November, a month where the leaves are turning vibrant colors, and our thoughts are turning to the holidays. Families are planning Thanksgiving feasts that are complete with delicious savory food and tasty, sweet deserts. The menu will consist of old-time favorites that never change – turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, and apple pie.
November is also National Diabetes Month, and this year the focus is on prediabetes and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are elevated, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes occurs when cells in the body don’t respond normally to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. This causes the pancreas to produce more insulin than needed and, eventually when the pancreas can no longer keep up production, blood sugar levels rise, leading to type 2 diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 American adults have pre-diabetes – approximately 88 million people – and of those, 84 percent are unaware of it. This puts a very large number of people at risk for not only type 2 diabetes, but also heart disease, pulmonary issues, and stroke.
The CDC also leads the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) in partnership with other public and private organizations working to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Their goal is to make it easier for people at risk for type 2 diabetes to participate in evidence-based lifestyle change programs to reduce their risk. These lifestyle changes are not drastic. Taking brisk 30-minute walks a few times a week, maintaining a healthy diet, and moderating alcohol intake can help with weight loss and further decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
For BioIQ, diabetes prevention is very personal. BioIQ was founded in 2005 by Justin Bellante after his friend and academic mentor suffered a fatal stroke as the result of an undiagnosed diabetic condition. A simple A1C or blood glucose test would have revealed his risk for contracting this devastating disease and could have potentially saved his life. Click here to see the BioIQ story.
The first step to identifying pre-diabetes is a simple blood sugar test. BioIQ offers a full At-Home Prevention Panel that can provide results for A1c without ever going into a doctor’s office. The panel includes a test for A1c and three additional tests:
- A1C: Hemoglobin A1C is used to test a person’s average blood sugar over the past 3 months. Elevated levels are associated with higher blood sugar levels and can be used to screen for pre-diabetes and diabetes.
- Lipid Panel: Blood fats like cholesterol, Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), and triglycerides can be used to determine risk for heart attacks and stroke.
- Hepatitis C: A liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It´s recommend for at least once in a lifetime for all adults aged 18 years and older.
- Serum Creatinine + eGFR: This test is used to evaluate kidney function. A measure of creatinine and eGFR is a calculation that determines how well the blood is filtered by the kidneys, which is one way to measure remaining kidney function.
Implementing the Prevention Panel will help your organization identify and test at-risk populations for prediabetes, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and hepatitis C. Participants can now take control of their health by accessing digital healthcare services, completing lab tests, and viewing results from the comfort of their home.
BioIQ is relied on by Fortune 500 companies and more than 50 health plans representing 7 out of 10 fully insured American lives to deliver resilient and timely testing, health screening, and vaccination strategies for consumers. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions in your population.