In­sur­ance Cover for Di­a­betes

Which one's your type?

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Med­i­cal lit­er­a­ture tells us that the most ef­fec­tive ways to re­duce the risk of heart disease,can­cer, stroke, di­a­betes, Alzheimer' s, and many more prob­lems are through healthy diet and ex­er­cise. Our bod­ies have evolved to move, yet we now use the en­ergy in oil in­stead of mus­cles to do our­work. ~ David Suzuki

The num­bers are out there, star­ing us in the eye. From an es­ti­mated 108 mil­lion in 1980 to 422 mil­lion in 2014, the num­ber of the di­a­betes-af­flicted has risen sharply. And it is pro­jected that by the year 2030 di­a­betes will be­come the 7th lead­ing cause of death on a global level. By the year 2025, every fifth pa­tient in the world will be an In­dian (as per WHO es­ti­mates). The age of pa­tients can be any­where from 20 to 60. What's the con­clu­sion then? That we all in­sure our­selves against this mod­ern-day scourge? Be­cause it's con­sid­ered to be a life­style dis­or­der, per­haps the best way to re­ally in­sure our­selves is to adopt a health­ier, more con­scious life­style. But for a just-in-case sce­nario and to be on the safer side, we can con­sider tak­ing in­sur­ance cover. Be­cause di­a­betes is also at least par­tially hered­i­tary, tak­ing in­sur­ance cover would seem

Hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion due to war or an act of war, or due to a nu­clear, chem­i­cal or bi­o­log­i­cal weapon, and ra­di­a­tion of any kind We com­pared five in­sur­ance plans that cover Type-2 di­a­betes. The as­sess­ment pa­ram­e­ters in­cluded max­i­mum and min­i­mum sum as­sured, max­i­mum and min­i­mum en­try age, wait­ing pe­riod, cov­er­age of pre­hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion and post-hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion ex­penses, and pol­icy term. Con­sumer feed­back was used to iden­tify the most im­por­tant and ben­e­fi­cial vari­ables and also as­sess the qual­ity of ser­vice.

The D Word

Di­a­betes is a disease char­ac­terised by the hu­man body’s in­abil­ity to use glu­cose for growth and en­ergy. Nor­mally, the glu­cose pro­duced from the break­down of food gets ab­sorbed into our blood. It must then en­ter the blood cells in or­der to be utilised by the body. This process re­quires in­sulin, a hor­mone pro­duced by the pan­creas. In di­a­betes, ei­ther the pan­creas can’t make in­sulin (Type 1 di­a­betes), or the cells don’t re­spond to the in­sulin prop­erly (in­sulin re­sis­tance) and the pan­creas pro­duces in­ad­e­quate in­sulin for the body’s in­creased needs (Type 2 di­a­betes). If the in­sulin is un­able to work ad­e­quately, the glu­cose chan­nels can­not open prop­erly. Glu­cose builds up in the blood in­stead of get­ting into the cells, thereby rais­ing the blood sugar level. Per­sis­tently high blood sugar has a dam­ag­ing and cas­cad­ing ef­fect on sev­eral or­gans of the body, lead­ing to com­pli­ca­tions of di­a­betes. Type 2 di­a­betes is con­sid­ered to be a ‘life­style disease’, be­cause it is more com­mon in peo­ple who lead seden­tary lives and are over­weight or obese. It is strongly as­so­ci­ated with high blood pres­sure and high choles­terol. Type 2 di­a­betes of­ten runs in fam­i­lies.

The ma­jor cat­e­gories of di­a­betes broadly fall un­der the fol­low­ing heads: Pre-di­a­betes

• It is a con­di­tion in which fast­ing plasma glu­cose (FPG) lev­els are higher than nor­mal range (70 to 100 mg/dL) but not high enough to be diagnosed as di­a­betes (100–125 mg/dL). This con­di­tion is also called ‘im­paired fast­ing glu­cose-IFG). • Peo­ple with pre-di­a­betes are at a high risk of de­vel­op­ing Type-2 Di­a­betes. More­over, long-term dam­age to their heart and blood ves­sels may al­ready have started. • Pre-di­a­betes means a 50 per cent higher risk of heart disease and stroke as com­pared with some­one with nor­mal FPG. • The good news is that clin­i­cal tri­als have shown that adults with pre-di­a­betes can pre­vent or de­lay

the on­set of Type-2 di­a­betes if they fol­low the right diet and ex­er­cise.

Type 1 Di­a­betes (Di­a­betes Mel­li­tus 1)

• This is also re­ferred to as ju­ve­nile di­a­betes/in­sulin-de­pen­dent di­a­betes mel­li­tus (IDDM). This con­di­tion oc­curs when the body’s own im­mune sys­tem de­stroys the in­sulin-pro­duc­ing cells in the pan­creas. • This is a rel­a­tively un­com­mon con­di­tion, ac­count­ing for less than 10 per cent cases of di­a­betes. In

most cases, it is diagnosed be­fore 30 years of age. • Un­for­tu­nately, this con­di­tion is not re­versible and the per­son has to take reg­u­lar in­sulin in­jec­tions

life­long so as to lead a nor­mal life.

Type 2 Di­a­betes (DM 2)

• It is also called adult on­set or non-in­sulin-de­pen­dent di­a­betes (NIDDM). • It is the more com­mon form of di­a­betes, ac­count­ing for up to 90 per cent cases of di­a­betes. • Peo­ple with Type-2 di­a­betes pro­duce ad­e­quate in­sulin but their blood cells can­not use it (a con­di­tion of ‘in­sulin re­sis­tance’). • It usu­ally oc­curs in adults over 35 years old, but can af­fect any­one, in­clud­ing chil­dren. • It is usu­ally a life­style disease re­lated to obe­sity, phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity and age, and to some ex­tent, the fam­ily his­tory.

Other di­a­betic forms

Type-3 di­a­betes: It is caused due to the re­sis­tance of in­sulin in the brain. This con­di­tion is a type of Alzheimer’s disease. Ges­ta­tional di­a­betes: It oc­curs in women dur­ing preg­nancy. This has higher chances of get­ting con­verted into Type-2 di­a­betes if left un­cured. Ges­ta­tional di­a­betes is nor­mally cov­ered un­der the ma­ter­nity ben­e­fits of a health in­sur­ance pol­icy. You are a di­a­betic if: • The sugar (plasma glu­cose) level in your blood is more than 126 mg/dL when tested dur­ing fast­ing

(per­formed in the morn­ing as this pro­vides the body with ad­e­quate time to fast). • The blood in sugar level ex­ceeds 200 mg/dL un­der ran­dom test­ing method, if you choose to do the

test af­ter food (about two hours af­ter nor­mal food in­take) • Your HbA1c test, also known as the haemoglobin A1c or gly­cated haemoglobin test, re­turns a read­ing

of 6.0–6.4 per cent.

Symp­toms in­clude: • in­creased thirst • in­creased hunger (es­pe­cially af­ter eat­ing) • dry mouth • fre­quent uri­na­tion • un­ex­plained weight loss (in spite of reg­u­lar eat­ing and hunger) fa­tigue (weak/tired feel­ing) • blurred vi­sion • loss of con­scious­ness (very rare) • slow-heal­ing sores or cuts • itch­ing of the skin • fre­quent yeast infections • re­cent weight gain • numb­ness or tin­gling of the hands and feet • im­po­tence or erec­tile dys­func­tions

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