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Paula Deen has Diabetes!!
Section:  General Diabetes

Paula Deen spreads word about diabetes in down-home manner

NEW YORK – Paula Deen, the warm, down-home cooking star known for her Southern recipes loaded with butter and sugar, says she decided not to talk about type 2 diabetes when she found out she had it three years ago. But beginning today, she's going public in a big way.

  • Paula Deen is announcing that she has type 2 diabetes. She is 
modifying some of her recipes with sons Bobby, right, and Jamie.

By Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY

Paula Deen is announcing that she has type 2 diabetes. She is modifying some of her recipes with sons Bobby, right, and Jamie.

"I made the choice at the time to keep it close to me, to keep it close to my chest," she told USATODAY in her first interview about the disease. "I felt like I had nothing to offer anybody other than the announcement. I wasn't armed with enough knowledge. I knew when it was time, it would be in God's time."

Deen, 64, star of Food Network's Paula's Best Dishes, built her career by making calorie-rich, indulgent recipes such as fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and rich desserts, the kind of foods that can contribute to obesity, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

She says her delay in talking about the disease had nothing to do with fear about hurting her reputation. "That was not why. My knowledge about the disease was very limited. But now I'm coming with good information, something that can help and bring hope to other people. It may sound cliché, but it's the God-honest truth."

Facts about diabetes:

People are at a greater risk of type 2 diabetes if they are overweight or obese, have a family history of the disease, are 45 or older, are not physically active, had diabetes while pregnant or are African American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian American or Pacific Islander.

The long-term complications of the disease can include heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage and amputations. Source: American Diabetes Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On Monday, Deen was in New York, preparing for interviews to talk about her new role. Wearing a turquoise blouse that matched her bright blue eyes, she greeted everyone she met with her megawatt smile, hug and "Hi, y'all."

She is giving details now as part of the launch of a campaign, Diabetes in a New Light (diabetesinanewlight.com), in partnership with Novo Nordisk, a maker of diabetes medications. She uses the company's Victoza, a once-daily, non-insulin injection that may improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes when used along with diet and exercise.

Deen says that when Novo Nordisk representatives first approached her, they challenged her to make some of her recipes more diabetic-friendly. They didn't know she had the disease, and she said to them, "How did you know I had type 2 diabetes?"

For the initiative, Deen and her sons, Jamie and Bobby, have created lightened-up versions of some of their classic recipes for people with the disease. The family is appearing in a new ad campaign for Victoza this month. Yes, she's being paid for her new role with the drugmaker, Deen says. "Talking about money is garish. It's tacky. But, of course, I'm been compensated for my time. That's the way our world works."

She knows that she may be facing criticism and be the brunt of jokes after her announcement today. "I don't care what the haters and naysayers say. If they make jokes about me, I'll laugh because they'll probably be funny."

She says she's "at peace" with her decision to share the fact that she has the disease and with her career celebrating classic Southern recipes. "I have no regrets."

'Russian roulette'

Almost 26 million adults and children in the USA have diabetes, government statistics show. There are two major forms: type 1 and 2. Type 2 accounts for more than 90% of the cases. Factors that increase the risk of developing type 2 include a family history, obesity, inactivity and age.

In people with diabetes, the body does not make enough of the hormone insulin, or it doesn't use it properly. Insulin helps glucose (sugar) get into cells, where it is used for energy. If there's an insulin problem, sugar builds up in the blood, damaging nerves and blood vessels.

Type 2 diabetes is like "Russian roulette" when it comes to whom it's going to strike, Deen says. "It's about heredity. It's about age, lifestyle, race. I'm the only one in my family who has it. My grandmother cooked and ate like I ate, and she didn't have it."

Deen says that when she first heard she had the disease in 2008, she was surprised and "a little sad because I thought my whole life was going to have to change, and I like my life."

But after a conversation with her own doctor "and Dr. Mehmet Oz, one of my precious friends, I realized you can live a full life." Deen says her blood sugar "is good. It's under control."

Besides using the medication, Deen is walking a mile or more a day on the treadmill and no longer drinking sweet tea. "That's a big trick for a little Southern girl. I calculated how much sugar I drank in empty calories, and it was staggering. I would start drinking tea at lunchtime and drank it all the way to bedtime."

She hasn't made a lot of other changes in how she eats and cooks, because "I've tried to use moderation since I hit a certain age."

She has dropped a size in clothes since the diagnosis. "I wasn't trying to lose weight. I don't even own a scale. I go strictly by the way I feel and the way my clothes feel." When she's out and about, people often say to her, "Gosh you're not nearly as fat in person." Her response: "Well, thank you, I guess."

"TV really packs it on you. They say you look 10 pounds heavier, but I think it's more like 30."

Overcoming obstacles

Deen's rags-to-riches story is the stuff of novels. Born in Albany, Ga., she married her high school boyfriend and had two sons. Her parents died when she was a young mother, and afterward, she struggled with agoraphobia and sometimes had panic attacks when she left the house. In 1987, the family moved to Savannah, and she continued to struggle emotionally.

"All I did for two months was lay in bed and cry. Every day was filled with hopelessness," she says.

Then one morning, the Serenity Prayer "jumped in my head, and I thought, 'I'm supposed to be asking God to give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.' "

In 1989, she had $200 to her name when she launched her own catering business, The Bag Lady, preparing gourmet lunches to sell to people at downtown businesses. Based on that success, she opened her own restaurant, The Lady, at a Best Western in 1991. The next year, she and her husband divorced. A few years later, she moved her restaurant to another location and dubbed it The Lady & Sons.

In 2002, she got her own show on Food Network called Paula's Home Cooking (now titled Paula's Best Dishes); in 2006, she was the host of Paula's Party. She has won two Emmy Awards, written 14 cookbooks and has her own bimonthly magazine, Cooking With Paula Deen. In 2004, she married Michael Groover, a harbor pilot on the Savannah River.

TV food isn't for every day

Deen says she's not going to change the focus of her cooking shows because of diabetes. "I suspect I'll stick to my roots but will say a little louder, 'Eat this in moderation.'"

"You don't want to make a steady diet of just lettuce. You don't want to make a steady diet of fried chicken."

She cooks the foods featured on her show only for the six weeks of the year when she is taping the show, but "I don't cook that way every day." She doesn't have fried chicken regularly, but "when you want fried chicken, nothing will take the place."

The same is true for some of her other favorite dishes. "I don't want to spend my life not having good food going into my pie hole. That hole was made for pies."

Her sons agree that her typical meals at home are different from the ones on the show. "When we go to her house, we eat a lot of seafood, chicken on the grill, big chopped salads," says Jamie, 44, who helps manage the family restaurant and business.

Bobby Deen, 41, star of Cooking Channel's Not My Mama's Meals, which offers healthier versions of his mom's classic recipes, says, "Although my mother does cook traditional for 30 minutes each day (on TV), she only eats that way in moderation and encourages her viewers to do the same."

A new kind of audience

Geralyn Spollett, president of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association, says Deen will give people with the disease hope and perhaps motivate them to take care of themselves. "By telling her story, Paula is showing that diabetes can affect people from all walks of life."

Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and nutrition blogger at yourlife.usatoday.com, says Deen makes "people feel good about eating high-calorie foods, but we're all responsible for the choices we make. There's no point in blaming Paula Deen or any other celebrity cook for our weight issues."

Says her son Jamie: "I hope people will recognize Mom as a fighter, a guiding force in their battle with whatever it might be.

"Mom has faced many challenges. She had agoraphobia, and it took a year for her to get in the car and drive around the block. Now she can stand up before a crowd and talk for an hour." He hopes his mother's story will inspire other people with diabetes to get take charge of their lives.

Paula Deen wants to encourage people who are at risk to be tested. And for people who already have diabetes, she wants them to know that "there are little things they can do every day" that will help them manage the disease.

"When it's said and done, the one thing I want to leave on this earth is hope. I have felt hopelessness, and it's a terrible feeling. Hopelessness will destroy you. I want to bring hope to other people."

MEMBER COMMENTS
Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I listened to Paula Deen this morning on the news and I have to say I really am not sure she understands about the nutrition. She states that she eats in moderation but still cooks the same. IE: fats butter frying etc. I wonder if she is having difficulty with accepting a truly healthy diet. It would be great and I bet she would make a lot of money if she produced a healthy style cook book to her recipes. It would be healthy for her as well. I bet it is truly hard for her to change her cooking techniques.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

We have a women who was virtually housebound into her 40s and she was catapulted into fame.  Why would we expect her to have any clue about nutrition.  She just made money cooking for people who would pay.  And she got diabetes because she was vulnerable to diabetes, not because she did this to herself.  Could she have eaten better and avoided the emergence of outright diabetes?  Perhaps.  But it quite easy to see how she would get where she is today through simply being naive.

 

And people who criticize her behavior since her diagnosis should get a dose of reality.  Expecting a celebrity to be a pillar of moral and ethical leadership when they are raking in the dollars is foolish.  She no doubt did not want to disrupt her empire and now that she is "out," she will have to remake her entire image and face the damages to her business. 

 

ps. I don't think there is any evidence that diabetes is directly affected by fat intake.  Perhaps carb intake, but fat intake?  I don't think so.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Wonder if she was on any statins.

 

As I posted a new link to Dr. Eades review of a new paper...women on statins have a large incidence of developing DM2 and they confer 0, zip, nada other health benefits.

 

Brian is correct she did not get this form eating fats...

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I'm probably one of the few people who's actually never watched the Food Channel, but I do know who Paula Deen is. It's interesting that she just now is talking abou diabetes since she was diagnosed 3 years ago.  A couple of my colleagues think she may have timed this announcement to coincide with her son's TV show on decreasing the calories in some of her recipes.

 

I also find it disturbing that she said she didn't change her eating habits except to stop drinking sweet tea. Even if she had said she eats the same foods, but smaller portions; or that she's increased her vegetables intake; I would have been happy. To say she's changed nothing else I think is potentially misleading.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Hi Folks:

There is some evidence in animals, see link to full article below:

"high levels of fat were found to interfere with two key transcription factors -- proteins that switch genes on and off. These transcription factors, FOXA2 and HNF1A, are normally required for the production of an enzyme called GnT-4a glycosyltransferase that modifies proteins with a particular glycan (polysaccharide or sugar) structure. Proper retention of glucose transporters in the cell membrane depends on this modification, but when FOXA2 and HNF1A aren't working properly, GnT-4a's function is greatly diminished. So when the researchers fed otherwise normal mice a high-fat diet, they found that the animals' beta cells could not sense and respond to blood glucose. Preservation of GnT-4a function was able to block the onset of diabetes, even in obese animals. Diminished glucose sensing by beta cells was shown to be an important determinant of disease onset and severity."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110814141432.htm

Nutrigenomics at it's best!

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I too have to admit that I don't watch the food channel and I didn't know who Paula Deen was until I saw her interviewed on The Today Show.  I found the interview disingenuous.  To me she presented herself as more interested in protecting her show and recipes and was willing to minimize the benefits of healthier cooking and eating.  I agree with moderation and that no foods are off limits, however, it would have been a much more truthful message to others with diabetes if she would have acknowledged the benefits of lifestyle change and promoting healthy eating and exercise.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Yes Carol I agee. I just was trying to say that I don't understand why novo nordisk is using paula as a spokesperson for diabetes when 1. she has no training and 2. she is not promoting dietary changes.

Also if a person eats high fat meals fried foods etc it does add to weight gain and we know that obesity is a growing factor in type 2 diabetes.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I definitely agree with Carol and Nancy. I am sure that Paula Deen sees a business/financial gain in admitting that she has Type 2 diabetes.

Not long ago, Paula Deen was on Dr Oz Show. He did his best to try to heighten her awareness that her cooking was detrimental to her health. She, however, preferred to disconnect her lifestyle from her health problems. She did not mention her diabetes, but she did say she takes a lot of pills every day. Dr Oz is very diplomatic and sincere, but was unable to change her ideas. The video from part of that interview can be seen at:

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/paula-deen-s-health-confession-pt-1 It is a must see! It says it all about her disconnect between the things she likes and their health effects.

On the other hand, if someone with such bad eating and lifestyle habits really does honestly make permanent changes for the good, she can possibly influence lifestyle changes in her many fans.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

This comment really caught my eye:  It says it all about her disconnect between the things she likes and their health effects.

I see this everyday when I talk with folks with diabetes. Most of the people know that their food and activity choices directly influence their blood glucose levels and health, but they don't take the next step to putting that knowledge into practice. This is where coaching techniques come into play. We can point out to folks the disconnect in their thinking vs their actions. We can ask them to describe what type of life they want in 5 or 10 years, and what role diabetes management plays in that vision. We can encourage them to brainstorm realistic changes they feel comfortable making. What we can't do is force them to actually put changes into practice.

Unfortunately, when the public sees a famous personality who is not making healthy changes, and who fosters this disconnected type of thinking, I think it causes more harm than good.  When we read about a famous person with diabetes who makes a point to eat well, get regular exercise, and pay attention to their blood glucose levels it gives us the feeling that if they can do it, so can we. When we see someone say she's not going to change the foods she loves, and she's famous and looks fairly healthy - why should we change?

I'm really disappointed in NovoNordisk for hiring Paula Deen as a 'role model'. Sure, she's famous - but a healthy role model? Nope.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I'm conflicted.  On the one hand I agree with Brian.  She is a celebrity, not a role model.  Why should we expect her to do and say anything different when she is raking in the dough on promoting a high fat lifestlyle?

On the other hand I am disappointed because she IS a role model.  For people who sit at home and watch TV she IS a role model.  She says she only films 30 days out of the year and doesn't eat like that all year round...but the people who watch her show don't know that!  

However, because she is not a health professional I really shouldn't be too disappointed in her.  She probably doesn't know any better and health promotion is not necessarily her forte.

Alas, a celebrities job is sun to sun but a health professionals job is never done.  :-)

 

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I've seen Paula Deen on shows for years.

She pensonifies a type of woman her age. And that is where the draw is.  You can sense she lives the life that makes her popular. I've mentioned many a time that her extra fridge is for sticks of butter and some of her medicine. I'd guess she and her husband take a bucket load of medicine each day so they can continue to live their lifestyle.  Not that I have a problem with people and butter.

I think she makes a good spokeperson because people like her will at least take their medicine, which is a good thing. If she tried to change her cooking, they would just tune her out. Why does she have to know about diabetes, nutrition because she is just going to be reading the script they give her to read.

I see this as a good thing. Not a great thing, but it does increase awareness.

 

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

While I agree Ray that taking medicine regularly is definitely an important part of managing diabetes, we all know very well that making lifestyle changes gives just as much - if not more - benefit than medication for folks newly diagnosed with T2. I think that Paula would be a much more effective role model if she takes her meds AND lets people know lifestyle changes are also important. Folks can see her make changes in her cooking, and they feel empowered to make similiar changes.

Re: Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!
Quote:

Hi Folks:

There is some evidence in animals, see link to full article below:

"high levels of fat were found to interfere with two key transcription factors -- proteins that switch genes on and off. These transcription factors, FOXA2 and HNF1A, are normally required for the production of an enzyme called GnT-4a glycosyltransferase that modifies proteins with a particular glycan (polysaccharide or sugar) structure. Proper retention of glucose transporters in the cell membrane depends on this modification, but when FOXA2 and HNF1A aren't working properly, GnT-4a's function is greatly diminished. So when the researchers fed otherwise normal mice a high-fat diet, they found that the animals' beta cells could not sense and respond to blood glucose. Preservation of GnT-4a function was able to block the onset of diabetes, even in obese animals. Diminished glucose sensing by beta cells was shown to be an important determinant of disease onset and severity."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110814141432.htm

Nutrigenomics at it's best!

I have sulked for years that I am not a mouse, for if I was, my diabetes would probably be cured.  Sadly, humans are not mice, mice have evolved to eat a diet that contains little fat and as such there appear to be a number of problems feeding them higher levels of fat.  The same thing has not been shown to happen in humans and this is the reason that low fat diets have not been shown to have any beneficial effect improving insulin resistance or blood sugar control.  The same observation has been made in rabbits, they don't normally eat much fat at all, and when fed high fat diets the get really sick a develop atherosclerosis. Again, the same thing has not been shown to happen in humans.

I think Paula Deen has attracted much unwarranted cricitism.  Her "transgressions" are perhaps no different than Mary Tyler Moore who hid her diagnosis for years and readily acknowledges that she did not test properly or take care of herself.  Yet MTM has now become an admired advocate.

Recieving a diagnosis of diabetes is a personal tragedy.  She didn't give it to herself and she didn't choose it.  Perhaps she even did the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to try an avert it.  We don't know cause the DPP doesn't mention sugar and wouldn't have even suggested that she give up "sweet tea."

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I can't help but wonder, Ray, if you work for Novo Nordisk since you are defending their use of Paula Deen so enthusiastically

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I am not a Novo Nordisk employee.  But I see Paula Deen whose very existence to survive was based on her cooking.  She is as Southern as the day is long.  She is a woman with diabetes.  She eats the way her grandmother did.   None of us is so pompous to say we know exactly what causes diabetes- if we did, we would be the rich, celebrated one.   Paula Deen is a loved TV celebrity, let's watch her evolve.  Any GLP-1 therapy will help with the satiety.  She is already down a size.  I expect her to make cooking changes as time goes on.  She may reach more people than any of us can.             The comment on MTM is noteworthy.  A diabetes "model" is not guaranteed with celebrity.  In fact most of them are gracious enough to share their struggles to a more perfect state of self care to help others.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

eloquently stated, Christine!

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Here is some interesting information in a Pharma blog about an interview with a NovoNordisk representative regarding their choice of Paula Deen. Paula Deen  is a larger than life personality...she surely knows how to entertain. Paula Deen's personality plus her sons' healthier cooking could do a lot for people with diabetes whether or not she changes her personal lifestyle. Here is some of the information from the blog:

Ambre Morley, Associate Director, Product Communications, Novo Nordisk, when asked in an interview: "Why did Novo Nordisk decide to work with Paula Deen as a spokesperson? Did she or her agents approach you?", Morley claimed that Novo Nordisk was looking for a celebrity chef they could hire to develop diabetes-friendly menus for people with type 2 diabetes. She also said she had no idea at the time that Paula Deen had diabetes.


Morley further stated:"We wanted to take really good recipes and change them -- have them certified by dietitians. That's how it started. We then started to look for chefs that could help us promote this campaign. Honestly, Paula Deen popped into my head," . "How cool would it be to challenge Paula to change some of her famously tasty, and butter-rich, and really unhealthy recipes?"    

 
Quote from interviewer:"Probably not much of a challenge if you throw her sons -- Bobby and Jamie -- into the deal. The sons have broken with their mama and have their own Food Channel show titled "Not My Mamma's Meals." Paula tries to promote her sons every chance she gets.................. Her sons are part of the deal with Novo Nordisk."

You can read the whole Pharma blog and see a video of the interview on this website:
http://pharmamkting.blogspot.com/2012/01/novo-nordisk-defends-choice-of-paula.html
Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I'm sorry, but to compare Mary Tyler Moore, who has T1DM, to Paula Deen, who has T2DM, is simply not fair. 

I know this list wants to be PC, but let's face it--people overeat, and overeat badly, and don't exercise in all aspects of T2DM, while T1DM is much more outside the capacity of people to prevent.  No one ever has to get T2DM, EVER.  T1DM is a perfect storm of genetics, viruses, lack of nutrient deficiencies, and perhaps Karma; people are truly victims of T1, but I do not believe people are really victims of T2.  Yes, they may have a genetic risk of developing it, but that doesn't mean one ever has to.  Keep lean, eat small portions, avoid sugar, excess saturated fat, eat a lot of produce, exercise, get good sleep, and you simply won't develop T2DM, genetics or otherwise. Be overweight, eat poorly, don't exercise, don't sleep well, and you will.   (I will admit that being exposed to environmental toxins, several associated with T2DM onset, is perhaps the major risk factor people may not be able to control.)

We have to make people face their own self-responsibility, and the consequences of their lack thereof, in T2DM.  Paula Deen ate and did not exercise herself into the disease.  If she finally wakes up and starts making changes, that's good, but it's too bad she didn't do that before she got the condition and now has to enter into and expand the medical expenses of our country.

I know this sounds harsh, but we cannot dance around etiology solely to appease T2DM who do not want to face their own self-responsibility in being diagnosied with what is probably the most preventable diseasea in a global epidemic.

Re: Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

 

I know this sounds harsh, but we cannot dance around etiology solely to appease T2DM who do not want to face their own self-responsibility in being diagnosied with what is probably the most preventable diseasea in a global epidemic.


Referring to Type 2 Diabetes as "the most preventable disease in a globaql epidemic" is a very quotable and true statement, Mona.

Re: Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!
Quote:

I can't help but wonder, Ray, if you work for Novo Nordisk since you are defending their use of Paula Deen so enthusiastically


So by that logic, which competitor do you work for?

 

Sitting on the sidelines shouting directions may get you heard but not able to rally the troops.  Paula is one of the troups. She has an audience and many listen and follow her.  People will read/ listen to what she says. Not so much you or I.

How often do you hear a celebrity who plays a doctor, get asked by fans for their medical opinion? People believe they are who they portray.  iF you have a better celebrity who is available, let the people at Novo know.

 

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

This blog is surely attracting atttention. My hope is that the Paula Deen and sons endorsement will be helpful to many people with diabetes. You make some excellent points, Ray.

To answer your question, I do not work for any pharmaceutical company. I am just a Certified Diabetes Educator doing my best to help people with diabetes live well with diabetes, have the best quality of life. and achieve glycemic control. I am always looking for things that could inspire individuals make the lifestyle changes needed.

Re: Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!
Quote:

I'm sorry, but to compare Mary Tyler Moore, who has T1DM, to Paula Deen, who has T2DM, is simply not fair. 

I know this list wants to be PC, but let's face it--people overeat, and overeat badly, and don't exercise in all aspects of T2DM, while T1DM is much more outside the capacity of people to prevent.  No one ever has to get T2DM, EVER.  T1DM is a perfect storm of genetics, viruses, lack of nutrient deficiencies, and perhaps Karma; people are truly victims of T1, but I do not believe people are really victims of T2.  Yes, they may have a genetic risk of developing it, but that doesn't mean one ever has to.  Keep lean, eat small portions, avoid sugar, excess saturated fat, eat a lot of produce, exercise, get good sleep, and you simply won't develop T2DM, genetics or otherwise. Be overweight, eat poorly, don't exercise, don't sleep well, and you will.   (I will admit that being exposed to environmental toxins, several associated with T2DM onset, is perhaps the major risk factor people may not be able to control.)

We have to make people face their own self-responsibility, and the consequences of their lack thereof, in T2DM.  Paula Deen ate and did not exercise herself into the disease.  If she finally wakes up and starts making changes, that's good, but it's too bad she didn't do that before she got the condition and now has to enter into and expand the medical expenses of our country.

I know this sounds harsh, but we cannot dance around etiology solely to appease T2DM who do not want to face their own self-responsibility in being diagnosied with what is probably the most preventable diseasea in a global epidemic.

Generally, I have very much agreed with your posts.  But I take offense at this.  I cannot point to anything in my life which "gave" me this condition.  I am no different in weight than I ever was.  I did not overeat, I didn't drink too many sodas and I surely don't believe I gave myself T2 from eating fat.  I likely got my condition because of bad genetics and my environment.  I've not seen much of any intervention studies prove anything about preventing diabetes. All I've seen is a lot of work suggesting that you can control the condition.  Obesity can surely accelerate the progress of diabetes, but I am not clear at all about it's causal role in the onset.

I think T2 is significantly determined by genetics.  Clearly the old view that genetics absolutely determines outcomes is known to be not be true.  It takes a complex interplay of genetics x environment to make diabetes (T1 or T2) happen.

And to suggest that T2 is purely a function of environment and bad choices is not only wrong, but insulting.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Seems like the old Nature vs Nurture controversy raises its head again.

 

Under some/many (?) circumstances environment seems to be a key trigger.

 

At least some people in the government believe this to be true.

 

Case in point … IF you were a Vietnam vet and had “feet on the ground” on the mainland for only 24 hours… or more and developed DM2 at ANY time thereafter, you are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange and entitled to disability benefits.

 

NO question, apparently.  Document you were there on the ground and you have diabetes and you are classed as having a medical disability.

 

This I learned from another Vet on a diabetes support site.

I submitted documentation that I was there 14 months (1968-1969) with the Marines as a medical corpsman.  Now I have 50% disability in the form of a monthly check from the Veterans Administration.  This also includes the VA covering ALL of my diabetes related lab tests, insulin (Novolog and Levemir), syringes, meters (Accu-Chek Aviva), test strips (to allow testing 6-8 times per day if necessary) and medical checkups. 

 

I do pay out of pocket to maintain my Endo since he is not only supportive of the low carb diet, but he publishes and is active in research and easy to discuss issues with him.  An added benefit living outside of the U.S. he uses email to communicate.  Also the VA lab does not report HBA1c values I assume that if a person is at 6% or below they are assumed to be OK?

 

 MY last the lab report from the VA only indicated < 6%.  My Endo had the labs run and I was 4.6% a bit better to know if my personal management was doing well or not.

 

So in my case… bad genetics or exposure to environmental toxins may have triggered the late onset.

I never was obese and maintain an active life that necessitates physically running around in the field and often carrying things like 2 35 lb harp traps for bat work for 3-5 miles through jungle.

So it seems it was not diet related in my case.

 

My $.02 worth, however at the BZE$ to US $ exchange rate this is only worth US $.01...

 

Bruce

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Thanks, Bruce. I didn't realize exposure to agent orange could cause diabetes. I am  sorry to hear that you have experienced such an exposure.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I will make up the other cent for the US exchange rate just for your comments. 

 My classmate was a VietNam vet on 3 tours... none of the emotional support and died before Agent Orange was recognized by VA, so care for diabetes supported.  It was a hard time for him.  He left behind beautiful pencil sketches that I have at home and office.  I always felt he gave much more than he ever received.  In memory of Mike I remind all VietNam Vets to check with their VSO on benefits from Agent Orange caused diabetes.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Brian,

I agree with you! I actually see a fair number of people who are not in any way overweight who are diagnosed with type 2. I sometimes wonder if they are misdiagnosed and are really LADA. I can remember  normal weight man in particular who was trying to get a pump but his medicare was denying him due to his c-peptide of 7. I really think people should be careful playing the blame game. And, we wonder why our patients don't want to talk to us!

 

Karen Rosato RD, LD, CDE

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Come on folks, let's be realistic.  For everyone one person who was oddly lean and was diagnosed with T2DM--and wasn't misdiagnosed as they really had LADA (which is by far no doubt the majority of them)--there are 10,000 overweight/obese, over-eaters, who do not exercise, who are also diagnosed with T2DM.  I have a very good rapore with my patients, but the fact is, the vast majority had a big impact on themselves developing this disease. That can be faced with motivational interviewing and treatment, to educate and encourage improvement.  It can also turn "victims" of the disease into self-aware empowered controllers of it.  It's not a negative association to teach patients portion control, stress relaxation and help motivate them towards exercising and sleeping better, eating healthier (and for me, taking nutritional and herbal supplements)--it can be done in a positive way, which excites and doesn't criticize.  But, it has to be addressed. 

I mentioned environmental exposure to certain chemicals and heavy metals are associated with the development of diabetes, and we cannot always control that, true. Unfortunately, some Viet Nam vets are one extreme of that.

 

 

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

And I think we can all agree Paula was exposed to orange zest.

For all I think she is not a bad choice, I personally don't watch her. Don't like her food and her personality is annoying. But I must know a couple dozen people with type 2 who are just like her

 

There are obese people who are very active and rail thin people who never do anything.  There is no one type 2

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

As a patient, I can only imagine the frustration it must be to watch patients come through your door who are doing a terrible job of taking care of themselves.  And an endo must get the very cream of the crop, only the patients who really get bad off come through your door and you must get some that you just have to believe are leading themselves to an early grave.

But it is important to separate the observation that poor self care leads to accelerated decline and to suggest that somehow poor life decisions led to diabetes of any kind.  It is not about LADA it is about causes and blame and the sad stereotypes being emphasized by the medical community in a way that I consider quite inappropriate.

And even if we could point to a poor decision that "caused" diabetes, I think it is unethical to not give a patient a chance to turn their life around and make more appropriate decisions.  People are quick to criticize Paula Deen, but by all indications she is make reasonable progress towards leading herself to good decisions about her nutrition and health.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Hi Bruce: I recently saw a Vietnam vet, who was new to the DX of type 2 diabetes.  I discussed with him the fact this was determined by the VA admininstration to be a recognized disability, but he adamantly refused to consider this as an option to access what ever services the VA offers.  He was quite and didn't want to be seen as weak.  He showed me that what ever challenge he had: loss of wife, loss of young son, he would over come on his own.  He also, did not want to speak of anything having to do with Vietnam.  He began to choke up and started to cry, kept shaking his head and saying I'll never speak of what I saw there.

I don't have much experience with PTSD, but I make an assumption that this is a possibility, although not noted in his medical record.

Any insight greatly appreciated,

Joan

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

There are as many theories for how type 2 diabetes is a reality in over 23 million+lives as there are drugs to treat it.

The best read in my 25 years in diabetes care is the Endo Society's March 2011 monograph edited by Alvin C. Powers, MD.  Enjoy the read. 

http://www.endojournals.org/site/translational/

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I believe that for the "big picture"  Mona is certainly correct,

 

Obesity issues do contribute to DM2 at least in the Central American country of Belize where I am living and working.

 

Given the basic diet here is mainly carbs and follows the "conventional wisdom" of the "nutrition" experts some 20-30 years behind the times as well as the Latin American propensity to drink soft drinks by the gallon on a daily basis it is not surprising.  While an extreme case, starting children on the sugar drink treadmill is the norm. One young woman we knew years ago was commenting that her 2 year old daughter was always cranky and rarely slept through the night.

The only way she would even go to bed was if given a Coke.  This little kid was drinking 6-8 per day.  What a sugar and caffeine load for such a small physiological system to deal with!

 

Poor diet choices play a big role here in the development of diabetes. Most I would venture to say are not by willful choice, but lead by ignorant and less educated people in the media who exert a major influence, and nutrition related advisors.  It would be hard to believe that nearly 1/4 of a national population had bad genetics as the cause diabetes in such high numbers over the past 20 years.

 

I will add my final comment after Joan's Re: the Vietnam vet front.  I always feel like an imposter going to the VA clinic for tests and to pick up my annual supply of meds before returning to Belize.  I am healthy, reasonably fit (for an old fart) and when I look around at those who are struggling to even walk in and out of the clinic it is heart rending.  The huge posters and recorded messages with suicide prevention messages and Hot Line phone numbers always gives me pause.

I have rarely discussed much with myself or others about being in the "Nam and understand the reluctance of many vets to even talk about it.  I was one of 44 of a select medical team sent to serve with remotely placed and very small Marine contingents.  Of the 44 of us who went through an advanced Marine training regimen, jungle survival, demolitions etc. after all the medical training, we thought we were prepared.  5 of us returned, 3 of us with all limbs intact and able to walk and continue a "normal" life.

Re: Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!
Quote:

There are as many theories for how type 2 diabetes is a reality in over 23 million+lives as there are drugs to treat it.

The best read in my 25 years in diabetes care is the Endo Society's March 2011 monograph edited by Alvin C. Powers, MD.  Enjoy the read. 

http://www.endojournals.org/site/translational/

Thanks Joan, That is a really good monograph.   I think that we often oversimplify T2 diabetes, it is really, really complex.  T2 diabetes has a wide range of things which may be associated with onset, both genetic and environmental.  And while we often focus specifically on insulin resistance, this monograph also highlights than there are a range of other important defects in beta cell function and signaling which go wrong in our bodies.  It is clearly not a simple thing.

 

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

just to keep everyone updated....This just came in on the welcome screen of AOL.....

"Chef and television personality Paula Deen was blindsided by the public backlash following the announcement that she has type 2 diabetes."

"The amount of chefs that would have come forward with public statements of support and sympathy would have been overwhelming if it wasn't for the fact that Paula hid her diagnosis for three years," a top food publicist tells me. "To only tell the truth when you have locked in a paid spokesperson deal for a non-insulin medication is just too toxic for anyone to want to be involved with."

"The news not only surprised Deen's fans and colleagues, it also surprised her own network, which had no knowledge of her disease prior to the public announcement."

 

You can read the whole thing by going to this website:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/paula-deen-diabetes-announcement-celebrity-chefs-support_n_1224454.html?icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl4%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D129697

 

Hopefully, when all this dies down, good things will come out of this decision by NovoNordisk.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I just want to say. No one is placing"Blame" on Paula Dean. I believe we as educators are all concerned for her and do not want to see others who have diabetes misled.

We do know that many different  factors do contribute to Diabetes. Thin people with a high metabolism may not gain weight but if they are over eating-taking in too many carbs too much saturated fat etc they can have dyslipedemia and can also end up with diabetes.While obesity does play a significant part other factors do too. The people with LADA are usually not overweight. Auto immune factors come into play as well as heredity.

With Paula Obesity could very well be only one factor.

The point I am trying to make is she seems to be in denial which is common.This is probably why she chose to say nothing until now.

 I believe when she comes to grips with the fact that she does need to recognize that diet plays a key role in control she can be an immense help to our Public education re: diabetes prevention. I think it is great if Novo Dordisk is helping her with diabetes education if not it would be beneficial if she would seek assistance from a CDE in her area.

Re: Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!
Quote:

"Chef and television personality Paula Deen was blindsided by the public backlash following the announcement that she has type 2 diabetes."

"The amount of chefs that would have come forward with public statements of support and sympathy would have been overwhelming if it wasn't for the fact that Paula hid her diagnosis for three years," a top food publicist tells me. "To only tell the truth when you have locked in a paid spokesperson deal for a non-insulin medication is just too toxic for anyone to want to be involved with."

"The news not only surprised Deen's fans and colleagues, it also surprised her own network, which had no knowledge of her disease prior to the public announcement."

 


I am surprised that everyone is giving her such a hard time for 'hiding it' for 3 years.  Is it anyone's business what she 'hides'?  She's a celebrity chef.  What do we expect from this woman?  I don't see the big deal.  SHE'S HUMAN PEOPLE!  She has diabetes and loves food...sound familiar?  About 1/3 of the population can probably relate.  In her case she also happens to have a career built around food and is in the public eye quite often.  The perfect storm I guess.  If nothing else she sure is getting a lot of publicity!  

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

I am sure that all of us have had people with diabetes...... who are in denial ......sent to us for Diabetes Self Management Education. I think that Paula Deen's response could serve to be a very clear example of the extent to which intelligent people can respond in denial when faced with the diagnosis of diabetes. How much of the denial is due to the media...even some of the diabetes organizations...who stress the dire consequences of "Diabetes" instead of presenting the diabetes-related dire consequences as due to persistent hyperglycemia, not the diagnosis. I think it would also help if it wasn't referred to as a "disease." The term "disease" alone can cause denial to set in. It takes a lot of time and patience to help people in denial get past it

It may be a good idea to reflect on the stages that human beings go through to reach acceptance, as per the Kubler Ross model:

1. Denial - The "No, not me" stage.

2. Anger/Resentment - The "Why me?" stage.

Anger at the doctor and the hospital and the Diabetes Educator for their audacity in labeling you with a "disease". Perhaps anger with yourself for things you have done that you think may have "brought on" diabetes. Anger that it is you who has been afflicted, when it could so easily have been someone else.

3. Bargaining - The "If I do this, you’ll do that" stage

You bargain that you will give up bad habits in exchange for wellness.

4. Depression-

You realize the situation is not going to change.. It finally begins to set in, and you ponder what this "disorder" is going to do to your life as you had known and accepted it. This is a stage of preparedness for acceptance, and finally one day it is reached..

5. Acceptance - This is where Diabetes Self Management Education can really be life changing!

It is clear from reviewing those stages, that Paula Deen will need a lot of support as she goes through all the stages.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

And Patrica another...

Not as Seen on TV but the WWW...

Stage 6

"EvangelizingIf it works for me it will work for you.  Just do it!

 

Me culpa!

Although depression was the second stage once it was confirmed I had a "degenerative disease" as the primary heath care physician I used at the time put it.

Then came empowerment when I learned normalizing BG to normal healthy levels and tight control with low carb diet would not lead to degenerative issues.

LOL

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Thanks for sharing that, Bruce. You have a gained great deal of widsom from dealing with all those difficulties. There is a "light at the end of the tunnel" as the saying goes.....if people can hang on long enough to see it!

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Karen Rosato suggested an excellent blog in another thread:  sixuntilme.com  She has a really interesting post about her reaction to the news Paula Deen has diabetes that adds to our discussion.

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

 All of your comments are so insightful.


BUT, is ANYONE out there concerned about this, because I am:

 

Will Paula Deen “overstep” her role and start to more and more be considered (with the help of Novo Nordisk and her TV show) the “expert” in the care and treatment of type 2 diabetes?


 

T2DM medical and nutritional care are both evidence-based practices.  Medical professionals spend years honing their diabetes care skills via education, years and years of personal experience with their own diabetes and/or direct patient care.  This is legitimate, professional medical care.


 

But simultaneously we’ve all seen celebrities using their “entertainment fame” to become the new “experts” in a disease or tragedy that befalls them. 


Think of celebrity Jenny McCarthy and long-time girlfriend of Jim Carey.  Jenny used her fame and fortune to go on many TV shows with her so-called “research” in how childhood vacines CAUSE autism…yes, her own tragedy is that her son has autism.  Countless mothers withheld these vaccine injections, based on “Jenny science”.

  

 

Paula’s role is to offer support and demonstrate healthy habits in her new role, albeit not by her choice but by her fate. 


 

I truly hope Paula doesn’t slide into this “celebrity expertise” role and tout false or erroneous “advice” that PWD will now see as quality medical/nutritional advice. 


“Paula science”, if false, could cause a lot of harm, just as “Jenny science” did.


 

The entire world is watching, Paula, and this links you to 26 million people with diabetes who have struggled with the reality of this health issue.  Please think of THEM before speaking, and think of your message before you speak!


 

Mary Ann Hodorowicz, RD, CDE, MBA, Certified Endocrinology Coder
PresentDiabetes Author of MNT and DSMT Reimbursement Audio Lectures

 

Eat Well, Laugh Often, Love Much


 



Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Doctor Paula is in the house.

That is funny to me.  Here you have a minimally educated older woman who is getting money to be a spokeperson for a product. She is in it for the money,  She has had diabetes for 3 years and has done nothing for it.

Having something yourself and your kid having something is 2 very seperate things.  If you are trying to blame someone for your kids condition, especially if you have a history of doing bad things to yourself, you are highly motivated.  And did Jenny cause harm to others? Probably not. We all decide whether we are better off taking a medicine. We have to. While it may be great for 99%, if you are that 1% it sucks.

There is no one right treatment for diabetes. Just like there is no 1 diet or even 1 religion. While people always want others to follow the one you believe in,  as it is always the right one, it just isn't  the right one for everyone.

I say the more the merrier. 

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!
Here is a picture of her glazed donut sandwich that appeared in a new article entitled
"Southern Chef Paula Deen Reportedly Has High Blood Pressure in Addition to Diabetes
 
I think this may be all in the new trend to use people who are not health professionals to teach health education. I guess NovoNordisk hopes she will change her ways. Maybe a drug company who makes a statin and antihypertensive med will endorse her next. Hopefully, she will change her ways before she has a major heart attack!
 
Interesting article...you can read the whole thing at this website
Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

All -

Wow! Lots of comments on Paula Deen's diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. I've just posted a blog on the topic on my website: Dean Ms. Deen (& Millions New to Type 2) - A Dose of Support, Tablespoons of Wisdom http://www.hopewarshaw.com/blog/dear-ms-deen-millions-new-type-2-%E2%80%93-dose-support-tablespoons-wisdom

Open to comments,

Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE
Nutrition Section Editor, PRESENTdiabetes.com

 

Re: Paula Deen has Diabetes!!

Thanks for sharing your excellent blog post on this topic Hope. Wouldn't it be great if Paula read it - and followed your suggestions?