Tom Hanks health: Legendary actor was warned about his health for decades before diagnosis

Tom Hanks health: Legendary actor was warned about his health for decades before diagnosis

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Rewind to 2013, when Tom Hanks appeared on The Late Show (an American chat show on CBS), and you will find the leading man unperturbed by his diagnosis. Hank admitted he had been experiencing high blood sugar for more than 20 years by that point. In fact, he straddled the line between pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes for two decades.

His doctor quipped: “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.”

The 65-year-old may not have had any symptoms when pre-diabetic, according to the charity Diabetes UK.

Diabetes UK explained: “Pre-diabetes means that your blood sugars are higher than usual.

“But not high enough for you to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.


“You are unlikely to be experiencing any symptoms with pre-diabetes.”

A blood test can reveal higher than normal blood sugar levels, but this should be used as a catalyst to implement lifestyle changes.

Without exercising daily and eating a more healthy diet, the signs of type 2 diabetes will begin to emerge.

In the earliest of stages, the warning signs can be so slight that they are easily missable.

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However, do be on the lookout for unexplained weight loss (meaning you’re losing weight without trying) and feeling fatigued.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Going to the toilet more often, especially at night
  • Feeling more tired, because your body can’t get enough glucose in to your cells for energy
  • Genital itching or thrush
  • Cuts and wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling extremely thirsty.

Right now in the UK, 13.6 million people are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

If anybody is diagnosed with pre-diabetes, with the right support, up to 50 percent of cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed.

Tom was given the option to trim down to 44.4kg, but found it challenging.

“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 [sic] have type 2 diabetes because there is no way I can weigh as much as I did in high school.”

Now that Tom has type 2 diabetes, he still has the power to put it into remission.

Diabetes UK elaborated on what exactly diabetes remission is and how to achieve it.

“Remission means that your blood sugar levels (also known as blood glucose levels) are below the diabetes range, usually without you needing to take any diabetes medication…

“We use the term remission because your diabetes can come back.”

There is strong evidence that diabetes is mainly put into remission by weight loss.

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