Diabetes has a devastating impact upon those in the African American community. Diabetes is the fifth most common cause of death for African Americans and their death rate is 27 percent more than whites.
More than 2.8 millions African Americans have diabetes and about one third are unaware of the condition. Additionally, twenty-five percentage of African Americans between the ages of 65-74 have diabetes, and one out of 4 African American women, over 55 years old has been diagnosed with the disease.
The causes of diabetes are unknown, however, researchers believe that genetics as well as environmental factors influence those who are likely to develop the disease.
Research suggests that African Americans and African Immigrants are at risk of developing diabetes. Studies suggest that African Americans and the most recent African immigrants carry an “thrifty gene” from their African ancestral ancestors.
This gene could have allowed Africans to make use of energy from food more effectively in times of feast and feasting and. In the present, with less cycles of feast and feast, this gene might make weight management harder in African Americans and African Immigrants.
This genetic predisposition, when combined with impaired glucose tolerance is frequently linked to the tendency of genetics to increase blood pressure. People who have impaired glucose tolerance experience greater than normal blood sugar concentrations and have greater risk of developing diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes, also known by the name “sugar diabetes”, is a condition that manifests in the event that the body is unable to make or use insulin. Insulin is required by the body to convert sugar, starches , and other foods into energy. It is a chronic illness that has no cure. Diabetes is a serious illness and should not be ignored.
Diabetics typically suffer from low levels of glucose (sugar) within their blood. The low levels of blood sugar can cause you to be disoriented and sweaty. You may feel dizzy, dizzy hungry, suffer from headaches, experience rapid mood swings, have difficulties paying attention or experiencing feeling of tingling around your mouth.
Types of Diabetes
Pre-diabetes is triggered when blood glucose levels are more than normal, but is not sufficient to warrant the classification of Type II Diabetes. The condition can cause harm to the the circulatory system, however it is usually controlled through the control of blood sugar levels. By controlling the pre-diabetes, you can usually delay or stop the development that comes with Type II diabetes.
Type I or juvenile-onset type diabetes is most often seen in people who are younger than 20 but it can occur at any time. A range of five to 10 percent of African Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have this type of illness. Typ I diabetes is an auto-immune disease in which the body produces less or no insulin. This type of diabetes is treated by daily injections of insulin.
Type II or adult-onset diabetes is the cause of 95% to 90% of cases of diabetes diagnosed within African Americans. Type II is caused by an illness in which the body is unable to use insulin properly. As per 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 its early stages, it is often managed with lifestyle changes, however, in later stages insulin injections or diabetes pills are frequently required.
The gestational diabetes can be present during pregnancy in women. Gestational diabetes is usually caused by high blood glucose amounts or excessive glucose. Gestational diabetes affects around four percent of pregnant women. The disease typically disappears after birth, however women with the condition are greater risk of developing diabetes later in the course of their lives.
The signs of diabetes
The most commonly reported signs of diabetes are:
frequently urinating, including frequent visits to the toilet
an increase in thirst
an increase in appetite
unusual weight loss
Diabetes can cause dangerous and life-threatening complications. Blindness, strokes, the failure of kidneys, coronary heart diseases and amputations are typical complications which affect 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,” according to the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. About twenty percent of those who develop the disease will end up developing kidney damage.
Diabetes is the main cause of lower-limb amputations that are not traumatized in the United States. More than 60 percent of the non-traumatic lower-limb amputations that occur in America are experienced by people suffering from diabetes. African Americans are almost three times more likely lower limbs amputated because of diabetes than whites. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) approximately 82,000 lower-limb amputations that were not traumatized were done by diabetics in 2001.
African Americans are twice as likely to be affected by diabetes-related blindness. Diabetics may develop a condition known as “Diabetic Retinopathy”, a condition that affects blood vessels of the eyes that can cause diminished vision and blindness. Diabetes is the most significant cause of new cases blindness for people aged 20-74 years old age. Approximately 24,000 people lose their vision every year due to diabetes.
The people with diabetes are three 4 times as likely suffer from heart disease than those who don’t suffer from diabetes. Thermoplastic (hardening of the blood vessels) is more common among diabetics, and may increase the chance of stroke, heart attacks and an insufficient circulation throughout the body.
Risk Factors for Diabetic Diabetes
You are at a higher chance of developing diabetes if you suffer from one of the following conditions:
Diabetes in the family
Physical activity is low
Age greater than 45
High blood pressure
Triglycerides levels in the blood are high.
HDL cholesterol that is less than 35
Diabetes during pregnancy, or a baby that weighs more than 9 pounds
Diabetes has had a devastating impact upon those in the African American community; it is the fifth most common cause of death and is the second most common cause of end-stage kidney disease among African Americans.
African Americans suffer from complications due to diabetes at a more frequent proportion than the population. African Americans are three times more likely to suffer from an limb removed from the lower part of their body because of diabetes, and more than twice likely be suffering from diabetes-related blindness.
If you’re suffering from any of the risk factors, you must consult your physician and request an examination of your blood glucose. Talk to your physician about how you can change your lifestyle to decrease your chance for developing the disease.