World Diabetes Day brings attention to this chronic disease that impacts the lives of many Americans. Sometimes symptoms of diabetes are difficult to recognize and warning signs aren’t always noticeable. In fact, 7 million Americans have undiagnosed diabetes. For some individuals, diabetes may go undiagnosed because the symptoms may seem so harmless. But, early detection can help decrease the chance of further complications leading to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure or blindness.
Medical research in the last few years has provided us with new information about diabetes. Now that we know more about who is at risk for diabetes, physicians are better able to diagnose the disease. Once diagnosed, not only can physicians better help people monitor their diabetes, they can also help them understand that diabetes can be effectively managed.
We know that diabetes is more common in certain ethnic groups – African Americans, Latin Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are genetically predisposed to developing diabetes. Individuals in these groups should pay close attention to other factors that put them at risk for diabetes. Once diagnosed, it’s important for individuals to follow the program their physician prescribes, whether this includes medical intervention, medication or changes in lifestyle, such as diet and exercise.
“Diabetes is a very serious disease, but the good news is that it can be controlled,” said Kimberly Roop, M.D., Medical Director for the Hoosier Healthwise (HHW) and Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) programs at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “It is critical that individuals with diabetes get the recommended tests and screenings done every year to prevent serious complications like kidney failure, blindness, amputations, stroke, and heart disease.”
If identified early, individuals who have diabetes can lead healthy, active lives. It is also important to have regular checkups to get the care needed to stay healthy.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana is available at www.anthem.com <http://www.anthem.com/> .