Diabetes is now the seventh-leading cause of death in North Carolina, with a disproportionate impact on African Americans. As many as 8.1 million people have diabetes and don’t know it and this could result in major complications. Getting tested for diabetes is very important because good control of blood sugar and blood pressure can decrease the risk of developing complications related to diabetes. Complications of diabetes include; eye disease, nerve damage, heart disease, kidney damage, and sometimes kidney failure.
According to Dr. Bryan Batch, Assistant Professor in Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition at Duke, “A small amount of weight loss can prevent diabetes and lower blood sugars. Take time to think about one change you can make in your lifestyle that can help you lose weight and make a plan to make that change happen. Examples of small changes include: 1) Getting rid of beverages with sugar in them, 2) Decreasing the amount of food you eat at each meal, and 3) Increasing physical activity.”
As previously mentioned, diabetes is one of the major diseases that results in organ failure and need for organ donation. Diabetes sometimes damages kidneys so badly that they no longer work. When kidneys fail, one option is a kidney transplant. More than 1,800 African-Americans are waiting for transplants in North Carolina; of this number 94 percent are waiting for a kidney transplant. Unfortunately, the rate of organ donation in minority communities does not keep pace with the number needing transplants. African-Americans make up about 22% of North Carolina’s overall population, but make up 52% of North Carolinians waiting for an organ transplant. Minority patients may have a longer wait for matched kidneys to become available and therefore may be sicker at the time of transplant or die waiting.
This information has been adapted from the document, Friends for Life Ambassador Program, published by Carolina Donor Services.
Always exercise regularly, Become an organ donor, Control & monitor your blood glucose & blood pressure.
For more information To View “Precious Gift of Life” Documentary, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_u_kxYvvuY
Health Tip is a message from Community Health Coalition, Inc. and is written in partnership with Central Carolina Black Nurses’ Council Inc., The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham and Vicinity, NC Mutual Life Insurance Company and Duke Regional Hospital.
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