SELF CARE CRITICAL TO MANAGING DIABETES

AT THE SENIOR CENTER, Pat Mills serves up lunch, knowing as a Type 2 diabetic she will have to take care of herself before she eats.

RICHMOND – Back when she lacked health insurance, Pat Mills pleaded.

“I begged my diabetes doctor for samples,” she said. “I was running constantly from doctor to doctor for samples.”

One of 500,000 diabetic Missourians, Mills is a Type 2, insulin-dependent diabetic.

“It sucks a lot,” she said.

Nationally, diabetes costs more than $327 billion per year, based on information released by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases in recognition of November as National Diabetes Month. Lost work hours and emergency room visits add to the cost of caring for diabetics.

Managing diabetes is expensive on a personal level for Mills. She uses a long-lasting insulin once a day, a meal-time insulin before each meal and Trulicity.

“My medicine costs me about $2,500 a month before insurance,” she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 30 million Americans have “some form of diabetes.” Symptoms can be silent – going undiagnosed for years – but affect about 12 million senior citizens, and is expected to rank as the seventh-leading cause of death in 10 years, World Health Organization information states.

CATCH THE SILENT SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES IN FRIDAY'S LIVING 50-PLUS

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