Divas & Diabetes: Della Reese

Wellness with a Wow

Divas & Diabetes: Della Reese

In May, we’re shining the spotlight on singer, actress Della Reese who is living with type 2 diabetes.  Della is best known for her gospel talents and long career in television, including her role on the show ‘Touched by an Angel.’

On Diabetes Late Nite scheduled for Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 6 – 7 PM, EST we will discuss ways to help you overcome the shock of being diagnosed with diabetes, especially if it occurs after a traumatic health crisis.

“Every 25 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes,” said Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona, the U.S. Surgeon General. “It’s the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, costing thousands of lives and billions of dollars every year.”

Della Reese was officially diagnosed with diabetes after collapsing on the set of ‘Touched By An Angel.’

“I was feeling great. so I don’t even know how long I had had type 2 diabetes. I have no family history of diabetes whatsoever,” says Della Reese.

The diagnosis of a major disease truly shakes a person to their very core. It can changed your picture-perfect life completely.

Our lives certainly doesn’t stop once we’re diagnosed with a diabetes. There are many ways to get through the initial shock including:

Surrounding yourself with people you love: You need to connect with people who can be your rock/anchor, encouragement, or support, and most importantly, make you feel loved.

Don’t make rash decisions:  Relax. Breathe. Take a time out. Do some research and get a second opinion (if necessary). These make all the difference in getting the best doctor and treatment.

Focus on your health: Stick to your self-care routine and your doctor’s appointments. If you need to let go of unnecessary things at the moment, do so.

Don’t let your emotions get the best of you: Trust that the intensity of your anger, sadness and/or frustration will subside with time.

Make some adjustments to your lifestyle: Taking good care of yourself is a start. Remember to reward yourself for getting enough rest, exercise, and choosing healthier options like brown rice, whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Join a diabetes support group: You will discover new ways of coping through the advice of others living with diabetes. Be sure that everything is kept confidential within the group.

According to a Health Guide online resource, bottling up your emotions increases your stress even more, and could lead to many more health problems.

In 2002, Reese announced on Larry King Live that she had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but didn’t come as a surprise considering what she ate and what her diet consisted of, as well as her weight. She loved cake, especially chocolate. She became a spokeswoman for the American Diabetes Association, traveling around the United States to raise awareness about this disorder.

Della felt she could to control her disease when she did the best, “With diet, exercise and medication, I took control of my diabetes,” she stated. “I lost 20 pounds and lowered my blood sugar from between 275 and 300 to between 67 and 110.”

More recently, Della admitted to suffering from diabetes, “My life is at stake,” she said. “I don’t have type 2 diabetes — type 2 diabetes has me.”  She contributed her declining diabetes health to years of eating her old, nightly snacks of fried chicken, potato chips, ice cream, candy bars and cola, who was very frustrated because she didn’t do anything to prevent herself.

How different is Della Reese’s diabetes health story from others living with type 2 diabetes?

Despite the national epidemic of type 2 diabetes, two out of three Americans with the disease don’t meet the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists’ target for blood sugar goals.

“People with diabetes face many daunting obstacles, but in my over 20 years of working as a certified diabetes educators, I think the biggest struggle is figuring out how to fit diabetes management into your life, so that diabetes doesn’t take over your life. Learning how to combine regular blood glucose testing, exercise, healthy eating, medications, regular eye exams, and daily foot care can seem overwhelming and seemingly impossible, says Lynn Grieger from Sharecare.  “Taking a proactive approach, where diabetes self-care becomes a part of your life without taking over your life, is key for both a happy and fulfilling life, as well as a healthy life.”

According to the results of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists’ survey, 98 percent of people with type 2 diabetes believe blood sugar control is important. However, 61 percent weren’t aware of the A1C test. Even after they were told what it is, 51 percent didn’t know their last A1C result.

How well do you manage your diabetes?

According to the world health organization, diabetes affects 347 million people worldwide. However, the majority of people with diabetes are originally diagnosed with pre-diabetes, which presents the opportunity to alter unhealthy dietary habits and prevent full diabetes. Additionally, those with diabetes can prevent negative complications by heeding the advice of their healthcare professional, engaging in regular physical activity, and accurately managing glucose levels. In other words, diabetes health-related complications are largely preventable.

There is a distinction between living with diabetes and dying from it. The difference is YOU! Take action and take action early.

“The biggest struggle for people with diabetes is how to balance management of diabetes in one’s lifestyle. It is essential to seek emotional and medical support from family, friends and your health care team to feel your best. Be honest and positive, control your diabetes and do not let it control you,” says Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD.

TUNE IN: Diabetes Late Nite inspired by Della Reese.  Guests include Diabetes Diabetes Alert Dog Trainer and Author from Chilbrook Kennels, Debby Kay, Central Farm Markets Co-Founder, Debra Moser, Kathy Gold RN, MSN, CDE, FAADE, Master Hairstylist Karline Ricketts, the Charlie’s Angels of Outreach, Poet Lorraine Brooks and Mama Rose Marie.

Throughout the podcast we will be featuring selected songs from Della Reese’s albums including ‘Swing Slow & Cha Cha Cha’ courtesy of SONY Music.

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