If you're diabetic I don't have to tell you that this disease consumes you on a daily and even an hourly basis. As depicted in the following diagram, diabetes impacts you and your family in at least 6 ways:
- Day-to-Day Life
Hopefully, one of these areas of impact will motivate you to begin making the necessary changes to stop the disease from destroying your life and the lives of your loved ones.
Impact of Diabetes: Physically
Unfortunately, some diabetics believe that nothing can be done to stop the progression of diabetes leading to blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, gum disease, high blood pressure, or some of the other complications of having diabetes. This is called giving up (lack of hope) due to the lack of knowledge.
Other diabetics believe that they will not face blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, gum disease, high blood pressure, or some of the other complications of having diabetes. This is called denial.
Ironically, both of these scenarios eventually lead to blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, gum disease, high blood pressure, or some of the other complications of having diabetes.
However, the first scenario can be addressed by providing the proper knowledge. The second scenario may require some one-on-one health coaching from the author, who understands what you're going through.
However, if you don't do anything, within 7-10 years, most diabetics begin to feel some discomfort, e.g. pain/numbness in the foot, eyesight problems, fatigue issues, weight gain, memory fog, etc.
In the meantime, the number of medications have continued to increase. Then, one day, most diabetics find out from their doctor that they have to go on insulin, or that their kidneys are failing or that their eyesight is failing and requires laser surgery, or some other health issue is occurring.
At this point, most diabetics realize that they have been bamboozled by their doctors and the pharmaceutical companies, and realize that the drugs haven't really been helping ...
Unfortunately, within a few more years, most diabetics find themselves dealing with blindness, amputation, kidney dialysis, heart attack, stroke, and a host of other serious health problems.
Warning! This video may be upsetting to watch. Do not watch this video if you are easily upset by rotting flesh.
Diabetes and the drugs don't kill you (directly) -- they rot out your body from the inside out one organ at a time.
Diabetes gradually deteriorates the body over a period of years as the glucose clogs and damages the small capillaries that feed the kidneys, eyes, feet, and heart.
As a result, at least 9 out of every 10 diabetics develop one or more of the following long term diseases and complications:
Other complications associated with diabetes include the following:
- Excessive weight gain (obesity)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol, triglycerides
- High inflammation
- Oxidative stress
- Chronic fatigue
- Sexual dysfunction, e.g. erectile dysfunction
- Periodontal (Gum) disease
- Alzheimer's Disease (AD)
- Autoimmune Disease
- Macular Degeneration
As depicted in the following diagram, diabetes-related health costs are over $130 billion, but, the revenue far exceeds $200 billion, making diabetes a very profitable business for the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
In addition, this diagram shows that diabetes is "connected" to many other diseases, which have major impacts on your body.
As depicted in the following diagram, diabetes has a major (negative) impact on multiple systems in your body.
As a result, you need to make certain that the diabetes and nutritional program that you select is comprehensive enough to address every system in the body -- not just lowering your blood sugar.
Impact of Diabetes: Financially
Unfortunately, most diabetics don't realize that diabetes will have a major impact on their finances, especially if they don't have good healthcare coverage. And, even with good healthcare coverage, the financial impacts will still be significant.
For example, as the author discovered, even if you have great healthcare coverage, it doesn't cover the extra test strips, the extra medical tests, the extra drugs, some aspects of intensive care, post-op care, home care, hospice care, etc.
Over a period of 25 years, diabetes will cost the average diabetic anywhere from $175,000 to $250,000.
Although 50%-70% of the costs may be covered by healthcare insurance, diabetes is a very expensive disease to have. Initially, you may not feel the financial impact, but, as the disease progresses and more complications develop, the cost will continue to rise.
One of America's Dirty Secrets: Medical Debt is the Number 1 cause of bankruptcy in the United States -- 643,000 people file for bankruptcy due to medical debt every year. Medical Debt is also the Number 1 cause of people losing their home.
You may not believe that this will happen to you, but, one of the reasons why it happens is because we don't expect it to happen! We don't expect that in the United States of America that someone is going to go bankrupt or lose their home because of medical debt. But, it happens every day -- 1700 times a day, 70 times every hour ...
Today, companies are putting more of the health insurance burden on the employee. And, health insurance companies are covering less while charging more for their services and drugs. But, the cost is even more if there are major complications (such as amputation and kidney dialysis) that lead to post-op care or hospice care.
For some people $175,000 may not seem like a lot of money spread out over 20-25 years. And, even if your insurance picks up 70% of the bill, you're still left with out-of-pocket expenses of $52,500 plus your monthly premiums.
But, imagine if you could have avoided those costs and saved that money for your family, your wife, your husband, your partner, your loved ones, your children ...
Unless you are a millionaire, you will feel the impact of the rising costs associated with diabetes, including the drugs, glucose monitors, glucose test strips, glucose lancets, doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and post-op care.
Just as there are lifestyle steps that diabetics can take to manage their diabetes, there are steps that diabetics can take to prevent or prepare for the impact of diabetes on their financial security.
It is important to understand that complications from diabetes may hinder your ability to earn a living, jeopardizing your present and future financial security. As wage-earners for your family, you should be thinking about the financial measures you need to have in place to protect your financial lifestyle.
Financial preparedness in case a disability happens is a critical responsibility for all wage-earners, particularly as disabilities among the work force continues to grow. A good starting point in the planning process is to estimate the monthly living expenses that would continue during an income limiting disability and determine your potential sources of income. From there you can develop your own plan for protecting your financial lifestyle.
Keep in mind that as a diabetic, you may miss days of work or be forced to find a lower-paying but less stressful or less labor-intensive job, creating further financial distress. Planning a smaller budget that eliminates extra spending may help reduce the impact of diabetes on the family finances.
In addition, please keep in mind that most of us are just one major hospital bill away from financial duress. Also, keep in mind that Medical debt is the Number 1 cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. Medical debt is also the primary cause of becoming homeless.
So, if you want to protect yourself and your family, then, you need to stop procrastinating and rationalizing; and, motivate yourself to get control of this disease before it destroys you and your family.
Impact of Diabetes: Emotionally
Having diabetes takes a major toll on you emotionally. Low blood sugar and unstable blood sugars can cause you to be irrational, angry, anxious, restless, impatient, etc.
This range of emotions also affects your partner and family. There is more stress and unhappiness in the family; and, a lot of denial and neglect.
Neglect is like an infection -- left unchecked it will spread throughout your entire being and your family. When you neglect your health, this may cause you to feel guilty and guilt leads to an erosion of your self-confidence. As your self-confidence diminishes, so does your activity level (of trying to get healthy).
And as your activity level diminishes, your results inevitably decline. And as your results suffer, your attitude begins to weaken. And as your attitude begins the gradual shift from positive to negative, your self-confidence diminishes even more . . . and this downward spiral continues as your health suffers.
And, as you suffer, so do the people around you. You may not see it. They may not tell you, but it's there.
Please make sure you get the emotional help that you so need and deserve. It's absolutely a necessity. You may have to live with diabetes, but make sure you have it under control, and that it does not control you.
Author's Perspective: Dealing with diabetes every day 24/7 was very draining, scary, frustrating, overwhelming, etc. But, once I began to learn more about diabetes and nutrition, the fear and anxiety began to subside.
Acquiring knowledge about diabetes was very empowering and liberating for me. And, once the fear and anxiety subsided, I was able to relax and learn even more! This also helped to reduce my stress and cortisol levels, which also benefited my blood glucose levels.
If you're having any of the feelings that I had, I strongly recommend that you do your own research. Why? Because once you have done your own research, you'll know what you need to do and you'll be able to select an effective program to help you fight your diabetes.
Psychological Effects of Diabetes
Being diabetic not only changes someone's lifestyle, it also brings about a myriad of feelings and emotions that can be difficult to express or deal with. The key is understanding that these feelings are normal and they generally get better as a diabetic becomes more aware of how to deal with the disease and its effects.
One major psychological effect of diabetes is experiencing denial. Denial generally forms when the patient is first diagnosed. At first, someone may be overwhelmed with how the disease will affect their life. They are told by their doctor that they may have to take insulin shots, pills and poke their finger several times a day to test blood glucose levels. This can be overwhelming for anyone -- just ask the author of "Death to Diabetes".
They may also be told that they need to completely change their diet and eat healthier. A physician may also say that other health complications could arise such as heart disease, stroke, blindness and amputation as a result from diabetes. They could be in denial about both short term care such as injections and long term aspects such as disease complications. They could temporarily give up in caring for their diabetes and go into denial about having the illness. This can cause serious effects on the body.
(Luckily, the author had his mother and daughter taking care of him).
A diagnosis of diabetes can induce fear in the diabetic leading to poor food and lifestyle choices, or just giving up because you believe there is no hope.
Having a diabetic in the family can also induce fear in the family members who worry the diabetic may die or become disabled. They may be concerned about the individual having a heart attack, going blind or needing dialysis, if they have witnessed these complications of diabetes in others. Blood relatives may be concerned that they will also develop the illness. Family members may also worry that significant changes may alter their home life due to the diabetes. To alleviate fears, frank conversations should be held about the diabetic's health -- the whole truth is usually less scary than facing the unknown.
Depression is a common psychological effect of diabetes. primarily due to the low levels of serotonin This means that the diabetic is sad, confused and may feel helpless about their disease diagnosis. Depression can be a very serious effect and may lead to professional counseling and assistance to help deal with the effects of the disease. Medical help should be sought immediately as depression should not be ignored. Prolonged depression can lead to weakened immunity and lack of physical activity---two main factors that could further affect diabetes.
Anger is common in many newly diagnosed diabetics -- due to the fear of the unknown. They may hold resentment against others who freely eat sweets and junk food. They may find it unfair that they are stuck having to make such drastic lifestyle choices when others lead the same lifestyle as them and are perfectly healthy. Anger may manifest against others who do not have to follow the same lifestyle changes and habits as they do.
Some people who are affected by diabetes may experience periods of embarrassment. This a common psychological effect of the disease. The reason for this may be they have to carry around insulin, blood monitoring equipment, syringes or wear an insulin pump. They may feel uncomfortable taking their blood sugar at a restaurant or at school. All of these factors can lead to embarrassment and shame.
Trying to follow a diabetic diet can be trying in social situations. Family or friends may appear offended by the person who will not eat a piece of homemade pie or other dessert. It can be difficult to avoid overindulging in the presence of people who eat large quantities of food. This can be especially troublesome for children and teens. People with diabetes may have to refrain from some group activities due to the need to monitor or maintain their blood sugar, leading to stigmatization or group isolation.
Acceptance is often the last phase of psychological distress that is associated with diabetes. The diabetic will eventually come to terms with their disease. They will realize that they have to make healthy lifestyle changes in order to lead a full and productive life. Knowing that they can change the way they eat and take care of themselves will help them live longer and be less likely to encounter diabetes-related health problems.
Family Impact Due to Diabetes
Family dynamics may change due to jealousy over one family member dominating the attention of the others. The person with diabetes may have special foods prepared for her or be allowed to avoid family chores, causing animosity. A parent with diabetes may require help from her children, upsetting the established family roles.
At times, the entire family's schedule may be changed by a diabetic's inability to attend or participate in a traditional family function. If the person diagnosed with diabetes type 2 refuses to care for herself properly, major power struggles may ensue as family members attempt to force her to stop overeating, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or engaging in other unhealthy activities.
When a family member is diagnosed with diabetes, emotional stress impacts the whole family. Spouses may feel stressed as they assist with new meal planning and medication management. Children might feel anxious about changes in family routines including additional doctor visits, daily blood glucose monitoring and expanded exercise routines.
Families might find themselves faced with hospital stays, medication adjustments or more lifestyle changes in order to cope with health complications from diabetes.
Simple things such as going out, a picnic, a wedding, a vacation now become a little more complicated, leading to anger and resentment, and even more stress.
Families dealing with diabetes can suffer from communication challenges. Parents whose adult children have diabetes may feel compelled to provide regular reminders about eating, exercise and medications, causing the diabetic sufferer to feel scolded or nagged. Communication sometimes disintegrates as family members struggle to find new ways to communicate about the ongoing issue of living with diabetes.
The family member who prepares the meals may make significant changes to help the diabetic. Fried foods, greasy side dishes and sugary desserts may be replaced with baked foods, raw vegetables and fresh fruit, possibly causing dissent or confusion within the family. Servings may be smaller and snacks discouraged.
These changes may feel forced upon the family members who are not ill. However, most components of a diabetic diet are healthy for everyone, making the new meals plans a beneficial change for every family member. Open communication about how each person feels about mealtime changes can help everyone adjust.
In addition, where and how often you eat out will change, affecting those family members who love fast food places and eating out in general.
Impact of the Diabetes Drugs on You
Most people are aware that the diabetes drug Avandia is linked with tens of thousands of heart attacks, and the drug company GlaxoSmithKline knew of the risks for years but worked to keep them from the public, according to a Senate committee report.
What is ironic is that the beloved and popular cholesterol-lowering statin drugs — pretty much a guaranteed prescription if you have a heart attack — are increasingly being identified as a possible risk factor for Type 2 diabetes (which is what happened to the author who took Lipitor for years).
Not only that, if you already have diabetes, you are almost certain to end up on a statin drug along with a blood pressure drug, as well as being at higher risk for a heart attack.
So now we have the possible scenario: patient has a heart attack. Heart attack leads to a statin drug. Statin drug leads to diabetes. Diabetes leads to a diabetic drug. Diabetic drug leads to heart attack. Heart attack leads to … well, you get the picture.
So, what's a diabetic to do? There is hope. You can break the cycle. You can step away from this absurd pharmaceutical-laden lifestyle. Proper diet and exercise do work. It requires discipline, to be sure. But if the alternative is a lifetime of medications that may turn out to be at odds with each other, which would you prefer?
Refer to the Diabetes Medications web page or Death to Diabetes book for more information about the side effects of these drugs.
Are You Ready to Live a Better Life?
Is this what you signed for? Are you ready to live the life you were meant to live?
What is it going to take to get you motivated to change your life? The physical problems? Finances? The emotional issues? The family issues?
Whatever it takes, the important thing is to do something now before you're forced to make sacrifices for yourself or your family that you didn't expect.
The first step is to realize that there is hope. And, with hope, you can join other diabetics who have learned how to make better choices and liver a better quality of life.
If you're ready, get the Death to Diabetes book or give us a call to answer your questions.
GLOBAL ECONOMIC IMPACT of Diabetes
The global diabetes epidemic has devastating personal and social effects, far greater than most people imagine. Surprisingly, the highest costs of diabetes are not the hundreds of billions spent on complications that could have been prevented, although these expenditures are large, but the suffering imposed on families (death, disability and economic stress) and the resulting large annual losses in economic growth that harm everyone.
Diabetes harms all people in society, not just those who live with diabetes. From an economic point of view, these effects are tragic because proven, low-cost treatments are available to prevent most of them. Even in the poorest countries, many of these treatments would actually save medical care expenditures.
In the poorest countries, people living with diabetes and their families bear almost the entire cost of whatever medical care they can afford. In India, for example, the poorest people with diabetes spend an average of 25% of their income on private care. The most that they can pay for are treatments that keep them alive by blunting the highest, quickly fatal levels of blood sugar.
Where average incomes are higher, as in Latin America and the Caribbean, families still pay 40-60% of diabetes care costs out of their own pockets, which strictly limits the amount of care that they can get. Blood sugar regulating drugs alone are reported to account for about half of all spending. Little or no money is available to pay for the aspirin, ACE-inhibitors, statins, and other cheap generic drugs that could prevent renal failure, heart attacks, strokes, and amputations.
The devastating effects of diabetes on families translate into significant losses for every individual in society. The mechanisms are many: loss of investments in trained labor; increased taxation (in all its forms) for medical care and support of the disabled; the economic failure of family units and small businesses; withdrawals of children from education (especially girls) to care for ailing relatives; AIDS, tuberculosis, crime and other adverse consequences of destitution; and the general loss of the hope and self-reliance that ultimately drive all economic growth.
Considering mainly the effects of premature mortality, WHO estimates that (between 2005 and 2014) diabetes, heart disease and stroke combined will cost: $555.7 billion in lost national income in China, $303.2 billion in the Russian Federation; $336.6 billion in India; $49.2 billion in Brazil $2.5 billion even in a very poor country like Tanzania.
Much of the heart disease and stroke in these estimates is linked to diabetes. If nothing is done, diabetes threatens to subvert the gains of economic advancement globally. Accounting for disability, the opportunity costs of care-giving and other factors might triple these WHO figures.
Government budgets worldwide will face the immense strain of diabetes care on disability payments, pensions, social and medical service costs, and revenue. Furthermore, private health insurers and employers will face the spiraling costs of treating more and more people with diabetes.
Because diabetes is increasing faster in the world’s developing economies than in its developed ones, it is the developing world that will bear the brunt of lost economic growth. The economic opportunities that the United Nations wants to create for developing countries with its Millennium Development Goals will be greatly undermined by diabetes if treatments to prevent its complications are not used.
Diabetes Costs: United States
Reference: ADA website
The cost of diagnosed diabetes was estimated in 2012 to be $245 billion, combining medical costs and reduced productivity, according to the American Diabetes Association. Hospital care accounted for nearly half of the $176 billion in direct medical care.
This figure represents a 41 percent increase over a five year period.
The study, Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2012, addresses the increased financial burden, health resources used and lost productivity associated with diabetes in 2012. The study includes a detailed breakdown of costs along gender, racial and ethnic lines, and also includes a breakdown of costs on a state-by-state basis.
The largest components of medical expenditures are:
- hospital inpatient care (43% of the total medical cost),
- prescription medications to treat complications of diabetes (18%),
- anti-diabetic agents and diabetes supplies (12%),
- physician office visits (9%), and
- nursing/residential facility stays (8%).
People with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of about $13,700 per year, of which about $7,900 is attributed to diabetes.
People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures approximately 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.
The care for people diagnosed with diabetes accounts for more than 1 in 5 health care dollars in the U.S., and more than half of that expenditure is directly attributable to diabetes.
Indirect costs include:
- increased absenteeism ($5 billion) and
- reduced productivity while at work ($20.8 billion) for the employed population,
- reduced productivity for those not in the labor force ($2.7 billion),
- inability to work as a result of disease-related disability ($21.6 billion), and
- lost productive capacity due to early mortality ($18.5 billion).
Diabetes Costs in Specific Populations
Here are some of the key points about the financial impact of diabetes on various groups within the U.S.
Most of the cost for diabetes care in the U.S., 62.4%, is provided by government insurance (including Medicare, Medicaid, and the military). The rest is paid for by private insurance (34.4%) or by the uninsured (3.2%).
However, health insurance coverage for diabetes and its complications is decreasing while the overall costs are rising, leaving many people with diabetes facing possible bankruptcy and/or loss of their home.
People with diabetes who do not have health insurance have 79% fewer physician office visits and are prescribed 68% fewer medications than people with insurance coverage—but they also have 55% more emergency department visits than people who have insurance.
Total per-capita health care expenditures are lower among Hispanics ($5,930) and higher among non-Hispanic blacks ($9,540) than among non-Hispanic whites ($8,101).
Non-Hispanic blacks also have 75% more emergency department visits than the population with diabetes as a whole. Total per-capita health expenditures are higher among women than men ($8,331 vs. $7,458).
Total per-capita health care expenditures are lower among Hispanics ($5,930) and higher among non-Hispanic blacks ($9,540) than among non-Hispanic whites ($8,101).
Compared to non-Hispanic whites, per capita hospital inpatient costs are 41.3% higher among non-Hispanic blacks and 25.8% lower among Hispanics.
Among states, California has the largest population with diabetes and thus the highest costs, at $27.6 billion. Although Florida’s total population is 4th among states behind California, Texas, and New York, Florida is 2nd in costs at $18.9 billion.
However, please keep in mind that since the medical and pharmaceutical industries generate more than $310 billion in revenue, there is very little incentive to find a cure for a disease that generates such huge profits.
Sad to say, but, diabetes is a profitable business ...
Disclaimer: This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Copyright © 2016. Death to Diabetes, LLC. All rights reserved.