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An Ounce of Prevention – Preventable Diabetes “Complications”

We share a lot of diabetes management information and tips here on that will simply help you feel better, and feeling better day to day is a wonderful thing. But, we shouldn’t lose sight of our long term goal, and the most significant benefit of effective diabetes management– preventing long term, serious “complications.”

A recent report by researchers at the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute put numbers to the Benjamin Franklin adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Looking at private health care and Medicaid claims for more than 15,000 adults with diabetes, the report projects that costs for treatment of preventable (they used the phrase “potentially avoidable”) diabetes complications represents about 25% of the total medical cost of diabetes care – almost $17 billion annually.

So, I’m back to a familiar theme – “we” (patients and healthcare providers) are not doing enough to embrace prevention – that is, reducing the long term risk for diabetes complications with lifestyle changes. On the provider side, maybe this report will help – money talks, and Benjamin Franklin said it perfectly more than 200 years ago. But, a report from the American Diabetes Association in late 2013 pointed to data showing that only half of people with diabetes “report receiving some type (any type) of diabetes education,” and maybe as few as 10% have consulted with a registered dietitian about diet. There is a serious “disconnect” somewhere.

A look at the healthcare costs tells a story we can evaluate with mathematics, but the human costs cannot be estimated. That’s where this gets personal for you, and for me. So, as always, I’ll spin this story to encourage you (urge you) to get professional help with your diabetes management. provides great advice and a wonderful opportunity to connect, but maybe the best advice of all is, don’t stop here. Chances are you go see a professional to help manage your hair – maybe seeing a diabetes professional for your long term health is just as important. And, it may cost you less.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.