Telemedicine Makes Diabetes Monitoring Easy

By: Donna Pleis

DiabetesIf you are one of the millions of people dealing with diabetes, daily blood-sugar monitoring and close contact with your medical doctor is critical to staying healthy and avoiding serious complications. But busy schedules, transportation difficulties, or living in a remote area can be obstacles that keep you from getting the care you need. Telemedicine, on the other hand, offers anyone with a chronic disease easy and efficient access to their health care provider, saving both time and money.

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body processes blood sugars called glucose. Glucose is an important source of energy for your body’s cells, and it’s especially vital to brain function. However, having  too much glucose in your blood, which is the case with diabetes, puts you at risk for serious health conditions.

Causes of Diabetes

Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, regulates the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body’s immune system destroys insulin-producing cells, causing an accumulation of glucose in your bloodstream. With type 2 diabetes, an elevated level of glucose is the result of your body’s cells becoming resistant to insulin. Genetic and environmental factors play a role in both types 1 and 2, but being overweight and a lack of physical activity often contributes to type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms to Look For

T ype 1 diabetes has an onset of symptoms that are more sudden and severe than type 2, and it often occurs during childhood; whereas, type 2 usually affects i ndividuals over the age of 40, according to the Mayo Clinic. But if you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor right away.

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Excessive hunger and/or weight loss
  • Frequently feeling tired and irritable
  • Recurrent skin, gum, or vaginal infections
  • Unclear or blurry vision
  • Sores that don’t heal or heal slowy

Consequences of Uncontrolled Diabetes

Complications can progress gradually, and the higher your blood-sugar levels, the higher the probability of serious or life-threatening  health issues. Uncontrolled diabetes increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, as well as nerve damage, especially in the legs, leading to a loss of feeling in your limbs. Diabetes can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys, resulting in the need for a kidney transplant or dialysis, and blindness can occur if the blood vessels in your retina become damaged. Diabetes also raises your risk for cataracts, glaucoma, and hearing impairment. Poor blood flow affects healing, and untreated infections can lead to the amputation of a toe, foot, or leg. And if you have untreated periodontal (gum) disease, high blood-sugar levels increase your chances of  tooth loss.

Let Telemedicine Help

As a diabetic, frequent office visits are the norm. But with a telemedicine plan, you can easily communicate with your doctor or access health records via your phone, computer, or mobile device, potentially eliminating the need for 4 out of 5 office visits. A number of  telemedicine plans are pay-per-use, but when dealing with a chronic illness, like diabetes, you don’t want to skimp on exchanges with your doctor just to save money. Call a Doctor Plus (CADR+) is an option, offered through My Generation Benefits, that gives you as many free consultations as you and your family need for one monthly fee of $19.95. And CADR+ offers a large network of board certified health care providers. So, why not let the technology of telemedicine help keep your diabetes under control and save you money at the same time? If you click on the link to the right and enroll in CADR+ today — you can feel free to call your doctor tomorrow.