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What Blacks Need to Know About Diabetes

Nnpa | 8/15/2011, 5:39 a.m.

Risk factors include, but are not limited to: being overweight, not being very active, high blood pressure, being over 45 years of age, having a family history of the disease belonging to certain ethnic groups and giving birth to large babies. There is no cure for this chronic disease, but if managed and controlled properly people with diabetics can live long healthy lives. Some ways to manage diabetes are: taking medication properly, eating healthy, exercising and staying active, regular doctor's visits, checking blood sugar levels and avoiding stress.

The key to keeping diabetes in control is first having a good team. A good team usually consists of support from family and friends, a doctor, a nurse, an ophthalmologist, a podiatrist, a nutritionist and an endocrinologist. Your team will help with creating meal plans, planning workouts or physical activities, scheduling when to check sugar and take medications, planning blood sugar goals and providing emotional support.

"There's no reason why someone with diabetes can't live a long healthy life, but they do have to do something about it to make it stay that way," Davis stated. "One of the things that we teach people is that diabetes is a progressive disease meaning that it does tend to get worse unless we do things to combat it. So, any complications that can result from diabetes is preventable ... and so we prevent that by keeping our blood sugar in good control and making sure that it's as close to normal as possible."