As a low cost medical clinic, Hurtt Family Health Clinic provides affordable diabetes treatment and management to low income families in Orange County.
Diabetes is a common disease and was the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2015. According to the American Diabetes Association, as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans were affected by diabetes in both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases. Of these, 25.2%, or about 12 million, were seniors age 65 and older.
Despite its widespread prevalence, treatment for diabetes varies from one individual to the next. If you’re affected by the disease, it’s important to work closely with healthcare professionals to come up with a treatment plan that best suits your unique condition.
Types of diabetes
There are two basic types of diabetes:
Type 1 – Usually affecting children and young adults, type 1 diabetes happens when the body is not producing enough insulin to deliver glucose into the bloodstream
Type 2 – The most common type of diabetes, type 2 diabetes is characterized by a higher than normal level of glucose in the blood. The body is not able to use insulin properly – a condition known as insulin resistance – and is thus unable to distribute glucose from the blood to the cells. This results in low energy levels and negative effects on your eyesight, kidneys, nerves and heart. Earlier in life, the pancreas produces extra insulin to make up for this condition, but over time, the pancreas’s ability to do so diminishes.
Symptoms of diabetes
Common symptoms of the disease include:
- Frequent urination
- Frequent thirst and hunger
- Extreme fatigue
- Poor eyesight
- Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
- Unexplained weight loss (for type 1)
- Pain, numbness or tingling sensation in the hands or feet (for type 2)
If you have any of these symptoms, consult with a healthcare professional to be properly diagnosed. Note that many type 2 cases have symptoms that are so mild they often go unnoticed. The best way to detect the disease is through regular check-ups and blood examinations.
Treatment of diabetes
Treating diabetes is a holistic process that encompasses your diet, physical activity and medication. Obesity is a common cause of the disease, so having a well-balanced diet, doing regular exercise, and watching your weight are important in maintaining a normal blood glucose level.
Blood glucose testing
Blood glucose testing is an essential part of diabetes intervention. Your blood glucose level could go well above the normal because of the disease, or below normal because of diabetes medications. Through regular measurements of your blood glucose level, you and your caregiver can make quick decisions about your diet and activity, and avoid complications like heart attack, blindness and kidney diseases. Diabetes patients are advised to have their own blood glucose meters so they can check their blood glucose levels at any given time. They are also asked to undergo A1C and eAG testing at least twice a year.
Insulin is essential for people with type 1 diabetes. While many with type 2 diabetes may also need insulin, this is not always the case. If diet, exercise and weight loss are not enough to keep your diabetes in check, you may be prescribed oral diabetes medication – sometimes in combination with insulin – to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
The cost of diabetes treatment and Medicare coverage
A major component of the cost for diabetes treatment goes to diabetic supplies. Medications including insulin, regular tests and doctor visits also make up a substantial part of the costs. Medicare Part B covers the cost for some of the supplies, including:
- Blood glucose meters
- Blood sugar testing strips and control solutions
- Lancet devices and lancets
- Therapeutic shoes and inserts
Some services are also covered by Medicare, including:
- Diabetes self-management training
- Annual eye exams
- Foot exams
- Glaucoma tests
- Nutrition therapy services
Hurtt Family Clinic is a low cost medical clinic that welcomes diabetes patients, with or without insurance. With our sliding medical fees and other solutions, we can help you receive continuing care and treatment for diabetes without having to worry about the costs. Get in touch with us at our Contact Us page, or call our main line at (714) 247-0300 to find out more.