Des Moines Register: Editorial: Being diabetic is becoming unaffordable

By: The Register’s editorial

Egyptian medical texts dated around 550 B.C. contain the earliest known descriptions of diabetes. Treatments for the disease throughout history included having patients drink their own urine, bleeding them, blistering them and administering opium to “reduce the despair” of impending death.

Diabetic children died within months of diagnosis. A few made it beyond one year. The discovery of insulin in 1921 changed everything.

Now the nearly 20,000 young Americans each year diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes have the chance to live long, productive lives. There is no way to prevent the autoimmune disease that destroys the body’s ability to produce insulin it needs to convert food to energy. There is no known cure.

Staying alive requires injecting insulin, sometimes several times a day.

That assumes people can afford it or have health insurance to help pay for it. Because the cost has tripled in recent years.

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