September 15, 2022
Health Tips and Tricks for Diabetes Management, Prevention & Reversal
Providence Health Plan Provides Solutions for Type 2 Diabetes
More than 37 million people, or one in 10 individuals, have diabetes in the U.S., with 90-95% living with type 2 diabetes. As the condition continues to be a major concern within the healthcare industry, with obesity rates skyrocketing and the cost of healthy, nutritious food increasing, PHP provides resources and services to help members battle the disease. By educating individuals on risk factors and prevention methods, and offering programs to support members with diabetes, PHP is helping members maintain their health, reduce blood sugar levels, or even reverse a diabetes diagnosis.
Keep reading to learn more about type 2 diabetes, key prevention methods, and how to manage a diagnosis.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed later in life and causes blood sugar, or glucose, in the blood to become too high, which can sometimes lead to increased risk for heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. Common symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent bathroom use, and exhaustion. Although some individuals may not experience any symptoms, it’s important to be aware of the risk factors, such as being overweight or physically inactive for less than 30 minutes three times per week.
If you believe you may have type 2 diabetes, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider (PCP) to check your glucose levels. PCPs will also be able to help you develop the best care plan, as type 2 diabetes is a disease that is mostly self-managed. It may also be helpful to utilize some of the resources below for extra support to manage your condition.
The key to preventing type 2 diabetes is staying active and eating healthy. Before developing type 2 diabetes, most individuals are found to have prediabetes, which is when blood sugar is high but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. In the U.S., 96 million adults have prediabetes but 80% are unaware of their condition due to a lack of symptoms.
The best way to prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes is by making healthy choices and changing your lifestyle habits. If you’re unsure of where to start, PHP offers the Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyle (H.E.A.L.) Program, a yearlong program designed for individuals with prediabetes and/or those at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Patients are partnered with coaches to create a health plan based on their individual needs, with the goal of achieving moderate weight loss by eating well and being active.
Staying physically active is just as important as eating healthy but it can be difficult to get started with an exercise routine and stay consistent. To encourage movement, PHP suggests making working out fun by trying different types of physical activity, such as hiking or swimming, to see what sticks. For more motivation, grab a friend and attend a workout class! Having an exercise partner is not only fun but provides accountability in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
It’s important for PHP to ensure members have the resources needed to develop and maintain healthy eating habits. The HEAL Program is a great resource to help with meal planning and inspiration for healthy eating. For more meal planning tips and recipes, click here.
Managing & Reversing Type 2 Diabetes
After receiving a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, there is still an opportunity to reverse symptoms and significantly decrease blood sugar levels. PHP has partnered with Virta Health to bring a first-of-its-kind type 2 diabetes offering to members struggling with the disease, helping to reverse the disease and improve overall health.
Virta’s treatment helps individuals reverse their condition by achieving normal blood sugar levels without medications. In the company’s clinical trial, the program helped 94% of participating patients using insulin either decrease or eliminate their dosage at one year. Additionally, 63% of all patients eliminated their usage of diabetes-related prescriptions at one year (improved to 67% at year two), and 12% of patients saw sustained weight loss. One PHP member who recently joined Virta has dramatically reduced blood sugar levels, lost over 30 pounds, and seen reductions in stomach issues and inflammation. Asked about the experience, they said that “Virta showed me that I don't have to stay overweight, be on insulin, and yo-yo for the rest of my life."
No matter the disease or diagnosis, PHP offers access to the care and resources needed to help members manage their health and maintain a healthy lifestyle. To talk with a provider about how to better manage your disease or overall health, check out our Provider Directory.