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THE RELIGION CORNER: Dousing the Flames of the Diabetes Epidemic, Pt. 2

Your body is a temple. — 1st Corinthians 6:19

This is the second of a five-part series published in 2003, posted to share with readers how my mother suffered from Type 2 diabetes due to lack of knowledge. Why did she suffer? After learning the cause and effects, now I can help others. Last week, I shared how mother suffered for 12 years with Type 2 diabetes and she acquired many complications that result from her having had this disease. She died in 2000 on Christmas Day.

This campaign kicked off at Trinity Washington University. It was my master’s thesis, and my professor told me, “I expect this campaign to become national” — and it has! Mother lost both of her legs to amputations, had kidney failure and several strokes. At the young age of 61, Mother had her first major stroke that caused paralysis. She ended up in Howard University Hospital, and they did not discover she had Type 2 diabetes until years later, since the testing was not a routine back in the 1980s.

Throughout our lives, we had been blessed, becoming successful businesswomen, doing exactly what mother encouraged us to do. We’d had lots of success in the mass media, publicizing several major events such as a major festival that attracted more than 100,000 people and two presidential inaugural committees, Republican and Democratic. We worked for two D.C. mayors and three city council members. I was even appointment as project director to erect the Spirit of Freedom Memorial, a new national African American Civil War memorial located in D.C.

After learning how to publicize an issue on a massive scale, there was no way I could see the devastation caused in the life of my mother by Type 2 diabetes, fully understand this disease, and do nothing to share this with others. As Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge.”

We didn’t understand! Could we have done something differently? We didn’t know how an improved diet with extremely limited amounts of sugar with major reductions in eating carbohydrates and getting regular physical exercise could have made a difference in her life. Now that I’ve learned from her doctor, from research, from the National Institute of Health, from Johns Hopkins and American Diabetes Association and others, I must share this good news with you! Proverbs 4:5 says, “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.”

What exactly is Type 2 diabetes? Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases characterized by high levels of blood glucose. It results from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both, and too much inflammation is in your body. For those of you who refuse to follow the rules, Type 2 diabetes can be associated with serious complications such as losing toes, a foot, legs and more. Plus it brings on premature death, as in the case of my mom.

On the other hand, people with Type 2 diabetes can turn this thing around. How? by taking measures to reduce the likelihood of such.

According to recent studies by the National Institute of Health (NIH), some researchers believe that African Americans, and some others, inherited a “thrifty gene” from their African ancestors. Discovered years ago, this gene enabled Africans, during “feast and famine” cycles, to use food energy more efficiently when food was scarce.

Today, the strenuous exercise is now much of a reality for most who still eat the same, which now causes Type 2 diabetes. Today, most of us eat too much, not aware of the “thrifty gene.”

This thrifty gene protects us when we have a food shortage, which means we can consume less and last longer, yet we eat more and exercise less.

Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com, email lyndiagrant@gmail.com or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.

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Lyndia Grant

A seasoned radio talk show host, national newspaper columnist, and major special events manager, Lyndia is a change agent. Those who experience hearing messages by this powerhouse speaker are changed forever!

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