Diabetes affects millions of American and chances are you or someone you know has diabetes. Since diabetes causes poor circulation, your body needs extra care and treatment. Take an active role in your health and work with your doctor to manage your blood sugar and prevent complications such as heart disease, stroke, eye or kidney disease.
Diabetes care is a lifelong responsibility
At Providence Health Plan, we recommend the following tests and treatments for our members with diabetes.
- Know your numbers and keep your diabetes on track.
- HbA1C (glycosylated hemoglobin) - Goal: less than 7 percent (checked at least 2x/year)
- Cholesterol - Goal: LDL ("bad") less than 100mg/dL (checked at least 1x/year)
- Blood pressure - Goal: less than 130/80 (checked at every routine diabetes visit)
- Daily aspirin can reduce your risk for heart attack. Speak with your physician to find out if aspirin is safe for you.
- An annual urine test measures the amount of protein in your urine, which can be an early sign of kidney disease.
- Get a dilated retinal eye exam every year to screen for an eye disease call retinopathy that can lead to blindness if not controlled.
- A foot exam prevents small cuts or blisters from leading to infection. Have your physician or provider check your feet at each visit.
Other important reminders
- Get a flu shot every year and talk to you doctor about a pneumonia vaccine.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking accelerates the damage that diabetes causes to the blood vessels.
- Visit your doctor for regular check-ups and screening.
- Eat a healthy diet tailored to your needs.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
- Lose weight.