Rhymefest talks about life with diabetes

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While traveling back home from a work trip, rapper-activist Che “Rhymefest” Smith noticed something was not right with his body.

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While traveling back home from a work trip, rapper-activist Che “Rhymefest” Smith noticed something was not right with his body.

He recalled being lethargic, urinating constantly, eating enormous amounts of food at a time, not being able to walk and feeling like he was about to collapse.

“I was like oh my God, something is wrong,” Rhymefest told the Defender.

Finally he decided to go to the doctor and figure out what was wrong.

The nurse checked his blood sugar level. It wasn’t good.

“When she took mine it just said high. The nurse asked, ‘Do you feel like you’re about to pass out?’ I’m like ‘Yeah!’ She said, ‘You’re about to pass out and go into a coma!’” he said.

Rhymefest was immediately sent to the emergency room. When his urine was tested, it was full of sugar. When his blood sugar level was retested, it read 730, he said.

According to the ADA, a normal blood glucose level range is between 100 and 140.

He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. Historically, type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed primarily in middle-aged adults, however, adolescents and young adults are developing type 2 diabetes at an alarming rate. The lack of exercise and increasing incidence of obesity are risk factors for type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes as whites and 3.7 million, or nearly 15 percent of all African Americans over age 20 have diabetes, according to the association.

Since that moment he’s started his life over.

“I had to change my whole diet. My new attitude is: if I can’t have it, I don’t want it!” he stressed.

More vegetables and fruits have been introduced in his meals and he’s eliminated soda from his diet. His physical fitness has also improved. He and his family ride their bikes more often, said the insulin-dependent rapper-activist.

Rhymefest urges everyone to become more aware of their health by “pressing your doctors to test and be aware about your health.”

If people don’t ask for specific test, the doctors will not give them, he said.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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