Monday, October 29, 2007

Patti LaBelle is Diabetic, Senior and Black

African American Grammy award winner Patti LaBelle has spent 40 years on state in the entertainment business, but offstage she has learned to curb her intake of sweets to keep her diabetes in check.

"You know, having diabetes is like having to treat your body like a temple, not an amusement park," says LaBelle, quoting from one of her books, Patti's Pearls. "I work hard to treat my body right. I try to eat the right thing and do the right thing on the road which is sometimes impossible."

Patti was diagnosed with diabetes 13 years ago, and has since become a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association.

"I found out I had diabetes when I had a fainting attack on stage," says LaBelle. "They rushed me to the hospital. I thought I was just overworked. The doctor said, 'You know you're a diabetic.' But I didn't have a clue. I was lucky to find out early."

"We have to take advantage of doctors and get ourselves checked, especially Black Americans" says LaBelle, "because we tend to get diabetes more."

"Diabetes messes with your eyesight," says LaBelle. "My eyesight only started diminishing after I was diagnosed with diabetes. It is hard for me to read without reading glasses. And I get my eyes checked every year."

"I go to the bathroom all night when my sugar is high," says LaBelle. "It does so many things that I can't even tell you about because I'm not a doctor. I can tell you how it works on me and I'm not going to play with it. I am going to be a serious patient and I'm not going to mess around with it."

LaBelle, who has had to work on her health and change her eating habits, and has written a cookbook with diabetic recipes.

LaBelle says, "Diabetes is no joke. It is a silent killer. You don't feel sick. You don't feel anything. You think you're all that and think you can eat a Snickers bar - but it will kick you in the butt the next morning. You really have to check yourself before you wreck yourself."

I have not purchased Patti's book yet, if anyone has, please give your feedback - the reviews look good.
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