Telemedicine in Complex Diabetes Management
In this post-pandemic era, healthcare has become a priority for all nations around the world. The biggest problem on the planet these days has been patient management during the wild spread of COVID-19.
During the past year, telemedicine has played an important role in patient management in these dark times. For patients who suffer from chronic diseases such as arthritis, cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes telemedicine is no less than a benediction. For patients with complex diabetes or type-2 diabetes, telemedicine has been vital during all this time.
To understand how telemedicine has helped patients with complex diabetes it is important to understand what it is. Diabetes is a chronic disease behind the buildup of sugar or glucose levels in your bloodstream.
The insulin hormone helps in moving glucose from your bloodstream to cells where it is used to produce energy. In complex diabetes, the cell’s response to insulin declines drastically.
In the late stages, your body may stop producing enough insulin. This leads to high glucose levels which then lead to some extremely serious health complications.
Symptoms of Complex diabetes
The following are the symptoms of Complex or type-2 diabetes:
- Itchy skin
- Blurred vision
- Weight loss
- Unquenchable thirst
- Constant Hunger
- Yeast infections
- Slower healing for cuts and sores
- Dark patches on the skin
- High-intensity pain in feet
Causes of Complex Diabetes
The pancreas produces and releases the natural hormone insulin when a person eats. In complex diabetes, the patient’s body becomes insulin resistant. The pancreas thus needs to make more insulin.
Over time, this damages the pancreas making it unable to produce more insulin. Low insulin levels will lead to glucose build-up in the bloodstream. This leaves the cells starving for energy.
If you suffer from complex diabetes, it is important that you manage it well or it may lead to some serious symptoms and may even become fatal.
Complex Diabetes management in adults
The first thing to remember in complex diabetes management for adults is blood glucose monitoring. Keeping a constant eye on the blood glucose level helps understand the doctor and the patient about how certain lifestyle, food, and medications affect diabetes. It helps the physician to plan the next step accordingly.
Blood glucose levels can be checked by portable glucometers. They are easily available at a doctor’s office or pharmacy.
Other ways for adults to manage their complex diabetes are as follows:
- Eating foods that are rich in fibers and healthy carbohydrates. They help in keeping the blood glucose levels stable.
- Avoiding unhealthy foods such as trans-fats, sugars, processed and organ meats types such as beef and liver.
- Eating at regular intervals.
- Avoiding over-eating.
- Having a light aerobic activity to keep the heart in good health.
Telemedicine & Complex Diabetes
There are an estimated 415 million diabetes patients around the world. That makes up roughly 9% of the total adult population around the world. By 2040, it is estimated that the number might rise to 642 million. 77% percent of the current diabetic population lives in the middle or lower-income households and the disease expenditure is close to $550 billion.
To combat this disease, especially during the time of COVID-19, telemedicine plays an important role. It can aid in early diagnosis, monitoring the progression and management of complex diabetes in adults.
According to a study, Telemedicine was considered to be way better than usual clinical care in improving the HbA1c levels of the majority of patients. Five different studies have reported a decrease in hypoglycemia frequency in patients that have opted for telemedicine.
Secondary benefits of Telemedicine for patients with complex diabetes
Telemedicine has not only proved to be a better care plan for complex diabetes patients but it also has other benefits. As most of the patients suffering from diabetes come from lower-income households, telemedicine has been avant-garde in saving costs. Patients no longer need to drive and spend money on fuel and parking tickets which substantially decreases the overhead costs.
It has also proven to save time for patients. Not only that, but telemedicine also helps diabetic patients living in areas with less access to medical care reach out to doctors far more easily. Diabetic patients need a constant check on their glucose levels and telemedicine has made it quick easy and accessible with remote patient monitoring.
Diabetics are known to have a less effective immune system due to high blood sugar. According to studies, the slightest increase in blood sugar levels can give rise to a weaker immune system. This makes diabetes patients more susceptible to diseases than normal people.
Hospitals and clinics are known to be red-zones for pathogens because people with all kinds of diseases visit the doctors. Telemedicine helps keep diabetic patients safe from infections and diseases by having appointments in the comfort of their own home. The biggest role that telemedicine plays in health care for any chronic disease patient is a fast intervention in any kind of medical emergency.
Complex diabetes is a life-threatening disease with no cure. It has affected a large population around the globe. It is a disease that not only affects your blood sugar levels but also compromises your immunity. It makes you weak and susceptible to all kinds of different infections and diseases. It is something that is causing the world to spend billions of dollars just to keep the patients alive and healthy.
On top of that, the world now faces a great pandemic that has led the patients to be hostages to fortune in taking care of patients with this awful disease. From having over-flown hospitals and clinics to being unable to reach the physicians in time for treatment and care.
In these antagonistic times, telemedicine is here to save the day. Telemedicine is not only allowing patients with complex diabetes to save time and money, but also keeping them healthy and away from all the germs and pathogens that can attack their weak immune system. It has eased the access to care if you are a patient and live in a far off land with the least access to medical care.
With all this information, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that telemedicine the best-known solution to complex diabetes. It might not be a permanent cure, but it will make your life a lot easier than before.
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.