Phife Dawg of Tribe Called Quest Dies of Diabetes
By Dr. Bruce Theall
April 11, 2016
Category: Diabetes
Tags: neuropathy   poor circulation   diabtes  

In recent news, Phife Dawg of the hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest passed away at the young age of 45 due to complications from the long standing disease of diabetes.  Malik Izaak Taylor was born November 20, 1970, and left his mark on this earth as one of the most influential hip hop artists and was the founding member of the group A Tribe Called Quest.  A group that he and his fellow high school classmates Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, created in their youth.

Phife Dawg was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes mellitus in May 1990, and has been battling with the disease ever since.  Diabetes is a complex, chronic disorder of carbohydrates, fat, and protein metabolism that results in a combination of glucose (sugar) over production and a high accumulation in the body.  Diabetes is a multiple systemic disease that can affect your nerves (neuropathy), eyes (retinopathy), and kidneys (nephropathy).  Your sugar can be best monitored with daily sugar checks and the hemoglobin A1c.  Hemoglobin A1c is a long term sugar test that will tell you how much sugar is circulating in your body over a period 3 months.  The higher the daily sugar, or the higher the A1c, the more sugar that is unable to leave your body.  Sugar leaves your body through sweat and urination and is also burned up with daily activity, however, kidney failure is a major side effect that can prove to be fatal from diabetes if not monitored and treated.  It should also be said that people with diabetes mellitus are 2 to 4 times more likely to have heart and vascular disease and almost 3 times as likely to have a stroke. 

Phife Dawg’s health was diminishing due to the long term elevated sugar levels from his uncontrolled diabetes.  He was placed on a kidney transplant list for the past couple years which was unsuccessful.  He then was placed on another transplant list and received a kidney from his wife in 2008.  The transplant was unsuccessful.  He was then again placed on another transplant list in 2012. Phife Dawg died on March 22, 2016 due to complications relating to the diabetes. 

A podiatrist is the only person that is trained in a specialized field in medicine for anything concerning the lower extremity, foot and ankle, that’s why it is vital for you to visit your podiatrist if there are any problems concerning your feet.  All patients being treated for diabetes should follow up with their primary doctor as well for other treatment options.  If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 – 673 – 3668.