Diabetes: African Americans Deadly Foe
Diabetes is having a devastating effect on the African American community. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in African Americans and their death rates are twenty seven percent higher than whites.
Over 2.8 million African Americans have diabetes and one third of them don't know they have the disease. In addition, twenty five percent of African Americans between the ages of 65 ? 74 have diabetes and one in four African American women, over the age of 55, have been diagnosed with the disease
The cause of diabetes is a mystery, but researchers believe that both genetics and environmental factors play roles in who will develop the disease.
Researchers believe that African Americans and African Immigrants are predisposed to developing diabetes. Research suggests that African Americans and recent African immigrants have inherited a "thrifty gene" from their African ancestors.
This gene may have enabled Africans to use food energy more efficiently during cycles of feast and famine. Now, with fewer cycles of feast and famine, this gene may make weight control more difficult for African Americans and African Immigrants.
This genetic predisposition, coupled with impaired glucose tolerance, is often associated with the genetic tendency toward high blood pressure. People with impaired glucose tolerance have higher than normal blood glucose levels and are at a higher risk for developing diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes, commonly know as "sugar diabetes", is a condition that occurs when the body is unable to properly produce or use insulin. Insulin is needed by the body to process sugar, starches and other foods into energy. Diabetes is a chronic condition for which there is no known cure; diabetes is a serious disease and should not be ignored.
Diabetics often suffer from low glucose levels (sugar) in their blood. Low blood sugar levels can make you disorientated, dizzy, sweaty, hungry, have headaches, have sudden mood swings, have difficulty paying attention, or have tingling sensations around the mouth.
Types of Diabetes
Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels is higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type II diabetes. Pre-diabetes can cause damage to the heart and circulatory system, but pre-diabetes can often be controlled by controlling blood glucose levels. By controlling pre-diabetes you can often prevent or delay the onset of Type II diabetes.
Type I or juvenile-onset diabetes usually strikes people under the age of 20, but can strike at any age. Five to ten percent of African Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes are diagnosed with this type of the disease. Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body produces little or no insulin and this type of diabetes must be treated with daily insulin injections.
Type II or adult onset diabetes is responsible for ninety to ninety-five percent of diagnosed diabetes cases in African Americans. Type II results from a condition where the body fails to properly use insulin. According to the American Diabetes Association, "Type II is usually found in people over 45, who have diabetes in their family, who are overweight, who don't exercise and who have cholesterol problems." In the early stages it can often be controlled with lifestyle changes, but in the later stages diabetic pills or insulin injections are often needed.
Pregnancy related diabetes or gestational diabetes can occur in pregnant women. Gestational diabetes is often associated with high glucose blood levels or hyperglycemia. Gestational diabetes affects about four percent of all pregnant women. The disease usually goes away after delivery, but women who suffer from gestational diabetes are at a higher risk for developing diabetes later in life.
Symptoms of Diabetes
The most common symptoms of diabetes include:
excessive urination including frequent trips to the bathroom
unusual weight loss
Complications from Diabetes
Diabetes can lead to many disabling and life threatening complications. Strokes, blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and amputations are common complications that effect African Americans who have diabetes
"Diabetes is the second leading cause of end stage kidney disease in African Americans, accounting for about thirty percent of the new cases each year," says the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. Up to twenty-one percent of people who develop diabetes will develop kidney disease.
Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations in the United States. More than sixty percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations in America occur among people with diabetes and African Americans are almost three times more likely to have a lower limb amputated due to diabetes than whites. According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 82,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed among people with diabetes in 2001.
African Americans are twice as likely to suffer from diabetes related blindness. Diabetics can develop a condition called "Diabetic Retinopathy", a disease affecting the blood vessels of the eye, which can lead to impaired vision and blindness. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people from 20 ? 74 years of age and up to 24,000 people loose their sight each year because of diabetes.
People with diabetes are up to four times more likely to develop heart disease as people who don't have diabetes. Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is more common in diabetics and can lead to increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and poor circulation throughout the body.
Diabetes Risk Factors
You have a greater risk for developing diabetes if you have any of the following:
Family history of diabetes
Low physical activity
Age greater than 45 years
High blood pressure
High blood levels of triglycerides
HDL cholesterol of less than 35
Previous diabetes during pregnancy or baby weighing more than 9 pounds
Diabetes has had a devastating effect on the African American community; it is the fifth leading cause of death and second leading cause of end stage kidney disease in African Americans.
African Americans suffer from complications from diabetes at a much higher rate than the rest of the population. African Americans are three times more likely to have a lower limb amputated because of diabetes and twice as likely to suffer from diabetes related blindness.
If you have any of the diabetes risk factors you should contact your physician and have a blood glucose test. Also discuss with your physician lifestyle changes you can take to lower your chances of developing diabetes.
About The Author
Drahcir Semaj is a freelance writer who writes about issues affecting African Americans. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Type I Diabetes: Insulin-dependent Diabetes
Type I diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes. This form of diabetes is mainly found in children. The primary problem in all forms of diabetes, regardless if it is Type I or Type II is that the glucose (sugar) levels of the body are too high.In a healthy person, the beta cells in the pancreas produce a hormone called insulin in response to sugar in the blood. The sugar gets there through the food and drinks we consume. Normally, the insulin helps to move the sugar from the bloodstream and into the cells of the body where it can be used for cellular processes. The insulin triggers gates located in the membranes of the cells to open, allowing the sugar to flow in.A person with Type I diabetes can not...(related: Diabetes)
Diabetes Type 2 And Artificial Sweeteners
Diabetes Type 2 (adult onset)Refined carbs/sugars are actually the biggest contributing factor to type 2 diabetes--that is, the type of diabetes people develop later in life. The major contributing factor to...(related: Diabetes)
Pre-diabetes Awareness: Gamblers Understand The Odds
Do you gamble? Play Texas Hold'em poker, casino games, or lotteries? Then understanding your odds of winning is part of the challenge.Are you planning on living a long and healthy life? A life free of aches and pains? A life full of excitement and adventure? Great, then understanding the odds of developing diabetes will surely cause you to take immediate action.<...(related: Diabetes)
Low-carb: The Role Of Insulin
There are three basic units the body uses for energy:1. Fats2. Proteins3. CarbohydratesAll three can be converted to blood glucose. However, while fats and proteins are converted slowly, carbohydrates are converted quickly causing quick spikes in the body's blood sugar levels. These spikes in blood sugar levels cause the pancreas to create and release insulin until the blood sugar level returns to normal.Meanwhile, insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that lowers our blood's glucose levels is released into the blood as soon as the body detects that blood sugar levels have risen abov...(related: Diabetes)
How Do You Know If You Have Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is a disorder characterized by the inability of the body to either produce or respond to insulin...(related: Diabetes)
Diabetes Awareness: Wake Up Call
When traveling on out-of-town business, its common to have the hotel front desk give you a wake-up call in the morning. You want to avoid the embarrassment and repercussions of being late for your business appointments.Here is an important wake-up call for your life and the lives of the people you most care about.If you want to avoid the life damaging effects of diabetes, take 3 minutes to read the remainder of this article right now.The new buzz in the medical community calls it- "Pre-Diabetes". Today, roughly 41 million Americans have pre-diabetes which left undetected and untreated, progresses into full-blown diabetes.The challe...(related: Diabetes)
Diabetes And Its Management
Diabetes Mellitus is one of the most costly burdensome chronic diseases of our time and is condition that is increasing in epidemic population in the whole world. The complications resulting from the diseases are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality and are associated with failure of various organs such as the eyes, kidneys and nerves. Diabetics are also at a significantly higher risk for coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and stroke and they have a greater likelihood of having hypertension dyslipidemia and obesity.What is Diabetes?Diabetes is a serious disorder of the glands, of pancreas to be exact, called Madhumeha in Ayurveda. It is one...(related: Diabetes)
What You Need To Know About Diabetes
INTRODUCTIONAccording to the World Health Organization, a few decades back diabetes was an uncommon disease, in both developed and developing countries. Today, the story is different. It is currently estimated that over 143million people worldwide are affected by the disease. This figure is ever increasing, by 2020 over 220million people are expected to be living with diabetes, if the current trend continues.In the United States alone, there are 18.2 million people (6.3% of the population) living with diabetes. While another 13million people have been diagnose...(related: Diabetes)
Diabetes Breakthrough Helps Diabetics Fight Back!
Have you heard about the diabetes breakthrough that lowers blood sugar levels by 30% in 30 days? The all natural Diabetic Pack was developed with Nobel Prize Winning Science. This FoodMatrix biotechnology has a 4 year proven track record of helping take diabetics off insulin and oral medications.Today, most people with diabetes are only treating the symptoms and not getting to the root of the problem. Furthermore, most medications given to diabetics are compounding problems instead of getting to the source. The best way to manage diabetes is to get to the root causes.FoodMatrix nutrient biotechnology has been proven in over 80 clinical studies. Even the U.S. California Distr...(related: Diabetes)
Get Rid Of Your Diabetes
People at risk of getting the disease drop by a staggering 60 percent if they manage to lose just 10 pounds by following a healthy diet and engage in regular exercise such as walking, according to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (May 3, 2001).Pre-diabetesThis term means that you are at risk for getting type 2 diabetes and also heart disease.The good news is if you have pre-diabetes you can reduce the risk of getting diabetes type 2 and even return to normal blood glucose levels if you follow the guidelines in this article.Type 2 diabetesFormerly called adult-onset diabetes, this is the most common form of diabetes. This form of diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which the body cannot use insulin properly. People can develop this type of diabete...(related: Diabetes)
Stat-let? Auto Safety Lancets - Makes Diabetes Testing Easy!
Stat Medical Hardware, Inc (SMD) was founded in 1988 and is a leader in developing and distributing innovative medical devices. Their emphasis is on lancets, lancing devices and clinical, capillary blood sampling devices.The Stat-Let Auto Lancets are available in 5 different systems to accomodate your blood sampling necessity. They feature very simple one-step function, non-reuse safety feature. These lancet devices are indivually wrapped, and they are packaged in boxes of 100.In our home care agency, we u...(related: Diabetes)
Type Ii Diabetes: Insulin-dependent Diabetes
The term diabetes refers to higher than normal levels of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. Type II diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, was commonly referred to as adult onset diabetes until recently when the name no longer accurately describes the population with this disease.Type II diabetes, ...(related: Diabetes)
Can We Do More For Diabetics? New Research Suggests That We Can
Diabetes can briefly be defined as a state when the body's blood glucose is too high. The body does require a certain amount of sugar in the blood; however, those suffering from diabetes have levels much higher than what is needed.<...(related: Diabetes)