The Home Secretary Theresa May says she is 'getting on with it' after her diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes.
She was diagnosed two months ago and must now inject herself with insulin at least twice a day for the rest of her life, she told the Mail on Sunday.
Mrs May's recent weight loss had been taken by some as proof of a style makeover in preparation for a future leadership bid, but the Maidenhead MP told the newspaper that the illness was partly to blame.
She said: "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."
"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. 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.
She added that the signs had been hard to spot, saying: "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."
Doctors told Mrs May she had the condition, which means her body does not produce insulin, in November but initially they thought she had Type 2 diabetes.
But the cabinet minister insisted that her job would not be affected by the new illness.
She said: "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.
"There's a great quote from Steve Redgrave who was diagnosed with diabetes before he won his last Olympic gold medal. He said diabetes must learn to live with me rather than me live with diabetes. That's the attitude."Reuse content