Winning Health | Gold Coast Health Plan | Issue 3 | Spring 2019

WINNING HEALTH 2 2019 © Coffey Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Member Services Luis Aguilar Health Education Lupe González, PhD, MPH Editor-in-Chief Susana Enriquez-Euyoque Chief Medical Officer Nancy R. Wharfield, MD WINNING HEALTH is published as a community service for the friends and patrons of GOLD COAST HEALTH PLAN, 711 E. Daily Drive, Suite #106, Camarillo, CA 93010-6082, telephone 1-888-301-1228/TTY 1-888-310-7347. Information in WINNING HEALTH comes from a wide range of medical experts. If you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health, please contact your health care provider. Models may be used in photos and illustrations. Diabetes: 7 key tests If you have diabetes, getting health checks is especially important. Here are seven tests you should get regularly. The first three are the ABCs: A1C. This test measures your average blood sugar level for the last two or three months. It gives you a bigger picture of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working, beyond daily blood sugar checks. You should have an A1C test every three to six months. Ask your doctor what number you should be aiming for. Blood pressure. High blood pressure is hard on your heart. It can cause a heart attack or stroke. And it can damage your kidneys and eyes. You should have your blood pressure checked every time you see your doctor. Ask your doctor what your blood pressure goal should be. Cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in your blood. There are two types, LDL and HDL. ●  ● LDL is the bad kind of cholesterol that can build up in your arteries. High LDL levels are linked to heart attack and stroke. You want a low LDL number. ●  ● HDL is the good kind of cholesterol. It helps move bad cholesterol out of your body. A higher HDL number is better. And a lower number is a risk factor for heart disease. You should have a cholesterol test at least once a year. Ask your doctor what your numbers are and how you might improve them. Four more don’t-miss tests Blood test. It is important to check your serum potassium and serum creatinine annually. You can do this by asking your doctor for a lab panel test. Dilated eye exam. You should have this test at least once a year. An eye doctor will put drops in your eyes to make the pupils bigger–and make problems easier to spot. Foot checks. Your doctor should look at your feet every time you visit. He or she will check for blisters, sores and other problems. You should also have a more detailed foot exam with your doctor every year to check blood flow, numbness, and your foot muscles and bones. Urine test. The best way to check the health of your kidneys is with a urine test. It looks for a protein called albumin in your urine. You should have this test every year. In addition to these seven tests, you should also get flu and pneumonia shots. People with diabetes are three times more likely to die from flu and pneumonia. These simple and safe vaccines can protect you. Sources: American Diabetes Association; American Heart Association; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases WINNING