Diabetes is More Common Than You Think

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Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not make insulin or cannot use it properly, causing sugar buildup in the blood. Diabetes is extremely common. Nearly 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, and nearly 1 in 4 people over the age of 65 live with the condition. While there are different types of diabetes, the most common is type 2, which is also known as adult-onset diabetes. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with age.

For many age-related conditions, science can hold the key to prevention. Research around klotho proteins provides hope for the millions of individuals at risk for diabetes as they age. Klotho proteins are naturally-occurring in humans. Recent research indicates that one day, klotho therapy may be used to reduce blood glucose in people with diabetes. In addition, klotho therapy may be able to prevent common age-related symptoms of diabetes.

While being diagnosed with diabetes can be complicated, know that you are not alone. Diabetes is a common condition for everyday people over the age of 65. These five celebrities live with the condition, too:

1. Halle Berry

The Academy-Award winning actress passed out on set one day, only to learn she was living with type 2 diabetes. As it turns out, Berry was genetically predisposed to the condition. Consequently, she has made significant changes to her diet and exercise habits in order to maintain her health.

2. Tom Hanks

One of the most famous actors of all time, Tom Hanks learned he had high blood sugar in his mid-thirties. Eventually, he developed type II diabetes. Hanks says poor food choices led to his condition, but he’s since taken eating healthfully (and losing weight) much more seriously.

3. Nick Jonas

Unlike Berry and Hanks, Nick Jonas–the youngest of the Jonas Brothers–has type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes. Jonas, now in his late twenties, has been managing the condition since he turned thirteen.

“Prioritizing my physical health, working out and eating healthy and keeping my blood sugar in check,” wrote Jonas in a 2018 Instagram post about his health history. “I have full control of my day to day with this disease, and I’m so grateful to my family and loved ones who have helped me every step of the way.”

4. Larry King

Larry King, one of America’s most famous TV and radio hosts, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 25 years ago. He has since done several things to manage his condition, including losing weight, quitting smoking and making healthier choices on a daily basis. 

5. Billie Jean King

This tennis player was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in her adulthood, too. When asked about her diagnosis, she responded: “Anyone can develop diabetes, even an athlete.” She manages her disease through eating right, working out and taking metformin. She also tests her blood a couple times a day, as directed by her doctor. 

While diabetes is on the rise, there is hope that scientific advances will soon reduce the risks associated with adult-onset diabetes. Research around anti-aging therapies like klotho therapy hold promise that diabetes won’t always be a threat. For all of the celebrities and commoners currently suffering with the condition, this is great news.