WHO IS AT RISK FOR CHRONIC HEALTH ISSUES?
People born roughly between 1945 to 1975 are fondly referred to as “baby boomers”. As this generation ages, the US population continues to age and approximately 20% of Americans will be 65 years of age or older by 2030. As age increases, the rate of facing more chronic health issues increases.
WHAT IS A COMMON CHRONIC DISEASE?
Type 2 diabetes is one of these common health issues that about 25% of baby boomers will experience in the next 10 years. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and occurs when your body either resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. The major cause of diabetes is a hereditary link. Other factors that can contribute to type 2 diabetes is certain ethnicities. (African American, Hispanics, Native Americans have an increased risk) obesity as well as certain medications can put you at an increases risk of type 2 diabetes.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE AT RISK?
A feeling of tiredness, blurred vision, frequent urination, dry itchy skin, and frequent infections can be common symptoms, but often there may be no symptoms at all. Although there is no reversal of the disease, there are several lifestyle changes that can significantly help keep the disease under control. Therefore, healthy meals comprised of the right foods and eaten at the right time is very beneficial. Try to spread carbs throughout the day. Physical activity can be useful in controlling blood sugar levels as well as managing weight. Consistent monitoring of blood glucose is important to understand the bodies food choices and stress levels. Make sure you take your prescribed medications as directed. Do you have routine health checkups to help identify risks? Do you know the resources available to you for successful management of your chronic disease?
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE DIAGNOSED WITH A CHRONIC DISEASE?
Getting diagnosed with a chronic disease can be overwhelming and the amount of time your provider can spend with you may be limited. Then the questions come and the confusion may start. You may find yourself asking the following questions. Do I go back to my provider? Do I call the providers clinical staff and ask them if they can give me information? Do I ask my family to help me understand? Who do I ask for help? Will my insurance cover my needed treatments? How can I get the cheapest medications? What will stress do to my ability to manage my disease?
PATIENT ADVOCATES CAN HELP YOU
Patient Advocates can quickly assess your needs and get you on the right track because we are the expert information gathers. We know what resources are available to you in your area, and we can provide you with all the information you need to understand your disease. We can talk with your insurance company on your behalf and determine what treatments are covered. Most importantly as your time is valuable a patient advocate will work around your schedule and the amount of time you need is totally up to your individual needs. You get everything you need to be able to be your best advocate in managing your chronic disease and get peace of mind.
Here’s an interesting tidbit! Laughter…laughing lowers blood sugars and helps to lower cholesterol.