News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 22, 2012

FLASHPOINT: With proper support, diabetes can be managed effectively

Dr. Kimberly Roop
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

--- — As the nation watches the rate of diabetes grow, many individuals who are diagnosed with the disease worry about what it means for them. The good news is, if identified early, individuals who have diabetes can lead healthy, active lives.  

According to the American Diabetes Association there are 25.8 million adults and children in the United States who have diabetes. This accounts for 8.3 percent of the population. While an estimated 18.8 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, 7.0 million people still remain undiagnosed.

For some individuals, diabetes may go undiagnosed because the symptoms seem so harmless. But, early detection can help to decrease the chance of complications from the disease such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and 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.

Because obesity is linked to diabetes and obesity rates are rising, cases of diabetes are also increasing. This is why it is so important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine.

We also know that diabetes is more common in certain ethic 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 physicians prescribe, whether this includes medication or a specific change in lifestyle such as diet and exercise.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which serves Indiana’s Hoosier Healthwise (HHW) and Healthy Indiana (HIP) members, works closely with members with diabetes. Members can get valuable information and support from Anthem’s Diabetes Management Program, a program designed to help members understand and follow their prescribed plan of care.

Anthem is also launching new programs to help our HHW and HIP members complete the recommended blood tests A1C and LDL.  

Diabetes is a disease that is manageable. We want to give our members the information and support they need to be successful at managing their diabetes and avoid complications of this disease.

Anthem members enrolled in the Hoosier Healthwise and Healthy Indiana Plan programs can get information about diabetes management by calling Anthem’s Community Resource Center at 317-287-2669 or toll free at 866-464-9945.

Dr. Kimberly Roop of Indianapolis is medical director for the Hoosier Healthwise and Health Indiana Plans at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana.