Actress Lea DeLaria confused the menopause symptoms for this disease

While diabetes occurs in her family, Lea DeLaria was “completely surprised” by her diagnosis. (Photo by Leon Bennett / WireImage)

Comedian and actress Lea DeLaria was in her mid-50s when she was diagnosed with diabetes, but she wrote down her symptoms for years.

“I had all the symptoms of diabetes – frequent urination in the middle of the night, feeling like I have no energy – but those are also symptoms of menopause,” she told Yahoo Life. “I just thought I was going through menopause, but it was almost a decade.”

DeLaria only went to the doctor after her menopause symptoms got too big. However, after a series of tests, including a blood test, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. “I had it bad,” says DeLaria. At that point, her blood sugar was 400 mg / dl – the American Diabetes Association (ADA) used 200 mg / dl as the basis for diagnosing diabetes.

While diabetes occurs in her family, DeLaria was “totally surprised” by her diagnosis. “When my brother was diagnosed with diabetes, I made fun of him and said, ‘Ha ha. You have to be careful what you eat and I can eat what I want! “Says DeLaria. “Then I had to call him and say,” Well, I understood it too. “

DeLaria says that she and her brother got into “strange competition” to find out who can better treat their diabetes. “Sibling rivalry really helped me take care of my diabetes.”

“I’ve completely changed the way I eat.”

DeLaria acted quickly after her diagnosis. “I’ve completely changed the way I eat.” Before discovering that she was diabetic, DeLaria admitted that she “ate everything I wanted”, including a lot of pasta. Now she is “very strict” about what she consumes. DeLaria’s diet is now heavily focused on protein and green vegetables. “You won’t see how I eat a lot of toast, and potatoes are special foods,” she adds. DeLaria eats cakes and Thanksgiving cakes on her birthday, but avoids desserts otherwise.

These dietary changes, as well as regular training and medication, meant that DeLaria quickly got her diabetes under control. She also quickly lost weight. “I didn’t try to lose weight and I didn’t notice the changes until my clothes became baggy,” she explains. It was only when she visited her endocrinologist that she found that she had lost 25 pounds. “I thought,” Wow, that’s weird, “she says. Three months later, she lost a total of 60 pounds.

While DeLaria’s diet is now more restrictive than before, she likes to joke about it. “I have a great sense of humor about the whole thing,” she says. “When I ask the waiter if I want a dessert, I ask myself:” How dare you? I have diabetes and I will lose an eye if I just look at it! “I find it infinitely entertaining.”

Make some changes at work

DeLaria says that her diagnosis has also penetrated her work. When she gets up, she has a driver who asks for certain food and drinks in her locker room. “My equipment driver has completely changed from what it was before, which was basically sandwiches,” she says. Now your rider includes foods like salad and salmon.

She has also found that her diabetes occurs when she makes television shows. DeLaria has just finished filming Hulu reprisal and had to talk to the employees of the handicraft service about the food on the set. “Even the nuts had fruit,” she says. “I went to them and said,” I’m diabetic and I can’t eat anything here. “(She says the staff was” really cool “when it came to providing the right food for them.)

And when DeLaria had to film a scene for Orange is the new blackWherever she had to run into a lake, she had to ask her doctor if it was okay for her to do so. (People with diabetes are more prone to serious foot infections than the general public.) “Fortunately, I have to walk in with my boots on,” she says.

“I feel a thousand times better than before.”

DeLaria changed her lifestyle so quickly that her thinking became foggy. “Basically, my brain had to be weaned off all the sugar,” she says. “As soon as we had fixed everything, I could differentiate whether it was menopause, this is diabetes.”

Now she says, “I feel a thousand times better than before.”

DeLaria encourages other people to watch out for symptoms of diabetes. “Diabetes cannot be ignored – it will not go away,” she says. “I ignored it and almost killed myself.”

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