Famous Diabetes Faces

November is more than Thanksgiving and Butterball turkey -- it's also Diabetes Awareness Month!

Did you know that in the United States alone, this disease impacts about 8 percent of the population, or 25 million people?  Anyone can get the disease. Some famous faces who suffer from the condition are:

Paula Deen: The 64-year-old celebrity chef known for her high-fat Southern food made news last year when she announced she had type 2 diabetes.  While poor diet doesn't always lead to diabetes, being overweight is a strong contributor.

Randy Jackson: The "American Idol" judge weighed over 300 pounds when he was diagnosed, and his blood sugar level was a staggering 500 mg/dL.  The normal range is between 80 and 110.  His father also suffered from the disease – family history is another risk factor for developing this.

Halle Barry: The actress has been managing her diabetes since she was 22.  With a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle change, she no longer requires insulin. 

Diabetes can affect the cardiovascular and neurological systems.  That means diabetics can be more prone to heart attacks, stroke, poor circulation in the legs and feet and kidney failure. In the feet, diabetics can suffer from skin changes, open sores, infection, nail problems, numbness or even amputations. 

The American Diabetes Association recommends an annual foot exam by your podiatrist (Dr. Diana Emini and myself can provide these exams at our Lemont office.)  Other services that are covered by insurance include circulation tests, diabetic shoes and shoe inserts, nail care and wound care. By seeking care from a podiatrist early on, the chances of keeping the feet healthy and free of amputations are significantly higher!

Many elderly tend to keep their feet hidden in shoes all day long, and what no one may realize is there could be a problem lurking in the feet.  The only way to find out is to get checked out.  If you or a loved one has diabetes, DM Foot & Ankle Associates is the place for you.

By Michelle Kim