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Diabetes and the African-American Community

30 Jul

Recognizing diabetes may be the first step toward fighting the disease.

 

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that impacts the African-American community at a disproportionate rate. According to the American Diabetes Association, 18.7 percent of African-Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes. A number of factors contribute to this statistic, including family history, obesity, poor diet, and lack of access to health care. And although diabetes can be life threatening, the condition can be managed. The first step on the road to good health is educating yourself about diabetes and how you can fight it.

Type 1 Diabetes: This condition occurs when the pancreas, which secrets insulin, a hormone that allows sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy, has been destroyed by autoantibodies. The result is an organ that produces little or no insulin. The body is then unable to metabolize glucose, causing blood sugar levels to rise too high. This can result in dehydration, weight-loss, and damage to vital organs, such as the heart and kidneys. Patients who are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes must receive insulin on a regular basis either via an injection or through an insulin pump.

Type 2 Diabetes: When the body produces an insufficient amount of insulin or has difficulty processing it, the end result is type 2 diabetes. This condition prevents glucose from entering the body’s cells, which causes a surplus of sugar in the bloodstream. You can reduce your chances of getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by watching your weight, exercising, and controlling your blood pressure.

You may have diabetes if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:

–Frequent urination

–Feeling very thirsty

–Extreme fatigue

–Blurry vision

–Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal

Weight loss–even though you are eating more (type 1)

–Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Does Diabetes run in your family? 

Dr. Reneè seeks to equip people with wisdom, maturity, and authority so they can impact their communities and live their best lives now.

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