IBD ranks as 1 of the 5 most expensive GI disorders despite its being the lowest in prevalence among the list of GI disorders.

Inflammatory bowel disease patients have higher health costs.

Today’s blog post is not just about this growing problem, but also a few solutions I recommend you research and take action on today!

Average IBD patient annual costs were triple compared to non-IBD and out-of-pocket costs like co-payments and deductibles were double. #crohns #colitis #IBD #healthcare Click To Tweet

I wish more people understood this.

Including family, friends, doctor’s offices, hospital finance departments, and debt collectors.

The title of this blog post came from the title of an article published in 2016.

money healthcare sickcareA study published May 21, 2019 where researchers examined data from 2007 to 2016 for almost 53,000 people with IBD who had either private health insurance or Medicare Advantage coverage with both medical and pharmacy benefits. They also looked at data on 12 to 14 million people without IBD.

Overall, average annual costs for patients with IBD were $22,987 compared with $6,956 without IBD, the study found.

And out-of-pocket costs like co-payments and deductibles were more than doubled with IBD: $2,213 a year compared with $979 annually without IBD.

Costs for patients with IBD averaged $26,555 over the first year after diagnosis, researchers report in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

This didn’t include the cost of insurance premiums.

Several factors were tied to higher costs with IBD, including the use of expensive biotech drugs, opioids, or steroids; emergency room use; anemia; relapsing disease; and mental illness.

When patients had at least one emergency room visit in a year, for example, average annual costs were $37,759 compared to $15,237 without an ER visit.

And when patients had a mental illness, annual average costs were $35,740 compared to $18,520 without a psychological disorder.

Average costs for IBD were stable from year to year before 2012. After that, however, costs have been rising more sharply.

Worldwide, IBD is becoming more common, especially in newly industrialized countries, making it essential to determine cost drivers that may make it challenging for patients to afford care, said Dr. Chang Kyun Lee of the Kyung Hee University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea.

Now that we’re clear of the growing problem, let’s talk about solutions.

First, I want you to know that we are continually looking for and working on solutions. This is a large effort! If you have any proposed solutions, let us know in the comments below!

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller

Solutions
a) Focus. Don’t roll your eyes at me! 🙂  I know this is an obvious one, but it is worth mentioning here, first.  Focus is not only important, it’s also more challenging for those with IBD. Crohn’s and Colitis impact brain function, including concentration and focus. Optimizing your microbiome is best way to improve your focus. Since you’re reading this post you likely are already doing that.  Consider taking supplements that specifically target brain health and  improve concentration. In the One Great Gut Dispensary you will find natural supplements called nootropics, also known as smart drugs and cognitive enhancers,  that can improve your thinking, memory recall, focus, concentration and motivation and creativity.

While taking supplements will cost you money in the short term, with improved focus, thinking and motivation you can set yourself up for success in your goal to greater health, and money. See below for S.M.A.R.T goal setting to increase your chance of success!

The One Great Gut Dispensary will save you money on your favorite supplements and insure both freshness and quality. If you do not see your favorite supplement, let me know and I will see what I can do about adding them to the dispensary. Other online marketplaces are often hidden with counterfeit supplements that can be dangerous. The One Great Gut Dispensary is guaranteed to only have product directly from the manufacturer.

One of my favorites is Qualia Mind by Neurohacker Collective. Mind is available in caffeine and caffeine-free versions. They also offer Qualia Focus which is a more affordable version of Qualia Mind.

It may take you a few tries to find the exact nootropic supplement stack that works best for you specially. It’s worth finding what works for you because your life will be more focused, aligned with grater productivity about the things that you care about.

b) Set S.M.A.R.T goals.

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Timely

You probably have some pretty awesome dreams and goals. By using the S.M.A.R.T formula you will make your dreams a reality and achieve your goals quicker.

Consider making health and money a priority. Focus on the most important things that can make a difference in both your health, and your bank account.

b) Be honest with yourself, friends and family. Transparency builds trust.  When I was an Engineer I didn’t worry about much financially. I naturally save money and don’t overspend. However, once I left Engineering everything changed. I no longer had a regular paycheck to rely on. Life was extremely hard and while I was very sick back then I was also speaking to attorneys about disability insurance. I finally got real with myself  and sat down with a few trusted friends, mentors and advisers. The more honest I was with them the better recommendations I would receive. It was certainly a blow to my ego and was very humbling, but without that level of honesty and rawness I would never have received the tips and tricks needed to work on my finances, and health.

After getting honest with myself and family during my 2018 month long hospital stay I decided to start a Medical GoFundMe. It was humbling to ask friends for help, and actually offended some family members whose ego’s and pride were hurt. It reminded them of their fears and parental teachings. I took their fears into account, but ultimately the decision was mine because I truly was in need. I was shocked and surprised how many friends and family contributed. Even strangers! Some of those friends and family I hadn’t seen in years, or decades. It was beautiful experience that showed me how loved and supported I am, even when the physical pain was extraordinary and my future looked bad.  It was through that support, emotionally and financially that I was able to safely be discharged after a roller coaster one month hospitalization.

c) The undeniable link between health and money. You must watch the Money Revealed docuseries.  There’s not many things I will recommend other’s to watch. This is one of them. 100%. You will learn directly from 36 self-made millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires. They sit down with you and share how they achieved the success they enjoy with money. Stop guessing, and learn from the very best.

d) Do you drink alcohol?

It’s probably costing you a lot of money, and negatively impacting your gut, health and family.

Don’t worry though. You’re not alone.

How much is drinking actually costing you?

If you have three drinks a day, five days a week, at an average of $10 a pop, you’re spending $150 a week, $650 a month or $7,800 a year just on alcohol ― not including any additional costs, like server tips or taking a taxi instead of driving. Even if you drink only on weekends, at two drinks per day you are spending about $2,500 a year.

Prefer wine at home?

According to online wine retailer Vivino, the cost of a bottle of white wine averages $14.41, while an average bottle of red wine costs $15.66. If you drink one each per week for a year, that’s more than $1,563.

The Alcoholic Beverages Market is valued at over $1,400 Billion Dollars.

According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 86% of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. 70% percent reported that they drank in the past year. 56% percent reported that they drank in the past month.

The same study revealed that 15 million adults ages 18 and older have AUD or Alcohol Use Disorder.  This includes 9.8 million men and 5.3 million women.

Only 6.7 percent of adults who had AUD in the past year received treatment.

It’s not only a problem with adults, but also with adolescents.

The study estimated that 623,000 adolescents ages 12–17 had AUD. This number included 298,000 males and 325,000 females.

Only 5.2 percent of youth who had AUD in the past year received treatment.

It gets worse.

An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical inactivity.  In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths (31 percent of overall driving fatalities).

This is not just a problem in the United States – it’s a global world wide problem!

In 2012, 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9 percent of all global deaths were attributable to alcohol consumption. In 2014, the World Health Organization reported that alcohol contributed to more than 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, most notably DSM–IV alcohol dependence , liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries.

In 2012, 5.1 percent of the burden of disease and injury worldwide (139 million disability-adjusted life-years) was attributable to alcohol consumption. Globally, alcohol misuse was the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability in 2010. Among people between the ages of 15 and 49, it is the first.14 In the age group 20–39 years, approximately 25 percent of the total deaths are alcohol attributable.

Cutting back on alcohol will not only save you money, but also get you closer to a great gut as most alcohol has a negative impact on your microbiome.

Save money, and probably improve your gastrointestinal track including your colon and oral microbiome by cutting back on alcohol.

This is the best way I know:

Alcohol Free Forever – How To Quit Drinking From The Privacy Of Your Own Home

give up alcohol today
Click the above image to get started today, or download this Why You Need To Stop Drinking to learn more

Why you need to stop drinking today https://www.onegreatgut.com/wp-content/uploads/WhyYouNeedToStopDrinking_ccecyyrfgm.pdf #alcohol #crohns #colitis #wine #beer #IBD #microbiome Click To Tweet

e) Use eFundYourHealth to crowdfund.

f) Gratitude and Love. This may come out of left field but I find money follows my emotions. The happier my emotions, the more I not only feel better, but it allows money to flow. Yes, this is metaphysical and not exactly yet proven by science but it has been true to both myself and many friends and mentors.

g) Check out the One Great Gut Collection. Everything I do is to save you money, time and achieve better health results. In the One Great Gut Collection there are numerous resources not only to improve your health, but you will also learn from  a team who has successfully negotiated $550,000 in medical bills to help other’s with the Insurance, Medical Bill and Debt Collection jigsaw puzzle.

h) Budget. There are many websites and apps to choose from. They all have their pluses and minuses. Mint, BudgetTracker and EveryDollar seem to be the most popular. The MMI (Millionaire Mind Intensive) weekend workshop was helpful or me as well, changing my mindset around money.  Through working with many coaches, mentors and my own personal research I have a customized system that works for me. If requested I shared this with clients during our coaching session.

I hope these solution’s help you on your journey to a Great Gut! We are continually looking for ways to help you with your health, and that includes your bank account. Check back often for updates.

References:
Alcohol Research: The Gastrointestinal Microbiome: Alcohol Effects on the Composition of Intestinal Microbiota.

Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry – Alcohol, microbiome, and their effect on psychiatric disorders

Microbiome – Drinking alcohol is associated with variation in the human oral microbiome in a large study of American adults

Huffington Post: The Amount Of Money You Spend On Drinking May Blow Your Mind And your budget, too. By Ann Brenoff

NIAAA: Understanding the impact of alcohol on human health and well-being

Article – 2016 – Economic Implications of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Its Management by Foram Mehta, MS, RPh in AJMC Managed Markets Network

Reuters – 2019 – Inflammatory bowel disease patients have higher health costs – Lisa Rapaport

Oxford Academic – 2019 – Inflammatory Bowel Diseases – The Cost of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Note: Originally published in June 2019, this article has been revised and updated for accuracy and thoroughness.

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Categories: Alcohol, Crohn's Disease, Depression, Documentary, Gratitude, Hospital, LIVE, One Great Gut Collection, Recommended Resources, Relationships, RESEARCH, Resources, and Ulcerative Colitis.