The Doctor’s Corner: Diabetes, Complications, and Disability

Diabetes is a growing health problem in America with over 26 million people suffering from the condition and another 79 million individuals suffering from pre-diabetes such as insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome. Only approximately 5 percent of diabetics suffer from Type 1 diabetes with the overwhelming majority suffering from Type 2 diabetes. While many of these individuals are able to work long and fulfilling careers, there are increasing numbers of people whose disease prevents them from continuing in their jobs and are forced to file claims for disability insurance benefits.

Insurance companies will often dispute and deny a disability claim based solely on a diabetic condition even if it’s shown that the condition was the root cause of the inability to work.  It’s important to understand that technically, they may be correct.  It’s not usually the diabetes that disables someone but one or more of the many complications that are caused by this disease. If you’re receiving regular care and treatment and are following the plan of your treating physician, being diabetic in and of itself is generally not disabling.  If you find you’re unable to work and are filing a disability claim, you’ll want to document the nature and extent of the complications and the severity of their impacts on your work abilities.   Continue reading

Obesity and Its Effects On Disability Claims

Obesity has become a major health problem in the United States, affecting healthcare providers and insurance companies.  Although obesity is seldom a cause for disability in and of itself, it can cause or complicate a number of different conditions that can cause people to become disabled.  In addition to a declining quality of life, obesity can lead to cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cataracts, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, cancer, pulmonary diseases, and sleep apnea, among other disorders.  If you’re suffering from any of these conditions and are also obese, curing your condition and regaining your life is an on-going battle.  The fatigue and lack of mobility that often accompany cases of obesity make it more difficult to perform the duties of many careers, even without considering the problems caused by any accompanying complicating medical conditions.  Reducing obesity is one of the best ways to reduce stress on your body and your life, but that’s not always an option due to people’s circumstances.  And our discussion is not going to address the relationships between obesity, certain drug side-effects, and/or mental conditions – that’s a topic for another day.  Today, I’m going to approach the topic of obesity in two ways: offering advice on how to deal with your existing disability claim while suffering from obesity, as well as sharing a few basic tips on how to reduce your weight in ways that can help prevent a disability claim in the future.

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