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Does Steve Jobs Have Diabetes?

No, he doesn't have diabetes.The internet is a-buzz with speculation about the state of Steve Jobs' health.  And "speculation" is the key word, because I honestly have no idea what the status of his health is today, nor can I begin to guess if something is wrong with him.

But when the phrase "Steve Jobs may have diabetes," is bantered about, a PWD like myself takes notice.  

According to an article in Computer World, writer Gregg Keizer stated, "Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs may have symptoms that resemble Type 1 diabetes, a noted endocrinologist said today, and he could be treated with insulin."  Keizer apparently spoke with Dr. Run Yu about Jobs' health, and after discussing different diabetes-related scenarios, the article closes with this:  "Even so, Yu noted that without all the information, he is essentially guessing."

Manny over at TuDiabetes posted about this article as well, and a commenter left a link to a letter dated January 5, 2009 from Steve Jobs.  Jobs states "Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause—a hormone imbalance that has been 'robbing' me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.  The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery."    

No diabetes, it seems.  But if it was, does he have to disclose that fact?  Does being diabetic, or not being diabetic, make him any less of a CEO?  Is his health our business?  Or are we wishing more that his business was our health?


I can't help but think that "hormone imbalance... robbing me of proteins" could, when you think about it, be a mumbo-jumbo way of referring to diabetes or glucose intolerance. And having a portion of your pancreas removed due to cancer could certainly do that to you.

But no, I don't think Steve Job's health is anyone's business but his own, if that is the way he wants it to be, the same as any other person. And whether what he said refers to diabetes or not, the description of his illness is a vague non-description. I think he's a man who doesn't want to disclose all the details bowing to pressure and speculation about his health from the media and the rumor mill.

I am inclined to agree that all of this seems to IMPLY that it could be diabetes (especially the language used in Jobs' letter), and as noted, there are people in the D-Blog community who have a diagnosis of diabetes thanks to pancreas surgery or removal, plus the physical symptoms also seem to suggest possible weight-loss due to hyperglycemia. But there's no proof, and while Jobs' has sort of danced around the issue with non-answer answers.

As the CEO of a publicly-held company, he does not have to tell everyone, but he does have a fiduciary responsibility to Apple shareholders to be forthcoming about his health so the Board of Directors can decide whether they need to search for a new Chairman and CEO.

i think what bothers me about the article (not your blog!) is that they say "Type 1 - like". i think the recognition for people with OTHER forms of diabetes should be recognized. If Steve Jobs has diabetes, he could definitely be quite the face of diabetes for people like us. We are all entitled to our privacy, but as an OTHER, I sure would like someone such as Mr. Jobs represent us OTHERS and show people that although we are "Type 1 - like" we are quite different.

Like you suggest, I think we are all just hoping that we'll get our iPump sooner rather than later! But it seems like he's not interested in disclosing it and that's his prerogative.

For what it's worth, though, "robbing me of proteins" does not sound like diabetes to me; nor does his statement that the solution was "simple and straightforward."

I think his health is his business. But yes, I also kind of wish his business was our health. Like Anne, I'd love an iPump!! With the CGM app. ;)

After hearing the very vague descriptions of his health challenges, I had the same thought flash thru my mind. O the techni shot in the arm that would be. Can I just add, I would soooo marry that man.

WebMD also points out that this could be a thyroid problem....


I must be very selfish, because I can help but be disappointed at this. I mean, the guy could have been such an asset to the diabetes community. (read: charmr)

I've been getting a lot of emails asking about this too. Thanks for addressing it, Kerri!

I think many were hoping that we might gain him as an ally in the fight against diabetes...

well, IF it IS diabetes that he has, more Mac/Apple people will more than likely get more techno-goodies... *shrugs* Why should it take something like that in order to get the kind of programming available? **sighs**

I think he wouldn't hide the fact if he was a diabetic. I do believe it has to do with his pancreas as you may remember he had a surgery done on them. So i think he's being pretty open about his hormone imbalance issues.

Well, I've recently looked around the web a bit & there seem to be speculations that thyroid problems can be linked to imbalances of hormones and lack of certain minerals etc... and diabetes basically being hormone imbalance & autoimmune disease too...
I wonder what sorts of bad chemicals Steve Jobs has been exposed to & what his nutrition was like...?

Also, 'easy cure' could be anything from operation to nutritional supplements...

Wouldn't a healthier environment & healthier (& affordable!) nutrition for all be even better than an iPump?

If he did have it (though I don't wish that on anyone, especially the CEO if my operating system of choice) my diabetes software compatibility issues would be solved.

On the bright side, if he /did/ have diabetes, then we may all someday be treated to a white shiny new iPump.

My guess is that he needed to say something, so he made it clear he was not going to die, and that he was on the mend. I suspect he was intentionally obtouse in his detailed explaination.


Of course diabetes is not something you'd wish on anyone, but it does seem too bad, diabetes could use a high-profile celebrity spokesperson, or at least someone other than the Jonas brother. On a related note, you might find the current XKCD comic entertaining:

Hmmm ... Maybe Bill Gates can invest some money for diabet's research.

If Jobs were an actor/celebrity, the media would have a field day. Jobs's health is his own business.

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