Beloved actor Tom Hanks shocked us all when he revealed during an appearance on the “Late Show” that he has type 2 diabetes. “Late Show” host David Letterman asked Hanks about his weight after noticing that the multi-award winning actor seemed thinner than usual. The 57-year-old actor revealed that he has been dealing with elevated blood sugar for nearly twenty years. Recently his diagnosis changed from high blood sugar to type 2 diabetes at a doctor’s visit.
Appearing to be in good spirits, Hanks joked with Letterman about the diagnosis and shared that his doctor had said that if he could lose weight until he weighed what he did in high school, his diabetes would essentially disappear. “Then I said to her, ‘Well I am going to have Type 2 diabetes.’,” he told Letterman.
In the 25 years since “Big,” Hanks has undeniably put on weight, but never appeared to be unhealthy, though some would question the way his weight fluctuated for roles, most noticeably for his performance in “Castaway.” In a statement for CBS News, Dr. Holly Phillips said that the weight fluctuations may have played a role in Hanks’ diagnosis. “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.”
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the condition, making up around 90 percent of diabetes cases. When people have high blood sugar, like in Hanks’ case, they are at risk of developing the disease which is marked by high levels of sugar in the blood and either not enough insulin production or a lack of cell interaction with insulin. For most people with type 2 diabetes, it can be managed through increased exercise and an improved diet.
Though Hanks joked that it would be impossible to return to his high school weight, which he told Letterman was less than 100 pounds, it looks like he is taking his diagnosis seriously. He did look thinner during his appearance on the “Late Show,” which could be the result of improved diet and exercise. While diabetes is a serious disease, Hanks said during his conversation with Letterman that in his case it is completely controllable.
Hanks is not the only celebrity who has revealed their diabetes diagnosis. Quite controversially last year was Paula Deen, but other stars including Randy Jackson, Drew Carey and Hanks’ “Cloud Atlas” co-star Halle Berry have all spoken out about their condition.
Yep, I have #2 diabetes. Type 1 is VERY SERIOUS! Type 2 I can manage with good habits. I shall! Hanx
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) October 8, 2013
Image via CBS Entertainment