Singer Nick Jonas, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13 in 2005, shared the four signs his body started to show before he was diagnosed with it. Taking to Instagram, the 30-year-old revealed he had excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, and irritability which, according to him, can be recognised as common signs of type 1 diabetes.
“I had four signs that I was living with type 1 diabetes: excessive thirst, weight loss, frequent urination, and irritability. These can be recognised as common signs of type 1 diabetes. I’m sharing my signs so that others can #SeeTheSigns,” he captioned the post.
A post shared by Nick Jonas (@nickjonas)
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) which stops your body from making insulin.
“While type 1 diabetes is caused by absolute deficiency of insulin, and requires insulin as treatment right from the start, type 2 is due to relative insulin deficiency and insulin resistance which can be treated with tablets initially and later insulin,” Dr Aarti Ullal, Consultant Diabetologist, Global Hospitals, Mumbai, told “Approximately 5-10 per cent of the people have type 1 diabetes,” she added.
According to a study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, an estimated 8.4 million people were living with type 1 diabetes across the globe in 2021. This number is predicted to increase to 13.5-17.4 million by 2040. The study further listed the ten countries with the highest estimated prevalence — USA, India, Brazil, China, Germany, UK, Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Spain — which account for 5.08 million or 60 per cent of global cases of type 1 diabetes.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults, stated CDC website. Among other symptoms, “excessive thirst and frequent urination are osmotic symptoms due to high levels of sugar in the blood that dehydrates the cells that leads to an increased consumption of liquids and hence frequent urination,” explained Dr Ullal.
In addition to that, weight loss is also an important sign. “While glucose is there in the blood, it cannot enter the cells without insulin. So, proteins and fats are broken down and used as energy sources which result in weight loss,” added Dr Ullal.
Dr Suruchi Goyal, consultant – paediatrics and paediatric endocrinology, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield, told previously the early symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children are (4Ts):
Thirst: Increased thirst
Toilet: Increased urge to pass urine (bedwetting)
Increased hunger
What do type 1 diabetics need to keep in mind?
Patients with type 1 diabetes need to:
*Monitor and control blood sugar, cholesterol and BP consistently.
*Manage blood sugar with insulin shots as advised by a doctor.
*Rest and relax to reduce stress.
*Stay active with exercises.
*Make healthy food choices.
*Consult your doctor to understand how to recognise and manage complications like kidney disease, eye disease, and cardiovascular complications.
*Go for regular urine tests for albumin (ACR), fundus examination for retinopathy, and lipids assessment along with strict blood pressure control.
On the 16th year anniversary of his diagnosis, Nick had reflected on the day that left him “devastated, frightened”, but he never let it “slow me down”.
“Today resonates with me personally because it’s the 16th anniversary of my diagnosis. I was 13, playing shows with my brothers… And I knew in my gut that something wasn’t right, so I went to my parents and told them I needed to see the doctor. After going over my symptoms, my pediatrician informed me that I had type 1 diabetes. All the symptoms were in line with an undiagnosed type 1. I was devastated – frightened…Did this mean my dream of touring the world and playing our music had to end? But I was committed, just like I always have been, to not letting it slow me down. There are tough days but I have an incredible support system I can rely on to help me push through and not be hard on myself when I’m feeling low,” he said in an Instagram post.
A post shared by Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) 
“I was in really bad shape, actually. I lost about 20 pounds in 2 weeks. I couldn’t drink enough water, was going to the bathroom all the time; very irritable, which is a symptom of high blood sugar,” he was quoted as saying by Healthline.
Nick was diagnosed when it was discovered that his blood sugar level was over 900 mg/dL (less than 140 mg/dL is considered normal range). “That was alarming and the start to my life with this disease. It’s pretty wild to think back that had it gone untreated just a few more days, it could have been really, really bad, but I got the care I needed when I needed it,” Nick was quoted as saying.
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