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Guide to Diabetes

Celebrities with Diabetes

Several celebrities have been diagnosed with diabetes and have continued to succeed in their high-profile careers. Wasim Akram, Steve Redgrave, Rob Green,Dom Littlewood, Christopher Biggins, Halle Berry, Patti Labelle to name a their stories below.

John Prescott, Tom Hanks, Emily Lilly, Salma Hayek, Nick Jonas, Randy Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Tarbuk

Christopher Biggins- TV personality has Type 2 Diabetes

Christopher Biggins, 61, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes three years ago, after starting to feel unwell. How does he manage the demands of his diabetes with those of his work and life.? With heightened awareness, good knowledge and organisation, he keeps his diabetes under control and still lives the life he desires.


Dom Littlewood- TV Presenter has Type 1 Diabetes

From scuba diving to dancing, water skiing to flying how does Dom Littlewood control his diabetes to enable him to get the best out of life? When television presenter Dominic Littlewood travels anywhere, one of the first things he packs is his insulin. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 33 years ago, the daily injections he has to give himself have become as much a part of his routine as brushing his teeth. Read his story  He makes glucose monitoring and diabetes management an integral part of his life, allowing him to maximise freedom- fun- elsewhere. (The Independant 2010)


Wasim Akram- Pakistan International Cricketer has Type1 diabetes
Wasim Akram

In 1997, Pakistan's famous all-rounder Wasim Akram was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Wasim Akram blames the onset of his diabetes due to stress during his career. Read Wasim Akrams transcript. The subsequent diagnosis was a big blow to him. Though he eventually come to terms with it, it was his wife, Huma, who hastened the process, says Wasim Akram even she was spooked by his having to take regular insulin shots. Within three weeks of diagnosis, Wasim Akram was back on the field, quickly learning that the best way to manage his condition was through exercise, something he doesn't intend to drop ever.

The fact that Wasim Akram had always been a fit person helped a great deal in bringing his diabetes under control. He also plays golf, which was a big help too. Small wonder then that he was called the 'great survivor'. Now he is known as the “King”. The six years he played cricket after being diagnosed a diabetic were some of the best cricketing years of his life. But he had to observe a strict regimen, particularly on match days, before batting or fielding, he'd make sure he had taken his insulin shot, and always kept a chocolate at hand, in case his sugar level fell below normal.

Wasim Akram visited Leicester City Centre, Humberstone Gate on June 16th, during Diabetes Week, where he met the Leicestershire Diabetes Team and talked to members of the public about his diabetes. 

Sir Steve Redgrave - Olympic oarsmanSteve Redgrave

Sir Steve Redgrave, 39, went on to win Olympic Gold after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes! If properly controlled there is no reason why you should not be able to lead your life with very few major restrictions.


Robert Green - Rugby Union Player Nottingham (Former Leicester Tigers Player) 

Rod Kafer- Rugby Australia and Leicester Tigers

Read their stories on the Runsweet website dedicated to Diabetes and Sports – helping people with Diabetes to become winners.


Halle Berry- American Actress, former fashion model, and beauty queen

While many think that Halle Berry is a diet and fitness freak - she worksoutdaily on a treadmill and does weights, and maintains a strict diet of chicken, fish, vegetables, brown rice and tabbouleh (bulgur wheat salad) - apart from maintaining her gorgeous figure, there is another serious reason for her rigorous exercise and diet. She was diagnosed with diabetes in 1989.

To maintain her energy levels and prevent complications, she makes it a point to test her blood glucose levels daily and follows a no-sugar diet. "I don't eat carbs a lot mainly because I don't really like them," she was quoted by People magazine.

She was first diagnosed after she collapsed on the sets of a television show she was doing  so her condition couldn't really be hidden. Even though obesity is often a trigger for adult-onset diabetes, she is a good example to show that not everyone develops it from being overweight. Interestingly, Halle Berry is convinced that without diabetes she'd never have become an Oscar-winning actress. At a Los Angeles benefit event, she told the star-studded audience, "My teacher told me at the age of 10 that when I grew up, I would be given a gift. It turned out to be diabetes. It gave me the strength and toughness I needed for my life."


Patti LaBelle - Singer

Patti LaBelle says she is thankful that she passed out on stage during a concert performance 10 years ago. That dramatic moment resulted in the two-time Grammy-winning diva being diagnosed a diabetic.The event got LaBelle on track, controlling her blood glucose levels, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

 She urges people to see their doctors more often to maintain good health and find out if they are at risk for diabetes or have it already.

"Diabetes doesn't have to be such a bad thing if you control it." But being a diabetic and having a hectic schedule brings about its own set of challenges; the biggest challenge for her is to take her medicines on time and find privacy to take her insulin shots.”

Sometimes low blood glucose episodes can occur at inconvenient times - even for famous performers. One evening, before a show in Miami, she had low glucose and was asked by a doctor not to perform. But she grabbed some carbohydrates and continued with the show.