Music executive Rich Dollaz has been very open about his battle with Type 2 diabetes on “Love & Hip Hop New York” this season and Monday night’s episode found him becoming particularly emotional.
As Rich discussed his disease with his mother, the two recalled burying his uncle, Mickey, who died of diabetes complications in 2015.
“This is definitely a wake-up call for me,” Rich said in a confessional. “And something I gotta stay on top of. My life depends on it.”
Additionally, the exec’s mom, Jewel, lost two younger brothers to the issue that the American Diabetes Association reports affect 4.9 million Black adults — and there are family members who lost their eyesight.
“I’m not letting that s— beat me,” Rich said to his mother, after noting in a confessional scene that seeing his family and friends deal with diabetes “takes a toll on me.” “I don’t wanna be that guy on the phone calling you because I don’t know if … this is it, ma. I wanna be here so I gotta figure s— out.”
According to Gwendolyn Moore, Registered Dietitian-Integrative Nutritionist at Nutrition by Gwen Consulting in California, Rich’s ordeal being placed in the spotlight can be helpful for the public.
“People are more captivated and they tend to be like, ‘Oh Ok,'” she told Atlanta Black Star. “Halle Berry [also has the disease] and it captivates the audience and gets their attention.”
Like Rich, who has cut out drinking from his life, there are changes diabetics can make to improve the condition.
“Exercising is one because it’s very, very effective for increasing insulin sensitivity,” Moore said. “And that means that the cells are being more responsive and that sugar will go into the cells where they belong as opposed to sitting in the blood and rising higher and higher, so that’s extremely effective.”
Being active is one of the ways that a patient’s lifestyle can influence the way diabetes affects them. Ditching refined and processed carbohydrates and eating fruits and vegetables instead can also be beneficial.
As for the one thing diabetics can stop consuming to improve their condition, Moore says it all boils down to drinks.
“Get off of the sodas and sugar-sweetened beverages and just use infused water,” she said. “Drink water and infuse it with some cucumbers, squeeze some lemon in it.”
She also advised patients to shop around the perimeter of the grocery store for fresh produce and stick nuts and seeds along with organic grass-fed and pasteurized chicken and fish.