Rising diabetes costs put strain on families' budgets

Anyone who lives with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes knows that these can be intensive conditions to care for. They require frequent blood sugar testing, insulin injections and medications. Without all this, a person's blood sugar could spike to dangerous levels.

Additionally, all the testing and medications can be expensive. Medical supplies are not cheap, and the frequency with which a person with diabetes goes through testing strips, needles and drugs means caring for the condition can cost a significant amount of money.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates that medical expenses cost about twice as much for a person with diabetes, compared to an individual who does not have the condition.

A recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that average expenses for a person with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes can run as high as $11,744, of which $6,649 is directly attributable to diabetes-related care. Other costs are associated with average medical expenses and lost productivity.

Given the economic times, these expenses can take a serious toll on the finances of a family. Whether a parent is caring for a child with type 1 diabetes or a senior has type 2 diabetes, the costs can make it difficult to meet other financial obligations, like paying the mortgage or putting food on the table.

Moreover, the problem of high diabetes costs is only getting worse. HealthDay News recently reported that expenses related to type 2 diabetes treatment nearly doubled between 2001 and 2007. There are measures in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that seek to prevent people from developing the condition and incurring these expenses, but these may do little for people who already have the condition.