Celebrities With Diabetes

Diabetes can be a pretty unglamorous affliction – but there are plenty of glamorous diabetes sufferers. Celebrities like Halle Berry and Drew Carey, musicians like Nick Jonas and Tommy Lee, and sports stars like Jay Cutler and Sugar Ray Robinson are all living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Actress Halle Berry suddenly fell into a diabetic coma in 1989 while working on a movie; shortly afterward, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. In 2007, the “Monster’s Ball” Oscar winner claimed she was no longer insulin-dependent because she ate a healthier diet: “I’ve managed to wean myself off insulin, so now I’d like to put myself in the Type 2 category,” she told contactmusic.com. Doctors questioned her claim that a change in diet could “cure” Type 1 diabetes; they worried that she would inspire other Type 1 diabetics to stop taking their insulin. They concluded that she must have always had Type 2, since it’s generally considered very dangerous for a Type 1 diabetic to stop taking insulin.

Nick Jonas, one third of teenybopper heartthrobs The Jonas Brothers, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 13, in November 2005. He’d begun suffering from mood swings, irritability and thirst several months before his diagnosis. He now wears an OmniPod insulin pump. It also functions as a test meter, and Nick uses FreeStyle test strips in it. His insulin is NovoLog. When he was first diagnosed, Nick was shocked and scared: then, he said, “I made a promise to myself on the way to the hospital that I wouldn’t let this thing slow me down and I’d just keep moving forward, and that’s what I did.” He advises fellow diabetes sufferers to do the same. “Just keep a positive attitude and keep moving forward with it. Don’t be discouraged.”

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler received his diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in 2008, when his athletic career was already well under way. The previous football season, he had lost 35 pounds, and he was exhausted all the time. He was playing for the Denver Broncos at the time, and the team required routine blood tests before players participated in the offseason training program: these tests showed Cutler’s blood sugar was five times higher than it should be. He began taking daily shots of insulin. “It's a big adjustment," Cutler told NFL.com. "You're 25 years old, you're used to eating whatever you want, doing whatever you want. If you want to go out to lunch, go ahead and go. Now, you're counting carbs and eating healthier and injecting insulin at the table. You've got to have your insulin, your needles, your glucose meter, yeah, it's a big change. But it's something you have to deal with.”

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