The star, who won a Golden Globe for her work in the television film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge in 1999, was working on another television series when she suddenly collapsed into a diabetic coma. Shortly after the ordeal, at the age of 22, Halle was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. After receiving the diagnosis, Halle’s world was turned upside down as she was now completely dependent on insulin.
The star has often spoken out about her diabetes, and remarked on the “inconvenience” of having to “shoot up” with insulin in the middle of meetings or filming.
Most recently, the former model spoke about how she feels “at risk” due to the Covid pandemic, and as a result has been “very strictly about quarantining”.
The star said: “I’m very strict about quarantining and who is in my bubble. We have a whole section of the house: When you go out in the world and buy something, it has to sit in this purgatory.”
Throughout her career, diabetes has been the source of some other medical complications for the actress. The most notable being when she broke three ribs while filming the action film John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
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At the time Halle initially thought that she might have had bone cancer, due to her physically fit nature. She added: “I thought it was early osteoporosis. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me when I was really physically fit.”
However, according to a study conducted by the University of Sheffield, people who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at greater risk of suffering from a hip fracture or a similar injury.
Lead researcher Dr Tatiane Vilaca, from the University of Sheffield’s Mellanby Centre for Bone Research, said: “Diabetes can cause a number of well-known complications including kidney problems, loss of eyesight, problems with your feet and nerve damage. However, until now many people with diabetes and their doctors are unaware that they are also at greater risk of bone fractures.”
In fact, Halle addressed this issue herself, saying that she is aware that she has a propensity to fracture bones faster than other people.
Type 1 diabetes causes the level of glucose in your blood to become too high as the individual’s body cannot produce enough insulin to control blood glucose.
According to Diabetes UK, around eight percent of people in the UK have type 1 diabetes, and many people have differing ways of managing the life-long condition.
One of the suggested ways to manage the condition is eating a healthy, balanced diet. Although this sounds simple, knowing what to eat and what not to eat for a diabetic can be extremely tricky.
Remarkably, Halle has found success in following a keto diet, something that she has been following for over 30 years.
Talking about her decision to follow a strict keto diet Halle said: “It was a moment I’ll never forget. I had to re-spin the way I lived my life and have carried that with me ever since. Because I’m diabetic, nutrition has been a big part of my life and for the past almost 30 years I have been following the ketogenic lifestyle.”
A ketogenic diet is in simple terms a low-carb diet. The idea behind the diet is for individuals to get more calories from protein and fat, and less from carbohydrates like potatoes and pasta. Individuals aim to cut back on items like sugar, soda, pastries and white bread.
During an Instagram post, titled “Fitness Friday,” Halle wrote a detailed caption related to her health and food intake, whilst also crediting the keto diet for slowing down her ageing process.
The star wrote: “The keto lifestyle offers so many benefits such as weight loss, (mums that’s how we get rid of our baby bellies), appetite control, more energy and better mental performance.
“If you’re like me, you can possibly reverse type 2 diabetes, you’ll experience better physical endurance, better skin, and also less acne if that’s an issue. And it even helps control migraines!”
In reference to keto, Halle encouraged her seven million followers to not think of it as a diet, but more of a lifestyle change. However, despite high praise for the specific lifestyle, the keto diet has come under scrutiny in the past.
In 2019, Journalist Stephanie Nuzzo followed Berry’s keto diet for a week and revealed that she felt nauseated for the first two days while also experiencing headaches and fatigue. She wrote in a story for Body and Soul: “Using a combination of Berry’s Instagram account and interviews with her trainer, I formed an idea of the actress’ food plan and ran with it.”
“I drank coffee in the morning with a teaspoon of MCT oil and unsweetened almond milk. My meals were usually made with eggs or a meat protein along with vegetables, avocado and cheese. Occasionally I used tofu noodles or shredded zucchini instead of grains. The tofu wasn’t bad, but zucchini is not even a close substitute for pasta.”
Alternative ways in which you can manage your diabetes include checking your blood sugar, going to annual diabetes checks, following Diabetes UK recipes or using an insulin pump.