Diabetes

News and updates about diabetes.

New Program Helps People With Diabetes Eat Healthy

Dec 29, 2020

Standing in her kitchen, Therese Richardson is making her favorite recipe. “The honey dijon roasted pork tenderloin. I like that one,” the 50-year-old Indianapolis woman says.

Richardson has Type 2 diabetes, meaning that cells in her body are resistant to insulin, causing her blood sugar levels to rise. Eating vegetables and other healthy food helps her avoid serious complications — and lowers blood sugar levels.

Farah Yousry

Economic problems caused by COVID-19 hit diabetics especially hard. The American Diabetes Association says about a quarter of people with the disease are tapping savings, loans or stimulus checks to buy insulin. And some are taking big risks to get the life-saving drug.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The pandemic has left millions of Americans without jobs, and as a result, nearly 14 million people lost employer-sponsored health insurance.  For the one-in-10 Americans with diabetes, this poses a potentially life-threatening problem. 

Jacob Dean

William Rentel, a nurse practitioner in Ohio, has Type 1 diabetes but has been able to keep his blood sugar well-managed.

That changed when he and his wife contracted COVID-19 this spring.

“I found myself needing to use double the amount of insulin I would normally use to get my blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible,” recalls Rentel, who works at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “That’s when I knew something was very wrong.”

COVID-19 And Diabetes Can Be A Dangerous Mix

Dec 14, 2020
Farah Yousry

Agatha Walston leads a busy life. She’s a nurse in southern Indiana and a single mother of two young kids.

How Redlining, Racism Harm Black Americans' Health

Jun 24, 2020
Carter Barrett, Side Effects Public Media

Systemic racism has a huge impact on the health of Black Americans, and not just in the doctor’s office. In a Facebook Live event, Side Effects Public Media reporter Darian Benson spoke with three experts on topics ranging from generational mistrust to the impact of COVID-19. 

Early one April morning, inmates at Indiana’s Plainfield Correctional Facility found a fellow inmate unconscious in his bed. 

“He was barely breathing when we first tried to wake him up,” says one of the inmates, who asked to be identified by his middle name, Andrew, because he feared retaliation from prison staff. “For about 20, 25 minutes, the [correctional officers] were trying to wake him up, so finally, they called the medical emergency.” 

Steph Whiteside/Side Effects Public Media

Sending a child to overnight camp can be nerve-wracking for any parent. It’s even scarier if they have a child with a chronic illness. But a camp in Illinois offers a safe option for kids who have Type 1 diabetes.

Zach Herndon / WFIU/WTIU News

Insulin is not a new drug, but even though it’s been around for nearly a century, its price continues to climb.

People with Type 1 Diabetes have to take it to regulate their blood sugar.

But a recent study from Yale shows as many as a quarter of people who need insulin ration it because it’s too expensive.

Indianapolis-based drug company Eli Lilly says it will soon start selling a cheaper insulin for diabetic patients. The move comes amid outcry over high drug prices.

BRAM SABLE-SMITH / KBIA/SIDE EFFECTS PUBLIC MEDIA

For many people, life goes on after a diabetes diagnosis. But for others, the high price of insulin has forced them to devise dangerous and sometimes deadly workarounds to make ends meet. On this episode: the lengths to which some diabetics go to survive, and why insulin is so expensive.

Understanding The Racial 'Death Gap'

Feb 19, 2018
Jake J. Smith / WHYY/The Pulse

Standing in her home, Shalonda Cooper points to an old picture of her mom, Windora.

“See how she looks here?” Shalonda asks. “She looks healthy! Look at the glow in her face.”

She then points to another picture taken about 20 years later, shortly after Windora had been diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. She was in her thirties.


Flurry of Federal and State Probes Target Insulin Drugmakers and Pharma Middlemen

Nov 4, 2017

With the price of a crucial diabetes drug skyrocketing, at least five states and a federal prosecutor are demanding information from insulin manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry’s financial middlemen, seeking answers about their business relationships and the soaring price of diabetes drugs.

Diabetics Protest Rising Insulin Prices At Drug Company Headquarters

Sep 11, 2017
Jill Sheridan / Indiana Public Broadcasting

More than half a million Hoosiers have been diagnosed with diabetes, and many of them rely on insulin to live healthy lives. But patients say the skyrocketing price of the medicine —which more than doubled from 2002 to 2013 — is squeezing them to the point of outrage.

A proven training model helps diabetics control their disease, but only fraction of people have access to it. On Wednesday, pharmacist Jasmine Gonzalvo urged state lawmakers to make it easier for patients to access the training model, Diabetes Self Management Education or DSME.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

When Tim Rushing turned 50 last year, his doctor called him in for a check-up. They did a physical, ran some tests, and found out that Rushing had Type 2 diabetes.

“No surprises there,’ Rushing says. “Both my parents are Type 2 diabetics.”

He knew from watching his parents that monitoring his blood sugar would be essential to managing the disease. What Rushing didn’t realize was how much that monitoring would cost.

Turns out, it’s a lot.

For people with diabetes who take insulin, the risk of losing consciousness from low blood sugar is a constant fear. Devices called continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) can alert wearers to dropping levels, but not everyone has access to them. And even among those who do, some prefer a furrier and friendlier alert option: a service dog with special training to alert owners when their blood sugar reaches dangerously low levels.

Connecticut's Low-Income Diabetics Paying High Price For Insulin

Apr 13, 2016

The high cost of insulin, which has risen by triple-digit percentages in the last five years, is endangering the lives of many diabetics who can’t afford the price tag, say Connecticut physicians who treat diabetics.

Dribs and drabs of research from a few countries around the world have raised concern that diabetes is growing as a cause of death and disability. But the first coordinated global look at the disease, published in The Lancet this week, has fully sounded the alarm.

Combined Effects Of Maternal Obesity, Diabetes ‘Substantially’ Raise Autism Risks

Feb 1, 2016

While the incidence of autism spectrum disorder has increased in recent years, what’s behind it remains relatively mysterious and even controversial. But a major study could shed new light on some of the maternal health factors that may increase children’s risk of developing the condition.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by difficulties with communication and social interaction as well as repetitive or obsessive behaviors. The range and severity of symptoms can vary widely.

You Can Buy Insulin Without A Prescription, But Should You?

Dec 14, 2015

As anyone with diabetes can tell you, managing the disease with insulin usually means regular checkups at the doctor's office to fine-tune the dosage, monitor blood-sugar levels and check for complications.

But here's a little known fact: Some forms of insulin can be bought without a prescription.

Carmen Smith did that for six years when she didn't have health insurance and didn't have a primary care doctor. She bought her insulin without a prescription at Wal-Mart.

Here's How An iPhone Helps One Teen (And His Mom) Manage Diabetes

Nov 18, 2015

Blake Atkins gets a lot of texts from his mother when he's at school. But unlike most teenagers, this 16-year-old doesn't seem to mind.

That's because four years ago, Atkins was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. And now, his mother, Lori, has a way to find out and let him know when his blood sugar levels are out of the normal range.

"I do like that my mom can look at my numbers," says Blake, from San Carlos, Calif. "It keeps me sane. It helps keep her sane."

New Health Plans Offer Discounts For Diabetes Care

Nov 18, 2015
Alisha Vargas via Flickr

Talk about targeted. Consumers scrolling through the health plan options on the insurance marketplaces in a few states this fall may come upon plans whose name — Leap Diabetes Plans — leaves no doubt about who should apply.

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit national health policy news service. 

Prescription drug use is rising across the United States. More people are taking medications and they're taking more of them.

A study published Tuesday by researchers at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that 59 percent of adults used a prescription drug in a 30-day period. That's up from just 50 percent when the survey was last conducted a decade earlier.

A Glass Of Wine A Day May Help Control Type 2 Diabetes

Oct 14, 2015

If you're in the habit of drinking wine with dinner, there may be a bonus beyond the enjoyment of sipping a glass at night.

A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine adds to the evidence that drinking a moderate amount of wine can be good for your health.

The evidence comes from a new two-year-long study on people with diabetes.

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