Patient Details Costs of Diabetes

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WESLACO — Diabetes is a costly disease, not only in terms of its impact on the body, but also on people’s wallets. People in the Rio Grande Valley spend thousands of dollars a year fighting the disease.

Gary Due was diagnosed with diabetes in the year 2000.

“Doctors’ appointments, your blood tests, your everyday testing and your everyday supplies, diabetes affects the body in so many other ways and that raises your cost with diabetes,” he said.

Due said having insurance is important for anyone who is diagnosed with the disease. Even though insurance doesn’t cover all of his costs, he said he keeps track of all the money he uses to combat diabetes.

“Last year, I spent around $5,000,” he said. That amount is less than what the average diabetes patients spends.

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes spend an average of $7,900 a year on their disease. That’s equivalent to spending $21 a day.

The numbers don’t stop there. Diabetes may also cause other diseases, costing patients even more money.

“You end up having problems with your arteries,” Due said. “They have to go in and put a stent in or it affects the heart. It also affects the feet and causes numbing in the feet, which is another problem."

American Diabetes Association officials said the average total for diabetes and other health problems related to the disease can cost about $13,700.

Due said there are two ways to keep costs down. He said eating healthy and exercise can help save thousands of dollars.

Count on CHANNEL 5 NEWS to bring our viewers the very latest in diabetes coverage. For more information, visit our Heart of the Valley page.

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CHANNEL 5 NEWS is dedicating two weeks of coverage and events to diabetes. As part of Heart of the Valley, there will be free screenings, live Q&A session with doctors and more. Learn more on the Heart of the Valley page.