Each year, the month of November is observed as “American Diabetes Month (ADM)” in the United States. Sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the annual campaign aims to raise awareness about the growing prevalence of diabetes, the health issues associated with it, raise funds for research into the condition and support people living with the condition. The campaign aims to create widespread awareness about the symptoms, promote healthy living and ensure people are aware of the associated risk factors. Regarded as a common metabolic disease, diabetes mellitus (commonly known as diabetes) causes high levels of blood sugar and affects how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose, being the brain’s main source of fuel, is an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues and is vital to your health. If left untreated, high levels of blood sugar can damage your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other vital organs. There is no specific cure for this condition. However, making healthy lifestyle modifications combined with medications can help effectively manage the condition in the long run. Endocrinologists or other physicians treating this metabolic disorder can rely on experienced medical billing and coding companies to meet their claim submission tasks.

Reports show that about 34 million Americans are living with diabetes today. According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes and approximately a third of them are pre-diabetic – meaning they are at a high risk of developing the condition. The 2020 month-long observance is the perfect platform to generate awareness about the risk factors, and actions to take to prevent diabetes. It aims to promote compassionate care and offer a message of hope to those living with the condition.

Chronic diabetes conditions comprise Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes occurs when the blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and may resolve after the baby is delivered. The exact factors that cause these types of diabetes are unknown. The symptoms of the condition may depend and vary on the level of blood sugar that is elevated. This is one primary reason why some people with pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, may not experience any specific symptoms at times. However, in Type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe. Some of the common symptoms include – frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, slow healing sores, increased thirst and hunger, blurred vision, fatigue, irritability, and frequent infections (such as gums or skin infections and vaginal infections).

Generally, any person who has symptoms of diabetes or is at high risk of the disease should be correctly tested. Pregnant women are routinely tested for gestational diabetes during their second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Physicians recommend blood tests like – fasting plasma glucose (FPG – measures blood sugar after fasting for 8 hours) and A1C test (gives a snapshot of the blood sugar levels over the previous 3 months). Physicians normally recommend these blood tests to diagnose pre-diabetes and diabetes. The earlier a person gets diagnosed with this condition, the faster effective treatment modalities can be administered. Most types of diabetes can be easily prevented by making simple adjustments to the patient’s lifestyle, diet, and fitness routine. Bringing in positive lifestyle changes like healthy eating, adequate physical activity and regular blood sugar monitoring can help regulate the blood sugar levels and prevent complications.

Diabetologists treating diabetes mellitus must make sure to correctly document the diagnosis, screening tests and other procedures using the right medical codes. Medical billing and coding services ensure this so that accurate claim submissions are done. ICD-10 codes used for diabetes mellitus include –

  • E10 Type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • E10.1 Type 1 diabetes mellitus with ketoacidosis
  • E10.2 Type 1 diabetes mellitus with kidney complications
  • E10.3 Type 1 diabetes mellitus with ophthalmic complications
  • E10.4 Type 1 diabetes mellitus with neurological complications
  • E10.5 Type 1 diabetes mellitus with circulatory complications
  • E10.6 Type 1 diabetes mellitus with other specified complications
  • E10.8 Type 1 diabetes mellitus with unspecified complications
  • E10.9 Type 1 diabetes mellitus without complications
  • E11 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • E11.0 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hyperosmolarity
  • E11.1 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus with ketoacidosis
  • E11.2 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus with kidney complications
  • E11.3 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus with ophthalmic complications
  • E11.4 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus with neurological complications
  • E11.5 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus with circulatory complications
  • E11.6 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus with other specified complications
  • E11.8 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus with unspecified complications
  • E11.9 – Type 2 diabetes mellitus without complications

The 2020 American Diabetes Month (ADM) is an opportunity to make the voice of the affected people heard. As part of the campaign, the ADA will conduct a deeper analysis into the existing systemic inequities in American healthcare, existing barriers to access care and medications, and the resources required to maintain overall wellness with the disease. This month, the ADA urges people to educate themselves about the disease, analyze the risk factors and make impactful changes by stepping outside the comfort zone. As part of the observance, healthcare centers and hospitals across the US host a wide range of events like seminars, discussions, and presentations and share information via social media platforms about the significance of diabetes prevention. The theme for the 2020 campaign is “#WeStandGreaterthan-diabetes”. People can raise their voice,-and share their images via various social media platforms under the hashtag – Together, #WeStandGreaterThan diabetes.

Take part in “American Diabetes Month (ADM)” campaign in November. Incorporate healthy lifestyle changes to take control of high blood sugar levels.