9.3% of Americans have diabetes. 27% of Americans have pre-diabetes. If neither of those statistics strike you as staggering, try this: according to the American Diabetes Association, healthcare expenditure is as much as 2.3 times higher for people with diabetes than for people without diabetes—that equates to a person with diabetes spending $13,700 per year vs. $5,800 for those without diabetes.
How in the world can we keep those costs down for the individual?
In all honesty, options for those managing diabetes are limited at the moment. Though there certainly are new developments each day toward a cure, we currently do not have one. Which leaves us with no aggressive approach to treating the disease. Instead, there are things that keep it at bay.
So what can we do then? Well, while we wait for what we hope will be the end of diabetes, what can be done can be summed up into one word: consistency.
Basically, we need to control what we can and we need to do so on a regular basis. Outside of donations to support research, we have little-to-no control over when developments will be made to the new treatments being tested. We do, however, have control over four very important things:
This will register as a no-brainer. Of course those managing their diabetes need to worry about their diet, right? The truth is, though, that so many people still don’t, despite the repercussions that can follow. Here are two lists that can help you:
Exercise is important for everyone on this planet. The problem is that exercise tends to come with this thought of going to the gym and/or competing in triathlons. Not at all. Exercise can literally be parking your car in the furthest away parking spot of the hardware store and walking all the way to the entrance. Here are some other ways you can exercise:
3. Doctor Checkups
Despite the effort you put into your diet and exercise, it is in your best interest to regularly visit your doctor. Why? Because they A) can detect things that you cannot and B) can assist you in easily adjusting to whatever needs to change in order to prevent further complications. It’s as simple as that. Skipping out on a doctor’s appointment because you feel good cannot be an option if you’re managing diabetes.
The combination of diet, exercise and doctor checkups should have a significant impact on attitude. You’re taking care of yourself. You should feel good. A positive attitude will carry you so much further than you think.
If we’re independently able to keep these things in check through consistent practice, we won’t have to worry so much about the giant hospital bills that could come as a result of a life-threatening episode. We can effectively manage our diabetes with as little cost as possible, and with optimism towards the future.