Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Rudy Kelly: Living With Diabetes

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

RUDY KELLY, who grew up in Denver, says, “In 2003, I was visiting my friend Helen, who used to work with me at the mortuary, at her home, when I experienced a sharp pain in my leg and feet and passed out. When I revived, Helen didn’t think I looked very well and called 911. I was admitted to Rose Hospital and after they ran some tests, they diagnosed me with diabetes, which runs in my family.”

“I didn’t have high blood pressure, however, at 6’1”, Rudy explains, “I weighed 280 lbs. The doctors told me I would have to get onto a diet regimen and take off the excess weight. I went to a nutrition class and also to the African-American Institute, where I learned more about diabetes, diet and exercise. Since I am not a gym person, I learned that walking was the best exercise for me, and when combined with a good diet, I was able to lose 70 lbs.

“I am thankful that I can control my diabetes with pills because I wanted to avoid having to give myself insulin shots, which both my mother and grandmother had to have.”

“Since 2005,” says Rudy, “I have revised what I eat, to include lots of vegetables and fruits, turkey and baked chicken. I stay away from salt, juices, sodas, fast foods, fried foods, cookies, cakes and donuts. I sometimes eat a small serving of sherbet, but no ice cream. I walk twice a day for a total of over a mile daily.”

Rudy continues, “I drink plenty of water and eat three nutritious meals each day. Previously, I skipped breakfast and wouldn’t always have lunch, due to my busy work schedule. Then I would eat a lot at night, and that is how I piled on the extra weight. Now, I always eat breakfast and lunch, and dinner no later than 5:00 p.m.

Also, I don’t eat anything after my 5:00 p.m. meal. I could have a snack in the evening; however, I prefer not to, because I want to be sure I don’t have to take insulin shots, and I have been doing well on this regimen.

“I feel healthy and energetic. Sometimes people who haven’t seen me in awhile, don’t recognize me because of the weight loss.

“I would like to encourage people, and especially men, who often have trouble accepting the fact that they are diabetic and have to stick to the dietary and exercise lifestyle changes in order to live healthy and full lives,” says Rudy.

He relates, “One young man in my class said, ‘What’s the use of living? Since I’m diabetic, I can’t eat anything.’

However, we can eat a lot of foods; we just have to change what we eat. It is a mind-set change; we just have to determine to eat healthier.”

A Gift of Life is Color Blind

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Gwen McNair-Reilly, a member of Family of Christ Church, where Senior Pastor Albert Anderson presides, is grateful for the gift of a kidney. She had been on a donor list for almost five years. During the pregnancy of her now ten-year-old son, she had toxemia, which is preclancia and causes high blood pressure, which later caused her kidneys to fail. (more…)

Health Bulletins To Help You Thrive

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
— I Corinthians 10:31

In this article, we would like to present to you some of the latest health information that has come across the Internet. This is in the interest of informing you-the reader, and also it is done to help you liver longer and better! We trust this will be a blessing.

Living Near Fast Foods Ups Stroke Risk
A recent study has shown that neighborhoods in America that have plentiful fast food restaurants appear to have a higher risk of stroke. Each additional such restaurant increases the chance of a stroke by 1%. The reason for this is that the foods served in these places are high in sodium (or salt) content and high in fat. We can also add that these foods are cheap and affordable by a person with any level of income.

Each year in America 800,000 people have a stroke. This is related to age, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle. Except for age, we are looking at factors for stroke that are preventable.

One sad reality we see in our country is that African American neighborhoods tend to have a lot more fast food restaurants! Take a drive across America and you will see that this is true. In fact some of these restaurant chains may have advertising that targets African Americans. The best thing we can do is to avoid these places, limit how often we go if we do visit them, and try to make healthier choices from the menu. We will thrive best if they never see our faces!

Slight Cut in Salt Intake Would
Mean Fewer Heart Attacks, Deaths

If Americans cut just one gram of salt from their daily diet, there would be fewer cases of heart disease and more than 200,000 fewer death over a decade. The more salt we can cut out the better.

Americans today are using more salt than they did in the 1970’s. Currently, Americans consume 9-12 grams of salt a day and much of this comes from processed foods. This tells us that you never have to sprinkle salt on your food to get far too much salt! We need to cut our salt intake down to 5-6 grams daily, but for some of us 2 grams is what we need. We need to learn to read labels or even if we have to, buy a book that gives us clues to how much salt is in the food we eat. It appears that reducing your salt use can help you to live longer.

Want to Lose Weight?
Just Eat less, Diet Study Suggests

A study was done that compared these types of diets:

  • Low fat average protein
  • Low fat high protein
  • High fat average protein
  • High fat high protein

It was found that no one diet was really better than another. The bottom line is that if you want to lose weight, eat a heart healthy diet and watch your calorie intake. In other words eat less, and do not be swayed by arguments that a certain type of diet is better than all the rest when it comes to weight loss.

Study: Obesity shaves years off life
Being obese takes years off your life and in some cases may be as dangerous as smoking! The study used a measurement referred to as the BMI or body mass index. This can be found by looking up your BMI on a chart using you height and weight. Overweight people have a BMI from 25 to 29. A BMI of 30 or greater defines obesity. A BMI above 40 can cause loss of as much as 10 years of life–similar to the effect of lifelong smoking. The bottom line is to measure your BMI, and you can find this on the Internet by just typing in “BMI”. Find out what your goal weight should be to live longer and healthier.

The bottom line here is that there is abundant information that by adopting a few healthy habits, we can have a better quality of life, and a longer life. We need to avoid the fast foods, eat less fat, eat less salt, eat less calories, and make healthy food choices. We need to control our weight, our blood pressure and our diabetes if we have it.

May God help you to thrive and live better!

Lessons Learned from the “Stroke Belt”

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”
– I Corinthians 10:31

Since the 1960’s it has been recognized that there is a region of America in which the incidence of stroke is much higher compared to the rest of the country. This region of the country is composed of 11 states in the southeastern United States, and includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. This part of the country is referred to as the “Stroke Belt”.

There, both blacks as well as whites have higher stroke rates than people in the rest of the country. The stroke rates for blacks in all regions of the country are substantially higher, with African Americans facing a risk three to four times higher. Some observers have stated that it is a “mystery” as to why the Stroke Belt exists. It has been said that lifestyle factors do not account for a full explanation of the higher stroke rates in this area of the country. Some have even suggested that there are environmental factors such as things that may be in the soil, air and water.

People who move from the stroke belt take their increased risk of stroke with them! The realization of this public health problem led to some initiatives such as public service announcements, public health initiatives by government agencies and efforts to have churches participate in blood pressure screening and other types of health outreach. These efforts have not ended the ethnic disparities in stroke incidence.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America. 500,000 strokes occur each year and about 150,000 result in death. For those who survive strokes there may be permanent disability and tremendous financial loss. There are a number of significant risk factors for stroke as follows: high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, abnormal cholesterol levels, obesity, lack of exercise, abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), a sedentary lifestyle, illicit drugs( such as cocaine), poverty and advanced age.

Despite the fact that some may consider the excess incidence of stroke in the Stroke Belt a mystery, efforts should be unsparing to reduce the burden of suffering from this condition. If we do consider lifestyle factors, let’s just take a look at what is called “southern cooking”. In the traditional south, hog fat may be cooked and mixed with every food and served every meal. Vegetables may be boiled for a long time with large chunks of fat or fried in grease. Almost all meat is fried after dipping in batter and may be dripping with grease. Would you be willing to eat a concoction you may find in the South called a “hamdog”?

This creation consists of a hot dog wrapped by a beef patty that’s deep fried, covered with chili, cheese and onions and served on a hoagie bun. All of this meal is then topped with a fried egg and french fries! Imagine what that will do for your blood vessels! There is other dangerous southern fare such as fried chicken, fried seafood, fried green tomatoes, biscuits and gravy, and cornbread slathered in butter. There are, in fact healthier – but still tasty – food alternatives.

Another major health concern that we may find in the Stroke Belt is a sedentary lifestyle. Obesity is more prevalent in particular in Mississippi and in other states in the region. This may be a combination of diet and lack of exercise. The obesity epidemic could be helped by having the southern roads more heavily populated by walkers, runners, and bicyclists!

It has been found that churches may play a large role in helping to make lifestyle changes and interventions in the Stroke Belt, and elsewhere:

  • Promoting hypertension control: teaching people how to play a role in control and self-monitoring of blood pressure by use of simple blood pressure machines for home use
  • Promoting weight control: This would involve instruction on how to exercise and a diet low in fat, sugar, calories and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Teaching diabetes self-management: Teaching those with diabetes to have good blood sugar control
  • Help with smoking cessation: Conduction classes on how to overcome smoking
  • Substance abuse counseling: Helping with overcoming addictions such as cocaine use as this may play a role in stroke even in young people
  • Screening for hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol

Let’s not consider the Stroke Belt a mystery, but something that needs intervention nationwide.

HIV/AIDS in 2008

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”

­— Matthew 9:36

We may not hear as much as we did at one time about the AIDS/HIV pandemic, but nevertheless, the pandemic rages on. There are an estimated 33 million adults and children living with HIV at the end of 2007, and this includes 2.5 million newly infected. Since 1981, 20 million people have died of AIDS infection.

Sadly, what can be seen by African Americans as their point of origin (Sub-Saharan Africa) is racked by HIV infection. In fact, this region of the world accounts for about 68% of persons living with HIV and 76% of the deaths in 2007.

The epidemic is most concentrated, but not exclusive to men who have sex with men, injecting drug users and sex workers. Half of all infections worldwide are in women, especially young women who may be powerless to control their own sexual lives due to male dominance and subjugation.

Here in America, African American males have more than 8 times the AIDS rate of White males and African American females 25 times the AIDS rate of White females. African American males are 9 times as likely to die from HIV/AIDS and females 22 times as likely to day. These statistics are a part of the situation of health disparities that exist in America.

Since about 1981, medical science has tried to come to grips with the epidemic. The first recognized victims were gay males, injection drug users, hemophiliacs, and Haitian immigrants. In general it was recognized later that blood, tissue (as in transplants, and implantation), semen and vaginal secretions were the chief sources of infection.
There is no evidence that insect bites spread HIV infection. Complicating factors may include other infections such as malaria, tuberculosis and various sexually transmitted disease that may make HIV infection more transmissible and more severe.

Efforts have been made to prevent, educate, and control HIV infection. Education has helped, but not stopped this pandemic. Efforts to develop an effective vaccine have failed. However, one of the major success stories is the development of what is called “antiretroviral” treatment.

There is a combination of drugs that can allow a person with HIV infection to live a surprisingly health existence. However, only about 30% of those who need the treatment have access to it.

On a personal note, I remember a time about 20 years ago when we had only one drug called “AZT”, to treat HIV infection. It by itself, was a dismal failure. Now there are a host of drugs that taken in the right combination can keep people healthy beyond belief, compared to 20 years ago. It is not a cure, but it is efficacious.

The problem is access and imparting some essential knowledge about this treatment and about how a person can protect oneself from this deadly infection. There is however, no end in sight for the pandemic.

AIDS/HIV is a challenge to the church. It is a hot-button and divisive issue. Too often, there has been an attitude that AIDS victims are getting what they deserve, despite the fact that victims may include people such as children, and women who have male partners that may have been incarcerated. They are the untouchables and the lepers of our society. These people are a test of our compassion. Do we have the compassion that Jesus had or do we not?.

One thing the church can do is show a little love and kindness if we find a person who does have HIV/AIDS. We can make it a part of our ministry educating people about the risks of HIV infection, and the fact that there is in fact effective treatment, in this country.

We can demonstrate that we love unconditionally.