With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month, Brand New Day, a California Medicare Advantage program, has a dire warning for the estimated 80 million American “time bombs” who are pre-diabetic but don’t realize it — schedule a check-up at once. Left undetected and untreated, these individuals are particularly vulnerable for developing Type II diabetes, a potentially devastating condition that affects every major organ in the body and can result in severe complications including kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, heart disease, stroke and even death.
Michael Tehrani, M.D., a board-certified internist with Brand New Day, whose Embrace Plan is tailored for diabetics, says there are many misconceptions about the disease.
“Among the myths associated with diabetes is that it only impacts the elderly, which simply isn’t true,” Tehrani explains. “The fact is that there are millions of pre-diabetic Americans of all ages, ethnicities, and social-economic backgrounds, although it is true that one’s chances increase if they are overweight, have a family history of the disease and/or are living mainly sedentary lives. Also, African Americans, Hispanics, and those over 45 also are at greater risk.”
Tehrani advises the public to be mindful of the warning signs including a noticeable increase in thirst and/or hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the feet or hands, frequent infections, and slow-healing sores.
“The good news is that the condition is completely reversible,” he says. “Among the most important actions one can take are adhering to a proper diet, incorporating exercise into your daily routine, and refraining from smoking and drinking excess alcohol.”
Brand New Day recommends avoiding the following: pastries, donuts, cookies, and other baked goods; refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, bagels and white rice; breakfast cereals; processed foods; soda; and fried and fatty foods. Also, experts from the plan also warn against seemingly “healthy” foods like flavored yogurt, granola, energy bars, protein shakes and sports drinks.
In addition to its Embrace Plan, Brand New Day’s benefit plans that are available to those with Medicare Part A and B or with Medicare and Medi-Cal include:
— Classic Plan — basic plan for its Medicare-only, Medicare and Medi-Cal members
— Bridges Plan — serving those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
— Harmony Plan — serving those with mental illness including major depression, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and paranoid disorder
— Select Plan — serving those residing in assisted living communities or long-term care (nursing homes) facilities
Brand New Day works with independent brokers throughout the state and can arrange for an in-person appointment for those wanting to review their plans anywhere in the state.
Brand New Day is a subsidiary of Bright HealthCare and Bright Health Group, (NYSE: BHG).
For more information about the Brand New Day Medicare Advantage plans, call (866) 255-4795 and visit www.BNDHMO.com .
Brand New Day
5455 Garden Grove Blvd, Suite 500
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Sahyadri Times journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.