Getting Financial Help For Diabetes

Getting Financial Help for Diabetes

Getting Financial Help for Diabetes

By the dLife Editors
No matter whom you ask—patients, caregivers, medical professionals, insurers, even employers—diabetes is expensive. In 2013, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) released the results of their five-year cost analysis, which showed that people with diabetes spend an average of $13,700 per year on healthcare-related expenses. The Health Care Cost Institute examined the spending of people under the age of sixty-five who were covered by employer-sponsored insurance from 2009 to 2013. They found that expenses were even higher, at approximately $15,000 per person. And when you look at the impact on the workforce, lost productivity and wages send these costs into the billions.
It’s estimated that people with diabetes have healthcare costs totaling almost three times that of people without diagnosed diabetes. It’s no wonder that many need financial help. If you are one of them, there are a number of financial resources to tap into. Here are some quick ideas to get you started.
Look for an insurance plan that covers as many diabetes-related expenses as possible.
Check out the governmental and nongovernmental programs—both federal and local—to see where you qualify. Visit this government site to see what benefits you qualify for: https://www.benefits.gov/
Contact your primary care provider as well as the makers of any medications you use to find out if assistance programs are available.
Dial 2-1-1, a free and confidential services that helps people find the local resources they need.
Contact a medical social worker—typically found in a hospital— Continue reading

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8 Valuable Life-Saving Lessons I Learned from My Dad’s Type 1 Diabetes

8 Valuable Life-Saving Lessons I Learned from My Dad’s Type 1 Diabetes

Courtesy Amari D. PollardAlways have a source of sugar on hand
When you think about the best foods for a diabetic diet, sugar is not what comes to mind. And yet, every person in my family carries treats on their person at all times. We have Snickers in our glove compartments, caramel candies in our purses, and the occasional bottle of orange juice in hand—anything that contains fast-acting carbohydrates. These quick-sugar foods put glucose into the bloodstream in as little as five minutes and are a tremendous help during low-blood sugar emergencies, one of the symptoms of diabetes. Whether you’re diabetic or not, you should always have food nearby because you never know when you’re going to feel faint or your blood sugar is going to dip. These are the best snacks for people with diabetes.
Your eyes can be windows to your health
Did you know your eyes can show symptoms of more than 30 conditions, and optometrists are usually the first to spot signs of potential diseases? (These are the shocking diseases eye doctors catch first.) My dad makes sure to get a comprehensive eye exam once a year because retinopathy is common in diabetics and can lead to blindness. But he also pays close enough attention to his eyes so he can tell when something’s abnormal between doctor visits. He knows the signs—a thin white or grey ring around the edge of the cornea can indicate high cholesterol, bulging eyes show overactive thyroid, cloudy eyes can signal cataracts. These are the silent signs of cataracts you should know.
Listen to your body
Our bodies communicate with us on a daily b Continue reading

Is Metformin an Effective Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes?

Is Metformin an Effective Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes?

If your doctor has prescribed Metformin for diabetes or another use, what exactly is this medication and how does it work? What is the best way to take it to reduce side effects? What adverse effects might you experience and why is it important to be aware of these?
According to the American Diabetes Association Standards of Care, Metformin, if tolerated, is the preferred initial oral diabetes medication for Type 2 diabetes because it is the most effective.
. The problem is that they are either not making enough insulin or the insulin they do make isn't being used efficiently. Metformin is a weight neutral medication that helps the body use insulin. Weight neutral means that it is not associated with weight gain (or loss) as are many other diabetes medications.
Like all medicines, however, Metformin can produce some side effects, some of which it is important to know.
How It Works
, which are derived from the French lilac. Metformin helps to lower blood sugar by utilizing insulin and reducing insulin resistance (making your body more sensitive to insulin.)
Many people with Type 2 diabetes carry excess weight—fat cells prevent insulin from doing its job, ultimately causing the cells to become resistant to insulin. When cells become resistant to insulin, insulin is unable to direct sugar from the bloodstream to the cells to use for energy, and instead, the sugar remains in the blood.
As a result, the liver responds by making more sugar because it thinks the body needs it for fuel and the pancreas responds by making more insulin. You wind up with chaos—high blood Continue reading

When Diabetes Leads to an Eating Disorder

When Diabetes Leads to an Eating Disorder

At age 15, Sara Pastor discovered that she could use her diabetes to control her weight. All she had to do was stop taking her insulin.
“The first day it ever happened, it was Halloween. I ate some candy and forgot to take insulin,” recalled Pastor, now 22 and a student at the University of California, Berkeley. “I got on the scale the next morning and had lost weight.”
She put two and two together. Since childhood, she had managed her diabetes by meticulously dosing herself with insulin and almost always avoiding sweets—and now, it seemed that if she broke those rules, the pounds would come off.
“A couple of months later I went to 7-Eleven to get a candy bar and doughnut and said I won’t take my insulin just this one time. I will get this out of my system,” she says. But one time led to a few more sugar binges, and then more frequent ones. Within a few months, Pastor was struggling with “diabulimia,” the lay term for the dual diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder.
Some studies report that people with Type 1 diabetes, an incurable condition in which the body produces little or no insulin, are twice as likely as non-diabetics to develop an eating disorder, often by underdosing their insulin. This insulin restriction, in turn, leads to further health problems—one study shows they are three times more likely to die of diabetes-related complications than those who follow their medication regimen.
Treating diabetes patients with eating disorders comes with unique, complex challenges, says Marcia Meier, a diabetes nurse educator at the Melrose Continue reading

7 Ways You Can Help Someone Living with Type 2 Diabetes

7 Ways You Can Help Someone Living with Type 2 Diabetes

Approximately 29 million Americans live with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Type 2 diabetes is the most common, making up about 90 to 95 percent of all cases. So chances are, you know at least one person living with this disease.
Type 2 diabetes is very different from type 1 diabetes. A person diagnosed with type 1 doesn't make any insulin, whereas people living with type 2 are insulin resistant, which can lead to a reduction in insulin production over time. In other words, their body doesn't use insulin properly and also may not make enough insulin, so it’s harder for them to maintain a normal blood sugar level. Type 2 diabetes often has no symptoms, though some people experience symptoms such as including increased thirst, hunger, and urination, fatigue, blurry vision, and frequent infections. But the good news is that the disease is controllable.
If you know someone living with type 2 diabetes, you may be concerned about their health and well-being. This is a chronic illness requiring lifelong maintenance. You can’t remove the disease, but you can offer support, comfort, and kindness in a number of ways.
1. Don’t nag!
Needless to say, you want your loved one to stay healthy and avoid diabetes complications. The risk of type 2 diabetes complications increases when blood glucose levels aren’t properly managed over long periods of time. Complications can include heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, kidney damage, and eye damage.
It’s frustrating when a person with diabetes makes unhealthy choices, but there’s a thin l Continue reading

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