By Jeffrey S. Powell, MD FACE | Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
A recent study found that overweight individuals with diabetes who lose weight by dieting and increasing their physical activity can reduce their healthcare costs by an average of more than $500 a year. While we always look at better health outcomes through diet and exercise, this is the first study to show that weight loss can save money. The findings were published in the journal Diabetes Care.
This makes a lot of sense. If an individual with diabetes can lose weight, he or she will likely see fewer and shorter hospital stays, and could eventually end up on less medication. That’s not only good for one’s health but for the wallet.
At CareMount Medical, we regularly encourage our diabetes patients to see a nutritionist. Patients are counseled to eat healthy. This includes limiting the portions of food high in carbohydrates, which when broken down can raise glucose levels. We also advise patients to avoid fried foods and juices that can affect blood sugar levels.
Physical activity and regular follow-up medical appointments are also encouraged so that we can work together with our patients to achieve the greatest possible health outcome for them.
Aside from the study mentioned above, it is also very important to note that many people with type 2 diabetes are not aware that they have it. Because cardiovascular disease is a main complication of diabetes, individuals who are overweight and who have high cholesterol and high blood pressure should get checked for heart disease.
Managing weight is also important because many malignancies are associated with obesity. According to the National Cancer Institute, obesity is tied to the occurrence of cancers of the esophagus, breast, colon, rectum, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, and possibly others. One thing that many people who struggle with their weight know is that trying to lose weight is a full time job. Your CareMount Medical physician can help to support you in this endeavor.