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'Blood Sugar Rising'
(DVD / PG-13 / 2020 / PBS)

Overview: Diabetes is a hidden epidemic that affects over 100 million people in the US, claiming more lives than cancer and HIV combined and costing close to $350 billion each year.

'Blood Sugar Rising' puts human faces to these statistics, presenting personal stories that showcase the struggles of living with this illness and revealing new hopes for better diabetes management and prevention.

DVD Verdict: This quite eye opening two-hour PBS special will, without a shadow of a doubt, shine light on something that you already knowingly have, or, quite simply, reveal to you something that you have and need to look into.

Revealing new hopes for diabetes management and prevention - from the rise of new medical treatments to exciting discoveries about lifestyle and environmental factors - this enthralling documentary asks a provocative question: Why isn't there a war on diabetes?

To be sure, 'Blood Sugar Rising' has heroic figures, including people with diabetes themselves as well as health care professionals, researchers, and community leaders. For in tracing the stories of a half dozen principal characters, the documentary does emit slivers of hope.

While the data is jarring, the real strength of 'Blood Sugar Rising' is the compelling personal stories of those individuals who are profiled.

Finding the right people to carry a story – those who are comfortable before a camera and are willing to bare their soul – is the toughest part of such a project.

But the documentary is mostly an unsparing account of the physical and emotional toll of diabetes. Something that, as aforementioned, still needs a light being shone brightly, and directly on it.

For 'Blood Sugar Rising' raises many difficult questions, and there are few answers. The most heartbreaking segment focuses on a young man named Alec, who, upon turning 26, was no longer covered by his parents’ insurance.

When he went to the pharmacy to buy his insulin, it now cost him $1,300. Unable to afford it, Alec decided to ration what insulin he had left.

He had only had type 1 for two years and was presumably unaware of how much danger he was in. He also didn’t want to ask his parents for money. He soon went into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and died.

In closing, 'Blood Sugar Rising' is telling America to start paying attention, now, before much of the country is at such risk. This means you, my friends. This means you. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.