Living with Diabetes

Sarah Jane Rodriguez

January 11, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Diabetes is a disorder of your metabolism. There are three forms of diabetes – type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Although diabetes is a serious condition, it can be managed. People with diabetes who proactively manage their condition can lead long and active lives.

In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the carbohydrates you eat into blood sugar that it uses for energy, and insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With insulin therapy and other treatments, everyone can learn to manage their condition and live long healthy lives.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it means that your body does not use insulin properly. While some people can control their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, others may need medication or insulin to help manage it.

Gestational diabetes occurs when your body can not make enough insulin during your pregnancy. You can do a lot to manage your gestational diabetes. Go to all your prenatal appointments and follow your treatment plan, including checking your blood sugar, eating healthy foods in the right amount at the right time, being active and monitoring the baby.

Detection and Monitoring of Diabetes

The A1C test – also known as the hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test – is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. It is one of the commonly used tests to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes and help you and your health care team manage it. Higher A1C levels are linked to diabetes complications, so reaching and maintaining your individual A1C goal is crucial if you have diabetes.

How Can APWU Health Plan Help

The Health Plan’s mission is to partner with our members to manage their diabetes. Our goal is for you to live life to the fullest.

To be there for our members, the Health Plan has enhanced its diabetes benefits for High Option members. Enhancements include diabetes medications at a lower cost, including a $0 copay for generic oral medication, formulary blood glucose test strips, and lancets (used to reduce blood sugar) and $25 copay for most insulin.

You also have access to diabetes self-management training services, up to 10 hours of initial training in the first year and two hours of subsequent training annually. Visit to estimate your cost with our Prescription Cost Calculator. Under the “Already a Member” tab, click on the “Pharmacy” link under the High Option column.

When you have diabetes, you will have a lot to manage, but you can take it one step at a time. Your health care team will help you set goals and make a treatment plan. Adherence to the plan will lead to success in managing your diabetes and living your healthiest life! For further information, please go to:,,

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