Steve Jobs’ Nutritional Excuse Hard to Swallow

(FILE PHOTO)  Apple CEO Steve Jobs Announces Illness

Does the man on the left look healthy?

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs announced Monday the “reason” for his substantial weight loss throughout 2008. That’s Jobs from June 9, 2008 on the left, and from January 11, 2005 on the right.

From his open letter:

As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.

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.

Rumors have swirled for months that the weight loss was due to a heart attack or a recurrence of Jobs’ pancreatic cancer.

A physician I know gives this opinion:

Yes, insulin and other types of hormones can cause weight gain as well as weight loss. Thyroid hormones can also affect your weight. Based on his past history of pancreatic cancer and his cachectic (“wasting away”) look, I would bet his weight loss has more to do with the cancer. Pancreatic cancer will destroy the pancreas which in turn is needed to produce not only insulin but several other digestive enzymes required for absorption of nutrients. My guess is his progressing pancreatic cancer is to blame for his “hormonal imbalance”.

William of Ockham tells me that when I hear hooves, I should think horses, not zebras. Pancreatic cancer is the horse.

Of course, no one I’ve talked to has the inside information on this situation, so it’s possible that Jobs’ explanation is 100% correct. That’s not the most likely one, however.

In the interest of disclosure, I should say that while I’m a bit of an Apple fanboy, I’m not a fan of Steve Jobs. He’s an ass and I don’t like the way he treats people. In addition, being on the front line of the PR wars between Apple and Power Computing in the summer of 1997, I did not like the tactics Apple used, most likely under Jobs’ direction.

That said, I wouldn’t wish pancreatic cancer on anyone, and certainly hope I am wrong.

3 Comments on “Steve Jobs’ Nutritional Excuse Hard to Swallow

  1. Paul G.

    Interesting. I polled my sig-other, who’s an FDA clinical trials nurse (RN) and has some experience with this sort of thing. Here’s what she said (basically in agreement):

    “So technically he may be telling the truth; he’s losing weight because his cancerous Pancreas (a gland) isn’t secreting hormones like insulin, glucagon, and digestive enzymes so well. That’s an oversimplification, especially if the cancer has metasticized.”

    So, even though the words we read are accurate, they are not correct!

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