Arthritis is a joint disease that causes pain and inflammation in the joints, making movement and staying active difficult. There are around 100 types of arthritis that occur due to different reasons and have corresponding treatment methods.
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Managing a chronic disease is surely not easy. But hey! that does not mean it is impossible. Do you know that diabetes is one of the most commonly found chronic diseases globally and in the UAE? And just like any other chronic disease, it requires several things to be appropriately managed. So, the first step of treating and then managing your high blood sugar levels begin with getting tested and identifying your diabetes in the first place. Identifying your type of diabetes is crucial since there are several types of diabetes. Therefore, you need to know the exact type you need to get treated for. So without any further ado, let's begin our diabetes management guide from the different types of diabetes and what risk factors may lead to them.
Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is a genetic disorder that can be spotted rather early. In this type of diabetes, the patient's immune system attacks the body's insulin-producing cells. Since insulin production is lowered, sugar or glucose that the patient consumes does not break down to enter the bloodstream and produce energy. Worse, it simply stays in its original form and increases the blood sugar level. Unfortunately, Type 1 diabetes has no permanent cure as of now. However, only seeking regular treatment and following whatever the doctor prescribes as per the respective patient's situation is there to the rescue.
Type 2 Diabetes: Mostly caused by lifestyle choices, type 2 diabetes often develops later in life rather than in childhood itself. Basically, in type 2 diabetes, the body stops reacting to insulin as it should after a while. Apart from that, Type 2 diabetes is often referred to as insulin-resistant diabetes as well. Moreover, Type 2 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in middle-aged people or later. Therefore, it is relatively rare to find someone young with type 2 diabetes. Also, do you know that Type 2 diabetes is also the most common type of diabetes globally, with almost 95% of the diabetic population to its name?
Gestational Diabetes: This type of diabetes is rare and occurs only in pregnant women. Gestational diabetes comes during the pregnancy and goes away after some time during pregnancy or after birth. While gestational diabetes does not last for long, it poses more significant risks in the future for the mother and the baby as well. Furthermore, mothers who have experienced gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, and the same applies to the baby as well. Therefore, precautions must be practised to ensure both mother and the baby stay safe.
It is pretty rare to find a health insurance plan that offers coverage for type 1 diabetes. However, most insurance providers that generally offer coverage for type 2 diabetes may not offer the same or any benefits for type 1. The reasoning here is relatively straightforward. Since type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, treating and controlling it is a bit more complicated than with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, the treatment for type 1 diabetes goes on for much longer than type 2. However, exceptions being everywhere, type 1 diabetes is covered by a few healthcare providers in the UAE.
So, the possible benefits you can get in this coverage include doctor consultations, insulin shots, hospitalisation, rehabilitation and daycare services. In addition, covering for pre-existing diseases and cashless hospitalisation is also available with these plans. There are generally no add-ons available for diabetes cover in health insurance. So, in case you want to get insurance cover for your type 1 diabetes, you have to search for a specific plan that covers diabetes and other diseases and illnesses.
Most health insurance plans that offer coverage for diabetes include type 2 diabetes in their list. The most common benefits you can expect to find here include pre and post hospitalisation cover, daycare services cover, cashless hospitalisation cover, and cover for a pre-existing condition. However, covering for pre-existing conditions is only applicable when you buy your insurance plan after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In case you had bought the plan already, the pre-existing condition cover does not apply. Yet again, you cannot buy an add-on cover for type 2 diabetes specifically. You have to find the specific health insurance plan that covers it.
Your common health insurance in the UAE won't cover gestational diabetes. However, if your health insurance plan comes with maternity cover, you will get significant coverage for the same. Since gestational diabetes only happens when you are pregnant, there is no need for normal health insurance coverage to include it as a potential cover. Additionally, maternity plans covering gestational diabetes cover your diabetes screenings, tests, and insulin if deemed medically necessary by the doctor.
The waiting period on your diabetes cover is only applicable if it is categorised as a pre-existing condition by the provider. Adding to that, the waiting period for pre-existing conditions can range from 6 months to 2 years in the UAE, depending on the provider. However, more exclusive and expensive plans have a shorter waiting period, while a cost-effective, affordable health insurance plan may have a more extended waiting period.
Even though every health insurance plan is required to cover pre-existing diseases in the UAE, it is smarter to buy your insurance without letting diabetes fall into the category of a pre-existing illness. Over and beyond, if you wait for the very last moment to buy your health insurance, you will not only face trouble in finding the perfect plan since you will be in a hurry to make the purchase but will also have to pay a very high premium. Therefore, the right time to start researching your diabetes health insurance plan is when you find yourself at risk of developing diabetes. Having said that, once you start observing alarming signs or become pre-diabetic, it is wise to quickly conduct your research and buy the insurance plan that you like the best. Furthermore, people with a family history of type 2 diabetes should, in fact, get on with their buying process much earlier. In addition to buying your health insurance plan in time, it is also necessary that you keep getting yourself tested from time to time to get a real-time idea of where you stand with your blood glucose levels.
Your experience of living with diabetes can differ as per the type of diabetes you have. For people with type 2 diabetes, living and dealing with it is nothing more than a few medicines and a few changes in their lifestyle and habits. Moreover, Type 2 diabetes patients can expect to lead a life of precautions and prohibitions for quite some time, along with running the course of their prescribed medicines. Apart from that, dietary and other prohibitions should be exercised to ensure it doesn't pop up again even when their blood sugar levels have been brought under control. Alongside, living with type 2 diabetes is much like your ideal everyday life – eating well, taking up healthy habits, meditation, regular tests and screenings, and physical exercises.
However, the scenario can be much different for people with type 1 diabetes. Since this is an autoimmune disease, patients continuously have to take insulin shots or medicines. Sadly, simply changing lifestyle habits does not do much good with type 1 diabetes; Worse, going in the reverse direction may increase their health risks. However, the living situation with type 1 diabetes might feel normal after a while since it is often diagnosed in childhood.
Believe it or not, it won't take a lot to manage your diabetes. It sounds quite discomforting to realise that you may have to live with a condition for a rather prolonged time, maybe for the rest of your life. But here's the good thing about diabetes- it can easily be controlled and brought down from life-threatening levels. Following are some of the things you must do to manage your diabetes like a pro:
The first step you need to take when managing your diabetes is your ABCS. The ABCS of diabetes is a series of 'dos' you need to take care of when diagnosed with any type of diabetes.
What you eat is incredibly important when it comes to being diabetic. The prime reason for the same is that your food choices can significantly impact diabetes management. Since your blood sugar level must already be very high with diabetes, your goal should be to eat fewer carbs and more protein and fibre. So, ask your doctor to create a good meal plan to control your diabetes. For better results, you should choose as many green leafy vegetables, beans, grains, low-sugar fruits, chicken, fish, lean meats, non-fat milk, cheese, and other similarly healthy food items.
Moreover, replace your artificially sweetened drinks with water or nourishing options like coconut water. Also, avoid foods with high sugar, calories, trans fats, saturated fats and salt. Even high-sugar fruits shall be avoided. Finally, make sure you stick to your diet plan even after your sugar is back to its normal levels.
Since being overweight can also lead to diabetes, physical exercise to burn those extra calories becomes utterly crucial. Therefore, firstly, make sure that you work out 2-3 times a week. If your doctor has prescribed a certain level and hours of physical activity, be sure to follow through with their advice. If you can exercise every day, 30 minutes of work out shall be sufficient. Adding to that, taking up interesting activities like swimming or tennis can help gain interest in sparing more time for work out. In essence, eating healthy and getting regular exercise will do wonders for your diabetes.
Medicines are generally only prescribed when diet and lifestyle changes are insufficient to get the desired changes. So, if your doctor has prescribed you some medicines to control your blood glucose levels, always take your medicine and complete the course even if you feel that you are doing good now. Skipping medicines is surely not a good idea. For good measure, your diabetes medicines could be covered by your health insurance provider as well. So, have a word with the concerned authority and figure the details out.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, getting a home blood sugar testing kit and regularly checking your blood sugar levels can help expansively. Initially, take the test every day until your doctor approves your improvement. Next, even after you have your sugar under control, keep testing every other day to ensure no fluctuations whatsoever. Also, note that high blood sugar levels may lead to thirst, headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, and frequent urination, so don't forget to track these symptoms.
Managing diabetes can be complicated and stressful. But do you know stress itself may become a trigger for your blood sugar levels? Therefore, it would help if you manage your stress in a more positive, soothing manner. For example, take up some relaxing hobbies like gardening, yoga, reading, etc. Encapsulating, find healthy ways to cope with your diabetes instead of stressing out about it. If required, join a support group and meet others on the same pedestal. Finally, get enough sleep every day and focus your energies on getting better and better every day.
From doctor visits to medicines and meal plans, everything about your diabetes management should be ideally planned. Begin with meeting up with your primary care physician and create a planner for yourself. If required, add a health care team to the planner as well. Thereafter, keep track of your blood sugar level and ensure that you have made important notes about your symptoms. Basically, make sure you are on point with everything about your health and diabetes, at least for as long as your treatment is going on.
You will have to do a few things every day when you are actively getting treated for diabetes. Overall, high blood sugar levels can lead to several other health problems and make your health even worse. For example, an open wound may not heal at its regular rate. Therefore, your to-do list should contain checking your hands and feet for any new cuts and blisters, brushing regularly but flossing softly, tracking your progress and informing the doctor about anything that seems off.
A big part of diabetes management is your doctor visits. For example, you may be visiting your doctor quite a lot for the next few months or even a year. Therefore, you must get the best out of each visit and make sure that you get everything necessary done. Now, let's have a look at what exactly you should keep in mind while visiting your doctor so you don't miss anything.
The base of diabetes is that it is not only a chronic disease that requires a lot of attention and care, but it may also lead to several additional health issues. Not only that, since diabetes requires a long treatment time, it may often lead to stress, irritability and depression as most chronic diseases do. Therefore, the key thing to remember here is that diabetes is highly treatable and can be controlled rather easily with just a little precaution. On top of it, your health insurance plans offer quality coverage to back you up financially. So, simply following your doctor's advice and diabetes management will be a piece of cake from thereon.