On Our Own: Why We Who Struggle To Live With Diabetes Could Use A Helping Hand By Sarah Sklaroff

1998 words - 8 pages

Despite the overall advancement in American health, the prevalence of diseases continues to persist. Many complex issues lead to health disparities; however one of the biggest problems is the drastic change in lifestyle. The modern American face paced lifestyle continuously strives to cram in as much as possible within twenty-four hour days and the general upkeep of health is rapidly declining. The various issues of living an unhealthy lifestyle has led to countless life threatening diseases. Of the numerous health problems that Americans’ are faced with today, diabetes remains to plague the nation by destroying the quality of life.
In the Narrative Matters section of Health Affairs, Sara Sklaroff’s published article “On Our Own: Why We Who Struggle To Live With Diabetes Could Use A Helping Hand” describes a system that burdens people for having diabetes, rather than taking measures that provide preventative care, diagnose at a premature stage, and fund the best upkeep. Sara, a forty-one year old woman who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes defines the sequence of events that she deals with on a daily basis. From narrow vision to heart palpitations, getting food into her body helps to subside her hypoglycemia. According to the World Health Organization, diabetes - a common but complex disease - is “a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces” (“Diabetes”, par. 1). People who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are unable to make the hormone insulin. Conversely, Sara and other Americans’ that have type 2 diabetes make insulin, yet their bodies are unable to use it properly.
Six years after her diagnosis, Sara became the editor of a diabetes magazine which formed her views about what can and should be done to support people with diabetes to live a healthy lifestyle. The main argument in her article is that the health care system neglects those with this disease and “yet the general attitude is to blame and punish people with diabetes – not to lend them a helping hand” (Sklaroff 237). She believes that the health care system fails at making prompt diagnoses and overlooks educating patients about how to take proper care of themselves. Our health care system “is more willing to pay for someone with diabetes to have a leg removed than for the education, treatment, and support that would have prevented the loss of the limb” (237). Diabetics require constant care and upkeep; however it can be very costly. As a result, some health insurance companies may refuse coverage for essential supplies. The leading issue that continues to arise is coverage for test strips that monitor blood glucose levels. A new strip is needed every time blood glucose levels are checked, yet insurers limit the amount of strips covered each month. Therefore, health insurance companies “often do not provide enough of them” (237). When it comes to health...

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