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Diabetes

Gateway’s Lifestyle Management Diabetes Program helps members who have diabetes.  Diabetes is a sneaky disease.  It can cause problems for your heart, eyes, kidneys and circulation even though you feel OK.  Diabetes causes heart disease, blindness and kidney problems that could put you on dialysis.  It can also cause circulation problems that could require amputation of your toes, feet or legs.

Case Managers in the Diabetes Program can call you and help you understand diabetes.  They can teach you what symptoms to look for to prevent complications from diabetes.  They can explain how simple blood and urine tests can catch problems even before you may know you have a problem.  They can help you make appointments to have these tests done once every year.

Here are a few tips to help you manage diabetes problems:

  • Take your blood sugar readings the way your doctor has told you.
  • Ask your doctor which lab tests you need to have done.  Most lab tests need to be done once every year.  You may need to get tested more often if the doctor tells you.  The tests check if your diabetes is under control.  The tests also look out for heart or kidney problems before they get start or get worse.
  • Get the following tests at least once every year:
    HbA1c – This checks the level of glucose in your blood.
    Maintaining an A1c level of  less than 8% indicates good control of your diabetes and may slow or prevent the onset of diabetes complications.
    Urine test – This checks the health of your kidneys.
  • Go to your eye doctor at least once every year.  Tell the eye doctor that you have diabetes.  You need to get a retinal eye exam once every year.  This exam shows your doctor if diabetes is damaging your eyes.  Glasses cannot fix all of the eye problems caused by diabetes.
  • Have your blood pressure checked as prescribed by your physician.  You should maintain your blood pressure  of less than 140/90 unless your doctor helps you set a different goal.
  • Do not smoke.  If you need help to quit smoking or using tobacco, call the toll free line 1-800-748-8669 or 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
  • Do not be around tobacco smoke.  If someone in your family smokes, ask them to smoke outside.