Tom Hanks: The Iconic Actor's Diabetes Battle
7 minute read
Entertaining us for years on the big screen, many people do not realize that Tom Hanks has been battling a serious disease. Lifestyle choices caused the beloved actor to join the millions of Americans who suffer from diabetes.
It is easy to move through life without considering the consequences of our actions, and Hanks’ story rings true to this. Plus, like many of Tom Hanks’ films, it teaches us all a valuable lesson.
It seems the fun-loving and comical nature we saw in earlier films was a little too true to his real personality. Hanks admits that he ignored doctor advice and continued to live the fun lifestyle he wanted, regardless of the cost.
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The price he paid turned out to be type-2 diabetes, and it was not until after his diagnosis that he decided to make changes. Fortunately, it is never too late when it comes to diabetes—you can learn to live with it and can even reverse it altogether.
After his initial diagnosis, Hanks thought that reaching a target weight would help to reverse the condition. As ideal as this sounds, we are all too aware of how difficult this can actually be, especially when that target weight was what you weighed in high school.
Hanks accepted his diagnosis and moved forward with lifestyle changes after learning this was the only option he had. With the appropriate attention, diabetes is manageable, and you can live a healthy life.
As Hanks discovered, controlling diabetes is not just as simple as losing some weight—it takes a commitment to dietary and lifestyle changes. We all watched as Hanks gained a lot of weight through his career but only had criticism to offer.
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Once he publicly shared his diabetes diagnosis, we were able to connect with him. We realized that public figures face the same challenges that we do.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is caused when your body doesn’t use the insulin it produces in the way that it should. This is a life-long condition that develops because of obesity and a lack of physical exercise.
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Hanks was the first to admit that he went through life eating and drinking as he pleased, neglecting his health. With these factors contributing to almost 95% of the cases of diabetes in the United States, this is clearly something we can relate to.
In a healthy individual, the pancreas releases insulin to help the body store and use the sugar you consume. Diabetes develops when any of the following occur:
♦ The pancreas does not produce any insulin
♦ The pancreas produces very little insulin
♦ Insulin resistance, which is when the body doesn’t respond appropriately to insulin.
Type 2 diabetes does not just happen overnight. People will progress through a state of prediabetes before the disease takes over completely.
Prediabetes is marked by a higher-than-normal blood sugar level, but you still could correct this. Doctors typically recommend weight loss and healthier eating to prevent full blown diabetes from developing.
If you have a family history of diabetes, have high blood pressure, are overweight, or physically inactive, you should consider getting your blood sugar tested.
During prediabetes, you can still get your blood sugar within healthy levels. Once diagnosed with diabetes, your life isn’t over, you just have different challenges to face.
You need to monitor your blood sugar levels daily and pay close attention to the carbohydrates, sugars, salt, and fat you are consuming. It also benefits you to start exercising daily and often medications are prescribed.
Hanks started following a healthier diet plan and lost weight, showing us all that it can be done.
A Lot of Help From a Little Friend
Watching what you eat is the best way to control diabetes, especially once you have shed some extra weight. Many people avoid medications because of the various side effects they can have, and this is where people start to stray from their diabetes program.
Luckily, there is a natural supplement you can include in your diet that will help reverse insulin resistance and help you control your blood sugar levels.
Krill oil has the ability to interfere with a process that increases blood sugar levels. A special protein, GLUT 4, in your body allows sugar to enter the cells and when this protein become depleted, you experience elevated blood sugar levels. Krill oil can help to prevent the depletion of this protein, thereby protecting you from elevated sugar.
Additionally, the omega-3 content in krill oil can decrease insulin resistance when you eat sugar and help to maintain healthy levels.
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Research has shown that krill oil influences several metabolic processes within your body, and glucose production is one of these. Krill oil supplements help to increase glucose uptake by tissues other than your liver, lowering the glucose present in your blood.
It is also very effective at reducing triglyceride levels, which, when elevated, increases your risk of type 2 diabetes. Elevated blood sugar and triglyceride levels will do more than cause diabetes, you also increase your chances of heart disease.
The Bottom Line
Being famous and having access to anything you want makes life one big temptation. As a famous icon, Tom Hanks could pretty much do as he pleased, but it did come at a price eventually.
Many of us know how easy it is to look the other way on our health in exchange for being less responsible. As Hanks’ story shows us, we can all be held accountable at any given moment. Even knowing the benefits of krill oil, the best decision is to always put your health first.
We look up to celebrities in many ways, and, in some respects, we look to them for answers. Hanks’ struggle with diabetes and his conscious efforts to beat the disease make him a role model to many.
He showed us that diabetes can be controlled. So, whether you have Oscars to win or your own personal goals, diabetes does not need to get in your way.