Actor Tom Hanks was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes several years ago, and manages the condition through diet and exercise. Hanks, 57, made the surprise revelation during a visit to David Letterman's talk show Oct. 7.
“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,' " Hanks recounted to Letterman.
Hanks said his doctors told him he could manage his condition through diet and exercise. Letterman, 66, revealed he also suffers from high blood sugar, which he controls through a mostly vegetarian diet.
Medical experts say Hanks' extreme weight fluctuations over the years may have contributed to his type 2 diabetes diagnosis. The actor conceded his extreme weight changes over the years played a role, but said he was genetically predisposed to diabetes anyway.
"In dramatic weight gain and weight loss, the equilibrium of the body is just completely off," Dr. Holly Phillips told CBS News. "He'll have to watch what he eats very closely. He'll need to exercise regularly, but there's no reason he can't live a perfectly normal life."
Hanks has undergone extreme weight loss/gain over the years for his memorable, award-winning film roles. In 1992, he gained 30 pounds to play a baseball coach in "A League of Their Own." In 1993, he lost 26 pounds to play an AIDs patient in the drama "Philadelphia."
In 1994, Hanks lost weight again for the film "Forrest Gump," and in 1995, the Oscar winner lost and then regained 55 pounds while filming "Cast Away."
Hanks is handling his type 2 diabetes with his usual good humor. "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,' " he said.
"And I said, 'Well, I'm gonna have type 2 diabetes because there is no way I can weigh as much as I did in high school. I weighed 96 pounds in high school, and most of that was that big white Afro that I wore back in the 1970s."
Hanks isn't the only celebrity living who has battled type 2 diabetes. Halle Berry, who recently gave birth to her second child, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 23, and developed gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with daughter Nahla in 2007.
Singer Chaka Khan battled diabetes for decades, but got off her diabetes medication after losing 60 pounds on a vegan diet. "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson said his type 2 diabetes diagnosis was the wake-up he needed to undergo gastric-bypass surgery, which helped him lose 110 pounds.
Comedian Drew Carey said he stopped taking his diabetes medication after losing 85 pounds on a low-carb diet. And actor Alec Baldwin, who was diagnosed with pre-diabetes in 2011, recently lost 30 pounds on a sugar-free diet and is much healthier.
Celebrity chef Paula Deen was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2008, but is doing well after losing 40 pounds through diet and exercise.