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High Cost Of Diabetes Drugs Often Goes Overlooked

High Cost Of Diabetes Drugs Often Goes Overlooked

High Cost Of Diabetes Drugs Often Goes Overlooked

When it comes to treating chronic conditions, diabetes drugs aren't nearly as sexy as say, Sovaldi, last year's breakthrough hepatitis C drug that offers a cure for the chronic liver infection at a price approaching six figures.
Yet an estimated 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes — about 10 times the number of people with hepatitis C — and many of them will take diabetes drugs for the rest of their lives. Cost increases for both old and new drugs are forcing many to scramble to pay for them.
"Every week I see patients who can't afford their drugs," says Dr. Joel Zonszein, an endocrinologist who's director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
Although some of the top-selling diabetes drugs like metformin are modestly priced generics, new brand-name drugs continue to be introduced that act in different ways to control blood sugar. They may be more effective and have fewer side effects, but the advances come at a price.
For the fourth year in a row, per person spending on diabetes drugs in 2014 was higher than it was for any other class of traditional drug, according to the Express Scripts 2014 drug trend report. Fewer than half of the prescriptions filled for diabetes treatments were generic.
"The cost of diabetes treatment has been increasing pretty rapidly," says Dr. Glen Stettin, senior vice president for clinical, research and new solutions at Express Scripts, which manages the pharmacy benefits for many companies.
An analysis of per capita health care spending in 2013 for people with diabetes found average costs were Continue reading

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6 Emergency Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

6 Emergency Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of many serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and amputation. But by keeping your diabetes in check — that means maintaining good blood sugar control — and knowing how to recognize a problem and what to do about it should one occur, you can prevent many of these serious complications of diabetes.
Heart Attack
Heart disease and stroke are the top causes of death and disability in people with diabetes. Heart attack symptoms may appear suddenly or be subtle, with only mild pain and discomfort. If you experience any of the following heart attack warning signs, call 911 immediately:
Chest discomfort that feels like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest, lasting for a short time or going away and returning
Pain elsewhere, including the back, jaw, stomach, or neck; or pain in one or both arms
Shortness of breath
Nausea or lightheadedness
Stroke
If you suddenly experience any of the following stroke symptoms, call 911 immediately. As with a heart attack, immediate treatment can be the difference between life and death. Stroke warning signs may include:
Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially if it occurs on one side of the body
Feeling confused
Difficulty walking and talking and lacking coordination
Developing a severe headache for no apparent reason
Nerve Damage
People with diabetes are at increased risk of nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy, due to uncontrolled high blood sugar. Nerve damage associated with type 2 diabetes can cause a loss Continue reading

Blood sugar spikes: Causes, symptoms, and prevention

Blood sugar spikes: Causes, symptoms, and prevention

Diabetes is a disease that causes a person's blood sugar to become too high. This can lead to various complications. A person with diabetes must be careful to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
Glucose comes from the food we eat. It is the main source of energy for the body.
The pancreas secretes substances, including the hormone insulin, and enzymes. Enzymes break down food. Insulin makes it possible for body cells to absorb the glucose we consume.
With diabetes, either the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to help the glucose get into the body cells, or the body becomes resistant to the insulin. The glucose stays in the blood instead.
This is what raises blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is known as hyperglycemia.
Contents of this article:
Causes of blood sugar spikes
People with diabetes have to be especially careful about keeping their blood sugar levels under control.
There are several reasons why blood glucose levels may spike. These are:
Sleep: A lack of sleep can be especially bad for people with diabetes, because it can also raise blood sugar levels. One study performed on Japanese men found that getting under 6.5 hours of sleep each night increases a person's risk for high blood glucose levels. Prioritizing healthy sleep and promoting sleep hygiene are good habits for everyone, but especially for people with diabetes.
Stress: When under a lot of stress, the body produces hormones that make it difficult for insulin to do its job, so more glucose stays in the bloodstream. Finding a way to keep stress levels down, such as yoga or meditation, is essen Continue reading

Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes

Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes

Almost a third of people who have diabetes do not know it. That number comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, most people with prediabetes — a condition that puts people at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes — don’t know they have it.
So my diabetes story, which began in ignorance, was not so unusual. I had prediabetes for a long time before the complications caused by high blood sugar led to a stroke.
This is the reason I made a list of warning signs for Type 2 diabetes. Perhaps you or someone you love will see how important it is to get a simple blood sugar test. If this sneaky condition is caught early, you can avoid serious complications.
The symptoms of Type 2 are well known but are easy to miss. Two of them are increased thirst and frequent urination.
The word “diabetes” comes from the Greek word for “siphon.” If the beta cells in your pancreas are working, insulin is pumping into your blood to help your body digest carbohydrates like sugar and bread and noodles.
But in Type 2 diabetes (or prediabetes) your cells are resistant to insulin, which leaves much of that glucose, or simple sugar, in the bloodstream. When blood glucose levels are above 250 mg/dl, the ability of the kidneys to reabsorb fluids is blocked, leading to the release of large amounts of liquid (and sugar) into the bladder. (A urine test would show high sugar content. This is why for thousands of years, diabetes was called the “sweet urine disease.”) This process uses lots of water, leading to increased thirst.
Another sign of prediabetes o Continue reading

Breakthrough pill can CURE diabetes: New drug fights both types of killer disease

Breakthrough pill can CURE diabetes: New drug fights both types of killer disease

Handing hope to the millions of sufferers in the UK, the new study suggests that a “probiotic pill” - one containing live bacteria - can radically reduce blood glucose levels.
In experiments researchers discovered that using a pill containing common bacteria found in the human gut can shift the control of glucose levels from the pancreas to the upper intestine.
It is believed that this “rewiring” of the body could revolutionise treatment for diabetes - both Types 1 and 2 - and potentially one day offer the possibility of a cure.
Professor John March, leading the research, said: “If it works really well in people, it could be that they just take the pill and wouldn’t have to do anything else to control their diabetes. It’s likely, though, that it will be used in conjunction with some other treatment.”
Diabetes occurs when the amount of glucose in a sufferer’s blood becomes too high because the body cannot use it properly. This happens when the pancreas does not produce any insulin (Type 1), or not enough insulin to help glucose enter the body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly, known as insulin resistance (Type 2).
But the new study suggests a manufactured probiotic pill could shift control of glucose levels away from the pancreas - addressing both types of diabetes.
Published in the journal Diabetes, senior author Professor March and colleagues at Cornell University, New York, told how they had engineered a common strain of “friendly” human gut bacteria called Lactobacillus to secrete a peptide - a hormone that release Continue reading

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