Tuesday, October 30, 2007

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day - Year of the Child

Celebrate the first United Nations observed World Diabetes Day - More than 80 iconic sites and buildings around the world are currently set to light the World Diabetes Day skyline on November 14!

On December 20 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a landmark Resolution recognizing diabetes as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease. The Resolution designates World Diabetes Day as a United Nations Day to be observed every year starting in 2007.

The UN Resolution makes World Diabetes Day stronger than ever and provides the opportunity for a significant increase in the visibility of the campaign and an increase in government and media participation on or around November 14. The Resolution will ensure even greater reach for awareness-raising activities throughout the diabetes world.
Diabetes in Children and Adolescents

The theme of this year's World Diabetes Day campaign is Diabetes in Children and Adolescents.

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. It can strike children at any age, including pre-school children and even toddlers.

Visit the site for more info . . .

Monday, October 29, 2007

Is Diabetes an Epidemic in Black America?

How DIABETES Is Ravaging The African-American Community

* Thirteen percent (3.2 million) of all African-Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes.

* Twenty-five percent of African-Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 have diabetes.

* African-Americans are 1.8 times more likely than Whites to have diabetes.

* One in 4 African-American women over 55 years of age has diabetes.

* African-Americans are almost twice as likely as Whites to develop diabetic retinopathy (blindness).

* African-Americans are as much as 5.6 times more likely than Whites to suffer from kidney disease as a result of diabetes complications.

* African-Americans are 2.7 times more likely than Whites to suffer from lower-limb amputations.

Source: American Diabetes Association

COPYRIGHT 2007 Johnson Publishing Co.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group

This info is from an interesting article I ran across this weekend - Charles

LookSmart's FindArticles - Is diabetes an epidemic in Black America? The growing number of cases indicates the problem has reached a new level

Ebony, March, 2007, by Kevin Chappell

Patti LaBelle is Diabetic, Senior and Black

African American Grammy award winner Patti LaBelle has spent 40 years on state in the entertainment business, but offstage she has learned to curb her intake of sweets to keep her diabetes in check.

"You know, having diabetes is like having to treat your body like a temple, not an amusement park," says LaBelle, quoting from one of her books, Patti's Pearls. "I work hard to treat my body right. I try to eat the right thing and do the right thing on the road which is sometimes impossible."

Patti was diagnosed with diabetes 13 years ago, and has since become a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association.

"I found out I had diabetes when I had a fainting attack on stage," says LaBelle. "They rushed me to the hospital. I thought I was just overworked. The doctor said, 'You know you're a diabetic.' But I didn't have a clue. I was lucky to find out early."

"We have to take advantage of doctors and get ourselves checked, especially Black Americans" says LaBelle, "because we tend to get diabetes more."

"Diabetes messes with your eyesight," says LaBelle. "My eyesight only started diminishing after I was diagnosed with diabetes. It is hard for me to read without reading glasses. And I get my eyes checked every year."

"I go to the bathroom all night when my sugar is high," says LaBelle. "It does so many things that I can't even tell you about because I'm not a doctor. I can tell you how it works on me and I'm not going to play with it. I am going to be a serious patient and I'm not going to mess around with it."

LaBelle, who has had to work on her health and change her eating habits, and has written a cookbook with diabetic recipes.

LaBelle says, "Diabetes is no joke. It is a silent killer. You don't feel sick. You don't feel anything. You think you're all that and think you can eat a Snickers bar - but it will kick you in the butt the next morning. You really have to check yourself before you wreck yourself."

I have not purchased Patti's book yet, if anyone has, please give your feedback - the reviews look good.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

iGoogle Gadgets

This is a great little online tool - your own little note pad - click on pad to find out how to put on your site, blog, google page, or wherever - Charles

Dining Out With Diabetes

Dining Out With Diabetes

Juicy, seasoned chicken breast with a crisp tossed salad made with fresh, crunchy cucumbers, sliced tomatoes and carrots in a raspberry balsamic dressing followed by some fresh fruit and a scoop of ice cream.

Sound good? Order it the next time you go out for dinner—whether you have diabetes or not.

Contrary to common conception, diabetes doesn’t mean that dining out is out of the question, nor that your meals must be boring. With sensible meal choices and proper planning, you can enjoy any restaurant experience to its fullest.

Read Complete Article

Diabetes Common Symptoms

The symptoms of diabetes can be puzzling.

Even the common ones may not be present in all cases. They may come and go. And the same symptoms can be produced by other conditions. Nevertheless, there are a cluster of common circumstances that tend to mark out the disease.

Unusually frequent urination is one of the classic symptoms that suggests the possibility of diabetes. One defining attribute of the disease is excessive glucose levels in the blood. Either the body produces too little insulin to deal with it (Type 1 diabetes), or the insulin isn't used correctly (Type 2).

The body attempts to compensate by eliminating the excess glucose using the urine. The kidneys work at higher than normal levels to filter out the excess sugar. When they can't remove enough, the remainder is passed through when other fluids are eliminated as waste products of metabolic processes.

One result, and an accompanying symptom, is excessive thirst. The diabetic feels as if he or she is always thirsty, and no matter how much fluid is taken in it never seems like enough. That in turn prompts still more urination.

Another common and possible symptom is continual fatigue. Since insulin isn't performing its role properly by aiding the cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream, the diabetic may feel tired. Glucose is the major source of energy for powering an enormous variety of the body's functions from cell repair to major muscle movement.

But other body systems can be affected by diabetes and show up as symptoms.

Blurry vision can result from any number of conditions, even simple age where it is often just presbyopia. Presbyopia results from reduced elasticity of the lenses as we age, leading to a lessened ability to focus. But the cause in the case of diabetes is very different.

High blood sugar levels reduce fluid in the tissues, including those of the eye and in particular the lenses. That affects your ability to focus. When the disease becomes more advanced it can cause new blood vessels to form in the retina. That again affects your vision. Though in this circumstance, the result is more often seeing dark spots or flashing lights, or rings around room lights.

In some instances, cuts (particularly on the feet) may be slower to heal when a person has Type 2 diabetes. The reasons are not yet fully understood, but it is one more indicator. At the same time, the immune system is affected, leading to a lowered ability to fight off infection.

Since so many of these symptoms can be (and are) produced by a number of other conditions, the best course of action if you suspect you have diabetes is to seek a professional diagnosis. Simple blood tests can determine with a high degree of confidence whether or not you do in fact have the disease. They're relatively painless and most are covered by ordinary health insurance.

Charles Thompkins
Diabetic, Senior and Black Blog

Note to Webmasters:
You have permission to reprint any article signed by me, with blog name and links. Articles of this kind are the sole property of this blog, and when reprinting on your site, you must include the article as is, along with links. And please let me know if you have linked to one of the article here - perhaps we can become link partners - or I can exchange articles with your site or blog.

Diabetes, Yes I Have It Too

My Introduction to Diabetes

I was personally introduced to diabetes within the past year.

Diabetes does run on my fathers side of the family, but being a retired Senior citizen, I never thought I would be a diabetic at my age.

Well surprise! On a routine visit to the doctors office, that was the News - Type 1 Diabetic. Upon the diagnosis, I realized I had become another statistic - another African American with diabetes.

We have an extremely good health care system here in Northwest Indiana, and I went to several diabetes classes at Porter Memorial Hospital learned quite a bit about the disease, healthy diets and how to cope with diabetes.

I am now aware that I need to eat three times a day, and of course change quite a few bad eating habits. Also I have to pass on the evening snacks while watching TV - unless my sugar for some reason is too low. Basically I have done quite well, and my sugar levels are consistently where they should be, but I also realize that I cannot be complacent on taking my medication, getting off my diet, or slacking up on exercise.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to reach and network with people who are diabetic, and most importantly to reach those who may have diabetes, but have never been tested.

For those who have not been tested, just take the time and do it. Had I not gone to the doctor, I don't even want to think of the consequences to my health and lifestyle. And being a man, I will be the first to say we are known not to take care of health issues, and ignore symptoms until the last minute. Most of us really hate going to the doctor, or even admitting anything is wrong.

African Americans
in particular have a tendency to not seek medical help soon enough, and in some cases lack of insurance and financial concerns overide good health care. This is disturbing because from the statistics, we are the ones that seem to have a higher incidence of diabetes, along with high blood pressure and heart disease. In each case, seeking medical attention is the first step in controlling any disease. There are many health fairs and centers that provide testing free of charge, so please just get a test to be safe.

Just about everyone has heard about diabetes, but very few people really know enough about the symptoms, possible causes and treatment.

So, what exactly is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease characterized by chronic high levels of glucose in the blood. Excess glucose can have a number of ill effects, including poor cut healing or kidney damage, even coma. At one time this disease could have been a death sentence for many, but the advancement of monitoring and insulin delivery methods today; it is just little more than another daily routine task to perform.

Though the underlying causes are not fully understood, diabetes results from either too little insulin being produced, or its ineffective use of it by the body. I have Type 1 diabetes - which is genetic, affects mostly younger people, and can generally be treated with insulin pills.

In Type 2, the cells may resist insulin's action, once again leaving too much glucose in the blood. Also about 3% of pregnant women develop what is called gestational diabetes, but it usually goes away after giving birth. Most medical professionals agree that diabetes comes from a genetic predisposition, along with other environmental or lifestyle factors.

In all cases, the symptoms are usually roughly the same: excessively frequent urination, unquenchable thirst, sometimes accompanied by dizziness or stomach pains. Naturally, these common symptoms can have a number of causes.

Testing for diabetes is simple and relatively painless, only requiring a small blood sample. Blood glucose level is measured, with normal running around 99 mg/dL, while diabetics have a level of 126 mg/dL or above. It may require more than one test to confirm the disease.

Once confirmed, regular blood glucose monitoring is a must. Fortunately, today there are many convenient ways to do that.

Testing devices the size of a cell phone are common. A small sample of blood is smeared on a strip fed into the instrument, which delivers a number within seconds. Some recent devices measure glucose level through the skin using an infrared beam.

Treatments are equally easy for most diabetics
. In some cases careful diet and appropriate exercise may be enough to keep the right glucose-insulin balance. In the usual case, insulin delivery is called for. But that too is much easier than in generations past.

Small insulin-containing pens can deliver the exact right dose painlessly. Newer oral inhalers are on the market that has met with success.

Though no one wants to have to deal with diabetes, managing the disease is now easier than ever. The possible long term complications of untreated diabetes remain what they always were. By keeping them in check with simple techniques, most diabetics can enjoy an active fulfilling life just as anyone else.

Time permits going more into detail about the symptoms of diabetes - so I will go into detail about this in the next posting.

Charles Thompkins
Diabetic, Senior and Black Blog

Note to Webmasters:
You have permission to reprint any article signed by me, with blog name and links. Articles of this kind are the sole property of this blog, and when reprinting on your site, you must include the article as is, along with links.

And please let me know if you have linked to one of the article here - perhaps we can become link partners - or I can exchange articles with your site or blog.