Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Halle Berry no longer type 1 diabetic?


Holy cow! I just read that Halle Berry has said she has weaned herself off insulin and no longer considers herself a type 1 diabetic (she says she's now type 2). Since when is there a cure for type 1 diabetes? I thought type 1 meant your pancreas was no longer producing insulin, which means you had better be injecting insulin if you want to continue living.
If this is a case where she was misdiagnosed years ago as type 1 when she was actually type 2, she is doing a vast disservice to all type 1's when she says she was type 1 and no longer needs insulin. And of course the media just have to jump all over this and shout the news to everyone without doing one little bit of research (and how hard is it to look up the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?). I mean really, I managed to research it online in a couple of minutes and it took another 5 minutes to read the difference between the 2 types.
The comments at the article are really taking her to task for saying this, and I can see their point. Totally irresponsible on her part.


  1. It's entirely possible that Berry was misquoted; it does happen. You are right, though, one does not "outgrow" type 1 diabetes; the only logical explanation is that she was misdiagnosed or had a stem cell transplant (still considered an experimental treatment the average diabetic cannot afford or get access to). Personally I do think the "type 1-type 2" mentality is an oversimplification and there are other "types" and much about this disease they have yet to find out.

    Andee (Meowser)

  2. One other type I've heard of is type 1b, which may or may not be insulin dependent. I'm not familiar with all the research on diabetes, and I think the research on types other than 1 and 2 is still in the infancy stages.

  3. She may well not be lying:

    Berry may well have retained enough pancreatic function to be able, at least for a while, go into a sort-of "remission" during which she can do without having to use insulin and still be a Type 1 diabetic. This happens because the total death of the β (insulin producing) cells in the pancreas does not always happen in Type 1's; they may well have some β-cell function left and can produce some insulin naturally. This insulin production--if the other things done to manage the disease/condition are effective--could well be enough for her needs.

  4. One more thing:

    Her remarks show that her view of diabetes is rather uninformed...but it does not mean she is lying per-se. After all, I doubt very much she is doing the in-depth research that a lot of us diabetics are doing. After all, she has other things to do....like walk the red carpet in a maternity evening gown that looks like it was made from a cloth shower curtain. Or two...:)

    The question is how she could do this "weaning" from insulin while pregnant: Pregnant Type-2 diabetic women are usually put on insulin therapy during pregnancy, not taken off of it!

  5. Maybe she did originally have some kind of insulin-dependent type 2 to start with, only it was just diagnosed as type 1 because she didn't have anything diagnosed before that. And possibly something has happened where her pancreas/endocrine system has recovered a bit. Hard to tell unless you're Halle Berry's personal doctor. :)

    I definitely agree that the report is confusing and misleading though perhaps not deliberately - people have enough problems distinguishing between type 1 and 2 as it is.

    Acutally even doctors seem to have trouble...I have a sibling with type 1 diabetes and a doctor I saw claimed I was at risk of type 2 diabetes because my sibling had it. (Oddly enough not mentioning me being fat.) *double take*

  6. True enough, Harpy. Where IS her doctor in all this? I cannot see, from what research I have done, any doctor taking ANY pregnant woman off of insulin during pregnancy. (Type 2's are often put ON insulin during pregnancy.)

    At the very least, if her quote accurately reflects what she has done, she is being irresponsible, IMHO.

    [Disclaimer: I am a Type 2 diabetic (and fat), only recently diagnosed with the disease. I am no expert--yet--but I know how to use Google. ;) And I also have decent skills at deciphering medical research reports and read medical sites for information; that's where the bulk of my research has been done so far.

    I have posted an article dealing with this topic at one of my blogs, "Intelligent Protocol"]

  7. See, that's part of the whole thing for me. If you're diagnosed with diabetes, any type, it behooves you to research and learn all you can so you can better manage it. I'm not diabetic, but DH is (type 2 for 13 years and we've only been married for 10 months), so I'm researching and reading and learning all I can so I can help him manage this. I want him whole and healthy and around for a long time, so, since I do the grocery shopping and the cooking, I had better learn what is best for him to eat.

  8. Sorry, forgot to add I also research his meds for him (he doesn't like computers) and go with him on doctor/nutritionist visits. I do all the things with him that I would do if I were the one diagnosed with diabetes (and he listens to me better than he listens to his doctor).

  9. My first thought was, I wonder if she was diagnosed with Type 1 instead of Type 2 in the first place because she was thin, so they weren't expecting Type 2.

    It's possible, however, that I am absurdly cynical.

  10. Kate, I think you're probably right, my cynicism meter wasn't working very well when I read this last night.

  11. Kate, you make a good point: A lot of Type 2 diabetics who don't fit the "mold" (such as being skinny at presentation) are not properly diagnosed.

  12. When I read that, I thought maybe she has one of the MODY kinds of diabetes. Some of them are insulin resistant but some are not. Some of the genes involved are identified and can be tested for.

    Another possibility is a pancreas transplant or a ß-cell transplant (experimental and not all that reliable)

    LADA (1.5) is insulin dependent like type 1. When treated early and aggressively even insulin dependent types may retain some ß-cell function (according to Bernstein.) Going off insulin would probably burn out what they have left.

    There was recently discovered a kind that was thought to be type one but turns out to be treatable with a sulf, people with this type were diagnosed in infancy. HB was a young adult at diagnosis so that's probably not it.

  13. Look at this study:

    Etiological Investigation of Diabetes in Young Adults Presenting With Apparent Type 2 Diabetes

    That may well be the clue as to why Halle Berry--and her doctors--may have thought she had adult-onset Type 1 diabetes.

    She was misdagnosed because she is thin and she was a young adult when she was diagnosed. Therefore, she was assumed to be a Type 1 because the doctors did not look for anything else. The variant of Type 2 she may well have might be responsive to drugs (pills) alone even if the β-cell antibodies are present.

    In other words, she does not NEED insulin, at least at this time.

  14. Ok, that makes sense. I don't understand why doctors seem to be so averse to digging deeper to make sure they have made the correct diagnosis, especially when a patient is atypical of the usual patient with a particular disease (meaning not all type 2's are fat, there are thin ones, so I would think further checking would be a good idea).

  15. Kate, I was wondering that exact same thing.


Comment moderation is enabled. If you're a troll and trying to slander someone or just being generally an asshat, your comment probably won't see the light of day. If you want to have a reasonable, civil discussion, welcome, and feel free to comment.
To the troll at IP: , adsl-70-242-65-196.dsl.stlsmo.swbell.net, your comments will not be published, nor will they be read. They will be automatically deleted. Get a life, sad sack.