By Ryan Velez
Unfortunately, the Black community is at risk for higher incidence due to a variety of health conditions. These include kidney failure, largely due to the presence of high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. In fact, national statistics show that African Americans represent more than 35% of all patients in the United States receiving dialysis for kidney failure. This month is National Diabetes Month, and Black Enterprise spoke to one woman who is trying to handle this issue that disproportionately affects our community.
Eboni Gee is a wife, mom, registered nurse, and woman on a mission. She has co-founded Living With a Purpose, a consulting business and wellness platform providing wellness workshops and dialysis classes focused on techniques for organizing medication and doctors’ appointments, controlling fluid intakes, and protecting your bones and heart while mentally handling a life-changing diagnosis.
Originally a nurse, Gee explains what drove her to go to the next level. “Living With a Purpose was born out of an awakening. When I first started working with dialysis patients, I noticed I enjoyed helping people see past where they were at the present moment to where they could be. As time went on, it became clear that dialysis patients and their families needed the individualized education and support to decrease their stress and anxiety while maximizing their ability to advocate for themselves.”
Unfortunately, there’s also some misconceptions going on with the condition, like people believing their kidney function will come back. “While this might be the case for someone with an acute kidney failure diagnosis, most end-stage renal disease diagnosis is irreversible.” As a result, it’s very important that all people use whatever they can to help with diabetes prevention. Here are some of the options Gee suggests:
• Practice healthy habits and routines as well as a healthy mindset. Stress creates damage in our bodies and can cause hypertension.
• Exercise and move our bodies on a regular basis.
• Pay attention to what you’re eating. Food portions are two to three times what they should be. Ask for only half the meal to be served or eat half and box up the rest.