diabetesThe American Diabetes Association estimates that diabetes costs this country more than $174 billion per year. Breaking that figure down to an individual level brings home how financially straining the disease can be to diabetics.

The American Diabetes Association and Consumer Reports Health estimate that, on average, diabetic patients spend $6,000 per year treating the disease. Staggering as it seems, that figure only includes costs directly related to diabetes, such as monitoring supplies, doctor visits and medication. The amount would be much higher if it included costs for treating other conditions that result from Type 2 diabetes, like heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, eye disease, infections and poor healing that can lead to amputations.

In today’s economy, many diabetic patients are choosing to forego doctor visits, use syringes instead of insulin pumps, and check their insulin levels less often in order to save money. Others have to choose between making mortgage payments and picking up their prescriptions. Sobering news.

The good news for overweight patients with Type 2 diabetes is that losing weight can often eliminate the need for insulin and other medications. And for those who lose weight and maintain that weight loss, bariatric surgery can alleviate diabetes.

It is with good reason that diabetes has been called the noninfectious epidemic of our time. One in 10 Americans has diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, if present trends continue, that figure will rise to one in three by the year 2050. It is encouraging to know that bariatric surgery may be able to help turn the tide on this devastating illness.

If you are morbidly obese and would like to know more about bariatric surgery, sign up for a free seminar on surgical weight loss options to see if surgery is the right solution for you.