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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Diabetes Health Plan With Incentives for Preventive Care Offered by UnitedHealthcare

Diabetes health plan is offered by UnitedHealthcare. I can't believe there's such a company that will offer a health plan for the diabetics who take care of their condition. For one thing, my experience is that they do not cover pre-existing conditions. So if you're working and your employer hired UnitedHealthcare to administer their health plans, it won't do any harm to see if you can be covered as well.

But surprise, now they added incentives for preventive care. I am thinking it is because it is covered by Medicare now. It really is about money, isn't it? It could be that it won't cost them that much to add the incentives or I could be wrong which is what I hope because prevention is really dear to my heart.

Here's how the Diabetes Health Plan will work. They will reward any pre-diabetic and diabetic who follow the steps that are medically proven in managing their condition. This includes preventive screenings, routine exams and regular monitoring of the blood sugar. The use of wellness coaching is even included. This will certainly help know how to prevent diabetes and their complications.

What are the benefits of this? Well, prescription drugs that are related to diabetes as well as supplies could be had at no charge. There will also be lower co-payments for visits to the doctor that are related to the condition. The estimated savings for this is up to $500 a year.

These incentives will empower those concerned to take charge of their condition and their overall health thus helping them prevent the diabetic complications. This will also lower the cost for the employers in providing health coverage for their work force. So you see it is a win-win situation.

This will be a good thing and hopefully turn around the report from the Center
for Disease Control and Prevention that shows two-thirds of the diabetics do not follow the advice of their doctors regarding the management of their condition. They explained the reason for this non-compliance and I am glad they did because I do not want anyone just to blame the diabetics.

They say that the high cost of supplies, doctors' visits and drugs plays a role in the diabetics not following the guidelines. Lack of knowledge regarding diabetes and the complications also prevents the diabetics and the pre-diabetics in not following the guidelines.

So hopefully, now that they are lowering the cost and providing training and information along with wellness coaching, the diabetics and pre-diabetics will be more prone to follow the recommendations regarding diabetes management. And this will work out with the right diabetes health plan.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blood Glucose Level Target Ranges, New Ones For UK

Blood glucose level target ranges have been adopted. Diabetes UK has updated this in light of the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) recommendations. Before this, the IDF (the International Diabetes Federation) suggested that changes be made to the target ranges after meal. We know that a blood glucose test measures how much sugar which is called glucose, in the blood.

Then in 2008, NICE prepared and published their rules on the blood glucose level target ranges for type 2 diabetes. Several different types of blood glucose tests are used and so Diabetes UK since it continually updates their own data, decided to follow NICE recommendations. They have therefore made the changes to reflect the new guidelines.

In order to understand the new guidelines, it is good to see what is to target for. Of course the best target is to aim for the blood glucose level that is as close to normal ranges as possible like for those who do not have diabetes. Usually, the blood glucose levels increase slightly after eating. And this is their reading before meals: 3.5-5.5 mmols/L before meals while for two hours after meals, it is less than 8 mmols/L.

Opinions as to the blood sugar target to aim for vary. This is understandable because each individual has his own needs. Therefore, the target should be one that is agreed by both the person with diabetes and his diabetes care team. Both have a say on what to aim for when it comes to the blood glucose levels.

In 2004, NICE recommendations for children with type 1 diabetes before meals is 4-8 mmols/L. Two hours after meals, the recommendation is less than 10 mmols/L. For adults with type 1 diabetes, it is 4-7 mmols/L and for two hours after meals, it is less than 9 mmols/L. We know that blood glucose tests are done to test to see if one has diabetes or to keep an eye on the treatment of diabetes.

In 2008 NICE recommendations for type 2 diabetes have changed to 4-7 mmol/L for before meals and less than 8.5 mmols/L for two hours after meals. So you see it is important to self-monitor the blood sugar level as part of the routine every day. This way we can determine if an abnormally low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) has occurred. This way, we can watch for symptoms for either hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia as well as those of possible complications. That's how important it is to check one's blood glucose level. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"I Don't Care About X Factor Daughter Alexandra's Pop Riches"

Chronic kidney disease is an example of what could happen if we do not take care of our condition. Diabetes complications can only be avoided if we exercise prudence in looking after ourselves. Alexandra Burke is a successful singer who does not care for all the riches that come with success without good health.

It is because her mother Melissa who was once the high-spirited star of Soul II Soul cannot enjoy life with the singer who desperately wants to soak up the sun and swim in the sea with her mother but that she cannot do because all her mother could manage is a short drive to the nearby hospital three times a week for kidney dialysis.

For 44-year old Melissa has chronic kidney disease which is a diabetes complication. She is waiting for a kidney transplant and in the meantime is receiving dialysis. Approximately 40% of diabetics develop chronic kidney disease which is usually due to poor diabetes management.

It is hoped that the number 60,000 undiagnosed diabetics in the UK as estimated by the experts will take heed and get diagnosed so they can start laying out and following a plan of action that will help avoid the chronic kidney disease. The government is running a kidney disease pilot screening program in Birmingham, Oldham and London.

Melissa's mother died in 1992 from diabetes complications yet Melissa turned a blind eye to that. She admitted she did very little to control her blood glucose and ignored the symptoms and signs of chronic kidney disease. She said she started her health problem in 1085.

She was exhausted all the time she said in a interview at her home after going through a punishing dialysis session that lasted four hours. She also said she was thirsty all the time but she thought it was due to her pregnancy. A visit to her general practitioner confirmed that she has diabetes.

We all know that high blood sugar or hyperglycemia when not taken cared of can damage the blood vessels and nerves that can result in such complications as stroke, heart disease, infection to the gums, amputation, blindness and chronic kidney disease.

Though devastated for having been diagnosed with diabetes and confessing that she did not want to die, Melissa continued to ignore her condition. Her doctor reassured her that her condition can be monitored and controlled. The first line of defense as we know is a combo of physical activity, healthy diet and weight control. This is the way we can avoid chronic kidney disease.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chronic Kidney Disease Can Be Prevented

Chronic kidney disease really can be prevented and this article attests to that fact. What I like about this news article is that it outlined all the possible causes of chronic kidney disease and then one by one eliminated it through mentioning how to take care of the cause.

The National Kidney Foundation identifies chronic kidney disease as damage to the kidney with its loss of functioning of approximately 50% for at least three months. Chronic kidney disease is the cause of death in thousands of people in the United States so it is wise to see how we can prevent it.

The estimate as to the number of people affected by the chronic kidney disease is approximately 20 million people in the United States. It is sad to note that the number of Americans suffering from chronic kidney disease has doubled in the last ten years. And the cost is almost $28 billion a year.

That said, it is good to determine the ways to prevent this disease. And what better way to do this than to find what are the causes of this loss of kidney functioning. Experts agree that the causes are high blood pressure, diabetes, infection, hardening of arteries, chemical toxins, some type of arthritis conditions and blockage of the kidney.

Frequently high blood pressure causes chronic kidney disease. How does this happen? Increase in blood pressure damages the small blood vessels in the kidney, causing it to be unable to filter and drain everything that needs to be cleaned out. So how will knowing this help us prevent chronic kidney disease?

Simple, keeping the blood pressure within the target level of 130/80 will do it. They even say that doing so will even reverse the condition and they have the evidence to prove that this is so and not just a pigment of one's imagination. So let us promise each other to keep the blood pressure at a healthy level, shall we?

Diabetes is also a cause of chronic kidney disease. Experts agree that this is the foremost cause. Now that more and more Americans are becoming diabetic, it follows that chronic kidney disease will statistically increase also. So keeping diabetes under control is very important. And preventing diabetes is even better. How do we do this?

Exercising regularly and eating healthy will keep the weight within healthy level. And one who is already diagnosed as diabetic should see the doctor on a regular basis for treatment and assessment. Since high fats and cholesterol are risk factors, these should be checked by the doctor.

So you see, we can prevent the occurrence of this dreadful condition. Regular visits to the doctor for evaluation and treatment of all the risk factors if they are indicated will protect us from harm and keep us away from getting chronic kidney disease.