Managing Diabetes

Spring 2024 Newsletter – Online Edition

At Select Health, we understand how hard it can be to manage diabetes. In this newsletter, you’ll find up-to-date information on how to deal with diabetes, including strategies to prevent your disease from impacting your daily activities. These simple tips can help you live the healthiest life possible! 

Diabetes and your heart.
Managing your blood sugar levels is key to staying on top of your diabetes, but did you know that diabetes can also affect your heart? In fact, diabetes and heart disease often go hand in hand, as high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control your heart.

In other words, as you manage your blood sugar levels, it’s important to take care of your heart. The good news is that adjusting your lifestyle can lower your risk for heart disease.

  • Eat healthy. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains whenever possible. Avoid processed foods like fast food or chips, and drink more water.
  • Be active. Not only does physical activity help with your blood sugar levels, it lowers your risk of heart disease. And you don’t have to go crazy—just aim for around 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.
  • Reduce your stress. Anything that increases your blood pressure will put extra strain on your heart. Meditation, deep breathing, or talking with a mental health counselor could help.

And remember, you can discuss with your provider whether a statin medication is appropriate for your situation.

Protecting your vision.
Another side effect of diabetes may be vision loss, the most common of which is diabetic retinopathy. Similar to heart disease, the problem starts with high blood sugar, which can damage the blood vessels in the retina and lead to bigger issues like macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. 

Early detection is the best way to protect your vision—yearly eye exams are crucial! Outside of an eye exam, you can safeguard your vision by being active, managing your blood sugar, and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check. 

Caring for your kidneys.
Diabetes can also damage your kidneys. What’s worse, it happens slowly and often with few symptoms, meaning most people don’t even realize it’s happening. That’s why getting your kidneys checked regularly with a blood and urine test is essential for anyone with diabetes. 

The first step to keeping your kidneys healthy is to manage your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. You’ll also want to stay in regular contact with your doctor, getting an Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) test at least twice a year.

Essential Care Guidelines 
Download this care guidelines chart to help you track and manage your diabetes: 

Care Management 
Managing your health can feel overwhelming, but you are not alone. Select Health’s Care Managers—both nurses and social workers—are trained to help you reach your health goals. 

They’re here when you need help with: 

  • Getting screenings and immunizations 
  • Coordinating care for a chronic condition 
  • Understanding your insurance benefits
  • Or even just getting a ride to a clinic

Diabetes Resources 
Want more information about diabetes? Check out the following resources to help you stay in the know. 

Intermountain Health
American Diabetes Association – find recipes, helpful tips, community resources, and much more! 
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases  – This government resource can help you stay up to date on important guidance relating to diabetes from the National Institutes of Health. 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –  The CDC also has great guidance on managing, preventing, and caring for diabetes, along with helpful guides and recipes, as well as up to date science. 

The content included here is for your information and not a substitute for professional medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Additionally, the information in this newsletter does not guarantee  benefits. To review your benefits, please reference your plan materials or call Member Services at 800-538-5038 weekdays, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., closed Sunday. TTY users call 711.

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