diabetes gloria

ONE HEALTHY LIFE: Gloria

"Because there is a history of diabetes in my family, I was not surprised when I was diagnosed with the disease. What surprised me was the amount of time, effort and knowledge needed to manage my condition. Thankfully, I found the perfect partner-AAHP. With their free health education classes, diet and exercise programs, and social dining clubs for others living with diabetes, I have found the support and programs I need to help monitor my condition-and live my life with confidence."
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Many foods we eat are turned into glucose (sugar) for our bodies to use for energy. Beta cells in the pancreas produce a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When one has diabetes, the body either makes too little insulin or cannot use its own insulin as well as it should, causing sugar to build up in the blood.

There are three main types of diabetes. Type 2, previously known as adult-onset, is the most common. It is characterized by insulin resistance, and is a progressive disease. Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease that renders one insulin-dependent due to the loss of beta cell function. Gestational diabetes is first recognized during pregnancy and is largely due to insulin resistance caused by pregnancy hormones.

Diabetes can cause serious health issues, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

According to the American Diabetes Association, African Americans are disproportionately affected by the disease. Of all African Americans aged 20 years or older, 4.9 million (18.7%) have diabetes. The following statistics reveal the disparities that AAHP works to eliminate. Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, African Americans are:

  • 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes;
  • Almost 50% as likely to develop diabetic retinopathy;
  • 2.6-5.6 times as likely to suffer from kidney disease; and
  • 2.7 times as likely to suffer from lower-limb amputations.

AAHP offers a variety of services to help prevent and manage diabetes. Click on the side links to learn more.
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