Diabetes is a term for a metabolic disease that results in an individual having high blood sugar. It is majorly divided into Type 1 and Type 2 for the sake of clarity. For Type 1 Diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin – a hormone that controls the blood sugar level. With Type 2, Insulin production is not impaired but the cells fail to respond to this normal level of insulin. Type 1 is more genetically related and is of unknown cause but Type 2 is more lifestyle dependent.
That being said about diabetes, it is not uncommon to see so many people with any type of this disease. We’ll be looking into the celebrities who were not spared by this unfortunate condition. One thing to however take note of is the fact that this disease is not a death sentence. It can be controlled and managed. It does not have to deter one from moving on with life normally. Read on to know their stories and to see how celebrities with diabetes have dealt with life after their diagnosis.
She is the first on our list not because her disease is anything different but because she is one of the world’s most popular celebrities. Halle Berry is an Oscar winning actress with a great career to her credit. It would interest you to know that she has achieved this rare feat with Type 1 Diabetes. Berry is not one that is a fan of the sedentary lifestyle or excess weight here and there. The fashion model is a proof that one does not have to be obese to have diabetes.
Her state was discovered when she was 23 and on the set of ‘Living Dolls’ in 1989. She just suddenly went into a diabetic coma and was hurriedly rushed to the hospital where the big discovery was made. Since then, the famous ‘Catwoman’ has lived on well with her personal exercise regimen and as a religious follower of her daily insulin prescriptions.
Vanessa Williams is the first African-American to win the title of Miss America. Vanessa authored a book on diabetes titled Healthy Child. Williams is also a passionate supporter of several diabetic charities. She is committed to educating the world about this condition and serving as a living proof that life can still be beautiful with diabetes.
Hanks is one of the all time most famous actor. He has gained and lost weight repeatedly for his movie roles and this was a strong influence in his development of this condition. Since the unfortunate realization, Tom has been on a treatment regimen and had taken heed to the generous advice from his doctors.
Paula was once a butter and bacon loving celebrity chef. For her, obesity was one of the main contributing factors to her diabetes Type 2. After her diagnosis, she has taken it upon herself to tell the world diabetes is not the end of the world and it can be largely prevented. A sedentary lifestyle, inadequate intake of fresh food produce and obesity play great roles in the development of this disease. Deen still loves her southern cooking style but has adopted healthier recipes and dishes.
The young artist is another celebrity with diabetes. His Type 1 diabetes was discovered at a very dangerous time. His blood glucose level was 700 (with the normal being from 70 to 120). As expected, the pop star was hospitalized and has since learned to control it.
Sir Steve Redgrave
Athletes are also not spared of this disease and some of them have still ended up with incredible careers despite this metabolic condition. Steve Redgrave is a British champion in the rowing sports. After winning three Olympic gold medals, he has diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 35. He started making lifestyle changes and soon discovered what diet regimen would work for him seeing he had to continue with getting subsequent awards.
As control measures, Redgrave had to take daily insulin injections and carry along with his emergency sugar when he is out on the waters. Sir Steve is not just a patient of diabetes but also lives with another chronic disease, Ulcerative Colitis. It is an inflammatory bowel disease and its continuous treatment was responsible for the development of his diabetes.
King is a veteran television and radio host. After his diagnosis, he quit smoking, adopted a healthier diet and is managing his Type 2 diabetes well. His is also a survivor of a major heart attack and quintuple-bypass surgery.
For Salma, it was not the usual Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes; she developed gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with her daughter Valentina. In 10% of pregnant women, their blood sugar goes really high but this condition returns to normal after delivery. Gestational diabetes leaves its patients at a greater risk for developing diabetes later in life.
The Queen of Soul has fulfilled her ambition even with this condition. She has indeed become an inspiration to many even as she chose to keep her medical life private.
One of the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes is overweight. Obese music producer Randy Jackson also had a diabetic father so this kept him at an even greater risk of inheriting this unfortunate disease. Since his diagnosis was made, Jackson has taken several positive steps towards controlling this disease and secondary prevention.
He weighed more than 300 pounds initially but has now lost about half of this excess weight. The American Idol Judge had to undergo a gastric bypass surgery to reduce his stomach size and also has gradually become a lover of yoga and the treadmill. Jackson goes about educating the public about early warning signs of this disease.
So many famous people decided not to let anything stand in the way of their career progress. LaBelle is one of such; she was even displeased with the term ‘diabetic’ and decided to call herself ‘divabetic’.
The obese actress has always been a very energetic human. For a whole year, she started feeling different and started noticing weakness here and there. Lea went to the hospital and after conducting some tests, they discovered she was diabetic. She dramatically lost 50 pounds in 2015 and gradually after that she feels great and has got her energy back.
One common thing with all the above mentioned named is that they have succeeded in managing their diabetes and are living well with it. A few celebrities were not so successful at managing the complications of this disease; two of them are Thomas Edison and Elvis Presley. Edison is a businessman and the renowned inventor of the light bulb, motion pictures and several other impactful devices. He died in 1931 from diabetic complications.
Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock and Roll” on the other hand did nothing different after his diagnosis. He was shocked after discovering his had this condition and did nothing to change his lifestyle. People say his uncontrolled condition played a big role in his development of other co-mobordities that eventually led to his death at 42.
Other famous living diabetics are:
Tommy Lee, Dorian Gregory, Jean Smart, Ryan Reed, Bret Michaels, Casey Johnson, Elizabeth Perkins, Crystal Bowersox, Gary Hall Jr., Paul Sorvino, Mike Huckabee, Delta Burke, Dick Clark, Billie Jean King, Sherri Shepherd, Drew Carey, David “Boomer” Wells, Earl Monroe.