Diabetes affects roughly one of every three children born after 2000 in the United States. (Courtesy photo)
Diabetes affects roughly one of every three children born after 2000 in the United States. (Courtesy photo)

“For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” — African proverb

On Saturday, Don Lemon and Van Jones hosted CNN’s “The Color of COVID,” an hourlong special on the unique challenges Black and brown communities are facing during the coronavirus crisis, putting a spotlight on their struggles and providing viewers with ways they can help.

CNN and other news outlets have reported that African American communities in places such as Detroit, Chicago, Louisiana, New Jersey and across the country have been hit especially hard by the pandemic.

This five-part series is a result of my thesis on type 2 diabetes where I predicted my campaign to become national, never realizing that there would be such a need for this health training during this historic COVID-19 pandemic.

Type 2 diabetes results from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both; and too much inflammation in your body. Notice the description says there is too much inflammation in the body. COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is a monster at creating inflammation!

COVID-19 creates so much inflammation that it blocks the lungs completely until the patient drowns in mucus. Anyone suffering from high levels of hemoglobin A1C will automatically have an overabundance of inflammation; therefore, the COVID-19 virus just keeps duplicating itself until finally your lungs are filled with inflammation.

Type 2 diabetes can be associated with serious complications such as losing toes, feet, legs and more, and it brings on premature death, as in the case of my mom. Today, thousands in the African American community are having this experience as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, people with type 2 diabetes can turn this thing around by taking measures to reduce the likelihood of so much inflammation.

My sisters and I lived together with our mother, father and our children. We lived together in a seven-bedroom home with a diving board swimming pool. We worked together in business; and now we were going through this battle for life with our mother.

During her younger years, she taught us well! Throughout our lives, we had been blessed, becoming successful businesswomen, doing exactly what mother encouraged us to do. After learning how to publicize an issue on a massive scale, there was no way I could see the devastation caused in the life of my mother by type 2 diabetes, to fully understand this disease, and knowing the power of the media, I could not sit back and do nothing to share this with others, thus my master’s thesis.

Today, we eat very much the same as we did back during slavery times in America, but without strenuous exercise, which now causes type 2 diabetes. The problem dates back to the beginning of the slave trade. We truly did not understand! Could we have done something differently? During this period of her life, we didn’t know how an improved diet with extremely limited amounts of sugar with major reductions in eating carbohydrates and getting regular physical exercise could have made a difference in her life. I’ve since learned by asking her doctor and doing research, and I’ve taken training to become an ambassador and speaker for the American Diabetes Association to help others.

I must now share this hope with diabetics, teaching this good news for the rest of my life! Your body is a temple. (Part 3 next week)

Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email lyndiagrantshowdc@gmail.com or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.

Lyndia Grant

A seasoned radio talk show host, national newspaper columnist, and major special events manager, Lyndia is a change agent. Those who experience hearing messages by this powerhouse speaker are changed forever!

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