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Monday, July 25, 2011

Diabetes: Treatment and Financial Help Information

Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages, or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population: 18.8 million people are diagnosed, but 7 million people remain undiagnosed. About 1.9 million people ages 20 years or older were newly diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 in the United States. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States. It is also is a major cause of heart disease and stroke and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. (Statistics from the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse)

Many people don’t even realize they have diabetes and will go undiagnosed. However, there are some warning signs to be aware of. These are some symptoms of diabetes:

- being very thirsty

- urinating often

- feeling very hungry or tired

- losing weight without trying

- sores that heal slowly

- dry, itchy skin

- losing the feeling or having tingling in your feet

- having blurry eyesight

It is important to see your health care provider if you experience these symptoms.

There are many treatments for the different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually first diagnosed during childhood or early adulthood and is treated with insulin injections (or an insulin pump). Type 2 diabetes usually develops later in life but in recent years there has been an increased incidence of diagnosis in children. There are many types of medications for type 2 diabetes.

For more information on treatment, check out these links:

Treatments (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Premixed Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes: A Guide for Adults (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)

Medicines for Type 2 Diabetes: A Review of the Research for Adults (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)

If you are in a situation where you cannot afford your diabetes medications, there are places that can help. Check out these links:

Financial Help for Diabetes Care (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

www.nahu.org/consumer/hrpguide.cfm (Information on high-risk health insurance pools or other means for covering people otherwise unable to get health insurance.)

www.bphc.hrsa.gov (The Bureau of Primary Health Care, a service of the Health Resources and Services Administration, offers primary and preventive health care to medically underserved populations through community health centers. For people with no insurance, fees for care are based on family size and income. Besides the web site, information about local health centers is available by calling 1-888-ASK-HRSA (1-888-275-4772).

www1.va.gov/health (The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) runs hospitals and clinics that serve veterans who have service-related health problems or who simply need financial aid. Check out the web site or call 1-800-827-1000.

Also check with your local health department for more information on financial help.

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