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Tom Hanks reveals he has type 2 diabetes

Millions of Americans suffer from diabetes, including famous Hollywood celebrities. Recently, actor Tom Hanks revealed on "The Late Show with David Letterman" that he has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Like many Americans who have been diagnosed with diabetes, Hanks was likely surprised to learn that at the age of 57, his high blood-sugar levels went from putting him at risk of getting diabetes to being diabetic.

According to a CBS News medical contributor, it is possible that Hanks' acting career played a role in this. She said that the extreme weight fluctuations that the actor had to undergo for various movie roles could have thrown off the "equilibrium of the body."

For example, Hanks reportedly put on 30 lbs for his role in 1992's "A League of Their Own," and then dropped over 50 lbs for his role in "Castaway."

Even with the diagnosis, the CBS News medical contributor said Hanks and others with type 2 diabetes can go on to live a "perfectly normal life" so long as diet and exercise are made high priorities.

However, many people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes aren't able to continue leading normal lives because of the many disabling effects that the disease can have on a person's body.

In some cases, the condition prevents sufferers from being able to perform their jobs full-time. When this is the case, Americans with diabetes may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

In order to receive these benefits, applicants must supply medical evidence documenting their conditions and the effect it has on their lives.

Source: CBS News, "Tom Hanks reveals diabetes diagnosis: Did fluctuating weight play a role?" Oct. 8, 2013

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