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Diabetes Complications Cost Billions

Report Shows Cost of Treating Diabetes Complications Is $10,000 per Patient Each Year

How to Manage Diabetes

Einhorn tells WebMD that the report makes it clear that patients are suffering needlessly because of poor disease management.

"We have the tools to do it right, so it is clear that we have not focused enough on early detection, early and aggressive treatment, and prevention of complications," he says.

He adds that the patients he sees as medical director of San Diego's Scripps Whittier Institute for Diabetes tend to be educated about the lifestyle changes they need to make to keep their diabetes under control, and they usually receive aggressive, early drug treatment with a combination of medications, if needed.

"As a result we don't see many complications," he says. "We are living proof that complications don't have to happen."

Einhorn points out that patients with early diabetes or those at high risk for developing the disease have traditionally been told to lose weight, exercise, and make other lifestyle changes.

Good advice, he says, but something that most patients just can't or won't do.

"The problem with telling people to go make all these lifestyle changes and come back in six months, is that six months becomes a year and people who need to be on medication often go without treatment for extended periods," he says.

"As a result, 50% of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes today already have complications that took some years to develop. We are obviously late to the game."

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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