According to the International Diabetes Federation, one in 10 adults around the world lives with diabetes. There are two different types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes, which affects 5-10% of all diabetics, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. This type is generally diagnosed in children and teenagers, but people of all ages can receive a type 1 diagnosis. Although it is a lifelong condition, patients can take steps to manage their type 1 diabetes and live a normal, healthy life.
The most common type of diabetes is Type 2, affecting 90-95% of all diabetics. It is often diagnosed in people over 45 years old, but children and teenagers can also receive a Type 2 diagnosis. Like Type 1, Type 2 diabetics can manage their condition with a healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise, and monitoring their blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Although incurable, some patients can reverse Type 2 diabetes if they can reach and maintain normal blood sugar levels without medication. Usually, a Type 2 reversal occurs in patients who experience diet changes and weight loss.
When a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, they may be overwhelmed with their treatment plan and changes they need to make to manage the disease. Fortunately, there are many digital resources for diabetes patients, along with many virtual care options, like virtual primary care (VPC).
VPC is a great option for people who don’t have an established primary care physician (PCP) to speak with a provider. Oftentimes, people who move to a new place don’t have a PCP yet, which can be a bit challenging when in need of a prescription refill. Take Lisa* (name has been blinded for confidentiality) for example. Lisa is a diabetes patient who in addition to being in a new city, also worked 70 hours a week, making it difficult to fit in-person healthcare visits into her schedule.
Lisa is insulin-dependent and couldn’t go too long without seeing a healthcare provider. Due to her schedule and needs, Lisa booked a VPC visit. During Lisa’s visit, her virtual PCP assessed her condition and wanted to dive deeper into Lisa’s health since her blood sugar levels had increased significantly, despite taking medication. In the VPC visit, the physician checked Lisa with a home glucometer, digital blood pressure cuff, and a scale, along with assessing her physical appearance for swelling. The PCP performed 90% of the visit virtually, all of which would have been done at an in-person visit.
That virtual visit was the first step Lisa needed to see a specialist in-person, thanks to an electronic referral from her virtual PCP. Lisa now has her diabetes under control and her blood sugar levels are back to non-diabetic levels.
Nutrition counseling is another option that can be particularly helpful for newly diagnosed diabetes patients, and is also easily done virtually. Patients can speak directly with a nutritionist to get personalized advice and diet plans to address their health needs all online. This is a great option for diabetic patients who must keep their insulin levels top of mind during meals or those who have been instructed to follow certain nutritional guidelines.
A lot of questions can come with receiving a diabetes diagnosis at any age. But remember, there are many resources available to help you manage your condition. Thanks to the increasing popularity of digital healthcare, it is now easier than ever to book an appointment that works with your schedule, allowing you to stay on top of your health with continuous care. Set up a virtual visit for online diabetes treatment today.