Home Secretary Theresa May has revealed she suffers from type 1 diabetes.
The Maidenhead MP has spoken of her shock at being diagnosed with the chronic, autoimmune disease, but insists it will not affect her role as a prominent member of the Conservative Cabinet.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Mrs May said she learnt of her condition two months ago, although doctors initially thought she had the more common type 2 form of diabetes.
To keep her condition under control, she must now inject herself with the hormone insulin at least twice a day for the rest of her life.
“It was a real shock and, yes, it took me a while to come to terms with it,” she told the newspaper.
“It started last November. I’d had a bad cold and cough for quite a few weeks. I went to my GP and she did a blood test which showed I’d got a very high sugar level – that’s what revealed the diabetes.
“The symptoms are tiredness, drinking a lot of water, losing weight, but it’s difficult to isolate things.
“I was drinking a lot of water. But I do anyway. There was weight loss but then I was already making an effort to be careful about diet and to get my gym sessions in. Tiredness – speak to any politician and they will tell you the hours they work. Tiredness can be part of the job.”
Mrs May, widely tipped as a future party leader, added: “The diabetes doesn’t affect how I do the job or what I do. It’s just part of life so it’s a case of head down and getting on with it.
“There’s a great quote from Steve Redgrave who was diagnosed with diabetes before he won his last Olympic gold medal. He said diabetes must learn to live with me rather than me live with diabetes. That’s the attitude.”
The Diabetes.co.uk community hopes this news will encourage the government to make tackling diabetes a higher priority.

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Top diabetes professor drafts risk assessment document for frontline COVID-19 staff

The health and wellbeing of frontline NHS staff has been prioritised among…

Twice daily dairy intakes could reduce type 2 diabetes risk

Eating cheese, yoghurt or eggs twice a day could help lower the…

Public Health England considers low carb approach for type 2 diabetes

The low carb approach is being considered by the government to be…