There are many diseases that do not discriminate, but diabetes is simply not one of them. Genetic factors for the disease dictate that an incredibly high proportion of the African American population can expect to be directly affected by it. Some basic statistics on the matter from the National Diabetes Association state that:
- 3.7 million, or 14.7 percent of all African Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes.
- African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes as non Hispanic whites.
- 25 percent of African Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have diabetes
- 1 in 4 African American women over 55 years of age has diabetes.
Because of this, it is more than usually important that the African American community be educated about the disease—its signs and symptoms, it’s treatment, and most of all, its prevention.
There is no single determining factor for the development of diabetes. This means that just because you are African American or just because you are over forty or slightly overweight doesn’t mean that you are fated to develop the disease. The more risk factors that you have in common with the disease, however, the more likely you may be to someday develop it. The good news is that there are some risk factors, particularly those related to lifestyle, that you can affect before they affect you.
What You Can Do
Cut down on your diabetes risk immediately by altering your diet and exercise routine. Studies show that you can delay onset or prevent Type Two Diabetes altogether simply by eating a high fiber, low fat diet and increasing your daily activity. You can also improve matters by avoiding other health risks like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. By taking an active role in your health, as well as monitoring yourself for signs and symptoms of the disease, you can have a positive effect on your personal diabetes statistics.
If you are an african american and you think you may have diabetes please consult your doctor.
Having diabetes can be a very difficult thing to deal with especially if it has changed you life. In order for you to deal with diabetes you always need to take appropriate measures so that you have your health under control. Having diabetes does not mean the end of the world, so you should never give up or feel bad about any situation that you are in.
Shopping For A Person That Has Diabetes
When you’re looking for a personalized gift to give someone, you might consider purchasing a gift for a person that has diabetes. Even if you have been looking for gifts for men, you might be able to find the perfect diabetic gift. Not only does it show that you care, but it also means that you took some time to find the ideal gift for the holidays.
Online Shopping For Diabetes
Diabetic people have taken the time to create wonderful websites to support their illness. If you have access to the Internet you should always take some time to see all you can about diabetes can also take a look at the websites that people have created. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see all of the different gift ideas that have now become an option for diabetic people.
Sometimes it seems as though trying to find a gift for a person can be hard, but if you are trying to shop for the ideal personalized gift for a person with diabetes or any other illness or disease, you need to be sure that you go online and do research before you decide on one particular gift. You might be in for a treat and find something that the recipient you are shopping for will absolutely adore.
Finding out that you or a family member is diabetic should not cause a panic in your meal planning. You will have to make some changes in how you prepare food and incorporate new foods in the diabetics’ diet, but there is a lot of information available to help in this process. Perhaps one of the most important steps is to work closely with the diagnosing doctor and a certified nutritionist to develop a personal plan for the proper diet. The American Diabetes Association is a wonderful source of information about the disease and they offer easy recipes that you can incorporate into your meal plans.
Following Your Meal Plan
The information that your nutritionist gives you and the recommendation from the American Diabetes Association will address the overall healthy choices that should be included in the diabetic diet. The nutritionist will calculate the caloric intake needed to maintain your healthy weight. Some newly diagnosed patients may need to lose weight. Incorporating vegetables and fruits into your daily food intake and reducing the carbohydrate and sugar intake are the most common recommendations. Diabetics should eat a wide variety of foods. Trying out new recipes can help them to avoid a boring diet. The food preferences of the diabetic are important also, but some things they are used to eating will have to be eliminated or perhaps modified. Regularly checking blood sugar levels will help to identify foods that cause a spike in the glucose level and those foods should be avoided.
Flavorful Diabetic Choices
One of the major changes you will be making as you learn to cook for a diabetic diet is the way you prepare food. The changes can be healthy ones for everyone in the family and it will be helpful for the diabetic if others are eating food prepared the same way. Just suppose your diabetic loves fried chicken, well it is not recommended on a diabetic diet, but baked, broiled or oven roasted chicken is recommended. In fact all meats should be prepared by one of these methods, or cooked on a grill. Diabetic diets should also be low in fat, by eliminating oils, butter and other fatty foods the diabetic will be better able to control their weight and avoid gaining weight. Its ok for a diabetic to consume some sugar, but in very small amounts and only occasionally. Carbohydrates, which most of us love, should also be consumed in small portions. Carbohydrates convert to sugar in our bodies and can cause spikes in the glucose level, which is dangerous for the diabetic. Relax, get good information and experiment with diabetic recipes found in cookbooks and on the internet, you can still enjoy a diverse diet.
The Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes is an organized way to show your support for the millions of Americans that are suffering from this disease. It’s a rallying event that raises awareness of the disease, promotes healthy living, and funds research, outreach, and advocacy. The ultimate goal? To stop this once deadly disease in its tracks and eradicate it for once and for all. It works on many levels. Even just getting out there and joining a local walk can make a supreme difference to one person—you. By getting out, moving, and shaking, you demonstrate your commitment to the kind of active lifestyle that can prevent the onset of the disease. When you combine that effort with fundraising and educational outreach, then it’s possible to affect the lives of millions of people.
There are numerous ways to get involved with the American Diabetes Walk. To be an individual walker all you need to do is sign up online and begin fundraising. There’s no minimum fundraising goal for individuals, but the organization requests that you aim for $100 to $150 in order to earn a Red Striders t-shirt. If you have friends, family, or coworkers who want to get in on the walking action, then consider forming a walking team to maximize your fundraising power—not to mention cheer each other on. You can even sign up to participate as a virtual walker, fundraising without participating in the actual even of the walk.
Making A Difference
The key to it all is to get involved. The Step Out walk regularly earns approximately $20 million on the behalf of the effort to stop diabetes. All of that money is the result of efforts by caring and committed walkers and the people who choose to support them. Without their support and efforts, diabetes research could not continue at its current pace.
Type Two Diabetes is by far the most common form of diabetes in America today. It is generally considered an adult onset metabolic disease—the result of the body’s resistance to insulin or to a reduced insulin production in the body. Insulin is the hormone that governs blood glucose levels and when the body ceases to respond to it properly glucose can begin to build up in its systems. Over time, this causes cell damage throughout the body and can result in heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, and other catastrophic health issues. There are many potential reasons for the development of this disease, but the biggest risk factors affecting Americans today are obesity coupled with a sedentary lifestyle. These factors place metabolic processes under too much strain to function properly. As a result, treatment for this disease requires dietary modifications and exercise as well as medication and insulin replacement. With proper care, however, the worst complications of the disease can be managed and prevented.
Type One Diabetes, or Juvenile Diabetes as it has also been known, is a serious disease that will affect every cell in your body if left untreated. It results from an autoimmune reaction in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Since insulin is the hormone that regulates your blood glucose level, its lack causes blood glucose levels to fluctuate wildly in response to your daily diet. Generally the onset of Type One Diabetes occurs at a young age—thus the name Juvenile Diabetes. Common symptoms include dramatic weight loss, increased hunger, increased thirst, and frequent urination. This is because the disease will allow sugar to build up in your cells and destroy them while your body tried to flush the excess through the urinary system. The resulting side effects are systemic and potentially life threatening. With insulin treatment, however, it is possible to live a relatively normal life avoiding most serious complications.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of diabetes is an important part of catching and treating the disease. After all, over 25.8 million Americans are living with diabetes today—some 7 million of them unknowingly. The longer your diabetes goes without treatment, the more serious the damage to your body’s systems. Early detection and prevention are the best ways to cut down on diabetes related health problems. Recognizing one or more of these symptoms in yourself or someone else can help you do that.
Symptoms of Type One Diabetes:
- Frequent urination
- Unusual thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Unusual Weight loss
- Extreme fatigue and irritability
Symptoms of Type Two Diabetes:
- Frequent urination
- Unusual thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Unusual Weight loss
- Extreme fatigue and irritability
- Frequent infections
- Blurred vision
- Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling/numbness in the extremities
- Recurring skin, gum, and bladder infections
Unfortunately, simply knowing the symptoms is not enough to help you catch diabetes before it’s too late. Many people who develop Type Two Diabetes simply don’t have any symptoms until complications set in—causing serious problems. In addition, there are times when these symptoms seem so vague that it is difficult to pinpoint whether a serious health issue has arisen or not. Knowing your risk factors can help.
Since diabetes is a disease that is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle risk factors, it’s important to put any warning signs into perspective. The larger your risk, the more preventative measures you should take. Risk factors for Type Two Diabetes include:
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- High Cholesterol
- Metabolic syndrome
When you know how many of these risk factors you bear, you can begin to put potential warning signs of the disease into perspective. Regardless, if you have any reason to suspect that you have diabetes, you should get yourself screened.