It was a scratchy throat that wouldn’t clear up that sent Christopher Green to the doctor.
He was surprised, though, when he was told that instead of an allergy or virus of some kind that he had type 2 diabetes.
“I know that it runs in the family but previous doctors all said I was in good shape, just needed to shed a few pounds and watch cholesterol, the normal stuff,” said Green, who was diagnosed last year.
Fortunately for Green, now 28, who holds down a full-time job as consumer security tech in Clearwater, Florida, and attends classes full time at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, he is controlling his diabetes with diet and exercise.
“As much as possible, I take a bike to work. I walk around the office and I’m joining a gym” located near his office that offers a discount to company employees.
Green said he takes medication daily for high blood pressure and cholesterol, is cutting back on fast food, packs meals for school and work, keeps protein bars in his backpack in case of emergency, eats smaller portions and uses cookbooks that focus on meals for diabetics – including gluten-free recipes.
He also checks his blood sugar levels twice a day. His health insurance pays for the glucose meter and strips.
“It’s a challenge, but you’ve got to do it.”
Green’s doctor told him if he gets his weight down, exercises regularly and maintains a healthy diet, he may well be able to get off medication entirely.
Being alert to changes in his health and consulting with his physician made a big difference for Green.
The American Diabetes Association wants more Americans, especially black Americans, to become more aware of how to prevent and control the disease.
The association’s Alert Day, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, is a one-day “wake-up call” asking the public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
According to the Diabetes Association, nearly 26 million children and adults in the U.S. have the disease and nearly 7 million of them don’t know it. In addition, another 79 million, or one in three American adults, have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Diagnosis comes late to many people, as much as 7 to 10 years after the onset of the disease, usually after a health crisis, like a stroke, a diagnosis of heart disease or loss of vision.
People at high risk include those who are overweight, live a sedentary lifestyle and are over the age of 45. African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and people who have a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
Research has shown, however, that diabetes can be prevented by losing as little as 7 percent of their body weight (i.e., 15 pounds for someone who weighs 200 pounds), eating better and exercising just 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
“You just make yourself do it,” Green said about having the tools at your disposal to improve your health. “You can have it all, but if you don’t use it, there’s a price to pay.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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