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Tom Hanks has Type II diabetes! But you don't have to follow suit…

by , 09 October 2013

Doctors have diagnosed Oscar winner, Tom Hanks, with Type II diabetes. They believe it's a result of the dramatic weight fluctuations he's undergone to play roles in movies like Philadelphia and Cast Away. But dramatic weight fluctuation isn't the only thing that can lead to Type II diabetes…

During late night TV in the US last night, Hanks told David Letterman that although he’d been suffering symptoms for two decades, doctors only recently diagnosed him with Type II diabetes, reports the Telegraph.
 
In Hanks’ words: “I went to the doctor and he said ‘You know those high blood sugar numbers you've been dealing with since you were 36? Well, you've graduated. You've got Type 2 diabetes, young man’.”

Doctors blame Hank’s dramatic weight changes. But that’s not the only thing that can lead to Type II diabetes

Four more factors that put you at risk of developing Type II diabetes

Apart from being overweight, the Mayo Clinic lists the following things as factors that put you at risk of Type II diabetes:

  1. Where your body stores fat: People whose bodies store fat around their mid-section have a greater risk of developing Type II diabetes than people whose bodies store fat around their hips and thighs.
  2. Not exercising: “The less active you are, the greater your risk of Type II diabetes. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin,” explains the site.
  3. Genetics: If one of your parents or siblings have the disease, your risk is greater.
  4. Prediabetes. Like Tom Hanks, who had prediabetes for almost 20 years, if your blood sugar is higher than normal and you do nothing to remedy this, it can eventually lead to Type II diabetes.

Warning: If you’re at risk for Type II diabetes, don’t ignore the warning signs!

“One-third of people with Type II diabetes do not even know they have it,” writes the National Diabetes Education Program. That’s pretty disturbing when you consider that diabetes can lead heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney disease and even nerve damage.

So pay attention to the factors that contribute to diabetes and ask your doctor to test you if you start to present symptoms. 

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