Diabetes is still misunderstood by many. National Diabetes Statistics Report in 2017 from the CDC indicate 30.3 million people had diabetes in 2015. That’s approximately 9.4% of the U.S. population. That is an increase from 2012 where 29.1 million had diabetes. Previous to that, in 2010, 25.8 million people had diabetes. In 1980, 5.6 million people were diagnosed with diabetes.
There are two paths we can follow. Either my first statement is accurate, that diabetes is still misunderstood, or, proper patient care is misguided.
I believe it’s a little of both. In my experience, patients and the medical community are missing the root cause of diabetes. I speak with many diabetes patients. The discomfort of discussing this disease is in their eyes and reflected in their response. When we begin discussing the number of medications they are prescribed, I hear, “I’m a very well managed diabetic.” These are patients taking two or more medications.
What do you consider "well managed?"
I remember when I was first diagnosed and prescribed medication along with four insulin shots every day. My first thought was, “Why can’t I be like any other diabetic and just take a pill.” Oh, how naïve I was!
That was the ‘shot in the arm’ (no pun intended) that I needed to take my health seriously. To me, that meant learning how to eliminate the drugs and insulin and maintain healthy glucose levels. I do not advocate for eliminating drugs or insulin unless you are going to maintain healthy glucose levels.
Many physicians find it difficult to make a patient compliant. That means to diet, exercise, and take your meds. Our healthcare system does not educate our medical community that “diet” is a dirty word and it does not work. Proof is in the pudding from the CDC.
With the plethora of drugs and stronger insulin on the market, this has not gotten to the root of the problem. With all the technology and science, we have not fixed the problem.
So where does one start? Fixing the problem is up to each diabetes patient. Start by taking charge and be the leader of your health. Everyone else is on your health team, including your doctors.
Patients can be prescribed Metformin when diagnosed with prediabetes. So, the slew of medication is just beginning. Eventually, if you continue to out eat what medication is doing for you, another gets added and you work your way up to insulin.
It’s expensive. Complaining that eating healthy is expensive, just doesn’t compare to the expense of medication and endless trips to the doctor. Now you have become part of the growing statistic of being diagnosed with diabetes.
There are life-saving drugs; insulin is life-saving for type 1 diabetes patients. Diabetes drugs and potent insulin is due to letting your health slide. It may be from lack of knowledge, lack of interest or caring, or believing your doctor is right that you cannot stop or reduce medication.
I see every day that diabetes patients are making tremendous improvement. Why? These patients are learning how to be the leader of their health. They are learning how to take charge and make necessary lifestyle changes.
Instead of blindly taking diabetes medication or multiple medications, join me for my webinar, Diabetes Drugs, Are They Helping or Hurting You? Learn about your diabetes medication and what can happen when taking multiple medications.
Get educated so you feel confident having a discussion with your physician.
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm ET
Register: Diabetes Drugs, Are They Helping or Hurting You?