I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Sanofi to write about the realities of diabetes as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own.
Be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of your life and advocate for your health. The CEO is the highest ranking executive in any company. The primary responsibilities are making major corporate decisions, managing the overall operations and resources of the company while being the public face. The CEO knows that to maintain a profitable and sustainable business they must hire to the very best and do their very best. This is the same approach that we want to take when advocating for our health. Research shows that when we take an active role, the outcomes are better.
I have teamed up with Med-IQ, an accredited medical education company that provides an exceptional educational experience for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to increase awareness of type 2 diabetes and share five tips to advocate for your own treatment course with your healthcare team.
The relationship with your healthcare team is vital to your success. Those diagnosed with this disease require ongoing maintenance, have an incredible journey ahead of them. Just like any CEO, they must assemble the best team of health professional to manage the diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes must act in a timely manner to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2017 based on the 83,564 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death. Most people are unaware they have this disease until it shows up in routine bloodwork or as a complication for a medical condition.
Take the Med-IQ anonymous survey for your chance to win $100 and learn more about diabetes education.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body’s cells don’t respond normal to insulin or is insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually your pancreas can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and can cause other serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
More than 88 million US adults—over a third—have prediabetes, and more than 84% of them don’t know they have it. A delayed diagnosis can be dangerous because even if a patient doesn’t feel symptoms, damage is being done. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be managed. One important step is making the invisible, visible.
These five steps can help you advocate and make this visible. Currently, there is up to a 6 years’ delay before starting treatment. All that time, the uncontrolled blood glucose could be damaging numerous organs in your body.
- Call your physician and ask for a complete blood panel test. Request a regular A1C test to measure your blood sugar over two to three months.
- Review the test results and schedule an appointment to discuss the findings. Come prepared with a list of questions. Bring a family member or trusted friend to help capture information that might be missed during the discussion.
- Be confident. If the doctor uses words or phrases that you don’t understand, stop them and ask for further clarification. Remember they don’t always know what we know. Don’t allow yourself to feel judged.
- Communicate: Share how you are feeling about the results, any financial barriers and thoughts about the side effects.
- Be an active participant. Control what you can such keeping your blood pressure below 140/90mm Hg, watching your cholesterol levels and eliminating smoking.
A type 2 diabetes diagnosis is not a one size fits all disease and what you do matters. In November, I’ll be sharing more details about the latest in treatment options for patients with Type 2 Diabetes as a part of this campaign.
Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with diabetes and your care team, which will help us develop future educational initiatives. Once you've completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize and to send a follow-up survey as part of this same initiative.
You can further join in the conversation and ask questions during the scheduled Facebook live chat on Tuesday, August 18th at 3:00PM ET.