Diabetes: A Touch of Sugar is Not a Sweet Thing

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Did you ever hear the expression, "a little bit pregnant?" It’s used to illustrate the point that when it comes to health, there’s no sitting on the fence. Either a woman is pregnant or she’s not. You may have also heard Black folks say, "I just have a little touch of sugar." Well, guess what? That person has Diabetes along with about six million other Americans who have the undiagnosed disease. Medical science recognizes "a little touch of sugar" as a life–threatening condition, and we need to take this very seriously!"

A little touch of sugar" can spell disaster if left untreated. Diabetes is at epidemic proportions in America, particularly among children and African Americans. Diabetes is a killer disease that can lead to stroke, heart disease, kidney failure, amputations, blindness and a host of other problems.

Many African–Americans have a genetic disposition or family histories that encourage the onset of Diabetes. But the majority fall victim because of out–of–control eating habits and little or no exercise.

Diabetes occurs when the body poorly manages the insulin naturally produced by the pancreas or the pancreas stops producing insulin altogether. Insulin helps the body process glucose, a form of sugar that makes our cells thrive and gives us energy. When Diabetics consume too much sugar in the form of carbohydrates (white rice, white potatoes, white bread, corn, grits, desserts and soft drinks, etc) the body goes into "sugar overload" and the classic symptoms of Diabetes appear. Symptoms include excessive thirst and urination, blurred vision, tingling in the fingers and toes, unusual fatigue and dizziness.

Although Diabetes has the potential to kill, don’t lose hope! Diabetes can be controlled with aggressive management and a radical commitment to make significant changes to one’s diet and lifestyle.

If you are African–American, have a family history of Diabetes, are overweight, over age 40 and get little or no exercise, you are seriously at risk for Diabetes. Obese, sedentary children are also at risk and their plight is far more dangerous because the degenerative nature of the disease can impact developing organs and set the course its young victims for a shortened lifespan and numerous medical problems.

If you have Diabetes, take control. If you don’t have it, but make lifestyle choices that put you at risk for the disease, choose healthier alternatives for a healthier, longer life. If you THINK you have the disease, get tested. It’s one of the sweetest things you can do to demonstrate your love for yourself and for those who depend on you!

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