Diabetes & Disability

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that almost 10% of the U.S population over the age of 20 years has diabetes, with the overwhelming majority being Type 2 diabetes. Based on 2012 data, this is approximately 29 million people in our country with a disease that can lead to disabling conditions and early death. Of these 29 million people, almost 1/3 are undiagnosed, and thus, likely unaware of the risks they have to developing serious heart disease and stroke, blindness, kidney failure, extremity neuropathy and lower limb amputation.

Type 2 diabetes is sometimes referred to as ‘adult-onset diabetes’, since it used to be diagnosed most commonly in the adult years after a lifetime of inactivity and poor nutrition. Over time, the body has had to produce so much insulin to take care of the sugar it has been given that the body becomes insulin resistant and no longer recognizes there is too much sugar (glucose) in the blood. Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes can range from fatigue, blurred vision, and increased thirst and appetite, to increased urination, slow healing infections, and erectile dysfunction. Left untreated and perhaps even with treatment, Type 2 diabetes can significantly impact a person’s ability to to function and even shorten one’s life span.

Type 1 diabetes is sometimes referred to as ‘juvenile onset diabetes’ because it is most often diagnosed during childhood. In Type 1, the body has an inability to make insulin and has to be given insulin through injections or a pump. As obesity rates in the younger population climb, more and more children and teens are increasingly being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes can be managed, or even reversed, by regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and the use of appropriate prescription medication. Treatments for Type 2 diabetes can vary greatly, depending upon the progression of the disease. Some people may manage symptoms through self monitoring their blood glucose, making dietary changes, exercising, and losing weight, while others will progress to the point of needing to take insulin and/or oral medications such as Metformin. Some will finally elect for gastric bypass surgery. However, a significant portion of this population will begin to experience complications and eventual disability for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, hypoglycemia unawareness, other disorders that can affect blood glucose levels, inability to manage diabetes due to a mental disorder, or inadequate treatment.

Although Social Security has a Listing for Endocrine Disorders (Listing 9.00) that includes diabetes, the complications of a particular claimant may require the evaluation of the case under a different Listing or multiple Listings. A diabetic Social Security claimant has a definite need for an experienced attorney to help put together the medical evidence needed to prove a claim. For more information:


The Disability attorneys at Syfrett, Dykes & Furr are available to help in your Social Security Disability case. Call us at {F:P:Site:Phone}.


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