Mr Wayne W BradleyWayne W. Bradley, Sr. President/CEO

We have all heard or remember hearing someone referring to themselves or others as having “The Sugar.” It’s a cultural reference to diabetes, which is when the body no longer properly or adequately process sugar and is prevalent in the African-American community. The implications of this disease are generations old, with no signs of slowing down. And, that’s not good.

While November is recognized as Diabetes Awareness Month, it is one more opportunity to raise awareness of an illness that takes the lives and livelihood of thousands of African-Americans every year.

The symptoms can seem like normal, every-day abnormalities when they are really early indicators of what could be a larger problem. Things like insatiable thirst (and incessant urination), excessive hunger, dry mouth, itchy skin and blurred vision can the subtle first indicators of what could turn out to be diabetes.

The implications of diabetes are far reaching, from circulatory and respiratory to digestive and cardiac problems as a result. From dry and cracked skin to strokes and organ failure, diabetes is no joke.

There are recommendations from The Mayo Clinic to help ward off the disease. These recommendations include regular physical activity, adequate fiber in your diet, opt for whole grains, avoid or lose that extra weight, and skip fad in favor of a regular and balanced diet.

For African-Americans, there are three things can surely positively impact one’s health, including avoiding or managing diabetes: eating a healthy diet (one without or a minimal amount of fried and fat-laden foods), maintaining an active lifestyle (even if just taking regular walks), and regular visits to a physician for check-ups to avoid the early onset of this and other diseases.

Avoiding diseases, including diabetes, seems so simple. And, it is if and when we prioritize our health, realizing that we can’t do anything for ourselves, our family or others if we are not healthy. So, start today. Prevent or manage the on-set of an unhealthy future. Ward off diabetes, because having “The Sugar” is far from sweet!

This is provided as informational only, and is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Please visit your medical practitioner for all matters related to health, wellness and relative practices. For more information, visit www.dchcquality.org or call (313) 821-2591 for the DCHC Health Center near you!