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If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you know how diabetes management can be complex and challenging. In this video, physician and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico Medical Director Aiden O’Rourke encourages people with diabetes to work with their health care provider to make a care plan.
Learn more about Living with Diabetes.
AIDEN O’ROUKE: Hello, I’m Dr. Aiden O’Rourke, a medical director at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico. At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, we want to help New Mexicans live their healthiest lives.
That’s why we share information about how different medical conditions can affect your health and how those conditions can be managed better.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you know how difficult it can be to manage every day.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have delayed getting needed health care appointments and testing for diabetes.
I encourage you to make this year a healthful one by attending routine diabetes health care visits and asking about your diabetes plan of care. Think of your diabetes plan of care as a road map that is made with your health care provider to help you manage diabetes more easily. Your diabetes plan of care can also help you know when to ask for more help if you need it.
While attending your diabetes health care appointments be sure to ask about completing a hemoglobin A1c test. This test measures your blood sugar level and how well your diabetes has been managed over the last three months. The A1c test should be done twice a year. A test score of eight or more means diabetes is not in control. If your A1c test is eight or higher, be sure to talk with your health care provider about the steps needed to lower this number. Also remember to ask your health care provider about completing the yearly kidney health test. This blood and urine test measures your overall kidney health as it relates to diabetes.
In addition, talk to your eye doctor about completing your annual diabetes retinal eye exam.
Foot care is another priority. Diabetes can decrease blood flow to the feet and damage nerves.
This can result in decreased ability to feel pain and increased risk for infections and ulcers. Remember to get regular foot exams and talk to your provider about how you should care for your feet, including self-exams and proper footwear.
Lastly, ask your provider to test your cholesterol and triglycerides. High cholesterol and triglycerides can contribute to potential health problems such as heart attack and stroke. With proper medical management, routine diabetes testing and education, you can make the difference in your health and live better with diabetes.
As always, remember to talk to your health care provider about any health questions or concerns you may have.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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