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A 'Gray Market' For Diabetes Supplies Highlights The Cost Of Care

A 'Gray Market' For Diabetes Supplies Highlights The Cost of Care

A 'Gray Market' For Diabetes Supplies Highlights The Cost of Care

When Tim Rushing turned 50 last year, his doctor called him in for a check-up. They did a physical, ran some tests, and found out that Rushing had Type 2 diabetes.
“No surprises there,’ Rushing says. “Both my parents are Type 2 diabetics.”
He knew from watching his parents that monitoring his blood sugar would be essential to managing the disease. What Rushing didn’t realize was how much that monitoring would cost.
Turns out, it’s a lot.
Depending on the type of diabetes, diabetics check their blood sugar anywhere from one to eight times a day. It’s a ritual they know well: prick your finger, draw a little blood and place it on a disposable plastic test strip that gets read by a meter. One test, one strip.
America’s 21 million diabetics spend close to $4 billion dollars every year on test strips. Because of their price, though — a single strip can cost over $1 — an informal, “gray” market has emerged where diabetics like Rushing can buy the strips more cheaply, but without oversight from the Food and Drug Administration.
A Fraction of the Price
Rushing wanted to test frequently, hoping to manage his blood sugars that way. But his insurance only covered one test a day. Additional strips would cost him $1 each, cash. At the rate he used them, that would add up to $180 a month.
“So I started looking online and found I could get a box of 50 test strips on Amazon for 12 bucks,” Rushing says. That comes out to about 25 cents a strip, a fraction of the price.
“That’s what I’ve been doing ever since. I’ve never even filled my prescription,” he Continue reading

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Can You Die from Diabetes? Type 1 and Type 2 Life Expectancy

Can You Die from Diabetes? Type 1 and Type 2 Life Expectancy

Diabetes is a disease which is caused either due to the lack of proper production of insulin by the pancreas or due to the improper use of insulin in the human body. This gives rise to the blood sugar level or the glucose level in the body as it is the hormone insulin which is responsible for the breakdown of the carbohydrates and the other essential nutrients in the food to release the much-needed energy by the cells. It is a disease which adversely affects the primary function of metabolism in the body thereby exposing our body to several other complications.
Diabetes affects different people in different manners and as such, it takes several forms. The most common type of diabetes is type 1 and type 2 diabetes. There are various factors and causes which contribute to each type and form of the disease.
Due to the several complications that are associated with this condition, diabetes is often considered a deadly disease that can kill you. It is not uncommon to hear of people who have died of diabetes in the past few years. In this article, we shall further deep dive into the various issues that diabetes accompanies and might lead to the death of the diabetic patient.
How Long Can You Live with Diabetes?
It is not very uncommon to hear that diabetes will shorten the expected life of the concerned patient. But the question is: How much?
There are different opinions about the subject. As per a few types of research conducted, diabetes can shorten life by 8.5 years in a 50-year old individual. On the other hand, Diabetes UK estimates that the expected life span of type 1 diab Continue reading

Playing The Odds With Statins: Heart Disease Or Diabetes?

Playing The Odds With Statins: Heart Disease Or Diabetes?

Last year my cholesterol shot up despite living nowhere near a decent barbeque joint. I was totally stressed. I wasn't overweight. But I was pretty sedentary. My doctor prescribed a high dose of Lipitor, a powerful statin.
For women of a certain age, statins are supposedly the best thing since Lycra for keeping wayward bodies in check. Statins interfere with the synthesis of low-density lipoprotein, the "bad" cholesterol. LDL is a prime suspect in heart disease, the top killer of women.
The statin cut my cholesterol like buttah.
But statins can also increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, muscle and/or liver damage. Heart trouble and diabetes run in my family. Was I trading a heart attack for diabetes?
"We give statins to people with diabetes," was all my doc said.
That didn't answer my question. I knew from an unrelated test that I did not currently have coronary artery disease, so I decided to investigate the statin situation.
In 2012 the Food and Drug Administration slapped a black box warning on statins, saying that they could raise blood glucose levels in people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes. That meant an increase of anywhere from 9 to 27 percent in relative risk – in absolute terms about 0.3 excess cases of diabetes for every 100 people who are treated for a year with high-intensity statins (which lower cholesterol by 50 percent or more) and 0.1 excess cases of diabetes for every 100 people treated with moderate-intensity statins (which lower cholesterol by 30 to 50 percent.)
Because doctors disagree on who should get statins, in 2013 the American Colleg Continue reading

How to Avoid Type 2 Diabetes

How to Avoid Type 2 Diabetes

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report finds that a staggering 30 million people—roughly 1 in 10 Americans—have type 2 diabetes. Most concerning: nearly a quarter of them don’t even realize it.
Just as worrisome is the prevalence of prediabetes: The new report reveals that 84 million adults, or roughly one-third of the U.S. population, have the elevated blood sugar levels that put them at high risk for developing full-blown diabetes.
"We’re not seeing the rate of diabetes and prediabetes growth continue to escalate in the way it has in previous years," says Ann Albright, Ph.D., R.D., director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. "Still the numbers of cases of undiagnosed prediabetes, in particular, are astounding. It’s evidence that more needs to be done to reach those at risk for type 2 diabetes.”
Type 2 diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S., and the leading cause of disability. It is more common, though less severe, than type 1 diabetes. In both cases, the body doesn't produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels properly, which can lead to serious medical issues such as heart and kidney disease.
Here are some ways to reduce your risk of developing diabetes—and if you already have it, to prevent it from progressing.
Know Your Risk
A fundamental step in prevention, says Albright, is paying close attention and understanding your risk factors, including being 45 or older, overweight, and physically inactive; having a family history of diabetes or conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or poly Continue reading

Living With Diabetes

Living With Diabetes

News you can use about diabetes
Living with diabetes is about so much more than well, diabetes. It's about the ups, like small daily accomplishments and achieving your goals, and the downs. It can be complicated, but it may help to keep in mind that you can find inspiration, information, and motivation here. In these featured articles, you'll discover ideas to take the pressure off and help you deal with everything from making travel easier to making dining out more enjoyable. Since stress can really take its toll on your blood sugar, you can read how to tackle that, too.
More articles are added each month. So browse them all, get inspired, and check back in with us often. If you'd like, you can sign up for more TeamingUp to get regular updates. Continue reading

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