As one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States, diabetes impacts 34.2 million people, or 10.5% of the entire population. Currently, 26.9 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, while an additional 88 million people have prediabetes (34.5% of the adult US population) according to the National Diabetes Statistics report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

That’s why it’s so important to understand what diabetes is, and how to recognize the signs so you can make more informed decisions about your health. AXA XL offers resources to help you prevent and manage diabetes.

What is diabetes?

When a person has diabetes, his or her body doesn’t properly process food for use as energy. A hormone called insulin is responsible for this process: either the body is not using the insulin properly, or isn’t making enough of it, which can cause sugars to build up in a person’s blood. Raised blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can lead to serious damage to the body, especially in one’s nerves, blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys.

Know the types

A person may have prediabetes, type 1, type 2, or gestational forms of the chronic condition.

  • Prediabetes: Prediabetes is when the amount of glucose in your blood is higher than normal, but not quite high enough to be considered diabetes. If detected early, you can delay or prevent diabetes when you make healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Type 1: Type 1 is diagnosed when the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Type 1 typically appears during childhood or adolescence, but can begin in adulthood, as well.
  • Type 2: With this type, one’s body resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough to maintain a normal glucose level. It’s more common in adults and can typically be managed by maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Gestational: This form of diabetes develops during pregnancy, and can cause high blood sugar, which can affect a woman’s pregnancy and baby’s health.

Who’s at risk?

According to the CDC, a person is at risk for developing prediabetes if you he or she is:

  • Overweight
  • 45 years or older
  • A child, brother, or sister of a family member with type 2 diabetes
  • Physically active fewer than three times per week
  • African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk)

Know the symptoms

Even for those who don’t have risk factors, it’s important to know what diabetes symptoms look like. Common symptoms include:

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Increased hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Find out more about symptoms on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website.

Diabetes prevention

At AXA XL, we are committed to supporting your total wellbeing – wherever you are in your life. As such, we offer a variety of resources to help you prevent prediabetes.

Get a virtual check-up

Chronic conditions or risk factors for chronic conditions can be detected during routine physical exams.  Even if you can’t make it to the doctor’s office for an in-person check-up, you have access to a new option to receive a virtual wellness screening through MDLIVE. To receive your wellness screening through MDLIVE, you must:

  1. Complete your MDLIVE online health assessment.
  2. Choose an in-network lab and schedule an appointment.
  3. Choose an MDLIVE provider and schedule your virtual visit.
  4. Go to your lab appointment. You’ll receive a notification when the results are available in the MDLIVE customer portal.
  5. Attend your virtual visit from anywhere via video or phone. After your visit, you’ll receive a summary of your screening results for your records.

Annual wellness screenings are covered at no cost to you, as part of your preventive care benefits through your AXA XL medical plan. What’s more, when you record completion of a telehealth visit, you can earn $50 through the Staying Well program.

Note: In order to receive your screening, you will need to visit a lab for your blood work and biometrics. The rest is completed online and via video or phone, wherever it’s most convenient for you.

Make lifestyle changes

You can make changes such as losing weight if you’re overweight, eating healthier, and getting regular physical activity. If you need a little extra help, the Cigna Lifestyle Management program is available at no cost to you. And, when you participate, you can earn up to $75 per activity through the Staying Well program!

Have questions or concerns about your diabetes risk? Talk with your doctor, who can make the appropriate recommendations based on your health history.

Stay well and manage diabetes with Livongo’s help

Livongo Transform Care, offered through our partnership with CVS Caremark, helps you take control of diabetes, with easy-to-use technology and expertise from Certified Diabetes Educators. If you and your family are enrolled in an AXA XL medical plan and you or a family member has diabetes, you can participate in Livongo, which offers three components:

  • A connected glucose meter that transmits your blood glucose readings, features real-time support, and offers personalized tips
  • Free and ongoing test strip supply delivered right to your door
  • Virtual coaching from Certified Diabetes Educators

To get started, visit join.livongo.com/AXAXL/register or call 1-800-945-4355 and use registration code “AXA XL.”

AXA XL is named a 2021 Cigna Well-Being Award recipient!

Each year, Cigna selects a group of organizations for Cigna Well-Being Award® recognition to honor the difference they are making in the health and well-being of their colleagues. The Well-Being Award recognizes areas such as leadership, organizational foundations, policy and environment, program implementation and participation.

This year, we are proud to announce that AXA XL has received a Cigna Well-Being Award. We couldn’t have achieved this recognition without your commitment and participation in our Staying Well program accessible from the www.myCigna.com wellness and incentives platform. For more information about the well-being resources available to you, refer to the Staying Well at AXA XL brochure.

Thank you for your part in building a culture of well-being at AXA XL.