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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Diabetes Insurance Plan Cuts Cost of Having Diabetes

Diabetes insurance reduces costs was the headline last year but I am concerned that with the cutback being contemplated, this may suffer its demise. Not without a fight though if we can help it. While the powers that be are thinking of ways and means of reducing debt by touching Medicare and social security, we can do our part to ensure this will not happen.

I remember being so happy at the new insurance plan reported last year. It was such a win-win situation for the diabetics. The premium will not only be reduced but also the one insured will get free coaching and drugs and supplies. The employers were supposed to foot the bill! And diabetes management will get a boost!

Not being a diabetic, I don't know if every employer signed up for this kind of health insurance for their employees. That would be the best way for we know that many people with type 2 diabetes pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of pocket every year to cover their share of the cost of drugs, testing supplies, and doctor visits that keep the disease in check.

Having serious complications, can make the costs even exponentially higher for both patients and the companies that employ them. The insurance giant UnitedHealthcare developed a new health plan at that time targeting specifically at employees who have diabetes or are at risk for developing it.

Providing the workers coaching and extra financial help to put a stop to or manage diabetes, the insurer is helping both the employees and their employers save money. It is an open debate as to how much the employers will save but it is clear that the employees will benefit from this arrangement. United said the employers have so far absorbed the higher insurance cost.

The workers who have diabetes and enroll in the plan will get free diabetic supplies and drugs. Their co-payments on doctor visits for exams and regular screenings along with the free diabetic drugs and supplies can save the employees approximately $500 annually.

In addition, they also receive free coaching so they learn to manage their diabetes more effectively. Those who enrolled and are at risk to develop diabetes will also receive savings on exams and screenings. They can also get access to a program of weight management.

Now we know that any program that will help people with diabetes improve manage their condition and reward them for it is indeed very encouraging. The employers and the those responsible for this must believe in the precept that I adhere to. Those who will help enough people get what they want will also get everything in life they want.

This is important especially amidst the troubling statistics regarding childhood obesity that because of this, one of three children born in 2000 has a chance of developing diabetes. It is therefore a good thing that when United Health Care tested this, about 75% said they'll do it.

There is so much enthusiasm but we know in any program such as this, there are some obstacles to overcome. For instance, how long will the employers agree to this when the economy is hurting them too? There are things we can do. We can adhere to eating healthy and exercising so we at least have something going for us if circumstances put a break on this diabetes insurance.

Insurance woes common for diabetes patients: the high-deductible policies that are increasing in popularity 'really hit people with diabetes.'.(Practice ... An article from: Internal Medicine News

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Diabetes Care - What Do the Egg Nutrition Center and American Egg Board Say on Egg Consumption?

Diabetes care in relation to egg consumption is an issue that is back again. The debate on whether eggs are good or not for the diabetics began when a research found that eating too many eggs is related to the diabetes risk increase which is a shame because eggs have nutritional benefits.

In the case of the nutritional value of eggs, a large body of science is on the egg side. For one thing, eggs contain a high quality of protein that promotes muscle strength, energy and growth. The nutritional value of eggs cannot be denied just like for milk. Some even use eggs for weight management purposes.

Eggs also have important nutrients that are shown to lower the risk of neural tube birth defects. In addition, they are supposedly good at promoting eye health. In this connection, an article was published that reported the link between egg consumption and type 2 diabetes.

To arrive at the conclusion, the researchers examined the collected data from the Physicians' Health Study 1. Finding that consuming eggs was connected to a greater incidence of type 2 diabetes was quite unexpected. Why? Because we've known all along the nutritional benefit of eggs.

That is also why, there is a need for more studies on this issue. Now if the other subsequent studies will arrive at the same conclusion, it is time to see if lessening the consumption of eggs will do the same. However, until they do so, it is good to continue to enjoy eating eggs especially the study did not really address the biological mechanism that contributed to the result in their findings.

There are also other factors that could have given meaning to the conclusion. Besides there were other issues left unaddressed like the BMI question, the age of the participants, smokers versus non-smokers, drinkers between non- drinkers. The researchers were cognizant of the limitations to the point the conclusion may have been just related to unhealthy lifestyle.

Now what does the American Egg Board say about this? The AEB is the link between the consumers and the egg producers and consists of 18 members with 18 alternates from all over the country. The secretary of agriculture appointed these people. I was disappointed not to see their take on the result of the study but probably because it has the Egg Nutrition Center that provides necessary information on the role the eggs play on the diet.

That's it. There are two commissions for you whose take on the study linking egg consumption to increased risk in type 2 diabetes is not available at least in this article. Keep tuned for I will research on this further so as to get clear direction regarding egg intake on diabetes care.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Health Insurance for Kids Passed

Health insurance for children passed. It is just ridiculous not to have it. I knew the president, either Obama or Clinton, would do this presidential act. I am writing about this again because I am concerned from what I am hearing about revamping the health insurance and we may lose what we got. Losing this coverage will be difficult to swallow especially for parents if their child has diabetes.

What will happen to the millions more children of lower-income parents who were supposed to gain health coverage under an expansion of State Children's Health Insurance Program that President Obama signed into law? Are they going to lose this coverage? There is so much rhetoric, it is not easy to sift through the fine print.

I remember clearly it was Wednesday when the House of Representatives voted 290-135 in favor of the legislation. Then the Senate followed suit and in late January and passed the bill on a 66-32 vote. I like what President Obama said that we are not a nation that will leave families having a difficult time to fend for themselves.

President Obama is right to say that "No child in America should be receiving primary care in the emergency room in the middle of the night." This is a program that will take care of the children in families that cannot qualify for Medicaid and who at the same time, cannot afford private insurance.

The president did promise to cover all Americans and so he said passing the health insurance to cover the children is a kind of down payment for that promise. The trouble is now he may be forced to give up some of what he is hoping for just to keep the government functioning.

The economic stimulus plan tried to make investment in health care. This includes funds for states so that program cuts can be avoided. With the recession costing a lot of families losing their jobs, this would have been such a welcome break. The president of the American Medical Association at that time, Dr. Nancy Nielson, agreed.

Due to the increase in unemployment, more children have probably been added to the list of the uninsured. This of course puts increasing pressure on state health-care programs. The new law will enable states to extend health care coverage to more children of parents who cannot afford the insurance but earn more than what is allowed to qualify for Medicaid.

A senior fellow by the name of Edwin Park analyzed the health policy at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said the law will help the states because before this law they have not been able to figure out what to do regarding health coverage for children.

The law is supposed to get through to fiscal 2013 with 4.1 million children gaining coverage who will join the 6.7 million children who are already on the program. Tobacco products will be taxed at a higher rate and this is supposed to fund the health coverage for children.

President Bush was noted to have vetoed two times similar expansions. He complained that it would lead to the federalization of the health care system. Other critics also said that the standards to qualify are too broad and so the children who are already on private insurance will move to the public one.

Now you can see why I am so concerned that we will take a step backward on this very important issue. That is why I am writing about this so that we can all get together and not lose what we have already gained in the form of the children's health insurance.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Diabetes and Peanut Allergy Compared

Diabetes and Peanut Allergy is a topic I wanted to write on as I remember the FDA peanut recall expanded last year. There were quite a few peanut product manufacturers who came out in the open to volunteer to recall their products before the FDA could do so.

That was also around the time when the I was so glad insurance for children passed. It is just ridiculous not to have it. I knew the president, either Obama or Clinton, would do this presidential act. Gaining this coverage is such a welcome relief for parents especially if their child had diabetes.

After doing quite a bit of research in the form of documentary analysis I was quite surprised at the interesting result I found. It is that the children who suffer from peanut allergy may be more stressed out and anxious about their condition than the diabetic children.

Natalie J. Avery reported this at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's annual meeting. How did they come up with these findings? Well they based it on the data they gathered from the questionnaires given to 7 - 12 year old children, all forty of them.

The participants were divided into two groups. The twenty children who were allergic to peanuts were in one group while the other twenty children who were dependent on insulin were in another group. The children were asked to complete the questionnaire where high scores showed lower quality of life.

The researchers started with a hypothesis that the quality of life will be similar for the two groups. Much to their surprise the findings indicated that the children who were allergic to peanuts had worse quality of life than the other group.

You don't believe me? Well, here are the statistics: The peanut allergy group had a mean score of 55 and 54. This was reported by the University of Southampton's (in England) medical student, Ms. Avery. These were higher scores than the diabetic children whose scores were 46 and 35.

Just in case you're still skeptical of these findings due to the ages of the children involved, for which I don't blame you, the participants received cameras for 24 hours. Here they recorded how they were affected by either the diabetes or the peanut allergy.

They described the meanings of the photos and how they felt. It showed that the children who were allergic to peanuts were more afraid of getting allergic reaction than the diabetic children of getting hyperglycemia. The peanut group of children said that they have to be more careful of what they eat than the diabetic children.

They further reported that they feel more in danger than the diabetic children. They also worry more about being away from home. In addition they said that they have more restrictions as to the activities they participate in. Their life is more threatened and the fact that they cannot prevent being exposed to peanuts make them feel less in control.

How about you? Do you agree with these findings? Whether you agree or not, it would be nice to get the basis of your agreement or disagreement. As for me, I kind of think of this as something positive for the diabetic children.
And that's the comparison between diabetes and peanut allergy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Exercise Improves Quality of Life

Exercise improves the quality of life is a given. It is one of those things we should do on the unconscious competence level. This means that it should be automatically done. There should really be no resistance whatsoever in having to exercise. It is not even that we are asked to do much for walking around the block is acceptable.

It is easy to see how exercising improves one's quality of life. Not only does it make one be more energetic but also it boosts one's health and well-being. In a study, women who were sedentary claimed they had a lot more energy after they started exercising. They also experienced being in better mood than before getting active.

What was even surprising was that the more exercise they indulged in, the better they felt. And get a load of this: Even ten minutes of daily exercise gave them added benefits when you think of the quality of life they acquired. One of the authors of the study, Tim Church who is also Pennington Biomedical Research Center's director of preventive medicine research, agreed.

The women in the study were more self-assured in doing their work activities daily like carrying in bags of groceries, keeping up with their grandchildren and climbing the stairways. It was the same thing in their social interaction. They improved in this aspect too even though some did not lose weight.

Now the above benefits are just the physical manifestation of the benefit for there are more, like in lower blood pressure level. The regular physical exercise also reduced the risks of diabetes, cancer and heart disease although it mentioned that the cholesterol level also was reduced.

We have to be careful about lowering the cholesterol level because there is a new study in town that says this could affect the cognitive functioning of the brain. Perhaps, this could be the start of our talk with the doctor. Or what I will do is strike the happy medium. I will have to lower the cholesterol level only up to a certain point.

This is what Tim Church and company did. They signed up 430 women who were both postmenopausal and sedentary. They assigned them to any of four groups. One is the group that did not do any exercise. One exercise group had to walk briskly or got on the stationary bike for just over an hour per week. Another group did the same but for a little more than two hours and the third one, you guessed it, did three hours a week.

The women had to complete questionnaires at the start and end of the study to check on the improvement. And the improvement is something that these women appreciate because they improved in all areas like energy, agility, physical and mental health as well as emotional health.

The only area they did not report improvement on was when it comes to pain in the body but then they did not report much of this at the start. The group that reported the most improvement was the three-hour a week group.
Suffice is to say that regular physical activity is our friend and we should keep it that way because it looks like it improves all areas of our life. So it's not really how long your life is but how well you live that life. So do you exercise?