Living Well with Diabetes
Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed with diabetes or have been treating it for years, you’re not alone. More than 34 million people in the U.S. have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. That’s one out of every 10 Americans!1
Left untreated, your diabetes can lead to even more serious health problems, like heart disease, nerve damage, kidney disease and blindness. Learn more about health problems caused by diabetes.
Treat your diabetes right and live a happy life
And while there is no cure for diabetes yet, there are many ways to manage your condition so that you can continue to live a healthy life, feel good and continue to do the things you enjoy.
Know the ABCs of Diabetes
Understanding the ABCs of diabetes can help you lower your risk of complications.
Staying Fit with Diabetes
Exercise is a key factor of living well with diabetes. See some options.
Things to do to Stay Healthy
Talk with your doctor about the following things you can do to manage your diabetes and avoid other problems that could harm your health.
- Learn why knowing your blood glucose levels is so important. Managing your blood sugar is one of the most important things to staying healthy. Both low and high blood sugar levels are dangerous for people with diabetes. Learn more about managing your glucose levels here.
- Check your blood sugar regularly and keep a diary. Self-test regularly at home with finger pricks and have an A1C test in your doctor’s office at least every three to four months.
- Ask your doctor if a continuous glucose monitoring system is right for you. These innovative systems, also called CGMs, allow you to continuously keep track of your blood sugar level and eliminate the need for finger sticks. They even alert you when your levels are too high or too low. In July of 2021, CMS changed the eligibility requirements for a GCM, removing the testing four times per day requirement. It is still required that you be taking insulin three or more times a day to be eligible. If this sounds like you, ask your doctor if a CGM might be right for you.
- Make healthy decisions at every meal. Fill your plate with a variety of natural foods. Avoid processed foods and limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Click here to learn more diet and nutrition tips. Medicare also covers a medical nutrition therapy benefit for people with diabetes. This allows you to meet with a registered dietician for assistance with your diet. If you want to meet with a dietician, ask your doctor for a referral. Click here for more information.
- If your doctor prescribes medication, take it as prescribed—even if you’re feeling good. Click here to learn more about medications for diabetes.
- Be physically active. Get at least 30 minutes of activity five times a week. Physical activity can even include walking, talking the stairs or gardening. Click here to learn more about diabetes and exercise.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is more dangerous for people with diabetes. Click here to learn more about the impact smoking has on people living with diabetes.
- Take care of your mental health. Older adults with diabetes are more likely to become depressed and develop dementia.2Click here to learn more about diabetes and mental health.
- Ensure your feet are in good shape. You should check your feet every day and consider keeping a log. Be on the lookout for changes to your skin and nails as well as redness, swelling, cuts and sores, blisters, corns, and calluses. Plus, you should have a podiatrist or foot specialist examine your feet at least once a year. Click here for more about keeping your feet healthy.
- Keep a log of your injection sites. If you are injecting insulin, it is important to remember to rotate your injection sites, and a good way to do that is to keep log. Here is more information on choosing and rotating injection sites.
- Take care of your kidneys. Talk to your doctor about have regular urine tests to check for proteins, and blood tests to find out how well your kidneys are working. On your own you can help your kidneys stay healthy by cutting back on salt and limiting your alcohol use. Here are other ideas about preventing kidney problems.
SCAN Is Here to Help, Too!
We offer support, useful tools, and benefits to help you keep your diabetes in check:
- Use your annual Health Check Record. It has your personalized information and a chart for tracking your care. The Health Check record is sent electronically. If you’ve registered your online SCAN member account, you can view your online record at the SCAN member portal. The online record is customized just for you, and it’s updated monthly. If you haven’t registered your online SCAN member account, click here.
- Download your own blood sugar diary and keep track of your blood sugar levels and share them with your doctor.
- Special diabetes editions of SCAN Club with useful information on health and benefits for our members with diabetes.
- Coverage in all SCAN plans for regular exams, recommended screenings, diabetes medications and blood glucose monitors and related supplies prescribed by your doctor (copayments vary)
Are You or a Family Member at Risk for Diabetes?
Surprisingly, one out of four people with diabetes doesn’t know he or she has it! Some 88 million Americans (more than one out of three) have prediabetes.3 This is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is serious and puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
If you’re experiencing symptoms—such as dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth or having to visit the bathroom often—ask your doctor as soon as possible for a blood test to check for diabetes.
These online services can give you information and tools that can help you manage your diabetes. You will also be able to talk to other people with diabetes. Talk to your doctor about classes or support groups they might be able to refer you to.
Programs and Classes
SCAN offers you our Living Well with Diabetes online workshop. For more information email us at: email@example.com or call 1-855-650-7226
American Diabetes Association—you can also call them at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383)
The American Diabetes Association offers free educational Ask the Experts Q&A series—click here or call 1-855-565-0595 for more information.