According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that by the end of 2016, that number will have increased by more than six million and will double by the end of 2036. Unfortunately, the dramatic increase of this disease is only part of the problem.

The complications that can result from different forms of diabetes, including neuropathy, gangrene, excessive fatigue, and the need for amputations, has led the Social Security Administration to rethink its position on diabetes’ benefit eligibility. In 2011, the SSA removed endocrine disorders from their approved impairment listings. However, over the past five years, the disabling nature of complications of diabetes has proven too severe for the SSA to ignore. As a result, endocrine disorders, including diabetes, have been placed back in the SSA listings of impairments.

Another result of the increasing concern over diabetes is much more positive, and may eventually help those receiving disability better manage their disease.

Treatments in Development

Researchers from the American Diabetes Association have been working to discover and create tools and guides to help those suffering from diabetes. These advancements are working to:

  • Help those with diabetes manage their condition and prevent complications.
  • Help pre-diabetics control their condition to prevent it from developing into full-fledged diabetes.
  • Help those at risk of developing diabetes control their diet, exercise, and blood sugar to prevent the condition from manifesting.

 Cup of coffee surrounded by coffee beansNotable progress in this area include:

  • A connection between coffee consumption and a decreased risk of developing Type II diabetes. An on-going study is delving into the beneficial properties that coffee can have on diabetes. The study is attempting to discover why and how the chemicals in coffee beans can work to decrease glucose metabolization. So far, the data is showing a positive outcome and suggests that coffee may be effective in lowering risks.
  • A connection between environmental stress factors and the development of Type II diabetes. An on-going study, being performed in the Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan, is attempting to find a link between minority stresses and their increased susceptibility for diabetes. Although the overall increase in diabetes cases in the U.S. affects all races, genders, and classes, some groups seem to develop the condition more often than other groups. African Americans and Latinos have a 50% chance of having diabetes in their lifetime, while Caucasians have a 33% risk. This study hopes to discover what is causing the discrepancy to develop a more precise and targeted prevention program.
  • A connection between protein deposits (amyloids) and cellular death in diabetics. A study is currently on going to test the effectiveness of blocking certain proteins that have a tendency to clump together and suffocate beta cells in the pancreas. The researchers are hoping to develop compounds that will prevent these proteins from forming dangerous fibroids to help maintain healthy beta cells and prevent damaged pancreases.
  • A connection between a “smart” insulin patch and blood sugar monitoring. This study is the next step to help diabetics monitor and manage their blood sugar without painful pricks or cumbersome pumps. The study is hoping to produce substantial research and advancement into the creation of an artificial or “bionic” pancreas that can be used to automatically check, read, and correct insulin fluctuations in those with Type I and III diabetes.

For more information on managing your diabetes treatment and disability, schedule your FREE consultation today. For the past 22 years, we’ve dedicated our careers to helping those with Social Security Disability concerns. We pride ourselves on helping those who need it find some small financial comfort despite their disability. Allow us to put our skills and resources to work for you. Call now!

Feel free to download our complimentary report, The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability, or take advantage of our Live Chat feature for SSA disability claim advice and support.

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If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
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