Tom Hanks reveals type 2 diabetes diagnosis

Wed, 09 Oct 2013
Hollywood start Tom Hanks has revealed that he has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 20 years after first experiencing symptoms of the disease.

Talking on the Late Show with David Letterman, the 57-year-old award-winning actor told the popular TV host he suffers from the common form of diabetes mellitus, which occurs when the body develops resistance to insulin or stops producing enough of the hormone to function properly.

Hanks admitted he has been experiencing symptoms for 20 years but was only recently diagnosed with the condition by a healthcare professional.

When explaining his recent weight loss to the talk show host, the two-time Oscar winner said his doctor told him, "You know those high blood sugar numbers you've been living with since you were 36, well you've graduated you've got Type 2 Diabetes young man".

Doctors believe the dramatic weight fluctuations he underwent to play certain roles, including losing 50 pounds to star in Cast Away in 2000, could have contributed to the condition.

Dr Holly Phillips, medical contributor for America's CBS TV network, said: "In dramatic weight gain and dramatic weight loss, the equilibrium of the body is just completely off. So that might predispose him to developing Type 2 diabetes later."

Hanks said he has reduced his weight in a bid to manage his condition, but added that his doctor suggested he aim for a ultra-low weight of 98 pounds (44.4 kg), which the actor laughed off as an impossible target.

He continued: "It's controllable. My doctor said 'If you can weigh as much as you weighed in high school you will essentially be completely healthy and will not have Type 2 diabetes. I said 'Well, I'm gonna have Type 2 diabetes because there is no way I can weigh as much as I did in high school."
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