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1 in 8 African Americans Have Diabetes - You Could Be The 1!

African Americans are more likely to be affected by diabetes than the non-Hispanic white population. African Americans have a higher rate of disability from diabetes complications such as eye disease, kidney disease, and amputation. You are at risk for developing diabetes if you are overweight, over the age of 45, inactive, have a parent or sibling with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease. Additional risk factors for women include having had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or having a baby weighing over 9 pounds at birth.

Diabetes can affect any member of your family regardless of age. Currently, there are a growing number of African American children developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes affects the way the body uses the foods that you eat. Some of the foods are broken down into glucose (sugar), which then enters the bloodstream. The pancreas, a gland behind your stomach, senses the rise in glucose after eating and releases a hormone called insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin helps to move the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. The cells in the body use glucose for energy in the same way a car uses gas as fuel. The cells need a constant supply of energy to live and function. Diabetes occurs when the body cannot properly move the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body.

Symptoms of high blood glucose include intense thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, pain, tingling or numbness in your feet or hands, and unexplained weight loss.

Once diabetes develops, it cannot be cured. Diabetes can be managed, however, through healthy eating, exercise, diabetes medications (if necessary) and monitoring blood glucose.

The Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland (DAGC) serves the community as an advocate in the management and prevention of diabetes. Since DAGC is a local, independent organization, not affiliated with national organizations, it is able to focus on the needs of the city and its neighborhoods. To better serve the African American community, DAGC has developed the African American Family Reunion program.

Click here for more information about the African American Family Reunion program.

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For African Americans

Contact the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland at:

Phone: Fax: E-Mail:

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Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland