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Taking a Stand Against Diabetes with Rev. Run

by  Celeste Davie on October 31, 2013
Taking a Stand Against Diabetes with Rev. Run

All of us have a role to play when it comes to achieving and maintaining good health. Being healthy is showing consistent effort in your personal nutrition and physical form. Walking the walk and talking the talk is Hip-hop legend Joseph "Rev. Run" Simmons who taking his role in health seriously since partnering with Novo Nordisk and the campaign Ask.Screen.Know. to increase awareness of the benefits of early diabetes screening and detection.  Since coming on board, he has lost weight through a healthy diet and exercise routine and is creating a healthy lifestyle for himself and his family.

“I’m here to make people aware of what you should be doing once you get to a certain age. What you should be doing about eating and what you should be doing about exercise.” Rev. Run became a spokesman because his father had the disease. His father’s fight with diabetes inspired him to take responsibility for his own health. “My manager told me about it, his father had diabetes and he knew my father had it too. We met with the people from Novo Nordisk and it was a perfect match, so it just kind of all fell into place. Come to find out about 6 months into it, that Diabetes World Day is actually on my birthday, November 14th. It kind of blew my mind and I knew it was a perfect match,” says Rev. Run.

 “I talk to people all the time on Twitter and in so many other different ways that I thought it was my time to talk to people about health. People look to me for inspirations so it’s something I know I need to be doing and talking to people about. Making healthy lifestyle changes can be challenging. However, learning new behaviors and changing old ones is important for a healthy lifestyle.”

“Starting out, I lost over 20 pounds, which was good. Every time I am drinking or eating something I have to do it in a cautious matter. So being a spokesperson keeps me on point and has been really good for me because it keeps me in check. As I am keeping myself in check, I am keeping all the people around me in check. I don’t have diabetes but I am at risk, especially being my age and African-American. That’s one of the higher risk factors.”

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that 22.3 million people were living with diabetes in 2012. Novo Nordisk is a global health care company with 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. They are committed to changing diabetes through partnerships, research, and education. Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar) either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.

There are three types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin and currently requires the person to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. This form is referred to as juvenile diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. This form is referred to adult-onset diabetes.

Type 3 diabetes is known as gestational diabetes and occurs when a pregnant woman without a previous diagnosis of diabetes develops a high blood glucose level.

Some of the symptoms of diabetes are excessive thirst, excessive hunger, blurred vision, needing to pass urine more than usual, infections or injuries heal more slowly than usual, more sleepy and tired than usual,” says diabetes educator Jeannette Jordan, who recommends that those who are 45 years or older get screened for diabetes once every three years, in particular those who are overweight and have one or more risk factors. If you are a person already living with diabetes or at risk, then eating healthily and getting regular exercise are key to helping control or prevent the disease.

 “I stay away from a lot of carbohydrates. I stay away from the real sweet tea and lemonade. I drink a lot of water and if I have a soda at all, it will be a diet coke. In the morning, I will have egg whites instead of regular eggs and if I’m going to have bacon, it’s going to by turkey bacon. Everything has been such a big change for me. It has been such an eye opener for me because I have to take care of myself. As a child you can run amok and do what you want, but as you get older you have to change your habits and change your lifestyle,” says Rev. Run about his new healthy habits.

When it comes to words of wisdom, Rev. Run has some great words to live by.   “A lot of rappers talk about the bling bling, jewelry, and clothes. I always try to tell them that health is the first wealth. If you don’t have health, you don’t have anything and what you don’t confront, you can’t fix. So many people my age and older don’t go to the doctor. If you don’t go to the doctor, you can’t confront it and you can’t fix it.”

Diabetes poses major health risks even when monitored by a doctor. When it goes undiagnosed or untreated, the risks are even greater. Sometimes symptoms are often difficult to detect, your best course of action is to receive an annual physical. See your doctor if you think you’re at risk for diabetes.

For more information on the Ask.Screen.Know., visit their website at



Celeste Davie

Celeste Davie

Celeste Davie is a traveler, freelance writer, marathon runner, foodie, and photography enthusiast who has traveled throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico. full bio


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