African Americans And Diabetes

A diabetic woman testing her blood glucose level(BlackDoctor.org) — You can get diabetes if your body does not use insulin right. Insulin changes the sugars in food into energy. Type 1 diabetes happens when your body destroys its own cells that make insulin. Type 2 diabetes happens when your body doesn’t make enough insulin. Diabetes affects women of all ages. African Americans are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of the same age.

People with diabetes are more likely to have problems with their skin, mouth, kidneys, heart, nerves, eyes, and feet. African Americans have higher rates of at least two of diabetes’ most serious complications: amputation (such as having a toe or foot removed), and kidney failure. Although type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented, there are steps you can take to prevent and control type 2 diabetes:

• See your doctor regularly. Don’t forget about the dentist and eye doctor!
• If you smoke, try to quit. Quitting is hard, but there are programs that can help.
• Control your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, your blood pressure, and your weight.