Thursday, November 08, 2007

What kind of diabetes does Halle Berry have, anyway?

When I was lurking over at Diabetes Mine preparing for my post on diabetes technology I ran across this little rant on the controversy sparked by Halle Berry’s claim that she weaned herself off insulin thus transitioning from type 1 to type 2 diabetes. That’s some serious misinformation. The dangerous message this sends to anyone who really does have type 1 diabetes is obvious.

But I think maybe Amy and other bloggers are being unfair to Berry. Maybe she doesn’t know any better. I fault the media. They should know better. If they don’t they have no business covering the story. Even the news reports that purported to debunk the idea were faulty.

So, what type of diabetes does Berry really have? Type 1? Can’t be. She’s alive. Is it type 2? Well, she doesn’t really fit the profile. According to reports the presenting manifestation of her diabetes was coma. Besides, look at her. Type 2 doesn’t immediately come to mind!

We don’t really have enough information, but given that Berry’s father is African American and that her diabetes appears to have transitioned from type 1 to “something else” she could have an under appreciated condition that I blogged about early last year which has gone by various names including Flatbush diabetes, diabetes 1.5 and, more recently, ketosis prone type 2 diabetes, something of a misnomer since it’s not really type 2 diabetes at all.

If this is the disease Berry has her days of taking insulin may not be over. Diabetes 1.5 is a form of intermittent, reversible beta cell failure that can cause the diabetes to appear to flip-flop like John Kerry from type 1 to type 2 and back.

Image source: U.S. Government Via Wikipedia.




5 comments:

Kassie said...

yeah, we're taking out some of our issues on Halle no doubt.

BUT, she's had this for 19 years! Even if she just said that she used to require insulin, but doesn't any more, that'd be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

What type 2 profile were you thinking of?

A good 20% of American type 2s are of normal weight. Some are even underweight.

I myself was diagnosed in my 30s, size 10, BMI in normal range, active lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

What an ignorant article...cant be type 1 because she is alive? My 6 year old was just diagnosed with type 1. I have since met many type 1 diabetics who have been living a very healthy life for 40+ years. There really is no excuse for penning an article with little information. Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

What an ignorant article...cant be type 1 because she is alive? My 6 year old was just diagnosed with type 1. I have since met many type 1 diabetics who have been living a very healthy life for 40+ years. There really is no excuse for penning an article with little information. Shame on you!

R. W. Donnell said...

Anonymnous:
No, you can't be type I and stay alive without insulin. If you withdraw from insulin for any length of time as Berry did and don't go into DKA and die it ain't type I. It has to be something else. By definition. Hope that clarifies it.