Diabetes is usually one of the most expensive diseases we could get. But it doesn't have to be.
If we didn’t have diabetes, the amount that we would have to spend for healthcare would be a lot less. Specifically, diabetes costs us about 2.3 times as much in medical expenditures as it does for people who don’t have it, according to the American Diabetes Association. And that doesn’t even consider the lost income from losing work because of diabetes.
But that’s money under the dam. We’ve got diabetes and we’ve got to figure out how to live with it within our means.
The trick is to manage our diabetes so it doesn’t manage our life. Easier said than done, of course, but it’s certainly possible.
Still, no one will decide to manage his or her diabetes just to save money. We can weigh the costs of uncontrolled diabetes against how much it costs to manage it, but I doubt if anyone will do that. The budgetary savings are just good side effects of saving our health.
After Writing and Titling this Article, I Discovered that the ADA Published a Book with Exactly the Same Title Back in 1996. It is Currently Budget-Priced at $0.01, But May be a Bit Out of Date
Once we decide that the discipline of managing our diabetes is worth the effort that we have to put into it, we have to face the facts that everything we do has financial consequences. Some are immediate and some may or may not come until years down the pike. I’m thinking of the financial consequences of the many complications of diabetes to say nothing of the consequences that these complications could have for our health and happiness if we encourage those consequences by not managing our diabetes now.
Of all the diseases that we could get, diabetes is the most insidious. Diabetes itself is no big deal.
Oh, we have some relatively unimportant symptoms. If it’s type 1, we may notice frequent urination, being especially thirsty, hungry, tired, or irritable, or losing weight with no apparent reason. When we get type 2, we can have any of those symptoms and also get repeated infections, slow healing of cuts or bruises, tingling or numbness in our hands or feet, and even blurred vision.
These symptoms are usually enough for us to take notice and are bad enough. But they are nothing compared with the complications that come with years of high blood sugar.
“Diabetes causes nothing,” as Dr. Bill Polonsky says. Poor management causes the complications of diabetes.
Good management of our diabetes takes all the self-control, discipline, and maturity we have. I’m talking here about delayed gratification. Being able to plan for a better future is a sign of maturity.
Studies show that children who don’t delay gratification have behavioral problems later in life. When we eat the marshmallows that the children in some of these studies were encouraged to postpone, then we will have both behavioral and health problems.
We can either invest in a healthy future now or pay the piper later. Most of what we have to pay now is the emotional cost of exercising self-control. Some of the cost, however, is financial.