The High Cost of One Chronic Disease: Diabetes ~ nannymm

Someone (sorry, I can’t remember who) recently mentioned that the escalating costs associated with diabetes and the complications of diabetes alone are justification to pass comprehensive healthcare reform. According to a recent study funded by Novo Nordisk, we spent $218 billion on diabetes in 2007. As both a nurse and a diabetic, I am all too well aware of the costs of this disease. The cost of my diabetic testing supplies exceeds $150 per month; my medications are even more. When you factor in the additional Doctor (internist, endocrinologist,ophthalmologist) visits, blood tests, podiatry services, appointments with a dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, the annual costs are staggering. If you factor in the increased cost of foods to accommodate my diabetic diet, the costs are even worse. I estimate that I spend at least $200 more per month at the grocery store than I otherwise would. Fortunately, I have had few complications resulting from my diabetes. However, the costs of even a minor complication (such as the infection I got last summer when I got a small cut on my toe) can be astronomical. That tiny cut ended up costing over $1,000.

Comprehensive healthcare reform is essential if we are going to control these runaway costs and allocate what money is saved to other priorities. If you consider that diabetes in only one of the many diseases that are on the rise and causing our healthcare system to
implode, it is easy to see that healthcare reform can no longer be put off. If we don’t address this NOW, we will bankrupt ourselves
individually and as a nation.

Additional Readings:

Direct and Indirect Costs of Diabetes in the United States

Economic and Health Costs of Diabetes

The Bottom Line on Diabetes



Filed under Uncategorized

110 responses to “The High Cost of One Chronic Disease: Diabetes ~ nannymm

  1. I’ll see your diabetes and raise you one crohn’s disease!

  2. dnd

    I read somewhere that diabetes may dominate health care costs in the not too distant future.

    Yet another reason to pursue stem cell research.

  3. Apple working with Lifescan

    iPhone Could Soon Help Parents Track Kids’ Health From Afar

    The prototype diabetes tracker was unveiled at the debut of the iPhone’s new operating system in Cupertino, Calif. Anita Mathew, LifeScan’s manager for alliances and corporate development, showed how a child at school could use the iPhone app to download a glucose reading from her monitor, calculate how much insulin she would need based on lunch and swim practice, and then send that information to Mom and Dad.

  4. nanny I’m wondering what is the break down for type 1 versus type 2.

  5. Nanny,
    When I look just at the costs you listed, I can’t help but multiply those numbers for families with more than diabetic… adds up fast.

  6. Rezdog


    My latest sugar test was in the high normal range (90) and so I did a Google search about diet. I’d rather hear it from someone with experience.

    To guard against diabetes, besides fried food and alcohol, what should one avoid? Also, besides lots of fruit and veggies, are there specific foods to include.

    I read weight control and exercise are up on the to-do list too.

  7. nannymm

    Burrito, my husband is also diabetic. So our costs are doubled.

    Brian, 90 to 95 percent of diagnosed cases of diabetes are type 2.

    Major Types of Diabetes

    Type 1 diabetes
    Results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, the hormone that “unlocks” the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. It is estimated that 5-10% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

    Type 2 diabetes
    Results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. Most Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

    Gestational diabetes
    Immediately after pregnancy, 5% to 10% of women with gestational diabetes are found to have diabetes, usually, type 2.

    Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. There are 57 million Americans who have pre-diabetes, in addition to the 23.6 million with diabetes.

  8. nannymm

    Brian, the blog ate my last post. Can you free it, please?

  9. nannymm

    You are on the right track. Do whatever you can to avoid developing diabetes. It’s a nasty disease with very serious consequences.

    To avoid it, lose weight if you are overweight and exercise regularly. Eat a diet that eliminates or greatly restricts refined carbohydrates. Increase your fiber intake and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
    Here is some additional information that may be helpful:

  10. One of the things that I’m hoping for when we get nationalized health is that we will see more of a push on preventing diseases like diabetes. The fact of the matter is most people don’t know what the risk factors are till they are already in trouble. I do think the ADA could take a lesson from the anti smoking folks, the HIV groups, and heart disease groups. I see ads featuring Mary Tyler Moore asking for donations, but don’t see a lot going on in terms of prevention and education.

  11. nannymm

    I should have added that it is very important for you to monitor your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol levels. Diabetes often goes hand in hand with elevated bp and cholesterol. In fact, diabetics rarely die from their diabetes; cardiovascular problems generally kill them first.
    As a Native American, your diabetes risk is higher than that of the general population. I’m happy that you are taking steps to protect yourself and reduce your risk. Good luck! And feel free to email me with any questions you have in the future. Brian can give you my email address.

  12. I charge for passing along email addresses!

  13. nannymm

    I was pleasantly surprised this year that my grandson’s school began a diabetes education and prevention program. The kids are now being taught about the risks and how to reduce them in health class and the school cafeteria now offers more healthy food options. But the thing I like best is that parents can now sign up on line to monitor their kids lunches. With this new account, I can deposit money into his school lunch account and get regular reports telling me exactly what he is purchasing. This program allows parents to then discuss food choices with the kids and encourage them to make better choices if need be. So far, my grandson is doing great! He generally takes a lunch that I prepare for him; but when he buys lunch, he goes straight for the good stuff most of the time. Although, he does have a real weakness for brownies… 🙂

  14. Rezdog

    Thx Nanny,

    I’ve always watched for signs of diabetes since I have it in my family history. It’s always on my mind. SIL (Indian too) just got diagnosed with Type 1 during the holidays. She’s now doing the insulin injection gig. I need to get serious about my diet, weight and exercise. How long have I been saying that! 🙂

    Fortunately we have good insurance and healthcare at the moment so I see the doctor routinely and monitor my health.

  15. Well who doesn’t have a weakness for brownies. I think a great part of the problem is processed food and people not really knowing what they are putting in their mouths. I’m willing to be a lot of people, maybe even most don’t know high fructose corn syrup is sugar!

  16. nannymm

    Start with the small changes, Rez. Park farther away and walk a bit more. Take the steps instead of the elevator. Buy whole grain breads and rolls, even pasta. Eat a salad (with low fat dressing, of course) and drink a glass of water BEFORE dinner. This really does help fill you up. Eat more chicken and fish; more broiled or grilled foods instead of fried. For snacks, grab a piece of fruit instead of a donut. You get the idea…
    The small steps really do make a difference.

  17. dnd

    high fructose corn syrup isn’t sugar. It’s poison! It’s the worst kind of sugar.

    It takes a while, but weaning yourself off of refined carbs really makes you feel better. Sugar and starch are the crack of the food world.

  18. basic rule of thumb, if it’s white, don’t eat it.

  19. nannymm

    High fructose corn syrup is in nearly everything these days. It is considered by many researchers and dietitians to be one of the leading causes of obesity in America.

  20. nannymm

    basic rule of thumb, if it’s white, don’t eat it.

    With the exception of that Ricotta Bread I just put in the oven. 😀

  21. dnd

    Ricotta bread? How do you make bread from cheese?

  22. dnd

    Now this is cool. Farmers will save you up to 10% on your auto insurance if you drive a hybrid:

    Note I have no association or interest in Farmers, other than my auto insurance.

  23. And on the lighter side of the news:

    Brazilian Wax Ban? NJ Considers It After Two Women Are Injured

  24. nannymm

    Here you go, dnd. This is the recipe I use. If you have a bread machine, I have a much easier recipe that is almost as good.

    Italian Ricotta Bread (pane alla ricotta)

    Ingredients, Volume (Metric Weight)

    3/4 cup water, 70 to 78° F (200 grams)
    1/2 cup milk, 70 to 78° F (100 grams)
    1 tablespoon instant yeast (20 grams)
    3-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (500 grams)
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (30 grams)
    1-1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta, room temperature (250 grams)
    1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt (10 grams)

    1/4 cup ice cubes


    1. MIX THE DOUGH: Pour the milk and water into the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the yeast, flour, butter, ricotta, and salt. Stir just until the dough comes together.

    2. KNEAD: Using the dough hook attachment, mix the dough on medium speed (4 on the KitchenAid) until it’s very supple, smooth, and elastic, about 10 to 12 minutes. (My old 300 watt mixer started dancing across the counter at that speed, so I cut it back to 2 and added 3 minutes to the kneading time.)

    3. FERMENT: Transfer the kneaded dough to the prepared 2 quart container. Use a piece of masking tape to mark the point at which the dough will have doubled in volume. Put the lid on top and leave to rise at room temperature (70 to 75° F) until the dough doubles and inflates into a dome, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. It should deflate slightly when pressed.

    4. SHAPE: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Use the bench scraper to cut the dough into two equal pieces. Roll each piece around the counter, shaping into a ball. Cup your hands around the ball and move in tight circles, until the dough surface becomes taught and smooth. Place the shaped loaves smooth side up on a sheet of parchment paper, about 4 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap.

    5. PROOF: Allow the loaves to rise at room temperature (70 to 75° F) until the look puffy and have nearly doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. The dough should spring back slowly when you press a finger into it.

    6. Preheat the oven: About 1 hour before baking, put the baking stone in the middle of the oven and the cast iron skillet on the bottom rack. Heat the oven to 400° F.

    7. Bake: Put a fresh piece of parchment on the bakers peel/rimless baking sheet and dust with flour. Gently flip the rounds onto the parchment so that the bottom side is up. Slide the parchment with the loaves onto the baking stone. Pour the ice cubes into the hot skillet and close the oven. Bake until the rounds are golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.

    8. COOL AND STORE: Slide the peel/rimless baking sheet until the parchment and remove the loaves from the oven. Slide onto a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove the parchment and allow the loaves to cool completely, about 1 hour. Store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature. Will keep for 2 to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

  25. nannymm

    Brazilian Wax Ban *Shudders*

  26. Yeah if I have to give up getting waxed I just don’t know what I’ll do.

  27. nannymm

    Even Rush weighs in on those waxes. (*still shuddering* but this time because I think I may actually agree with Limbaugh.)

    Rounding out the hour, Rush played off reports that New Jersey is contemplating a ban on bikini waxing, declaring: “I wish the government would just stay out of women’s crotches.” After that bit of ribaldry, it was time to get biblical, as Rush suggested that Obama, in accepting blame for the AIG bonuses, was comparing himself to Jesus.

  28. dnd

    Sounds delish. Sounds like it might make a good focaccia too.

    BTW I haven’t used a bread machine since I worked in a bakery and we had those industrial Hobart mixers. Kneading is good for the soul 😉

  29. nannymm

    I agree totally, dnd. I love to knead bread. It’s not only good for the soul, it’s great for relieving stress. I have a KitchenAid Professional Stand Mixer. Don’t know what I’d do with out it.

  30. I love my bread machine! So there!

  31. nannymm

    I just dug mine out yesterday for my grandson. I’m going to let him experiment with it when I don’t have time to help him. He’s going to be quite the cook someday; in fact, he’s well on his way.

  32. dnd

    “I love my bread machine! So there!”


  33. dnd

    Those KitchenAid mixers are the best. I bought one for my mom 20 years ago and it’s still going strong.

    When I was a baker, we used those 140 quart floor standing Hobarts. You could use the dough hook for a boat anchor.

    Good news that your grandson is learning to cook. One of the things I learned when going to college and constantly broke is that girls thought it was way more romantic if I would cook dinner for them rather than taking them out to eat.

  34. all this talk about bread……I wish I could smell it cooking…..I may have to head over to the breadsmith once I blow this joint…..

    (work that is)

  35. House Passes Heavy Tax on Bonuses for Rescued Firms

    Spurred by anger over A.I.G. bonuses, the House voted 328 to
    93 to levy a 90 percent tax on any company accepting more
    than $5 billion in bailout money.

    I doubt it will be upheld by the courts, but it certainly sends a clear msg to the robber baron class!



  36. nannymm

    dnd, women love guys who can cook, much more romantic than restaurant meals. And it is a good skill to have. My poor hubby is lost when I’m not here to cook for him. He resorts to fast food, tuna helper, and Mary Kitchen Hash. *GAGS*
    Last time I came home after being out of town, I had to toss out all the junk he had bought.

  37. “Rush Limbaugh” and “Brazilian Wax” should never appear together in print or be spoken in the same sentence.

    It’s way too upsetting.

  38. nannymm

    That Cramer link is a dud, Brian. Takes me to Gmail.

  39. nannymm

    It was pretty disgusting, wasn’t it, UB?

  40. ::nodding head in agreement:::

  41. Some intro Arnold just gave the prez, guess he won’t be making any speeches at the next GOP convention. I think Arnold is going switch parties if he wants to be relected.

  42. nannymm

    Funny, I was just thinking the same thing, Brian. Want to bet he also voted for Obama?

  43. In keeping with today’s theme of healthy living:

    America’s Worst Lunches—And What You Should Eat Instead

  44. dnd

    “In keeping with today’s theme of healthy living:”

    That was Obama’s first question. Coincidence? I think not.

    I wonder if Shelia’s at the town meeting. Hope so.

  45. nannymm

    America’s worst lunches…

    I’m pleased to say I have never eaten any of those lunches. I avoid fast food joints like the plague.

  46. dnd

    My guess is that somewhere in upstate New York the following lunchroom conversation goes on daily.

    Canyon’s friend: “Ya wanna trade lunches?”
    Canyon: “No.”
    Canyon’s other friend: “Ya wanna trade lunches?”
    Canyon: “No.”
    All of Canyon’s friends: “Pleeeeese!”
    Canyon: “No.”

  47. nannymm

    You got it, dnd! Sometimes, I send lunch for his buddies, too. And occasionally, they “snatch” parts of his lunch. Plus, his friends eat here so often that one of their mothers tried to give me grocery money. LOL

  48. I woke up from a nap for this?

  49. talkingtoyourself

    Brian In NYC
    March 19, 2009 at 7:53 pm
    *stretches and yawns*

    Brian In NYC
    March 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm
    I woke up from a nap for this?

  50. nannymm

    He’s baaaack!

  51. Looks like someone’s been waiting for you Brian…lol

  52. talkingtoyourself

    5 humans today, me makes six — yowza!

  53. same song and dance…..

    tty – why don’t you answer my question, about American University?

  54. anyway tty, why do you care what we do? you have your own blog…..isn’t that enough for you?

    or do you just miss Brian too much ?

  55. My name came up, yet again on Trail Muck, and like a nervous tick, well here is again! LOL

  56. UB turn on your goggle chat

  57. A day on TM without a mention of your name, Brian, is like a day without sunshine. . . . they can’t help it.

  58. nannymm

    Who reads Trash Mush?

  59. horsedooty

    looks to me like there is only about 12 full time posters on TM at any given time. Course TM’s been around a lot longer and the El Jefe gets to advertise on Imus and used to get to talk on MSNBC.

  60. no kidding Doots….

    I hate to be in EL Jefe’s shoe at this point.

  61. nannymm

    Besides, I like our little group here. At least our posters aren’t simpering, mindless idiots. Of course, intelligent witty posters are always welcome.

  62. we even have our own “published” troll……lol….not every blog can claim that, and he hides until he gets to see Brian….how charming.

  63. This is too funny, seriously. Going to walk the dogs, I want to be home in time to see Leno tonight. BBS

  64. nannymm

    I think he has a crush on Brian.

  65. ya think the troll has a man crush?

  66. nannymm

    I’d say the troll has the hots for Brian. I wonder if his boyfriend knows.

  67. dog's eye view

    good post, nanny.

    Wish you could email us some of that ricotta bread.

    Do you think food manufacturers might eventually be persuaded to remove high fructose corn syrup from their products?

    Cheap, yes, but only for the food manufacturer.

  68. dog's eye view

    Hi Burrito. Very well, thanks. Taking a little bit of a news and blog fast. Tuned in for the Tonight show.


  69. high fructose corn syrup

    The only way it will be removed is if there is a public campaign against and people stop buying it.

  70. nannymm

    Hi, Dog. Good to see you. Re: high fructose corn syrup, I doubt food manufacturers will remove it anytime soon unless we stop subsidizing the corn farmers and force them to grow other, less harmful, crops.

  71. Rezdog

    “ya think the troll has a man crush?”

    I bet a certain Texan would be jealous. lol

  72. dog's eye view

    I check ingredient labels and try to avoid the stuff, but it’s so pervasive.

    Love the idea of the White House veggie garden.

    Better eating all around. More flavors than cheap and sweet.

  73. dog's eye view

    Rez: howdy. What Texan? Quite sure it’s not Doots…

  74. nannymm

    Good night, all. Gonna go watch Leno and get to bed.
    Have a good night. See ya all tomorrow. 🙂

  75. East Coasters…Obama time watch on Leno…
    have a good night…everyone


  76. Rezdog

    btw, I’m referring to a mixer doots.

  77. Leno does a pretty good Arnold.

  78. dog's eye view

    Sasha: Are those Starbursts? That was funny. Kid’s eye view.

  79. Steve

    Good morning Gang. Today in 1852 Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published for the first time.

    Hope you are all well. I am still watching the market closely.

    This time of year March Madness gets all the attention in my part of the world. I’m watching that too.

    I’m puzzled about the troll. Obviously a person from Trail Mix….my only thought….what good does it do to get in a crowded room dominated by some of the most hateful and lonely people on the people when you can go to a smaller roon with a handful of people who are far more civil? The one rude person here is the troll, who keeps coming back….Its sad really.

  80. dnd

    Hey, it’s spring! Finally…

  81. Happy Spring….slated to reach40 degrees here….
    Russian planes again fly over U.S. Navy ships

    Although the Pentagon does not often talk about the overflights, there is nothing illegal about the actions, and they are generally seen by the United States as nothing more than muscle-flexing by the Russian military.

  82. Spring training for the Russians….

  83. Might befun to fly one of those U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighters and meet up with the Russian aircraft and help them find their way.

  84. It’s been a busy week:

    US admiral condemns China’s ‘aggressive’ actions

    Said Keating: “A mature, constructive, military to military relationship is hardly a reality today.” He added that military contacts with the People’s Liberation Army “fell short of expectations in 2008.”

  85. dnd

    “NEW YORK – Wall Street is modestly higher as investors set aside their inflation concerns and go back to buying as they await a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.”

    Actually, I think it’s because Obama was on Leno last night 😉

  86. dnd

    Cool fighter pix Sra Burrito.

  87. dnd

    “WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is reaching out to the Iranian people in a new video with Farsi subtitles, saying the U.S. is prepared to end years of strained relations if Tehran tones down its bellicose rhetoric.”

    If Obama and Hillary can get Iran and Syria on the bus, things will be a changin’ in the Middle East.

  88. This is the first time ever that I feel like the market , and all the players on wall street, have no more of a clue as I do, as to what’s going to happen on any given day.

    It’s really quite amazing….and not so good for recovery….but in time that will change.

  89. I like the way Obama controls his own message.

    Video on the web has turned out to be an awesome tool for him and he wears it well, so to speak.

  90. Hi NYpeep.

    Happy Friday….to all

  91. dog's eye view

    Good morning. Happy Spring, and hope it will be, for all of us, in whatever manner.

  92. nannymm

    Good morning, all. Happy spring! Too bad the North Country doesn’t know it’s spring yet. It’s only 18 degrees here. 😦

  93. dog's eye view

    NYTimes put up an article that dovetails with our sugar vs. HFCS discussion; linking to it on this day-old thread as well.

    NYTimes: sugar winning back market share against high fructose corn syrup, although medical profession says both are equally bad — an empty calorie is an empty calorie.

    Sugar is Back on Food Labels, This Time as a Selling Point

    “From the tomato sauce on a Pizza Hut pie called “The Natural,” to the just-released soda Pepsi Natural, some of the biggest players in the American food business have started, in the last few months, replacing high-fructose corn syrup with old-fashioned sugar.

    ….Blamed for hyperactivity in children and studied as an addictive substance, sugar has had its share of image problems. But the widespread criticism of high-fructose corn syrup — the first lady, Michelle Obama, has said she will not give her children products made with it — has made sugar look good by comparison.

    Most scientists do not share the perception. Though research is still under way, many nutrition and obesity experts say sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are equally bad in excess. But, as is often the case with competing food claims, the battle is as much about marketing as it is about science.”

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