the day (remember blood glucose levels can vary throughout the day before and after eating and goals are based on the patient’s characteristics).

Diabetes & Medicare Coverage

Medicare offers an outstanding Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program as long as you follow the conditions noted on their website. You will not have to pay anything out of pocket if you are eligible. The program helps you change your lifestyle and behavior to prevent type 2 diabetes, such as six months of weekly group sessions. The sessions will teach you how to change your lifestyle, exercise, weight management, and form a community. 

In addition, here are some essential resources to save in your bookmarks!

Managing your diabetes is more than just managing your blood sugar. Prevention and the right resources can help you avert health complications. As a Medicare patient, you can count on full support from their Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, costs, reimbursements, and other excellent resources. 

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*This blog post was written by Ana M. Rivera, PharmD., Associate Director of Clinical Services at Abarca Health.

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