Health Topics

Health Topics

Many ATC members report living with chronic illnesses

Common diagnoses among ATC members in recent years include:
  • Hypertension (or High Blood Pressure)
  • Overweight/Obesity
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
Talk to your ATC doctor if you have trouble managing your health or if you have concerns about how you are feeling.

Learn More About…


Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.

Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help. Taking medicine as needed, getting diabetes self-management education and support, and keeping health care appointments can also reduce the impact of diabetes on your life.

Learn more about different types of diabetes, including pre-diabetes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or call 1-800-232-4636 and the American Diabetes Association or call 1-800-342-2383.

Diabetes Newsletters

Since so many ATC members report living with diabetes, Access to Care created an informational diabetes newsletter that was mailed to all members in 2020.

If you missed an issue, you can find them all here:

If you have questions about diabetes or whether you might be at-risk for developing diabetes, call your Access to Care doctor.


In order to survive and function properly, your tissues and organs need the oxygenated blood. Your your circulatory system carries throughout the body. When your heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped blood vessels, which include arteries, veins and capillaries.

Hypertension (or High Blood Pressure (HBP) is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high.

Learn more about signs, symptoms and management of hypertension from The American Heart Association or call 1-800-242-8721.


Weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height is described as overweight or obese.

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is used as a screening tool for overweight or obesity. Obesity is serious because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life. Obesity is also associated with the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.

The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t short-term diet. It’s about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity.

Learn more about adult obesity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or call 1-800-232-4636.


Your body needs cholesterol to build cells and make vitamins and other hormones. But too much cholesterol can pose a problem.

Cholesterol comes from two sources. Your liver makes all the cholesterol you need. The remainder of the cholesterol in your body comes from foods from animals. For example, meat, poultry and dairy products all contain dietary cholesterol. Those same foods are high in saturated and trans fats. These fats cause your liver to make more cholesterol than it otherwise would. For some people, this added production means they go from a normal cholesterol level to one that’s unhealthy. Some tropical oils – such as palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil – contain saturated fat that can increase bad cholesterol. These oils are often found in baked goods.

Why does cholesterol matter? Cholesterol circulates in the blood. As the amount of cholesterol in your blood increases, so does the risk to your health. High cholesterol contributes to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke. That’s why it’s important to have your cholesterol tested, so you can know your levels.

Learn more about testing and effects of high cholesterol from the American Heart Association or call 1-800-242-8721