Tom Hanks Has Diabetes

Yesterday Tom Hanks told Letterman that he’s been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, something he shares with one in ten Americans.

His doctor had told him that he could cure the disease by bringing his weight down to what he weighed when he was in high school. However, Hanks didn’t think this was a viable option, as he was only 95 lbs then.

The whole thing is sad. Most new-onset diabetics are able to normalize their blood sugar completely in a few days, even while their weight remains virtually unchanged.

Obesity is just a symptom of type 2 diabetes. It’s not the cause. If you treat the real cause, you’ll hardly need to lose weight all the way down to 95 lbs.

More

How to Cure Type 2 Diabetes

All about diabetes

27 comments

Top comments

  1. mezzo
    So sad. Today I witnessed the following scene: cake was served in the afternoon. Not particularly wonderful cake, but irresistible to some. My colleague, who is a diabetic Type 2 said: "Ohhh - cake. Let me get my insulin shot and then I will have two pieces." So she disappeared into the toilet with her little bag and then devoured two pieces of cake. Not my place to say anything. I tried once - years ago - and met with an unfavourable response. No way she is going to give up her cake, noodles, potatoes, sugars and starches.
    Replies: #8, #16
    Read more →
  2. Jo tB
    Well, well, well, T2 diabetics are getting a bad rap because they continue to eat cakes, rice, pizza, etc, when they should be changing their diet. There is no one so deaf that will not hear..... I'm a T2 and after it was diagnosed I was told by a dietician to eat 5 to 7 slices of wholemeal bread a day. To which I replied, I haven't eaten that much bread in my life and don't intend to start doing it now that I have diabetes. I decided to ignore the conventional diet advice and went onto internet to find out what the best diet would be and came across Dr Richard Bernstein. I am a retired lady, and yes, this old tulp changed her lifestyle rather than increase her medications. I can live without bread, I can live without cakes, I won't die if I don't eat them. I don't have to eat them every day, I can eat them once a year. I love cheese and used to eat over a kilo a week, not anymore, I'm still alive and kicking.
    Read more →

All comments

  1. T.
    I hope that doctor was joking and recommended for him to go on a low carb diet. Anything else is malpractice in my opinion.
  2. freddie
    @T I highly doubt his doctor will even mention low carb. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 10 years ago and my doctors only ever talk about my weight and what medications I should be on.
  3. Patrick
    Well I think the doctor's point is not totally off base. Losing weight plays a major part in normalizing one's blood sugar, in addition to the low carb diet and an active lifestyle. I think carb intake also has to do with one's activity level.
    Reply: #5
  4. mezzo
    So sad. Today I witnessed the following scene: cake was served in the afternoon. Not particularly wonderful cake, but irresistible to some. My colleague, who is a diabetic Type 2 said: "Ohhh - cake. Let me get my insulin shot and then I will have two pieces." So she disappeared into the toilet with her little bag and then devoured two pieces of cake. Not my place to say anything. I tried once - years ago - and met with an unfavourable response. No way she is going to give up her cake, noodles, potatoes, sugars and starches.
    Replies: #8, #16
  5. bill
    Patrick said:

    "Losing weight plays a major part in normalizing one's blood sugar,..."

    And you know this how?

    Why do so many people post on this site
    not understanding the basics of what it
    teaches?

    Reply: #25
  6. murray
    Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason now have Something in Common. Another sad SAD tale.
  7. Laurene
    As I watched this interview I thought, someone needs to get him on to LCHF.
  8. Mia
    This is sad story. My mother in law has got type 2 as well, she is getting worse (her liver started failing) yet she eats sugar, starch, gluten every day. I don't want to say anything either.. but just really feel sad for her.
  9. Kris
    Too many people that wrote here that do not have diabetes do not understand how difficult it is to give up things you eat everyday without even having to give it a second thought as you are still young enough or still are getting by with eating the way you like to eat. You have NO clue what life is like with diabetes so do no judge others that do. A diabetic can eat a perfect diet, exercise, not be overweight and still not have normal blood sugars. Do your homework and don't judge people for their behavior when you have not walked in those shoes.
    Reply: #10
  10. Galina L.
    Kris,
    I had to follow since my childhood a very strict diet because I had a very pronounced eczema - when everyone was eating a pan-fried meat/chicken/meat patties, I was eating steamed food, no tomatoes-based sauces were allowed, no strawberries, chocolate, smoked meats. I don't care much about sweets, but I like tasty salty treats.
    I am very grateful to my parents now that they were very consistent with keeping me on a such diet when it was important. It made it easier for me to follow a very low carbohydrate diet now which I started to use 6 years ago to treat my migraine, but discovered it health-improving potential.and a weight-loss benefits. Diets are not for old people - for anyone who needs it. Ignoring such need at any age is the same as refusing a cast when an arm or a leg is broken.So, parents are doing a good job when they keep a child on the right diet, but an adult should be excused not doing so for himself because of what? Because he/she has a right to ruin own health?

    I have zero understanding for people who keep their love for sweets and bread at higher priority than their health. I absolutely judge their behavior when they eat cakes and cookies, but of course, not when they fail to achieve normal blood sugar no matter what they do.
    I cook all food my family members eat, and just skip the carbohydrate part and don't touch sweets when I have a choice.

    I know several very thin diabetics 2, it looks like an abnormal BS levels could be observed in people without excessive weight.

  11. Carol
    My husband turned a corner yesterday too. He is now officially pre-diabetic. I told him to stop eating rice, but he cannot accept my new diet plan. Maybe someday it will sink in.
  12. T.
    I just want to point out that although Tom Hanks is not super skinny, neither is he fat. People need to learn how to uncouple obesity with diabetes because although they can and often do go together, they don't always. I have been 200lbs overweight for the last decade and I'm not even prediabetic! Tom Hanks has MAYBE 10-20lbs to lose. I don't think its his weight that did him in. Even doctors don't take the high blood sugars of the not obese seriously. And essentially, if his doctor didn't inform him about the potential benefits of LCHF, having an uninformed doctor is why he progressed from prediabetes to diabetes. It IS malpractice.
  13. Anne
    I do have type 2 diabetes and have been able to control my BG with diet and exercise. I am not overweight. I limit my carbs as recommended by Dr. Bernstein in his book "Diabetes Solution". I am also gluten free. Yes, it is not easy giving up favorite foods but the tradeoff of better health is worth it. I don't have "cheat days" or even "cheat bites" as it would only hurt me in the long term.

    Hope Tom Hanks does some research into the LCHF lifestyle.

  14. TJ
    Basically - the more fat you have stored in your body especially belly fat , This fat will cause delay effects against the insulin that your body naturally produces !

    Reduce your body fat by exercise & diet and the natural insulin produced will control your body's blood sugar more effectively !

  15. Janknitz
    So his doctor has been "watching" his blood sugars rise since he was 37? He's 57 now. In 20 years she couldn't advise him how to normalize his blood sugars to avoid this???

    Sad!

  16. Chupo
    Mezzo,

    My ex-girlfriend was the same way. Now she's missing one of her big toes. :(

  17. ED
    Eating LCHF has enabled me to go off my Type 2 meds for more than a year and a half.
  18. ex-prediabetic
    I had metabolic syndrome and doctor said I should lose weight and move more. I tried that with no success and it was not until I found low-carb high-fat diet, that I could start losing weight. Now, after 4 years I've lost 18% of my weight, blood glucose has come down from 5.8 to 4.8. This is possible even for older persons. I'm 62 now.
  19. Jo tB
    Well, well, well, T2 diabetics are getting a bad rap because they continue to eat cakes, rice, pizza, etc, when they should be changing their diet. There is no one so deaf that will not hear..... I'm a T2 and after it was diagnosed I was told by a dietician to eat 5 to 7 slices of wholemeal bread a day. To which I replied, I haven't eaten that much bread in my life and don't intend to start doing it now that I have diabetes. I decided to ignore the conventional diet advice and went onto internet to find out what the best diet would be and came across Dr Richard Bernstein. I am a retired lady, and yes, this old tulp changed her lifestyle rather than increase her medications. I can live without bread, I can live without cakes, I won't die if I don't eat them. I don't have to eat them every day, I can eat them once a year. I love cheese and used to eat over a kilo a week, not anymore, I'm still alive and kicking.
  20. Jo tB
    Well, well, well, T2 diabetics are getting a bad rap because they continue to eat cakes, rice, pizza, etc, when they should be changing their diet. There is no one so deaf that will not hear..... I'm a T2 and after it was diagnosed I was told by a dietician to eat 5 to 7 slices of wholemeal bread a day. To which I replied, I haven't eaten that much bread in my life and don't intend to start doing it now that I have diabetes. I decided to ignore the conventional diet afvice and went onto internet to find out what the best diet would be and came across Dr Richard Bernstein. I am a retired lady, and yes, this old tulp changed her lifestyle rather than increase her medications. I can live without bread, I can live without cakes, I won't die if I don't eat them. I don't have to eat them every day, I can eat them once a year. I love cheese and used to eat over a kilo a week, not anymore, I'm still alive and kicking.
  21. Tim
    I believe Tom Hanks is a vegetarian. Can't vouche for the accuracy of this website though...
    http://www.chimachine4u.com/vegetarian.html
    Reply: #22
  22. Tim
    Ignore the extrae "e". My keyboarde puts extra "e"s where theye don't belonge.
  23. Cecilia
    I'm a Scandinavian living in Mauritius and diabetes is a big problem here. Whenever I go out I see at least one person with an amputated leg. The health care system still recommend diabetics to eat rice, bread, potato, margarine (!), fruits etc. Even if a diabetic was told that these things are actually harmful for them, they look at you in a funny way and say "So what am I supposed to eat?" and continue the same way, refusing to change. I know of people with only their torso left.

    I asked a local doctor once what she recommends for losing weight. Her reply was "Count calories and exercise". If you end up in a diabetes/cardio clinic, a typical breakfast is bread filled with potato with an insulin shot for dessert.

  24. Shelly
    This is a reply to Kris (comment #9)...I'm on my iPad and it won't let me reply directly (and please forgive spelling errors, I swear my iPad wants me to look stupid.). I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my last child. I had a dietician who I met with weekly to try and manage the diabetes through food (unfortunately, it was your standard low calorie low fat diet, which I didn't question at the time) The first few weeks were hard to wrap my head around, and I made a lot of blunders, but after the third week, I was following her dietary direction to the letter. I still couldn't manage the diabetes, and had to give myself two insulin shots daily for the last 3 months of my pregnancy, test my blood three times a day, and my ketones every morning.

    So I have walked in those shoes, and I never want to walk in them again (as soon as my daughter was born, diabetes over, which I guess is typical of the gestational kind). My mother is a type II diabetic, and I know if I don't get things under control (because my mother has it, and I had it during the pregnancy, the chances of me getting it within the next ten years is off the charts) the rest of my life will be like those last 3 months of my last pregnancy.

    Believe me when I say if it's a choice between cake and cookies (which, as a pastry chef, I love to eat as much as I love to make), and living the rest of my life like I did during that pregnancy, I will happily give up the cake. Or, at the very least, figure out a way to have a much better version of it for myself. Someone who goes and gives herself an insulin injection so she can have two pieces of cake has her priorities seriously messed up.

    Yes, it's hard. I'm still trying to move away from the things that are bad for me. But the ONLY reason I eat those carbs is for one simple reason: I'm lazy. When I eat the carbs, it's because I've allowed myself to get too hungry, and I'm too lazy take the time to make a proper snack for myself. That's the ONLY time I eat badly and make the wrong choices: laziness and poor planning (which is an offshoot of laziness). Thankfully, through effort and planning, I eat better every day. It's NOT easy, but the judgement comes by that fact that the woman they were referring to isn't even trying. I'm not perfect, but at least I'm trying.

    And for the record, it's not anger and revulsion that people are feeling for this woman; it's sadness. She obviously doesn't care enough about herself to even bother trying. It's truly sad. And the OP wanted to help her because of how sad her situation is, but she won't even accept that - my guess is because she doesn't feel she's worth help at all.

  25. Patrick
    Bill,
    I am assuming based on the rest of your statement, it was rhetorical, as oppose to actually looking for a response. But I will give you one anyway. Here is how I know.

    I am a type 2 diabetic, who has been one for 20 years. I have some experience with controlling glucose levels, if none other than my own.

    There is so much clinical and anecdotal evidence that obesity can bring about type II diabetes that it is not even funny. So it would stand to reason that losing weight would be VERY helpful.

    Here is an excerpt from a paper at the Louisiana State University Health Services Center:

    "Doctors and researchers have found that obesity and diabetes are connected. Persons who are obese are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes (also known as "insulin-resistant" or "adult-onset" diabetes), particularly if a close family member is affected with diabetes. Therefore, it becomes very important to maintain a healthy body weight throughout your life in order to protect yourself from developing a chronic disease like diabetes."

    (http://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/genetics_center/louisiana/article_obesitydiabetes.htm)

    And to answer your question. I post because I think what I post is truth, as I understand it. Not simply posting to advocate any site's viewpoint. If the author of the site simply wants syncophants replying than I will abstain from responding, replying or visiting.

    Reply: #26
  26. Galina L.
    It looks like the picture is more complicated than people eat too much -> get fat -> develop diabetes. People with normal weight can develop blood sugar issues and diabetes, and somehow being thin diabetic could complicate their health.The research was presented recently at the ESC Congress by Dr Takanori Nagahiro from Japan Dr Nagahiro said: "Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) but several studies have reported that low body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) was associated with worse cardiovascular outcome compared to middle or higher BMI. This strange phenomenon is called the 'obesity paradox' and has been described in patients with stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease and renal disease."
    I wish more attention was given to blood sugar abnormalities, I know personally two females without weight issues who suffer from hypoglycemia episodes , but they get treated for anxiety by their doctors. Being normal weight or even thin often mask health issues, because even doctors see thinness as a metabolic health mark.

    Read more: In Hypertensive Patients With Diabetes Low BMI is a Risk Factor for CVD: Research | Medindia http://www.medindia.net/news/in-hypertensive-patients-with-diabetes-l...

  27. murray
    Based on the recently published twin studies as to which obese people get insulin resistant and which do not, it appears it has to do with mitochondrial damage in fat cells. Those obese without mitochondrial damage are okay.

    See: "The ‘Healthy Obese’ and Their Healthy Fat Cells"

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2013/10/09/the-healthy-obese-and...

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24100782
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23696329

    Regarding obesity and diabetes, I expect it would be helpful to lose weight, not because of the loss of fat cells, but because the type of eating that would cause the loss of body fat would in general be the type of eating that would help diabetes. Any weight loss diet would involve carb reduction and burning of lots of body fat, so in that respect it resembles a metabolically friendly low-carb, high-fat (using fat from body fat) diet.

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts