The Home Secretary was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two months ago and must now inject herself with insulin at least twice a day for the rest of her life, the Mail on Sunday revealed.
Commentators had seized on Mrs May’s dramatic weight loss over the last 18 months as proof that she was undergoing a style makeover in preparation for a future leadership bid, but the Conservative Cabinet minister told the newspaper that dropping two stones was partly down to the illness.
“The diabetes doesn’t affect how I do the job or what I do. It’s just part of life . . . so it’s a case of head down and getting on with it,” Mrs May told the newspaper.
“It was a real shock and, yes, it took me a while to come to terms with it.
“It started last November. I’d had a bad cold and cough for quite a few weeks,” she said. “I went to my GP and she did a blood test which showed I’d got a very high sugar level – that’s what revealed the diabetes.
“The symptoms are tiredness, drinking a lot of water, losing weight, but it’s difficult to isolate things. I was drinking a lot of water. But I do anyway.
“There was weight loss but then I was already making an effort to be careful about diet and to get my gym sessions in.
“Tiredness – speak to any politician and they will tell you the hours they work. Tiredness can be part of the job. It is full on.”
Mrs May added: “It doesn’t and will not affect my ability to do my work. I’m a little more careful about what I eat and there’s obviously the injections, but this is something millions of people have ... I’m OK with needles, fortunately.”