BUFFALO N.Y (WKBW) — A push to shine a light on a disease that silently affects millions of Americans. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and for those who have it experience the expensiveness. According to the CDC, more than 37 million Americans have Diabetes and just shy of 29 million people have been diagnosed with this disease.
Ophthalmologist Daniel Laroche said this is a very serious disease.
“So during this month we want to educate the American public about the importance of diet, exercise, getting you physical examination, getting your blood glucose checked, getting your blood pressure checked, getting your eyes checked, to keep yourself healthy,” Laroche said.
Taking care of yourself is key. Laroche states he is trying to teach people what this disease is, how to take care of themselves and how to stray away from getting Diabetes.
“When we eat food our body processes it and it forms sugar,” he said. “The sugar gets into our blood stream and the pancreas creates a hormone called insulin that metabolizes that and deals with that.”
If there is too much sugar, Laroche said, the blood vessels are affected causing serious reaction.
“The blood vessels not only get damaged in the eye. they get damaged in the kidneys and the legs that can lead to amputation or heart that can get heart disease it affects your whole body,” he said.
Laroche shares the insulin helps with the reaction the body is having. But prices are sky high. According to the RAND Corporation study, a vial of insulin cost $98 on average in the US in 2018. The Peterson KFF Health System Tracker showed nearly 1 in 6 adults reported delaying or not getting prescription drugs due to those costs.
At the federal level, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law in August. Part of that law caps insulin prices at $35 per month for people paying with Medicare. But if you’re not paying with Medicare, there are other options.
“You can contact the company that makes the insulin. they have programs for people that cant make the payments as long as you show evidence of that where they can give you some of those medications either directly to you or to your doctor,” he said.
Whether you have diabetes or not Laroche has one piece of advice.
“The most important investment you can make is picking healthy foods,” he shared.