Beloved actor Tom, Hands announced that he has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The revelation came about almost by accident during a guest appearance to promote his new movie “Captain Phillips on “Late Night With David Letterman.
Although Hanks stated that he had “suffered from the symptoms for nearly 20 years,” the actual diagnosis was only made recently during a doctor’s visit.
"I went to the doctors and they said, '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," he commented, adding that they told him if he got down to the same weight he was in high school he’d be “essentially healthy and not have Type 2 diabetes."
The goal, however, is an impossible one, he told Letterman laughing. Hanks explained before noting that it was an impossible goal.
"Back in the day, I weighed 96 pounds," he quipped. "I was a very skinny boy. So, I guess I'm gonna have Type 2 diabetes because there is no way I can weigh as much as I did in high school."
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of the disease, affecting nearly 90% of the 26 million people in this country with diabetes, and is caused when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or when the cells ignore the insulin necessary to be able to use glucose for energy.
Left untreated (either through diet or medication) the high glucose levels in the blood can damage the nerves and small blood vessels of the eyes, kidneys, and heart and lead to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries that can cause heart attack and/or stroke.
In addition, the buildup can cause an increase in urination, resulting in dehydration and even diabetic coma.
Although everyone can be a potential candidate for the disease, those at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes are people who are overweight or obese, have had gestational diabetes, have a family history of the disease, don’t exercise, have low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, have high blood pressure.
It has also been found that certain racial or ethnic groups are more prone to develop it than others. These include African Americans, Native Americans, Latino, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. are more prone to develop it than other groups.