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Do you have Diabetes? Actively participating in your care will help you control and possibly prevent complications associated with Diabetes. Most people with diabetes need to see their primary care physician (PCP) two to four times per year.
Here are some important topics to discuss with your doctor:
- Obtaining or maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting smoking (if you smoke)
- Exercise appropriate for you
- Laboratory tests: Discuss with your PCP the appropriate frequency for these tests:
- Hemoglobin A1C: your report card for blood sugar control over three months. A Hemoglobin A1C level less than 7% demonstrates good control.
- Lipid levels: your risk for heart disease and stroke. Strive to achieve a level of <100mg/dl if you do not have heart disease and <70mg/dl if you do have heart disease.
- Creatinine/BUN/eGFR: to check your kidneys
- Microalbumin: a urine test that can show early kidney damage
- Blood Pressure: Maintain your blood pressure at 130/80 or below.
- An eye exam, including having your eyes dilated to check your retinas
- Feet and toenail health: You may need to visit a specialist for some issues.
- Your medications (including all over-the-counter medications and supplements)
Taking your medications as prescribed every day is one of the most important aspects of maintaining control of your Diabetes. Medications in the class of Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE Inhibitors) or Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) have shown in studies to be the best at helping prevent kidney and heart complications in diabetics. Generic formulations are available for both of these categories of medications. Ask your doctor to prescribe a 90-day supply when appropriate and in accordance with your pharmacy benefit (Medicare members with a CHP pharmacy benefit have access to 90-day supplies of both generic and brand medications [excluding Specialty drugs]. Commercial members with a CHP pharmacy benefit have access to a 90 day supply of generic drugs). Less trips to the pharmacy means less opportunities to “forget” refilling your medications. Not taking your medications as prescribed increases your chances of complications from diabetes such as amputation, stroke, blindness and heart attack.
For more information on the Diabetes Disease Management Program offered by CHP call (850) 523-7442- option 1.
Remember to get care from your doctor. If you don’t have a scheduled appointment with your primary care physician in 2012, call today. If you do not have a PCP assigned to you, call CHP Member Services at (850)383-3311.