Four steps to stop type 2 diabetes in its tracks
People with diabetes are unable to manage how much glucose exists in their bloodstream. Glucose, a type of sugar, is the main source of energy for the cells in our bodies. A hormone called insulin controls glucose levels, and people who have diabetes often require insulin injections to help maintain healthy glucose levels.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can have negative effects on long-term health. Untreated diabetes can lead to heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It’s also the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S.
The good news is that type 2 diabetes is largely preventable and can be avoided by making lifestyle changes, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Overweight patients are seven times more likely to develop diabetes; overweight patients are 20 to 40 times more likely to become diabetic, according to the Harvard School of Public Health (Harvard).
- Watching what you eat and drink. Choose whole grains and healthy polyunsaturated fats. Limit alcohol, red meat, and processed meat.
- Not smoking. Smokers are 50% more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers, according to Harvard.
- Moving more. People who exercise regularly are healthier, feel better, and are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and several types of cancer than people who are inactive. The CDC recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week. That’s as little as 30 minutes of walking five days a week.
“Making healthy choices every day can sometimes feel overwhelming for many people,” says Jamie Halstead, director of clinical services at Regence. “Where we can make a real difference is working with our members to offer resources and support.”
Regence is available to help members make lifestyle changes to manage and even reverse type 2 diabetes. We reach out to members newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes to ensure they’re aware of their health plan benefits and arrange for care management, if desired. All Regence members have access to nurse care managers with tools and resources to make it easier to start new, healthy habits. Many of our members also have access to Livongo, a program that offers low to no-cost supplies and access to care guides 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We’re here to help. If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, call us toll free at 866-543-5765 to learn about how we can support your journey to improved health. You can also email email@example.com.