08 Sep 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
A yearbook is a chronicle of dreams, aspirations, special events and photographs suspended in time. No one should expect to look the same or act like a giddy teenager anymore. I could not help but notice the uneasy look on the faces of former classmates trying to justify their appearance more than a dozen years later – whether it was facial features, weight, shape or size.
Some of them may have wondered what happened to their classmates and friends who didn’t look anything like their senior heads. Their curiosity had piqued as high as mine. So I asked some of them about their health, whether it was good or bad, considering that bad health can age a person as much as living a rough life. I was right; several classmates admitted that they were diabetic.
Sound familiar? Sure it does. Too many people are grappling with diabetes, a disease that affects tens of millions in this country, including the 79 million pre-diabetics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A high school reunion can conjure feelings of shame. Your dreams, aspirations and appearance may have changed, but don’t be disheartened because of your battle with diabetes. Get help to fight your battle!
The CDC also estimates that one in three individuals has diabetes, and this number is expected to skyrocket over the next 20 years at an alarming rate. So are we really responsible for diabetes, or should the responsibility be placed on someone else’s shoulder. Who would you blame, if you could? Perhaps your parents because you believe you’ve inherited this disease? Parents get the blame all the time.
It’s time to learn the truth about where this disease comes from. Of course, some people are born with type 1 diabetes. According to the web site www.kidshealth.org, type 1 diabetes (formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes) results when the pancreas loses its ability to make the hormone insulin.
Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes) results from the body’s inability to respond to insulin normally.
Remember, diabetes need not be a death sentence or a reason for disability. But ask yourself these questions: How can I keep from getting diabetes? If I’m diabetic now, how can I reverse the disease? If you think diabetes can’t be reversed, you’re wrong. But it all depends on you, whether you want to be free from diabetes. You’ll have to change your lifestyle, though.
The sad part about this is that your health issues shouldn’t be a complicated fix. The easy part is you’ve got to decide what it is going to take to get you to the point of fixing the problem. Diabetes can lead to blindness, you know. The fear of losing your eyesight should stimulate you to address the problem before it gets worse. I’m sure you wouldn’t want someone to be your caretaker and lead you around for the rest of your life. Now would you?
Having diabetes is a not a joke or something you can play with. Please take your situation seriously. A sore that does not heal might get your attention; it can lead to a leg(s) amputation or worse. I hope you’re getting my point, and that is: Make the necessary changes in your life today so you can be around tomorrow. You’ll have to make the right choices in food and change your lifestyle. It’s a prerequisite if you’re hoping to fortify your body, mind and spirit.
Fruit and vegetables are keys to good health. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from diabetes and other chronic diseases. Those who eat more generous amounts of fruit and vegetables compared to those who eat a small amount are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers.