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Diabetes Awareness Month: Nick Jonas Reveals He Was Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes At 13

Every year, the month of November is observed as the Diabetes Awareness Month, celebrated globally to raise awareness about both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The theme of World Diabetes Day and diabetes awareness month 2019 is 'Family and Diabetes'.

Diabetes Awareness Month 2019 also aims to focus on the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The day aims to raise awareness on the impact that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected, and promoting the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes [1] .

The month and World Diabetes Day on 14 November also promotes the importance of getting treatment at the right time as untreated or unmanaged, diabetes can lead to life-changing complications such as blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke [2] . According to reports, diabetes was responsible for more than 4,00,000 deaths in the last year.

In this article, we will take a look at the way the condition affects one's life - especially when diagnosed at a very young age. The article will take a look at the life of Nick Jonas, the Jonas Brothers singer as a diabetic.

Diagnosed At The Age Of 13

I'm sure you all are familiar with Nick Jonas (unless you've been living under a rock with no Wi-Fi). Okay, let me refresh your memory- he's Priyanka Chopra's spouse. Okay, now that we are familiar with who is who - let's get to the topic at hand.

The singer and actor recently opened up about his 14-year battle with type 1 diabetes. Speaking out on the month that he was diagnosed at such a young age, the singer asserted that the diagnosis had helped him shape the way he approaches his health, workouts, eating habit, making the focus on his blood sugar and insulin needs [3] .

The Condition At A Young Age Caused Loneliness And Isolation

The singer also said that being diagnosed at such a young age, the invisible condition caused him loneliness and isolation, also causing him to be fearful of not being able to continue life as he had been living it.

However, once he gathered enough information on the condition and learnt that it can be managed with proper care and dedication, the third Jonas brother was able to take care of himself.

Diet Plan And Fitness Routine Post Diagnosis

Suffering from unhealthy weight loss due to the condition, the actor-singer was at an unhealthy weight of 45 kg. At the age of 13, he lost around 20 kg due to the high blood sugar levels. So, in order to keep his condition under control he makes use of an insulin pump where he checks his blood sugar frequently. It helped him in understanding his own body and hence, take care of himself systematically [4] .

The Jealous singer asserted that it is essential to be very active while living with type 1 diabetes. A balanced diet composed of vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy. He also makes sure that the physical workouts pushes his body and consists of running, boxing, weight lighting, planks, etc.

Co-founded Beyond Type 1 In 2015

It was his early-diagnosis with diabetes that had led to him being the co-founder of Beyond Type 1, a Type 1 diabetes non-profit, that aims to educate, and advocate around the disease as well as support the path to a cure. The organisation has become the largest diabetes network on social media in the world, with nearly 2 million followers, in only three months.

The Chains singer said, "That's why I co-founded @BeyondType1 in 2015, to make sure no one feels alone with this diagnosis and to share how you can thrive with Type 1 diabetes. November is Diabetes Awareness Month - join us at Beyond Type 1 by sharing how diabetes has impacted your life using #TheDropSpotted" [4] .

Type 1 Diabetes In Children

The recent news on Nick Jonas' early diagnosis of the condition has indeed put more light on spreading awareness on the issue of paediatric diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is the most common type in children, accounting for two-thirds of new cases in children of all ethnic groups. One of the most common chronic childhood diseases, type 1 diabetes in children manifests between age 4-6 yrs or between 10-14 yrs [5] [6] .

It causes children to have increased thirst and frequent urination, extreme hunger, fatigue, weight loss and so on. The condition requires immediate medical attention as it can lead to nerve damage, eye damage, kidney damage and heart and blood diseases [7] .

Also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, the condition can be overwhelming for the family as well as the child [8] . But with various medical interventions and methods, it does not have to be completely overwhelming. With several means to control the condition, diabetes in children can be managed.

View Article References
  1. [1] Hernandez, C. A., Hume, M. R., & Rodger, N. W. (2003). Six-month evaluation of a diabetes self-awareness intervention. Outcomes management, 7(4), 148-56.
  2. [2] American Diabetes Association. (2000). Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 105(3), 671-680.
  3. [3] Boucher, A. (2019, November 01). Nick Jonas Opens Up About Living with Type 1 Diabetes 14 Years After Diagnosis.
  4. [4] NA. (2019, November 01). Nick Jonas reveals he was diagnosed with diabetes at 13. Priyanka has an emotional response.
  5. [5] Zhao, G., Vatanen, T., Droit, L., Park, A., Kostic, A. D., Poon, T. W., ... & Peet, A. (2017). Intestinal virome changes precede autoimmunity in type I diabetes-susceptible children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(30), E6166-E6175.
  6. [6] Chiang, J. L., Maahs, D. M., Garvey, K. C., Hood, K. K., Laffel, L. M., Weinzimer, S. A., ... & Schatz, D. (2018). Type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents: a position statement by the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care, 41(9), 2026-2044.
  7. [7] Lee, J. J., Thompson, M. J., Usher-Smith, J. A., Koshiaris, C., & Van den Bruel, A. (2018). Opportunities for earlier diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children: A case-control study using routinely collected primary care records. Primary care diabetes, 12(3), 254-264.
  8. [8] Endesfelder, D., zu Castell, W., Bonifacio, E., Rewers, M., Hagopian, W. A., She, J. X., ... & Yu, L. (2019). Time-resolved autoantibody profiling facilitates stratification of preclinical type 1 diabetes in children. Diabetes, 68(1), 119-130.
Story first published: Monday, November 4, 2019, 18:00 [IST]
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