"I went to the doctor and he said 'You know those high blood sugar numbers you've been dealing with since you were 36?," he said. "Well, you've graduated. You've got type 2 diabetes, young man.'"
The Oscar-winning actor served a career of roles that required his weight to fluctuate, which CBS News believes could have played a factor in his diagnosis.
Hanks gained 30 pounds for his role of coach Jimmy Dugan in 1992's "A League of Their Own." He then dropped 55 pounds for his work in "Castaway."
CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips says:
"He'll have to watch what he eats very closely, he'll need to exercise regularly but there's no reason he can't live a perfectly normal life," she said. "In dramatic weight gain and dramatic weight loss, the equilibrium of the body is just completely off. So that might predispose him to developing type 2 diabetes later."
According to The Center for Disease Control, type 2 diabetes occurs when the body gradually loses its ability to produce insulin. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, with over 20 million adult Americans diagnosed.
Hanks is finishing up promotional interviews for his latest work in "Captain Phillips," where he plays a cargo ship captain whose vessel was overrun by Somali pirates.