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A member journey: No more diabetes medications

By Chelsea Moravek | June 22, 2018 | Healthy Lifestyle

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We all have different goals when it comes to healthy eating. And just like our goals, we also have our own unique motivators. For one Blue Cross NC member, who we will call Rebecca, the drive came from losing members of her family to diabetes.

Rebecca’s situation

Rebecca was obese. She had type II diabetes and high cholesterol. She was high risk for other high blood sugar problems like heart, nerve, and kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.

She was used to this as she watched many in her family suffer from similar health issues. Rebecca was also her mother’s caregiver. She saw how her mother’s poor eating habits impacted her blood sugar.

It was time for a change.

Finding an ally

Rebecca was connected to our case management program. She was offered our nutrition counseling services. Nancy Morgridge, RDN, LDN, one of our registered dieticians, began chatting with Rebecca.

“She was highly driven,” says Nancy. “She knew she had to change or she would face unavoidable sickness. She wasn’t ready to give up and I was ready to help.”

Rebecca and Nancy began speaking regularly. Nancy had to fully grasp Rebecca’s complicated work schedule. Together they developed S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) and set up Rebecca for success.

Journey of change

Nancy says it’s vital for her to touch base with members often. While she makes routine outreach, people she works with have regular access to her.

“They can call me daily if they want and need to,” she says. “A few people have even called me from the grocery store!”

Ultimately, her priority is helping changes become permanent. Nancy says it takes about six months to fully embrace new behaviors. It doesn’t happen quickly. 

“It was important to suggest changes Rebecca could embrace,” Nancy says. “It’s best to look for the smallest change that will give the biggest results. For Rebecca, that meant fiber-rich grains, leafy low carbohydrate veggies, whole fruits, and reduced refined carbs.”

Off medication and feeling good

Through nutrition counseling, Rebecca was able to lose weight and get off all of her diabetes medications. She was also able to cut her cholesterol dose in half. And the best part for her, she was feeling good again.

For Nancy, she lives by two mantras while helping members: “Let thy food be thy medicine,” Hippocrates, and “The first wealth is health,” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Nutrition counseling services

Case Management Nutrition Counseling is on hand telephonically to commercially-insured Blue Cross NC members.

The team is a great resource for those looking for guidance. The Internet is not always the answer. Our dieticians give science-based tips.

They help with SMART goal setting and finding barriers to success. They also help members follow discharge diet instructions such as heart healthy, low sodium, diabetic, low fiber, and more.

If you need assistance to better manage a complex or chronic health condition not well controlled, check out our webpage through Blue Connect for more information and how to reach a case manager. Note: you must be logged into Blue Connect to access.