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Are you taking a beating from diabetes?

Gerald W. Deas | , M.D. | , Mph | 3/22/2012, 4:20 p.m.
When I was a kid in public school, it was inevitable that the toughest hyper-maniac...
Halloween will make your child scream

When I was a kid in public school, it was inevitable that the toughest hyper-maniac in the class would pick someone out to beat up at 3 p.m. Well, one day I was named as the victim of that threat. To say the least, I could not concentrate on my school work the whole day.

For one thing, I didn't know what I had done to get on his "beat up list." Secondly, I was going to school out of my 'hood. In those days, to get to school, I had to walk approximately 12 city blocks and go through areas where gangs ruled. Each had a name that caused fear to run up and down your spine, such as the Nits, Bishops, Jolly Stompers and Green Avenue Stompers. The boys I hung out with did not belong to a gang, but we always defended one another.

To continue the conflict I was faced with that day, I was forced to make a decision that was plain and simple. I was either going to meet him straight up and have it out or leave early and get back to my 'hood as fast as my skinny legs could carry me.

Since I was small in stature, which you would never think from looking at me today, I decided to steal out of school early and run. Of course, by running and not sticking up for yourself, you would be called a punk the next day. Hey, like I said, "Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you."

Anyhow, the next day, the bully had forgotten that I was even on his list. I also followed the advice of my father, who constantly reminded me: "A good run is better than a bad stand." That is still my philosophy today.

I am basically not a fighter of human beings. In fact, I love them. However, I sure would like to kick the sugar out of diabetes, which is really a bad boy. This tyrant beats up on millions of folks yearly, causing them to go blind, experience kidney failure, lose their legs and feet, suffer heart disease and often stroke out.

Diabetes is a disease that is usually silent but may present recognizable symptoms such as excess thirst, frequent urination, weight loss and tingling in the hands and feet. These are actually late symptoms of diabetes. In order to properly diagnose this condition in its early stages, a blood test can be obtained measuring the fasting glucose, which should be less than 110mg/dl, or hemoglobin A1C no greater than 6.

I am so glad that, as a fighter of this disease, I am in a position to let you know how you can beat up on this bad boy. You won't have to lay a hand on him, but you still may have to run. Running and walking can really help to beat up on diabetes. The more exercise you do, the more sugar you burn up in your muscles. It has been suggested that walking 45 minutes three to four times weekly can help defeat diabetes.