Paula Deen, Thank you

No really, thank you. Revealing your Type 2 Diabetes status, admittedly three years after diagnosis, has prompted me to reveal some shocking news from the Bean household. Two weeks ago, I under went a screening for diabetes at a Tucson Medical Center event and crap if I didn’t get prediabetic high sugar levels. Now, I’m sure that the drug companies will be knocking down my door to offer some sweet (pun intended) deal so I can push my rich decadent processed recipes and the drug at the same time. Okay, maybe not.

Now, I don’t want my vast Paula Deen like audience to be led astray. I still have to have this prediabetic level confirmed, but I figure that it isn’t too early to start taking action. After a little research, including talking with some medical professionals and accessing some basic information on diabetes, I understand that with some weight loss, some healthy choices in diet and vigourous exercise 5-7 times a week there is a pretty good chance I can reverse this prediabetes situation. It is going to require vigilance.

An early diagnosis of full diabetes could also most likely be managed with diet and exercise management before it progresses to the point where it needs medication. Although even with careful management I understand that many will need the medication eventually. Type 2 Diabetes is a progressive disease. The thing is, Type II Diabetes is, for most of us, completely preventable too.

I have some characteristics that make me a high risk candidate, a family history of Type II (there is a genetic propensity), cardiovascular problems AND I’m overweight. I’m not heinously overweight, but my BMI at 28 is squarely (or should that be roundly?) in the overweight range. I wonder if the Y will sponsor my membership for my promoting healthy living on this blog? Actually, I understand that the Y has a fabulous diabetes prevention program which I should probably look in to. Oh wait, I just gave away that information without a paid endorsement. That is why Paula waited three years. Must learn not to share information that might help others without compensation or I’ll never have Paula’s respect.

For what it is worth diabetes scares me sh*tless. I’m committed to getting my weight, my exercise and dietary habits under control. The cool thing is, the habits that will help with preventing or staving off diabetes, also help with managing heart issues and reducing cancer risk. I’m putting these recent test results out there to make myself more accountable. Maybe I’ll check in here occasionally to share where I’m at in my goal to reduce my BMI and get exercise. Thanks Paula Deen.

It was this article by Debbie Koenig that alerted me to Paula Deen’s decision to use her large audience, developed through the sharing of the very types of food choices that led to obesity, to pedal diabetes drugs rather than concrete ways to avoid this horrible disease.

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10 Comments

Filed under Health, Prediabetes

10 responses to “Paula Deen, Thank you

  1. Family

    One of the very few disadvantages of the British NHS is that – as I understand it – our GP’s (primary practitioners) have a financial incentive to prescribe particular ‘preventative’ drugs. And of course the level at which these are taken has dropped over the years, ensuring that more people are on medication.
    So good luck with the change of diet, exercise etc. You’ll get there.

  2. Well, though scarey, I’m glad you got a diagnosis now, and that you are empowered to be healthier. Let us know if there is anything we in the blogesphere can do to help!

  3. Whoa, I had no idea! Of course, why would I since you were waiting for your endorsement deal… I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with this, but I think a diagnosis of pre-diabetes is waaaay preferable to a diagnosis of Type II. GOOD LUCK, my friend! You’ll get ahead of this, I know it.

    • Carolyn Thomas

      I agree, Debbie. As Toronto diabetes specialist Dr. Ian Blumer writes: “Prediabetes is not ‘borderline diabetes.’ Indeed, there is no such thing as borderline diabetes. One can no more have borderline diabetes than one can be borderline pregnant…as with pregnancy, you either is or you ain’t.

      “Having prediabetes means you are at enormous risk of later developing type 2 diabetes. There’s a big ‘BUT’ here, though. And here it is: You can do something to lower this risk!

      “If you follow a very healthy lifestyle with healthy eating, regular exercise (at least 150 minutes per week with you exercising most days of the week), and weight control, you can drastically reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. There are also medications available to reduce your risk (such as metformin, acarbose, and rosiglitazone), but as any doctor worth his salt will tell you, medications to treat prediabetes are always second rate treatment compared to lifestyle therapy (and thus should generally be used only if lifestyle therapy, alas, isn’t happening and isn’t going to happen).” – http://www.ourdiabetes.com/prediabetes.htm

      And by the way, I too was just as miffed over the whole Paula Deen story as you were, Debbie. Here’s a woman who earns $4.5 million a year from her “food porn” cooking show, sponsorship endorsements, personal appearances, cookbooks and branded merchandise – who signs a lucrative endorsement deal with a drug company to be their spokesperson, and then when the avalanche of negative reactions goes viral, she announces that she has suddenly decided to donate an undisclosed portion of her Novo-Nordisk earnings to the American Diabetes. Association. Ouch. Too little, too late, Paula.

      • Tepary

        It is true, I feel fortunate to have taken this screening when I did, before I had developed Type 2 Diabetes while I have the chance to change my behaviours and avoid developing the disease. I wonder did Paula get screened prior? Could she have taken to the air waves and pleaded with her audience to get screened now, for goodness sake get screened now? Make changes now.

    • Tepary

      Thanks Kristin. Encouragement is always welcome.

  4. chadkpark

    You can do this. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. I know that shock feeling as well. Use that mixture of fear, anger, trepidation, impatience etc. to make your will be reality. You will do this ;).

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