According to the American Diabetes Association, 13.2% of African Americans aged 20 years or older have been diagnosed with diabetes. We as a population are 1.7 times more likely to get diabetes in our lifetime compared to the non-Hispanic white population. Most people, not just in the African American community but in the entire United States, don’t realize that they have this disease until they start showing symptoms. Over the next few weeks I’m going to explain the causes, symptoms, and treatments for diabetes, along with explaining some preventative measures that people can take today.
Diabetes Mellitus is a syndrome that occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin or the insulin that the body is producing cannot be used effectively. There are two subtypes of this syndrome, Type 1, better known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is normally found in children and is characterized by the body being unable to produce insulin. This can occur from damage to the pancreas after being ill, or a number of other biological factors that may damage the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is commonly seen in adults and is characterized by the body being unable to effectively use the insulin that is produced by the pancreas. It's unknown exactly what causes Type 2 diabetes, but some factors that contribute to the problem are genetics and certain environmental factors such as excess inactivity and weight. Type 2 diabetes is controlled by oral medication, and in some cases can be controlled with insulin.
Over the next couple of weeks I will go over ways that diabetes can be treated and prevented, so make sure to stop by soon!