AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN AND DIABETES
African Americans have a 50% chance of developing diabetes, but most black men pay little heed to the warnings -- and pay the price. Fortunately, type 2 diabetes is both preventable and manageable.
We've all seen it. As a young man in your late teens and twenties you were fit, athletic, lean and mean. Over the years you put on a few pounds and you dont' hit the gym like you use to. It happens slow and gradual. Before you know it you're hitting the scales at 300 lbs ! The problem is that many men trick themselves into thinking that they are still healthy because they "feel fine". This could'nt be further from the truth. Overweight, African American, male and over the age of 45 puts you at extreme risk of developing diabetes. A family history makes the risk even greater.
But what is Diabetes ? When you eat, your body digests your food into sugar (glucose). Your body also produces insulin, which carries the glucose into your cells to give you energy. If you have diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or can’t use its own insulin, to transport the glucose to your cells. So, diabetes is a disease where the body stops using the sugar (glucose) that you eat, which causes sugar to build up in your blood. There are 2 types of diabetes: Type 1 usually affects children and young adults. Type 2, the most common, affects older adults. African Americans experience a higher incidence of diabetes and have more severe complications as well as more deaths related to diabetes.
MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION
There is no cure for Type 2 diabetes, but there are ways to control it. Improve your diet: Eat more whole grains, lean meat & vegetables. Drink less soda, & eat less junk foods. Take extra care of your skin, teeth, feet, and gums: Foot care programs can reduce amputation rates by 45% to 85%. Exercise regularly: Discuss with your health care professional the proper exercise program for you. Quit smoking and limit your alcohol.