Paula Deen Announces that She has Diabetes

Paula Deen opens up about diabetes diagnosisLast month on the Today show, celebrity chef and Food Network star Paula Deen revealed that she has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The diagnosis came 3 years ago, but she said that she wanted to keep the news "close to the chest" until she was able to learn how to live with the disease. She came on network television to tell those suffering with diabetes that it is not a death sentence.

Deen is famous for cooking her high calorie, high fat, high flavor southern cooking. It is not unusual to see her add obscene amounts of butter to a recipe. Maybe it is okay for an occasional indulgence, but it certainly cannot be an everyday meal for someone with diabetes (or anyone else for that matter).

Whether your diabetes is being treated with insulin, medication, or by diet and exercise, the importance of a proper diet cannot be overstated. Many feel that taking medicine eliminates the need to eat right. This cannot be further from the truth. An improper diet full of sugar and carbohydrate, such as bread and pasta, will make your blood sugar go sky high.

Maintaining an abnormally high blood glucose can put a patient with diabetes at risk for a number of conditions. These include diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a numb or painful sensation in the toes, feet, and legs, and circulation problems, known as peripheral arterial disease, which causes further complications and puts you at risk for heart attacks and strokes.

These conditions also put the diabetic patient at risk for diabetic foot ulcers.  These wounds are stubborn and quite dangerous. If not treated quickly and aggressively, the ulcers can become infected, which puts your limb and life at risk.

Paula Deen is correct...diabetes is NOT a death sentence. It is a diagnosis that requires monitoring and significant lifestyle changes. Paula says that she won't change her recipes on her television show, but she certainly will need to change how she eats to ensure she doesn't develop any complications. 

The Houston diabetic wound care specialists at Foot & Ankle Institute of Texas will evaluate you and recommend a routine to monitor your foot health. If you are not experiencing a complication of diabetes, that is the best time to come in to make sure that one doesn't occur. If you are noticing redness, swelling, bleeding, or any other situation in your foot that doesn't look right, consider it a medical emergency and contact our Houston podiatry offices for an immediate appointment. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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