Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M. founded the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, due to health care disparities among African Americans. Diabetes is prevalent in the African American and Latino communities. According to Dr. Bill Releford, “This country is under an extreme ‘diabetic tsunami, or epidemic’ with over 22 million Americans effected by diabetes. Just last year, he said, our health expenditure for diabetes was over 245 billion dollars.
Dr. Releford said diabetes is a metabolic disease where the body looses its ability to process carbohydrates and sugar. There are two types of diabetes. The first is Type 1, in which one depends on insulin injections in order to live. The most common type of diabetes he says is Type 2, which is a lifestyle type that can be managed with diet and or exercise including insulin injections as well. Moreover, Dr. Releford said he calls diabetes, “The disease of over consumption and inactivity”. Lastly, Dr. Releford exclaimed that in Egypt during the time of hieroglyphics diabetes was one of the first diseases to be described, so it is not a new disease. What is new he said, is the way that sugary foods are being marketed particularly to our children. People who are diagnosed with diabetes at an early age are more likely to have complications such as amputations. Even more, podiatric surgeon, Releford said he has dedicated his life and career to decreasing the amputation rate in the African American community where African Americans are four to five times more likely to experience an amputation. Contact: 310.412.0183
Doris-Owanda Johnson, Ph.D., L.Ac, who is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and nutritionist with a Ph.D in Oriental Medicine as well as a second masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine agreed to “diabetes has become a world-wide epidemic”. She says there are more than 347 million people with Type 2 diabetes and the numbers are rising. In the United States in African American communities there are one in five people with Type 2 diabetes.
Owanda Johnson explained from an Asian perspective stating that basically diabetes is a disease of nutrition. So, there is an “equal footing” with how Western Medicine looks at diabetes. In Asian Medicine the disease is diagnosed by looking at the sugar content of the urine. In ancient Eastern Medicine the urine is noted to be sugary by either tasting the urine and it will taste sweet. In ancient Asian medicine they left the urine out to see if it would attract ants. If the ants were attracted to the urine, then they would know that there was sugar in the urine. Therefore, she said, “This would be a positive diagnosis for diabetes”. Contact: 310.475.8018
Source: www.heartand soulinstitute.com
Type 2 Diabetes and the Family
When asked, How does Type 2 diabetes effect the family? Owanda-Johnson said, “Though diabetes can have some influential effect on the family it is mostly influential in the way that we learned to eat from our parents.” For example, growing up and eating white sugar, white flour, junk food, and fried foods becomes our comfort food, then we have a tendency develop this disease earlier.” Dr. Releford said, “Most of us can trace our lineage to West Africa. Diabetes is not a problem in West Africa, however, when you move from West Africa through the Caribbean to the United States cardiovascular disease begins to surge due to adapting to certain lifestyles.”