When your Diabetes starts to get you down, just think of these 10 celebrities that have it too…. Affecting 26 million people here in the states and over 300 million worldwide, it is clear that nobody is immune to this awful disease, not even the rich and famous.
1. Elvis Presley - Because he never spoke about it publicly few people knew that “The King” Elvis Presley developed type 2 diabetes late in his life. Even as his health became more and more in decline he never appeared to seriously consider healthier lifestyle. Diabetes information was not nearly as available in the 1970’s as it is now and many speculate that diabetes had a significant role in the premature death of the rock icon passing at the age of 42.
2. Tom Hanks - Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks has done quite a bit of yoyo dieting throughout his successful movie career. And while that may have paid off with numerous awards and acclaim amongst his peers it also has possibly had negative implications for his health. Just this year Hanks revealed that he had been dealing with high blood sugar levels for years and had recently “graduated” to full blown type 2 diabetes. Some have suspected that Hanks having to gain and lose and gain again for roles may have been what pushed him over the edge.
3. Randy Jackson - American Idol judge and music business veteran Randy Jackson battled obesity for years. But in 2001 Jackson was diagnosed with the type 2 version of diabetes and proceeded to have the gastric bypass weight loss surgery shortly after. Now 100 pounds lighter and armed with a new dedication to diet and exercise, Jackson manages to keep his disease largely under control and is busy as ever.
4. Evel Knievel - It is crazy to think that someone who had defied death for so many years and on so many occasions such as Evel Knievel could be taken out by something like high blood sugar. Unfortunately though in 2007 that is exactly what happened to the world’s most famous and successful dare devil. Battling diabetes and other conditions Knievel passed away in 2007 at age 69.
5. Brett Michaels - For hair metal band Poison’s lead singer Brett Michaels it was often sex, drugs, rock and roll, and insulin. The rocker and reality TV personality was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 6 and has administered multiple injections of insulin a day ever since. In great physical shape even at age 50, Michaels has been anything but slowed down by the disease. Aside from passing out immediately after a show in the early 90’s, Michaels has successfully worked to keep his, and others, diabetes in check, even donating a cool quarter million to the cause in 2010.
6. Nick Jonas - One third of the pop music superstar group The Jonas Brother’s, Nick Jonas was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14. Complaining of persistent thirst and lethargy, Jonas decided to head to the doctor. When his blood sugar levels were revealed to be nearly 10 times higher than the norm for someone his age he started an insulin regimen shortly after. Nowadays with the help of an insulin pump Nick Jonas is active as ever with his career and does a ton of work raising money for diabetes awareness.
7. Vanessa Williams - Singer, actor, and the first African American woman to become Miss America, Vanessa Williams is also a type 1 diabetic. Not that she has let it slow her down in any way, Williams has been incredibly active in her career in the entertainment industry and along with her family she has devoted much of her time to finding a cure for this terrible disease. Williams has even released a children’s book on the subject and has been very helpful in the black community which has
8. Halle Berry - Former Bond girl and Oscar winning actress Halle Berry became significantly ill in 1989 while filming a TV show. Feeling extremely tired, she wound up in a coma for several days and awoke to a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. With her pancreas still producing way too little insulin, this odd middle ground between types 1 and 2 diabetes made it challenging at first to treat the condition. Eventually Berry had success with medicine, diet, and exercise and now manages her disease very well.
9. Paul Sorvino - Many of us will remember actor Paul Sorvino as neighborhood Don Pauly from Goodfellas, the guy who moves slow, but doesn’t have to move for anybody. But the respected actor found out in 2006 at the age of 67 that type 2 diabetes was something he would move for. Surprised to hear he was diabetic due to his almost daily workouts for most of his life, Sorvino kicked his regimen up a notch and added oral medications to the mix and with the help of his family he maintains a relatively healthy condition.
10. Damon Dash - Today’s hip hop fans may not be so familiar with hip hop business man Damon Dash but in the mid 1990’s he was just a quieter version of Puff Daddy and at least as successful. The partner of Hip Hop icon Jay-Z, Dash is a type 1 diabetic and uses insulin as part of a routine highly dependent on diet to manage the disease. He is also extremely active with his charity work and strives to significantly reduce the impact of this terrible disease.