The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Long Island Chapter, Inc., is a not-for-profit organization, whose vision is the full participation of Black women in the mainstream of Long Island economy.  

Diabetes and Men's Health Month 2012

By Dr. Michele C. Reed,
NCBW Long Island Health Committee Chair

fitness-365x285When we think about the month of November, our first two thoughts are of Thanksgiving… and it is almost Christmas. I would like to add two other thoughts for you to think about. November is Diabetes Month and Men’s Health Month.

What better time than now to jump start our New Year’s Resolution for 2013 to lose weight that now!

What better time than now to jump start our New Year’s Resolution for 2013 to lose weight that now!

According to the National Institutes of Health Director, Dr. Francis Collins, “the number of Americans diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes rose from 1.5 million in 1958 to 18.8 million in 2010. Even more disturbing, another 7 million Americans have Type 2 Diabetes, but know it and, consequently, can’t take step to control the disease.”

There are three major types of Diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes. All three types of Diabetes are diagnosed either by elevated blood glucose levels, hemoglobin A1c (which is the average glucose number for a three month period of time) or a glucose tolerance test.

Type 1 Diabetes is the least common type and is usually treated by insulin. Our bodies normally use insulin produced by the pancreas to break down carbohydrates that we have eaten. In Type I Diabetes, the pancreatic cells are not functioning as they should so the body needs to be given insulin in the form of medicine.

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common and may be treated by oral medicine and sometimes insulin. In this type of Diabetes, the body becomes insulin resistant leading to an increased glucose level in the blood because the body’s inability to get glucose into cells to produce energy.

When a pregnant mother is diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, it usually resolves after birth, but is associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Some of the symptoms of Diabetes are increased thirst, fatigue, increased urination, blurred vision, sexual dysfunction and fatigue. In some cases, a person can have all of these symptoms or just one symptom.

Here are a few tips in keeping ourselves and the special men in our life healthy:

  1. Visit your primary care doctor at least once a year and have your special man over the age of 40 see the Urologist annually to be screened for Prostate Cancer.
  2. Exercise at least three times a week for 30 – 45 minutes.
  3. If you are not at a healthy weight, try to lose at least 10% of your body weight.
  4. Have a healthy plate – ½ vegetables and fruit, ¼ lean protein and ¼ whole grains.
  5. Consider using this link from Merck –

As we celebrate the upcoming holidays, let us start a new tradition of exercising our bodies… not just at the dinner table! After dinner, go for a family walk or have a dance contest to see which family member is the best dancer.