Celebrities with diabetes | Inquirer News
Heart to Heart Talk

Celebrities with diabetes

/ 08:42 AM September 17, 2012

DIABETES, like most other diseases, does not spare anyone on the basis of economic status, gender, social standing, or even popularity. To a great extent, the significant factors are lifestyle, and to some degree, heredity. Medical science has shown that diet, exercise, good habits and behavior could outweigh genetic predisposition. So, it does not mean that those children of diabetic parents, although more prone to develop diabetes compared to those with non-diabetic parents, are doomed to acquire the disease. On the contrary, with a healthy lifestyle (proper diet and exercise, etc) these individuals could well escape this ravaging metabolic disease and live to a ripe old age.

Among the celebrities of various age, gender, color, habits and behavior, who have diabetes, various media have reported the following:


Halle Berry

This gorgeous and popular Hollywood actress has Type 2 diabetes. The rumor that she was able to “switch” from Type 1 to Type 2 diabetes was false. That is medical impossibility. Persons with type 1 cannot produce insulin and will require insulin shots for life. It is not uncommon for some Type 2 diabetics to require insulin injections on top of oral medications, but most of them can do well with oral drugs alone.


Randy Jackson

In 2001, American Idol judge Randy Jackson discovered he had type 2 diabetes. Jackson was obese at the time, making him an easy target of Type 2 diabetes, since he also has a family history of the disease, and as an African-American, his risk was higher.  After his gastric bypass surgery, he lost 100 pounds. With his healthier diet, exercises (treadmill and yoga), and proper treatment, he has his diabetes under control.

Salma Hayek

For beauteous Salma Hayek, it was gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that results from hormonal changes during pregnancy with her daughter, Valentina. Hayek has a family history of diabetes. Routinely in the United States, women are screened for gestational diabetes when they are 24-28 weeks pregnant. Those with higher-risks are screened earlier. This type of diabetes usually spontaneously disappears after pregnancy, although it increases the risk for type 2 diabetes or acquiring gestational diabetes next time around.

Larry King

Internationally renowned TV talk show host, Larry King, stated, Type 2 diabetes is definitely controllable.” He had quit smoking and is living a healthier lifestyle. And he is medially correct. Since diabetes increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, even Alzheimer’s, it is prudent to prevent diabetes, or treat it properly.

Patti LaBelle


This popular singer, who has a family history of diabetes, has reported on her own website that she has type 2 diabetes. Since then, she has been watching her diet and doing daily exercises, and even authored healthy cookbooks. In December of 2008 in People magazine, Patti labeled herself a “divabetic”–combo of diabetic and diva.

Nick Jonas

A member of the Jonas Brothers, singer Nick Jonas, announced he had type 1 diabetes in 2007. Formerly termed Juvenile Diabetic, this can affect anyone at any age, and is the most common among persons younger than 20.

Anne Rice

This novelist almost died in 1998 when her severe Type 1 diabetes threw her into coma, with a blood sugar reading of around 800, eight times higher than normal. Obviously, she has to use insulin the rest of her life. With strict adherence to prescribed treatment, she can live practically a normal life.

Paula Deen

In January 2012 celebrity chef Paula Deen revealed she had Type 2 diabetes. It is medically assumed that her buttery, sugary recipes had catapulted her risk to develop diabetes. She publicly stated that she wanted “to let the world know that (diabetes) is not a death sentence.”

Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who was a presidential hopeful in 2008, found out he had Type 2 diabetes five years earlier. Now a TV show host on the Fox News Channel, he has upgraded to a healthy diet and has started running for exercise, putting even his weight under control.

Mary Tyler Moore

At age 30, actress Mary Tyler Moore was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, discovered incidentally when she was hospitalized after a miscarriage, where her blood sugar was around 750! For years thereafter, Moore has been promoting diabetes research, and  she serves as the International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Bret Michaels

The singer for the band Poison, Bret Michaels, contends with his diabetes as a TV personality and rock star. His diabetes was discovered at age 6, and has been taking “four insulin injections and eight blood tests each day,” as an adult, reported his website.

Some staggering facts

To avoid being a victim of any disease, one must know as much about it as possible. Diabetes is no exception, since there is a 20% chance anyone of us may acquire it during our lifetime. The odds are, indeed, too high for comfort.

Out of a global population of 6.97 billion plus, there are about 285 million who have diabetes, increasing more than twice in the last few decades, and expected to reach 439 million in 19 years, by 2030. In the United States (population: 312.5 million), there are about 18.2 million who have diabetes.

In a small country like the Philippines, with a population of about 100 million, “one out of five adults (20 percent) are diabetic,” according to the 2007 Philippine Cardiovascular Outcome Study on Diabetes, and as many “as three out of five,” are on their way to developing diabetes unless they adopt a healthier lifestyle, basically consisting of proper diet (quality: low-carb, low-fat, and quantity: calorie-control) and daily exercise.

The incidence of obesity and diabetes are on a similar course. Annually, three million people around the world die from this disease and its complications. The exploding pandemic of obesity and diabetes (diabesity) must be contained. Controlling rice intake to a minimum and staying away from soft drinks (unhealthy liquid candies) are a good way to start in the fight against diabetes.

Is diabetes preventable?

As I have pointed out in my new health guide (www.philipSchua.com), diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, and even cancer are preventable, to a great extent. To be truly effective, the timing of the start of a healthy lifestyle is vital. It must start at the DNA or cellular level, in the womb, and dieting starting from the crib.

Most of these illnesses are self-induced, consciously or otherwise, through self-abuse. With diabetes, once it sets in, it is usually for keeps, and will need constant management. However, clinical studies have revealed that a significant number of those with borderline diabetes or mild diabetes were able to ward off the disease permanently through personal discipline, low-carbohydrate, low-cholesterol diet, strict calorie-control, and regular physical exercise (even as simple as brisk walking) of at least 30 minutes a day. All the sacrifices and hard work necessary in living a healthy lifestyle are, without any question, worth all the golden health benefits they bring with it.

For more data, please visit: philipSchua.com

Email: [email protected]

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Diabetes, Health, prevention
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.